Arch Stanton Guest Post: Introduction to Metal

One of my life’s biggest laments is that I am forced to trawl music blogs for good metal music. You see, none of my friends are cool enough to listen to the metal genre and save me from being forced to read idiots complain about music on their blogs. Today, this idiot is going to EDUCATE about music on his blog, in the hopes that maybe he could entice some people into giving metal a chance.


I understand the reluctance to listening to metal: the obscene amounts of leather outfits, Cookie Monster-vocals, vulgar cover art, band names and song titles/lyrics (cough cough Cannibal Corpse), and a musicality many people would politely refer to as “four douche bags in black t-shirts who can’t play their instruments”. All of these are very fair assumptions and concerns; as I mentioned, I have been subjected to the taint of the metal scene in searching for bands who actually put some effort into learning their instruments or finding a vocalist who doesn’t hate his dad.  This primer hopes to show you some metal bands who still embody metal with singers you can understand with the throbbing guitar riffs that make metal so goddamn awesome.

I took some of my favorite bands and broke them into three different categories – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – so you can dabble to your comfort level, and so I can talk about my favorite songs. No one said this wouldn’t be self-indulgent. The best metal balances a fine line between “fucking awesome” and “this is so corny” – your breakdowns and solos better make up for extended lyrics about love-making orcs. I will point out the corniest shit so you can see metal is not nearly as intense as these dorks tend to imagine themselves as.
(Note to anyone who happens to stumble across this looking to claim ‘THESE AREN’T REAL METAL BANDS, THEY’RE SLUDGE/STONER/GRIND’ – just fuck right off. This is why no one likes metal fans. They argue endlessly about the classification of a band versus, ya know, appreciating them. This is a second reason I don’t have any other fans who like metal – metalheads tend to be the most obnoxious people.)
BEGINNER: These bands each feature relatively crisp vocals and heavy-but-not-alienating riffs and rhythms. Most of these bands have a pretty straight delineation from Black Sabbath, so heavy chords, but not especially fast or oppressive. When I run very, very slowly, these bands are my go-to because the tempo is steady and predictable. In other words, these are metal bands you can get stoned and listen to.
The Sword: From Austin, TX, these guys sing a lot about Norse mythology, which was pretty cheesy until Thor became the guidepost for best Marvel movies, and now Norse mythology is cool! Their bass lines are not the most oppressive on this list, nor are their drums the most overwhelming, or the guitars fiercely intimidating, but all together they have a heavy groove-based style that real geeks me out. They are a direct descendant of Black Sabbath — the music video for “How Heavy This Axe” is a… parody? homage? to Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” video from the 70’s to a T. But check out “Lament for the Aurochs’ from Age of Winters ( — look at that cheesy-ass French art-noveau style album work! I love it so much.
Torche: I first checked out Torche because I saw a review of their album Harmonicraft called them “bubble gum metal,” and if that description doesn’t fascinate you, well, you probably don’t like metal that much. Or bubble gum. I don’t know your business. It’s hard to describe why that tag fits – soaring guitar riffs that butt up against bass lines designed to pull you into the earth. If you check out Torche, make sure you put your speakers/headphones to maximum-bass, because these guys really embrace the “it goes to eleven” of bass. You will feel it in bones, and that is rad as hell. The vocals for Torche tickle me, because I always imagine lead singer Steve Brooks standing like six feet from the mic as he sings like he’s trying to project to the International Space Station. I saw them live, and that’s pretty much exactly what he does. Listen to “Loose Men” off the Restarter album (, but really the Harmonicraft album is top-to-bottom nearly perfect and worth listening to.
Baroness: I would describe Baroness’ sound as naturistic. I know that’s not a word, but it all feels very natural and the type of shit I would listen to on a beautiful spring afternoon walking through a field of blossoming flowers, but like, with a metal band singing about Sherman’s March. We’ll call it ‘vernalcular’, as in ‘vernal equinox’. Roll with it. Baroness’ lead man Jonathan Dyer Baizley’s voice is so great – he’s one of the few who actually kind of sing in different octaves, and he manages to convey real emotion in these songs in way most others on this list can’t. Besides “mad” obviously, they all do that one pretty well. My favorite song of theirs is “Take My Bones Away” due to the coordinated, cresting guitars in the solo, but I would recommend “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)” ( — it manages to be heartrendingly sad but mixed with an optimism. Gives me chills every time I hear it.
Red Fang: Where Baroness is sincere and elegant, Red Fang is the polar opposite. My favorite song of theirs, “Prehistoric Dog” ( opens with the lines “dogs that howl from outer space” in a music video where they shotgun tallboys and yell at guys LARP-ing in a park. I recommend you watch this video if only merely for the armor made out of empty beer cans. Do not confuse the full awareness of their corniest distract you from the riffs — these dudes bang. Sharp, plodding rifts are the big takeaway here, not that they made a music video devotion to the movie Predator.
INTERMEDIATE: We’re getting to heavier riffs and more growling vocals, but still relatively accessible compared to the depths of the metal genre. I think someone new to the genre can find a lot to appreciate here — I really never fully got into the genre until listening to Mastodon. On that note…
Mastodon: Possibly my favorite band ever, if not Queens of the Stone Age. The band name perfectly encapsulates their sound – heavy, plodding, hairy and mean. They wildly evolved over the course of their albums, starting with leaning on Brent Hinds to snarl through vocals like he was trying to blow down the houses of the three little pigs, but eventually giving forking more of that responsibility to Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor and delving into wacky time signatures resembling those of our Canadian overlords Rush. I am at a loss for what to recommend to a newcomer to Mastodon – do we go with something from Remission, their heaviest and least polished album, or maybe Leviathan, a concept album based on Moby Dick (remember when I said the best metal runs the fine line on corny and awesome?), or maybe Crack the Skye, a seven song masterpiece that essentially involves a paraplegic astral projecting to a parallel universe where he does battle with a cult from the future who worship Rasputin? If I wanted to really get to you like Mastodon I would recommend something off their Once More ‘Round the Sun or Emperor of Sand, far more accessible to a newbie, but no – MARCH OF THE FIRE ANTS ( I bet everyone who listens to that hates it, but man I want to fight an entire army listening to it. This song should be the soundtrack to Jurassic Park deleted scenes where the T Rex just stomps every person into dust; but as he’s snuffing the life out of Chris Pratt or Dallas Howard, there’s a moment it looks like they’ll escalate, but JUST KIDDING, you are being curb stomped through the crust of the planet. FUCK this song gets me worked up.
Metallica: Whatever, you know Metallica. If you can appreciate Metallica, you are halfway to appreciating metal. They are the platonic ideal of metal. Their first five albums (Kill Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All and the Black Album) will go down as the greatest streak a band has ever had. Suck it, Beatles. Their other albums, uhhh, will be forgotten entirely. You know a dozen Metallica songs, but check out this live version of “Master of Puppets” from 1989 ( — tell me you don’t get the appeal now. How could a hormonal teen before internet porn get that pent-up energy out before a band who got absolutely loaded every night, fucked every groupie possible and sang about various ways to kill each other told them how? If time travel is every invented, I’m going to a Metallica concert circa 1989, where I will be promptly punched in the face.
Mutoid Man: I was on the fence about putting them in the beginner or here, but then remembered no one reading this gives a shit, and I needed to round out the numbers a bit, so here we are. The vocals here are pretty clean, with some real magnificent odes to Ronnie James Dio throughout their catalog and they lean heavily on a thrashing bass line, but the rhythms are much quicker than most of what was detailed in the beginner part. As my responsibility to detail the corny parts of metal bands who are still kicking ass – “Date with the Devil” ( Not my favorite song by them by any means, but the riff still knocks you back into your seat. This is the song because I really need to talk about the lyrics — “climbed all over Satan’s daughter / nothing’s ever made me harder” and “came inside of Satan’s daughter / nine months later, who’s the father?” and “i did the walk of shame from hell” — somehow, these lines are still not enough to push this song from “metal” to “corny”.
Black Tusk: You can tell it’s a metal band because they are “black” something for a band name. I would list all of the metal bands that have black in their name, but because time is finite and we are all one step closer to death everyday, I will not waste your time or mine. Black Tusk is similar to Red Fang in the sense they do not take themselves too seriously, with song titles like “Set the Dial To Your Doom”, “Desolation in Endless Times” and “God is on Vacation”, an album titled Taste the Sin and a song that opens with Andrew Fidler yelling, “SIX! SIX! SIX!”. That’s the devil’s number you guys, if you didn’t know, and them singing that means they are HARDCORE. The guitar work here is super riff driven – is it the most technical? No, but you will be headbanging to every song. Listen to “Resistor” ( but only because I couldn’t find a good version of “The Ride” on Youtube.
ADVANCED: There’s going to be some screaming, fast rhythms, and bruising chords. PREPARE YOURSELF.
Deafheaven: I have recently come to the conclusion “Sunbather” ( is one of my favorite songs of all time. Remember when I made up the word “vernalcular”? It describes Deafheaven so well. “Sunbather” is about the time lead singer George Clarke drove through San Francisco suburbs and first understood income inequality; you will not discern this deeper meaning from the lyrics without looking them up. They sift from downtrodden isolated guitars to a wall of sound impenetrable to someone unfamiliar, but this song paints a gut-wrenching sad soundscape reminiscent of the ‘denial’ stage of Kubler’s model of grief, but gently turns a corner into ‘anger’ about five minutes in where we shift from a major key into a minor, suddenly giving a much more hostile edge to the tone of the song. In spite of this, the song resolves itself and ends on an emotional breakthrough with a glint of optimism. This is almost always the first song I play in my car, and yes, I scream until my throat is raw. I. Love. This. Song.
Lamb of God: Originally named “Burn the Priest”, they changed to something with more mainstream accessibility. I don’t know what the point of this move was, because it’s not like mom was suddenly going to check out “Ashes of the Wake” because of the name change. Same thing goes to you, 2 Chainz, previously known as Titi Boi. Lamb of God is probably the most technically proficient and complex group on this list – you many not be able to get past Randy Blithe incredibly blistering vocals, but I like to imagine people can recognize the guitar work Mark Morton puts in (NOTE – I know you don’t). I saw them once in concert, and they dedicated the “Eleventh Hour” ( to anyone who served in the armed forces, and are notoriously famed for being aggressively cool to veterans. Anyway, the breakdown here brings the roof in every single show, and how could it not?!? I’m writing this and looking out my apartment window for someone walking down the street for someone to start fighting.
Meshuggah: This is your final. “Bleed” ( The video is gross and disorienting and violent and features bugs and flash photography with the most brutal of riffs and drums and vocals. The first time I heard Meshuggah, I thought it was a Tool b-side until I heard the song opened up like sinkhole to the center of the earth, and I thought, “even Maynard James Keenan isn’t this angry”. Meshuggah is oppressively heavy, fast, technical and organized chaos, and here to fucking disembowel you with their interludes. Solos? Nah, they’d rather blow your head open with fucking lightning bolts through your skull  with their riffs. There is no mercy in Meshuggah. You listen to Meshuggah for one reason, and that is to start a fucking riot.
Anyway, I could go on for hours more with other bands and songs I like, but I have cars I need to flip because I mistakenly listened to Meshuggah without an outlet to use this adrenaline. To reward you for indulging me this far, here’s Baroness and Mutoid Man covering “Purple Rain”, the most perfect song every devised (

Song of the Day (4/26/2018)

Today’s song of the day is Ball and Chain by Social Distortion. I’d love to give a shoutout to the 1990s but this little doozy was released in 1990 – crazy to have come out so early in the decade given it’s squarely a 1990s feel.

Staying on the topic of balls and social distortions: Donald Trump’s PEN15. Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t. We agree it’s there and it’s probably been inside at least one B-list pornstar’s fun box. A couple of amusing articles on the topic:

Changing subjects, a currently relevant photo that I loved:

And the world’s best email sign-off:

And a couple of baller license plates. You’ll have to be patient, I meant to do a real post here but ran out of time.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Most Incomprehensible Features by Rappers on Pop Songs

Following our last post that somehow featured two astonishingly bizarre feature tracks by respected hip hop artists on tracks to be featured on songs with music videos for middle school boys to masturbate to on TRL, I remain hinged on this odd subtopic of modern music. Which coked-out music producer thought these combinations were what was really necessary to put these albums over the top? I am to believe that someone thought this Christina Aguilera album was destined to failure unless Wu Tang Clan affiliate Redman made a PG guest verse about how rowdy he is? The 80’s are remembered as a time of excess (Reagan be praised!), but the 00’s brought us Virginia Beach drug-dealing-banger duo Clipse on a fresh-off *NSYNC Justin Timberlake single. Let’s begin our voyage there:
Ah yes! Back when Justin Timberlake was trying to act like a normal human being, who hangs out in front of a 7-11 popping and locking with his multi-ethnic group of friends. When do you think Justin Timberlake was last in a 7-11? Remember – he was originally from Memphis, and moved to Orlando to form *NSYNC. I don’t doubt that this was a thing he did, but dude’s been famous since like 1996; AT LEAST twenty years.
But this post isn’t about pop stars and their shopping destinations for slurpies and roller-cooked hotdogs. Pusha T and No Malice, the members of Clipse, who you may remember from 2002 hit “Grindin'” about drug dealing in a refreshingly unglorified way compared to the preceding 90’s, show up on this Justin single to lend credence to the notion he was definitely the coolest member of *NSYNC (as if there was any real doubt – was anyone thinking Chris Kirkpatrick was anything but a nerd in over his head?) In what is certain to be a recurring trend, the members of Clipse fart out some half-assed lines, just enough to make sure that check clears – Pusha rhymes “glow” with… “glow. No Malice mercifully ends this experiment with eight lines concluding with, “the name Malicious and I burn every track / Clipse and J Timberlake – now how heavy is that?” Dude, that is the least heavy shit ever. Pusha had to feature on like a dozen Kanye tracks to redeem Clipse’s integrity. To be fair, this song bangs, because anything with Pharrell-produced tracks is going to be good.
In the seasonal effort of Katy Perry to appropriate every culture from the world and history, this video features white people as Egyptian pharaohs, but with, like, neon and shit? I’m sure there’s an interview that I’m definitely not going to look up or read where she claims this is her voicing her support for the Egyptian people during the Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarack; just assume this is truth, don’t doubt it, it’s real because I am typing it and it’s on the internet, and that’s enough for your mom, so it should be good enough for you.
Juicy J was a member of Oscar-winning Three 6 Mafia from Memphis (this is absolutely true – Katy Perry can’t even win a Grammy but Three 6 is out here winning in different fields. Never fuck with Memphis.) Juicy J is also notorious for screaming about spending $30K at a strip club and how everyone should SHUT THE FUCK UUUUUUUUP at the end of “Same Old Song” by the Weeknd. Juicy J can rap like a monster, but should not be your go-to when looking to capitalize on liquid assets.
Looking ahead to the coming songs, this has got to be the best song and verse here. One line goes, “she can be my sleeping beauty, I’m gonna put her in a coma,” which is not very progressive in light of the #MeToo movement. I’m sure Katy Perry would have strong opinions about this if she had ever listened to this part of the song before. On that note…
If you remember, this is a video about a sexually-frustrated diabetic’s nightmare, with Katy Perry pantomiming fucking lollipops, cans of whip cream, gummy bears and anything that could be even remotely identified as phallic. Katy Perry has a target audience, and it is me. You can judge all you like, but I know what I’m about.
Snoop comes out with the most remarkably half-assed verse in the history of hip, with almost every line coming it at under five or six syllables. The most technically-proficient line is probably, “bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, no weenies” which starts kind of on topic for the song (titties being the theme, if you didn’t watch the video or remember Katy shooting whipped cream out of her boobs), and then goes to two completely unrelated subjects that are at least lyrical consonances. Looking back from today, where Snoop has his own show with fellow ex-con Martha Stewart, it’s hard to remember that he was massively respected artist who ran with Dr Dre and Tupac in their primes. But such is life for hip hop stars – you remain credible and are shot in your prime, or become white suburban moms’ favorite “hippity hoppity” star.
(I would trade places with Snoop IN A HEARTBEAT.)
This is, without a doubt, the most inexplicable pairing in music history. Seriously, find me two more unrelated artists, at their primes, who decided to get together, and put it in the comments. The only acceptable pairing I would even consider would be when Metallica wanted to piss their fans off (again) and release an album with Lou fucking Reed. I would read a 10,000 word longread on the oral history of how this came to pass; namely, how many commas were in the check he got for the nine lines in this song? Do you think Taylor Swift tried to give notes on his verse? Do you think Kendrick read them? Do you think they’ve ever met in person? I could go on.
This video has Lena Dunham in it; I apologize for subjecting you to that. The good news is Kendrick’s verse is right out of the gate so you don’t have to fuck around with the rest of this tragedy of a Avengers-but-for-famous-and-beautiful-white-girls video. All in all, either Kendrick Lamar actually tried, in which case, God bless him, or he didn’t at all, which makes the case for him being a savant because the lines aren’t bad but… it’s on a second-rate Taylor Swift song. Do you think he has all of Taylor Swift’s albums? Do you think they are Snapchat friends? Do you think he’s ever in Nashville and thinks, “I should call up my dear friend Taylor for dinner this evening!” Jk, Kendrick Lamar’s never been to Nashville.
Nope, I’m afraid I prematurely blew my wad and now find myself in a sticky situation, because what the actual fuck is Future doing on a track with Ed Sheeran. There’s no way he was notified everyone’s favorite-Olive-Garden-waiter-in-training was going to be on the same track. Like the last Taylor Swift song, our featured guest bangs his verse out early and pretty strong if we’re being real, but the real gem is the two of them “making eyes” at each other in a Lamborghini in what looks like 80’s Miami, which is preposterous. Although – Future did get with Ciara, so maybe we shouldn’t sleep on Future’s ability to bed beautiful superstarlets.
Anyway, I really just need to address this Ed Sheeran situation. It sounds like he’s trying to rap here. Excuse me – trying to “rap”. His lines are a bit quicker, he makes some rap hand waves through his verse, and really looks like he wants Future to like him. In all of the infinite and still expanding universes, there is still not a single one where Future likes Ed Sheeran. If you watch the video (I recommend it! It’s a pretty good song actually!), you can definitely tell Ed was on set with Taylor, and definitely worked up his best good guy impression to swing a date with Taylor, to which she laughed hysterically, and told everyone on set how funny Ed was, and he joined in the laughing to try and cover how hurt he was she thought he was kidding, and then he went home and sadly masturbated. True story.
No hate here, this song fucking bangs.
Every Fucking Track Ludacris Has Been on Since 2004
Ludacris needs to fire his agent. He has featured on FORTY-SEVEN TRACKS according to Wikipedia. This list includes the greatest track of all time (“Yeah” by Usher), some great tracks (“One Minute Man” by Missy Elliot, “Oh” by Ciara, “Sugar” by Trick Daddy, “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias, “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, “Gonna Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz), two dozen forgettable ones, some real tragedies (“Baby” by Justin Bieber, “How Do You Sleep” by Jesse McCartney, “Glamorous” by Fergie, “Holidae Inn” by Chingy) and, I swear to you this is true, but a track with future United States Senator Kid Rock next to R Kelly. Remember when being associated with an alleged kidnapper, cultist, pedophile and piss-enthusiast was enough to preclude you from partaking in politics? (NOTE – this has never been the case).
Dear Ludacris’ agent, learn to say no sometimes. I am sure Luda is doing just fine with his Fast and Furious residuals that he does not need to keep cribbing lines for whatever bland white kid middle America preteens are currently swooning over. “Word of Mouf” was great though.
Goddamn, ODB was the best. Remember that time he was being filmed by MTV cameras lamenting how hard it was to feed his family as he was zonked out in a limo taking him to cash out his food stamps? We never deserved him in the first place. RIP Dirt McGirt, aka Ason Unique, aka Knifey McStab, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Little Billy Clinton.
Anyway, ODB is in typically ODB fashion here – wildly animated, flailing his arms, jumping up way too close to the camera and grinning with his grill showing more lens flares than a JJ Abrams’ move poster. His first verse(??) is him introducing the song, asking if various locales are in the house, including, ahem, Sacramento. (Sacramendie?) His verse is, predictably, all over the place, talking about how all the “brothers should hit it from the back and front” and then goes into what has to be the most unforeseen reference to Donny and Maria Osmond of all time. ODB CONTAINS MULTITUDES. I am fighting the urge to turn this into a celebration of ODB right now. Perhaps another time.
A deep cut from way behind the arc! I had almost forgot about this, but ya boy never forgets a good song. The song is pretty ordinary Michael Jackson fare – some “yeeehees”, “sha-mon-aa”, pinched testicles and universal lyrics that apply to every person to have ever lived. Michael knew what he was about NOT diddling kids get your mind out of the gutter we are professionals (NOTE – I am not) and this is a serious piece of investigative work (NOTE – it is not). Biggie’s verse is remarkably dark for a pop song; it’s almost like a guy who named his albums “Ready to Die” and “Life After Death” with songs like “Suicidal Tendencies”, “My Downfall” and “Everyday Struggle” may have been going through shit emotionally. If we want to try our damnedest to find a silver lining here, at least he didn’t suffer much longer…?
I feel pretty bad about that.
This track is the first to work in an n-bomb; apparently rappers are wont to avoid the word in half-assed verses on corny pop songs by goofy white people. Biggie goes on about feeling alone, and how he would feel alone even if he wasn’t rich and famous, along with serious paranoid tendencies about trusting people. You have to imagine Michael angrily moonwalked out of the studio and onto the Ferris wheel in his backyard over a guest artist taking his bubbly pop song and adding real life shit to it. Biggie was real as hell before being real as hell was a thing in hip hop, and we salute him for somehow making a Michael Jackson song a bummer.
Who the fuck is Estelle? Kanye obviously felt the same way, because he has a short verse in the intro of the song, and then bombs out a peak-Kanye verse a dozen lines longer than the next longest listed here. The main artist here shambles around a bit in between Ye appearances, and during the second, Kanye proceeds to move from behind her, to next to her, to in front of her, to basically boxing her out of her own music video, which – did you expect less from Kanye? You knew what you were signing up for when you asked Kanye to pop in on your song. Anyway, this is a Kanye song now, just ignore it being here because no one ever heard of Estelle again but you recognize this song anyway.
Leave any good or unusual postings in the comments so I can tell you why they suck and how it reflects poorly on you as a human being.

Song of the Day (4/16/2018)

We begin with a snippet from a Bloomberg article:

In memory of Back Page, which I must admit, I never actually visited until seized by the federalis, todays song of the day is Big Pimpin’ by Jay-Z. Candidly, the song sucks and the artist is even worse but I have to pay homage to pimpin in all its forms, even Pill Cosby’s unique angle on the pimp roll:

In other news, I came across the following sign which provides an appropriate shoutout to Arch Stanton and his recent guest post on edible Star Wars characters.

And finally, back to the basics of Musings and Malarkey. This blog was originally intended to be a shrine to two great American Superheroes: Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. During a recent visit to Bass Pro Shops, I perused the six shooters (author note: in reality, I’m still against firearms and the second amendment has been stretched too far) and found the following which are absolutely amazing. Considering buying one for my John Wayne shrine:

These firearms would be highly complementary to this mustache (two photos, same man):

Song of the Day (4/3/2018)

Time is of the essence! Today’s song of the day is another great pump-up jam. It’s Summer Air by Italobrothers. Now for some photos of the week.

Obligatory Arrested Development shoutout as it’s been too long:

Awesome shoutout to Señor Jefe Bezos:

Shoutout to my boy Bruce Wayne and that Mexican chick from Black Widow or Americana Chavez or whatever: (she’s not that Mexican, mom, she’s my Mexican. And she’s Colombian or something – GOB)

GET IT INNNN!!!! Okay, this following photo really got my blood flowing. Guess which individual in the photo is the owner of this LinkedIn profile:

I’ll give you a hint: IT’S THE AWKWARD-AS-FUCK, SNIFFLING, WEASELLY SACK OF SHIT IN THE TOP RIGHT. Who does this on LinkedIn? Who. Does this.

And finally, the Manhattan GMAT has some pretty progressive views on how to best prepare for the exam:

I didn’t realize Manhattan GMAT has such a throbbing erection to send its dazed and confused students to the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. Are you picking up what I’m throwing down? Right on, brah.

Song of the Day (3/27/2018)

Hola! Today’s song of the day is Blue Suede Shoes by Komodo. Solid pump-up song for those sad sacks out there who are feeling deflated and just dragging.

Some random thoughts today to get your noggin turning. First, does anyone here feel that the NYSE is guilty of entrapment for letting retail investors buy shares of BP? It’s been 8 years since the last oil-soaked black swan event and BP is likely due for another. ENTRAPMENT, MY DEAR BOY!

Second, the executives at United Airlines have been catching a lot of heat lately for killing an innocent dog. I guess this means we’re just going to overlook the executives at Korean Air and give them a free pass / meal ticket?

That was culturally insensitive. How could I! Moving right along before this anti-Korean business turns excessively ugly and we drop the obligatory Ellen Pao shout out. Much like the female agitator after just two beers, it’s very much tongue-in-cheek before falling flat.

Next is a photo an hombre, mas o menos mal, sent me:

And finally, something that will make your thinning southern hair stand on end:

Guest Post by Arch Stanton: Music Videos That Propelled Me Through Puberty

Today is a guest posting from our very own Arch Stanton, who can sometimes prove hard to find.  A preliminary note from Arch to kick off his posting: Really just an excuse to talk about my dick, I used WordPad so it could probably use a spell check.
A recent vacation featured a discussion of great music videos from the days of TRL, and since that’s a terribly bland conversation to have, it progressed to songs that tickled us as little boys in such a way that turned us into young men. The following is a list of music videos I was horribly embarrassed to watch around my mother, but looooooooooved to download on Limewire for later repeated viewings.
The first time I saw this, I distinctly remember viewing the opposite sex in a dramatically different light. Willa Ford may have fallen to the wayside of music history, but my penis will never forget her. For those of you unfamiliar with this cinematic masterpiece, the video features Willa in various locations and suggestive outfits seducing a DJ, valet, and police officers into neglecting their duties with a kiss on the cheek. Looking back on it now, this seems like a fair trade for a DJ to play a song, but we should expect more from our public servants.
At about :40 seconds in, Willa Ford has a minimally choreographed dance scene in an orange romper that remain sexier than any lap dance. At about 2:19, Willa has upgraded (or downgraded, based on your perspective) to a leather two-piece that could solve at least a dozen ongoing international crises. There are some cutaways during this dance sequence to a guy mouthing, “wow”, and I always found this wildly underwhelming as I looked like a dog seeing a beautiful woman in a 1970s cartoon, jaw on the floor with his tongue hanging out and eyes bulging out of his head. The video ends with a disclaimer – “No men were injured in the making of this video.” Many were injured watching it. FUN FACT: Willa Ford later went on to be in Playboy six years after this video. I am glad I only just learned of this, otherwise I would be dead at the age of 12 of priapism.
Unrelated, but Royce Da 5’9″ is featured on this track. Royce is the first person to brag about being 5’9″, but he also gained popularity after working closely with Eminem, in case you were interested in the six degrees of separation between Eminem and Willa Ford.
This video starts with remarkable corny CGI, even by 2001 standards, as Kylie begins by singing, “I just can’t get you out of my head / boy your love is all I think about” as she shifts gears in a definitely-not-sexually-suggestive way. About 1:27, Kylie starts dancing? hip thrusting? in what could be described as a tracksuit/dress featuring cleavage and belly button. Background dancers show up looking like they time traveled from being extras on the set of the Handmaid’s Tale.
Watching this video again now, Kylie Minogue looks like the type of women who would be terribly mean to me. I am into it, and that sure does say a lot about me. Another fun little tidbit I just learned watching this again, she has her ELEVENTH album coming out. This is more than enough proof the music industry deserves to collapse.
I bet you thought this was going to be all white women, didn’t you! Well, I have very diverse tastes, featuring one Hispanic woman with very white features, so jokes on you. Building on how Kylie looks like she’d be mean, Jennifer Lopez DEFINITELY would be mean to you. This video is basically scenes of Jennifer rolling around in the sand in a white cami and bikini briefs intercut with her singing and driving in her Jaguar to this beach and disrobing to said-outfit to roll in the sand. There are frequent cuts of her “adjusting” her bottoms that turned me into an absolute puddle.
All in all, the video is pretty cheesy (NOTE: this applies to every music video ever), but the parts of her rolling around and dancing in the sand are, to borrow a term from Benjamin Franklin, proof that God loves us. The video ends with Jennifer taking her top off and throwing it at the camera while walking into the ocean. I am dead. “Arch Stanton, 3 February 1862, died because he saw Jennifer Lopez topless from behind at 13.” I’ve never been jealous of A-Rod for anything ever despite his fame and fortune and fantastic career, but he is dating Jennifer Lopez, and for that, a hat tip.
Whereas most of these songs skullfuck you with midriffs and exposed ass cheeks, polluting a young boy’s mind, this video goes for a more innocent, “girl-next-door” approach. Literally, the video starts by panning through a neighborhood to the house next door and up to the second story window (pervy!) where Mandy Moore starts singing and dancing. What proceeds is a time capsule of the late-90s/early-00s, with spiky hair, bell bottoms, a VW Beetle, over-the-ear headphones, cargo pants, skateboarding in an empty pool, and various pairs of Sketchers.
This is the least sexy video here, but makes it because of my wildly-uncontainable 12-year old crush on Mandy. A boner of the heart, if you will. Unrelated, but Mandy Moore has REALLY long arms. I bet she could throw down a mean windmill dunk if so inclined. She also moves her mouth way more than is required, so maybe this video is more subconsciously sexual than it seems.
Oh man. This video. Christina has a lip piercing, a nose piercing, grimey-looking braids and makeup that looks like she should be auditioning for a bit role in Barnum & Bailey’s Circus, all of which grossed me out 2002, and continues to be unflattering today. COUNTERPOINT: low-cut leather pants/chaps with an orange bikini underneath and a red and white bikini top and lyrics and dance moves that called out to my hormones. A recurring thread for the observant is exposed hips/midriffs and flattering shots of ass cheeks. This video is almost exclusive those two things. This is the polar opposite of the Mandy Moore video, with scenes of grinding in showers and mud wrestling and a short skirt that serves as merely a formality.
Redman is featured on this song! Redman is the rapper who is definitely having more fun being a rapper than any other rapper. His songs were always upbeat and lively, and he definitely took this gig solely to show up in the video and grind and get real heavy with Christina. There is a 60% chance they banged during the making of this video. Redman is the best. (When I started this, I didn’t expect to divulge into my appreciation for Redman, but such is life.)
This is the most obvious video on the list. If you have the faintest idea of JAY-Z, or the concept of pimping, or this video, or rap in the 90s and early 00s, then you get it. So instead of creatively saying “butts” and “boobies” for two hundred words, I want to talk about how JAY-Z wrote this song after being charged with attempted murder after (allegedly) stabbing a record exec he believed had been leaking his albums. I say allegedly because he originally pleaded not guilty, and then pleaded guilty to three years probation which kinda seems like fair trade considering he really wanted to stab a guy. So anyway, Jay made this song because he was looking at not-insignificant prison sentence and wanted to “live it up”, so to say.
Pimp C, one half of the Houston rap duo UGK, wore a full-length fur coat to the shooting of this video on a yacht and at poolsides. When asked why he was wearing said full-length fur coat in such hot weather, he responded, “TV ain’t got no temperature.” Pimp C was a legend.
Another very self-evident inclusion, although any Britney Spears video could be here. Her whole shtick was making men of all ages get tingles in their slacks, as evidence by an array of music videos featuring shocking or revealing outfits. If she really wanted to shock me, she’d shoot a video wearing a parka. ANYWAY, Britney dances in a post-apocalyptic building during a heatwave, so she is (obviously) glistening with sweat and thrusting her unencumbered hips and stomach at the camera the whole time. In the few shots she isn’t in front of the camera, she is shot either in silhouette or in shadow, thrusting away, somehow still glistening despite you not even seeing her. Really, its a wonderful video.
She just rubs her tits and grabs guy’s crotches through the whole video, with interstitials of her crawling on the ground in a flesh-colored bedazzled leotard with a thong! Be still my heart.
Britney Spears, my penis salutes you for your perseverance for giving me erections for about ten years of my life throughout thinly veiled music videos. You are the Cal Ripken of prepubescent boners, and we thank you.