Bob Dylan turns 72 today. The Picasso of songwriters, Dylan is number 1 on the list, the greatest song writer of them all, living or dead, a highly prolific virtuoso who has only has evolved and deepened with age, a rare artist who has remained relevant with the passage of time.
Using all of humanity as his canvass, Dylan’s songs are highly detailed literary narratives interweaving rhyming poetry and dialogue, miniaturized novels alive with characters. Dylan has explored numerous genres in his career from folk and blues to rock n’ roll to swing and even jazz in service to his lyrical muse. Seeming never to have taken his considerable artistic gifts for granted, Bob Dylan has been working non-stop for more than fifty years, releasing nearly sixty studio and live albums, with more certainly on the way, while remaining perpetually on the road in what has been called the Never Ending Tour.
To reduce Dylan to a top 6 list from his hundreds of compositions is of course absolutely impossible. Still we have tried, making a list of 50 items that were placed in a hat and selected at random, as we celebrate the life of this true American genius. Cheers!
Miserable Steven Patrick Morrissey turns 53 today. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Morriseey is a true original, a singular voice over the last thirty years, a celibate rock star, blessed with a croon to make the girls swoon, singing about heartache and death. As the lead singer of the Smiths as well as numerous solo albums, Morrissey’s voice is unmistakeable, a kind of lamenting nasal chant. As lyricists go, he’s one of the best there’s ever been across the board, writing sad, funny, human stories tinged with longing, desire, and ennui. Through it all Moirrissey has remained just beyond arm’s reach, never truly accessible to his legions of fans across the globe reaching towards him on stage, and this holding back has fueled his mysterious artistry. Morrissey doesn’t care if we love him. The fact that we do anyway is a testament to his extraordinary and charismatic power. Cheers to you, Mr. Morrissey!
Our staff list of the best of Morrissey – songs and lyrics. [READ MORE …]
I was seven years old when I first discovered The Doors. I was visiting my sister’s new house in Bethesda, Maryland one summer. I was with my parents. I was bored and had nothing to do so I poked around through her cassette collection that was still in boxes from when she moved in. And that was when I found The Doors. A plural noun? I was strangely curious. Why the doors? [READ MORE …]
Known as Laurence to Mr. and Mrs. Tureaud, Mr. T was a seminal character of 80’s film and television, becoming a one man cottage industry of product endorsements along the way; Mr. T breakfast cereal, anyone?
In the 30 years since his rise to fame, certain pieces of Mr. T dialogue like “I pity the fool,” “I ain’t going on no plane, Hannibal,” and “Quit your jibber jabber,” became national catchphrases, as comforting now in our memories as warm apple pie baked by dear old mom. But lest we forget, Mr. T was a serious badass, not just on screen, but in real life. At one point Mr. T was both Muhammad Ali’s and Joe Frazier’s personal bodyguard (a badass of the century badge) along with numerous other celebrities and millionaires, before becoming one himself. [READ MORE …]
Summer arrives today, sort of, for our neighbor to the north, as Canadians celebrate Victoria Day. This federal holiday simultaneously commemorates the arrival of warmer weather and the birthday of former monarch Queen Victoria (who died in 1901), as well as the birthday of the current Canadian Monarch, the Queen of England (Queen Elizabeth II), neither of whom actually have a birthday on this date. Since we at Shea Magazine, like so many other Americans, have only the most basic understanding of the history of other nations (and perhaps only just a slightly better understanding of the history of own) Canada’s story is somewhat confusing to us. Are they part of England? The UK? No. Well, sort of. And what about France? Aren’t they part of France or something? Isn’t that why they speak French? Well yes, and no, and well we don’t have time for all these historical quandaries, not when there is a celebration at hand. [READ MORE …]
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the Clash’s fifth album, Combat Rock. Ranked #28 in Rolling Stone’s 2004 issue of Greatest Artist of all Time, the Clash was a stunningly original band that begin with a pure punk style and elevated the form into something that was a unique genre unto itself, combining reggae, new wave, dance and sample and sound effect elements.
Sadly, though Combat Rock would become the Clash’s bestselling album, if not their best (that honor belongs to London Calling), it laid the track, so to speak, for the band’s eventual breakup, as the relationship between the two headed hydra of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones would become increasingly contentious, eventually resulting in Jones’s departure from the group, and perhaps giving the listener further insight into the song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
Strummer continued on, releasing one more record under the Clash banner, Cut the Crap, but in the absence of Jones, and relying largely upon the efforts of studio musicians, the magic was clearly gone. Strummer formally dissolved what was left of the Clash in 1986.
LA rock n’ pop n’ punk n’ country rollers, Candygram For Mongo return with their third album, BANG!, after a four year hiatus. C4M has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and their songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films. Continuing to blend elements from the last sixty years of rock and roll into their own unique hyrbrid, C4M come out of the gates blazing with this super-fun, revved up track about a super spy, who specializes in undercover work.
Director, Baz Lurhman’s new filmed version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby, is in theaters and it’s been generating some heated reviews which have criticized the film for taking liberties with the original source material and having a style over substance approach. I wondered what ole’ F. Scott Fitz had to say about it so I went to his grave to ask him.
It’s Friday Night. I’m driving in a car with my road dawg, Wanda, to a tiny dive bar way outside of the city to see one the Bay Area’s best 80’s pop cover bands, Tainted Love. We’ve been driving for awhile. Are we the only fools that would drive out here for the experience — to re-experience the great dance hits of the 1980’s? Yeah, the Regan, Iran Contra, end of the Cold War, greed is good 1980’s. Was there any good music in the 80’s? Yes. Yes there was. [READ MORE …]
Women love filthy men. Covered in dirt and sweat, climbing out of the mines, and with that sexy look in their eyes they walk toward you and kiss you like they need to quench their thirst with your embrace–smelling of pine needles and the salt of the earth, he picks you up and carries you off into the sunset…
In our minds this sounds amazing, but the reality is that dude stinks to high heaven, hasn’t brushed his teeth, and will probably get grease all over your new white jeans. Despite the reality, we keep coming back to this fantasy again and again.
One of my personal favorites is Johnny Depp; man does that guy do homeless chic with flair. Sexy and stinky, would you still hook up with him in a bar? Let’s investigate a few of his top hits:
Fittingly perhaps, Ian Dury’s birthday coincided with Mother’s Day this year, since Dury was the kind of bloke that my mother always warned me about – a free spirit. The purveyor of “Sex and Drugs and Rock n’ Roll,” Ian Dury was the kind of person who gave my mother nightmares. As the frontman of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, a band of new wave pioneers who fused rock, jazz, disco, punk, and rockabilly, Dury had a distinctive talk-sing voice that was alive with Cockney personality. Above all, Dury was an extraordinary lyricist, one of the best ever, combining poetry, bawdy rhymes, word play, and a plethora of well developed characters going about their dirty business. Ian Dury and the Blockheads were a truly original outfit producing the auditory equivalent of watching a movie or reading a book with their fascinating sonic and lyrical landscapes, driven by Dury’s genius.
Dury contracted Polio when he was seven, leaving him partially paralyzed, and igniting a world view that was utterly unique, infusing songs like “Spasticus Autisticus.” He died at the age of 56 years old from colorectal cancer in 2000; the story of his life was made into the biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, staring Andy Serkis of “Gollum” fame, in 2010.
Therein some lyrical and musical highlights from Ian Dury’s catalog:
With the world’s most important day almost upon us, I would like to take this time to help out any last minute shoppers. My email box has been stuffed to the e-rim with offers and suggestions from helpful merchants assuring that their product is exactly what mom wants. But take it from me, please, most of these merchants are wrong. Really, really wrong.
Big 5 Sporting goods would like you to get the mom in your life running shoes
Do not do this. “But the mom in my life is super sporty!” you say. Doesn’t matter, this is not the time for you to intimate in any way that she needs to exercise. [READ MORE …]
In observance of Salvador Dali’s birthday, here’s a winky little ditty in his honor. I have no idea how old Dali would’ve been but it seems time didn’t matter much to the master surrealist, you know, given his trippy/drippy depiction of pocket watches.
5 things you probably didn’t know about the Brainwarp: The Baby Eater podcast!
1. The Brainwarp podcast is a glorious union of comedy greats from The Upright Citizens Brigade, Mr. Show, MadTV, SNL, Conan, Veep, Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, and countless other movies and TV shows.
2. Brainwarp is a serial/sketch program that has something for everybody: comic book geeks, alternative comedy fans, music nerds, horror fans, pulp aficionados, radio lovers, and those who prefer some childish profanity in their entertainment (so it's probably NSFW).
3. Each episode includes two musical guests (an idea inspired by The Goon Show), like Liam Lynch, Mars Argo, The Fancy, Family, Kelsy Abbott & Dustin Martian, and Brainwarp musical director David Adler.
4. The series is set in the fictional Magnet City - a metropolis bookended by two gigantic, working magnets. Living in a polarized field makes things a little crazy for the citizenry.
5. Liking a show about a baby eater does not necessarily make you a bad person; there is actually very little eating in the show (so far).