Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Clef Notes: The “Dave Mustaine Is The Worst Kind Of Idiot” Edition

Every Friday, or at least until his spectacular rock star flameout, Giovanny will be dropping a week’s worth of music knowledge on you with Clef Notes, proof positive that he’s a one man music magazine


I wonder what government conspiracy was responsible for getting him booted from Metallica?

Be Careful What You Say About The Man, He Holds Two Black Belts: When I was a young man, some of my greatest thrills came from going down to my local mall and perusing the cassettes and black band t-shirts. As you can imagine, looking at cassettes would usually only provide a minimal amount of satisfaction, but the t-shirts... the t-shirts were another story altogether. The bands with the best t-shirts back then were Iron MaidenMegadeth, and (NSFW) Guns N Roses. I would stand there imagining the kinds of awesome horrors which lurked in the background of those hard rock landscapes. Keep in mind this was before Cradle Of Filth changed the t-shirt game forever, when they released this Not Safe For Life t-shirt (you were warned).

Even though I didn’t own Peace Sells at the time, I remember forcing (I suspect crying was involved) my mother to buy me the shirt which sported its album cover. I was only able to wear it to school once before I was told I wasn't allowed to wear it again. My t-shirt ban did earn me a little notoriety among my grade school chums, and it was at that point where, at least to me, Megadeth reached their apex of cool.

That was a long time ago.

Because I like to consider myself a guitar player, I have always had a modicum of respect for Dave Mustaine. The massively forearmed, California-born ginger has been a phenomenal player for years, and has contributed licks and solos to some seminal records, both with Megadeth and as Metallica’s original lead guitarist. Over the years, Mustaine has continued to chug along, play his thrash, and revel in his born-again curmudgeonliness to the point where, in the third millennium, he has become merely a caricature of himself. I never envisioned a circumstance where he would take the lead position in the 93rd edition of Clef Notes (number 100 approaches!), but after a recent onstage rant in Singapore, I have no choice.

The President has made his choice.

Let’s take a quick trip back to August 6th, shall we? Megadeth is finishing up a show in Singapore when a Converse sneaker flies on stage. Mustaine picks it up, berates the idiot who threw his sneaker, and spits on it before tossing it aside. Because this nonsense with the shoe took longer than necessary, an uncomfortable silence filled the venue, and Mustaine began to have some inane repartee with the audience who surely just wanted him to play Hangar 18. Seemingly unprovoked, Mustaine took a sharp right turn during his awkward exchange with the crowd and went on a truly idiotic rant about how President Obama staged the recent shootings in Aurora, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and the ATF gunwalking scandal, all in order to pass a (GASP!!!) gun control law.

Those of you who are familiar with Mustaine’s recent political conversion (I would like the record to point out that he covered the 1992 Democratic National Convention for MTV, and even voted for Bill Clinton) are probably not all that shocked by these moronic ramblings, but just because someone is a imbecile doesn’t give them an excuse to be imbecilic. To be fair, although he voted for Clinton in 1992, Mustaine has always voiced some radical, right-of-center views; through the years Mustaine has been a proponent of building a wall on the Mexican border, a huge opponent of gay marriage and, in 2009, he wrote a concept record about how the world was headed toward a “global government.”

Most recently, Mustaine has been sharing his views regarding the 2012 Presidential election (because that’s something the world really needs), and not only is he a textbook “Birther” but he was a Santorum supporter who shared this amazing line on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: "He [Santorum] just looked like he could be a really cool president, kind of like a JFK kind of guy."

Wow. Just, wow.

Personal politics aside, I have two issue with what Mustaine said in Singapore: 1) As a person who believes in many conspiracy theories (though not this one), I am offended on behalf of my paranoid brethren that Mustaine has become the recent poster-boy for conspiracies. It’s hard enough to stand by notions which inspire derision in others, I really don’t need rich 50 year-olds, muddying up the waters. Call me a hypocrite, but whatevs. 2) How can anyone think this country doesn’t need stronger gun control laws? During last weekend’s Olympic closing ceremony our country’s flag bearer was a medal-winning track and field athlete who has been shot in both legs. His story was truly inspirational what with the whole “overcoming adversity” thing, but does it not speak to a greater problem? How many other countries featured Olympians who had been shot as an unfortunate and random act of violence?

Historically (according to this list), America has the 12th highest rate of firearm-related death in the world. Before any of you Megadeth fans say “hey, 12th isn’t that bad,” I would like to point out that 66 nations qualified for this list (which means that firearms-related death have been so negligible in the other 130 countries of the world they DIDN’T MAKE THE LIST!), and of those 66 nations we were beaten out by the likes of Jamaica, Colombia, El Salvador, and South Africa. Think about the state of affairs in some of those countries, and then compare it to where you live. Furthermore, outside of India we are easily the most populated country on that list, which means that our annual rate of 10.27 (deaths by gunshot) per every 100,000 (residents) has netted us far more deaths than most of the other distinguished countries on the list.

Additionally - and this should hit a little closer to home for Mustaine - was his brother in six-string arms, Dimebag Darrell, not gunned down on stage by a psychotic fan? Would that have happened in a country with no-nonsense gun control laws? I know, I know, guns don’t kill people, people do - but that’s bullshit. That Dimebag fan would have had a hard time shooting Darrell without a gun, and that heartless bastard who shot up the Dark Knight screening would have blazed a different path of destruction with a knife. Finally, there’s the whole “final defense against tyranny” spiel, but when is the last time any of you were subjugated by a tyrant? I mean, other than "Obama." Of course none of this really matters  in the end anyway, because after all, it's just part of "that Kenyan’s” plan.


Life Is Good - Nas

Life Is Good is the best album Nas has put out in a very long time. I suggest you not play Illmatic for the 6,789,345th time, and instead give this record a shot. It may very well surprise you, and who doesn’t like surprises?.. [Full Review]

16th Notes:

Tom Cruise will play Yoshimi in the movie adaptation.

Blur has already released an iTunes version of what could very well have been their final show at London’s Hyde Park, which took place last weekend as part of the Olympics’ closing ceremonies. I can’t even begin to explain how badly I wish I could have been there... Frank Ocean has cancelled a string of European tour dates, including his opening slots for the European leg of Coldplay’s current tour. Um, this is a tailor made opportunity for a Coldplay joke, but instead I will just hope that Ocean is okay... Death Grips have revealed some details regarding their upcoming album, NO LOVE DEEP WEB. I hope this album is good enough to make me forget about Death Grips cancelled 2012 tour... Those of you who were looking forward to boarding the R.Kelly cruise later this year got some bad news this week when you learned your upcoming maritime fun was no longer leaving port. Apparently the concert promoters did not pay Kelly, and he pulled out of the event -which is a shame, because I couldn’t wait to read about what a disaster it was going to be... The long-in-production Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots musical has finally gotten an opening date (Nov. 6th), and will soon be holding open auditions in the New York city area. I know I’ve spent a lot of time bitching about musicals throughout the various editions of Clef Notes, but I am totally psyched for this... Apparently Cee-lo and Blake Shelton will both be releasing Christmas albums this year. I demand that you people stop watching The Voice immediately... Sleigh Bells and AraabMuzik have teamed together for a fall tour. I wonder which of the acts will convert more fans during these shows?.. You can now stream the new Ariel Pink record over at NPR. Please wait till you are finished reading before you go listen...

Top Ten List:

Long before you and your friends began believing Skrillex and Deadmau5 invented electronic music, there was already an Irish-born GENIUS of the absolute highest order pushing the boundaries of digital compositions and sonic possibility. Richard D. James first released music back in 1992 , and from his earliest ambient works it was completely evident James had sounds and concepts in his head which no one had ever considered before. Over the course of his lengthy and prolific career, James has adopted numerous pseudonyms and dropped records under all sorts of monikers, but his quality, vision, and Godliness (yeah, I totally just went there), have been a constant throughout all of his incarnations. It is a very difficult task to find, listen to, and rank all of James’ music, but here is a brief list comprised mostly of Aphex Twin material. You should get familiar with them today, so that you can set up a dope playlists for the man’s birthday tomorrow.

10) Donkey Rhubarb
9) To Cure A Weakening Child
8) Alberto Balsalm
7) Film
6) Start As You Mean To Go
5) Come To Daddy
4) Analogue Bubblebath I
3) Rhubarb
2) Vordhosbn
1) Girl/Boy Song

Clip Of The Week:

Here is the aforementioned clip of Mr. Mustaine making me proud to be an American. My favorite part is when someone in the audience yells “We like Obama!”

Tracks Of The Week:

Excalibur & Mr. Funny Man - Avey Tare (ft.Angel Deradoorian & The Deradoorian Sisters): A couple of weeks back I featured Animal Collective’s Today’s Supernatural as a track of the week. Because all of you are the hippest kids in creation, I’m sure most of you know the track debuted on Animal Collective’s weekly radio show which, over the last three weeks, has featured a different member of the band curating a night's worth of mix for the public. Last week's show was hosted by Avey Tare, and he tore the seal off two solo tracks, Excalibur and Mr. Funny Man, which he recorded with different combinations of the Deradoorian sisters. Feel free to click the links above to hear the tracks, but the real reason I mentioned all of this is because the band will actually stream their entire new record, Centipede Hz, during this upcoming weekend’s show. So clear your schedule, call your drug dealer, and prepare to have your mind blown this weekend, people. Who am I kidding? I’m sure you have already done all of those things.

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  1. Album Review: “Centipede Hz” – Animal Collective | Culture Blues