Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Clef Notes: The “Morrissey Is Murder” 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

News:

Slowly becoming a caricature of himself.

Heaven knows he's miserable: As I was looking at the various charts which hang in my “office” in preparation of Clef Notes I noticed something odd. It’s been quite awhile since I caught up with Manchester’s most famous curmudgeon, Steven Patrick Morrissey. Well, Moz appeared in the music news ticker quite a bit this week, and seeing as how Lil’ Wayne wasn’t interested in the first ever Clef-Notes-lead story threepeat, I guess this as good a time as any to see what the storied singer is upset about these days.

First came the news on Monday that Morrissey cancelled his upcoming appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show because the terribly-rich Southerners (read: rednecks but, to be fair, they’re proud of it) from the A&E “reality show” Duck Dynasty were also scheduled as guests. By this time in the former Smiths’ singers narrative we are all well aware of the fact that he is a strident vegetarian and animal rights activist, so this wasn’t surprising. Nevertheless, Morrissey took his stand, and even issued a statement which in part read: "As far as my reputation is concerned, I can't take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers. If Jimmy cannot dump Duck Dynasty then we must step away.” Don’t you just love that third person “we” in his statement?

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, after the writers for Jimmy Kimmel “got their revenge” (more on that later), a Morrissey interview published by the website Rookie touched on, among other things, his views regarding heterosexuality and war. Said interview gave the world this quote (which has been making the rounds since): "War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality. If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men. They even get medals for it. Women don’t go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies."

Can you believe that nonsense? I can’t! Where should I start? How about the absurd line “homosexual men would never kill other men”. Really?! What fairy tale world does Morrissey live in? How is this for a list: Jeffery Dahmer, Andrew Cunanan, Luis Garavito, Randy Steven Kraft, Patrick Kearney, Wayne Williams, and Juan Corona. Those seven homosexual men were responsible for the death of over 300+ men (I could have provided fifty more examples; apparently Moz never googled this subject). Sure I can see that Morrissey may have simply chosen his words poorly, and wasn't trying to convey the notion that murder was a heterosexual province,  but then I got to thinking. Wasn't "Don't Ask Don't Tell" a draconian policy put into place because there were in fact homosexuals enlisted in the armed forces? What does Moz have to say about those men? Where those individuals forced to join the army, or simply "not gay enough"? Furthermore, I myself happen to be heterosexual male who detests violence and is disgusted by war, and who knows a countless number of men who feel the same way. Lastly, it's simply human to kill. It was a skill we refined primordially, and now it is a flaw we as a society are tragically dealing with everyday. In this particular case I feel Morrissey was being careless with his generalizations, and comes off as a uninformed, self-righteous, hate-mongering, twit. He could have easily said something like “War is the pastime of the wealthy, heartless and powerful”... but that notion doesn’t include any hetero-bashing.

Anyway, let’s get back to the Duck Dynasty business before I lose my mind.

Monday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel aired without the presence of the hetero-hater and, as you would expect, Morrissey was the hot topic of Kimmel’s monologue, as well as the skits which aired. After some lame late night jokes like “there’s a very good reason we decided to keep Duck Dynasty instead of Morrissey, and it’s because they have guns and Morrissey doesn't”, and one liners like “(Morrissey) keeps finding ways to depress us", Kimmel aired a skit which portrayed the cast of Duck Dynasty hocking products for vegans like a “carrot call”. The audience laughed, the show went on, and this should have been the end of this.

Of course, Moz wouldn’t have it that way.

Careful... someone might think you're pro-guns! This image was "cool enough" to be an album cover though.

This was the statement he released on Wednesday: “I was disappointed with last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Show wherein our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70% of Americans have experienced depression according to the National Institute of Mental Health). He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the U.S. costs $147 billion per year in medical expenditure), and he also ridiculed the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives. Furthermore, he found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership - hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt. He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty – who kill beings for fun. None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning. Tune in and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s.” Did he really drop a Sandy Hook reference? Wow Morrissey, way to pull out all the stops. My question for Moz would be: Did you expect Kimmel to be pleased that you pulled out of a national television appearance on his show at the last minute because of your “ethics”? Kimmel is (more or less) a comedian, and was trying to make light of the situation while poking a little fun at Morrissey. Obviously Kimmel’s mistake was trying to combine the elements of “fun” and “Morrissey”. The truth is, Moz shouldn’t book any TV if his reputation is something he needs to defend so mercilessly, and also shouldn’t look to finalize that miniscule record deal which Sony has offered him, because of the faceless corporation’s decades of poor business practices and violations... I guess the children in sweatshops are less important than ducks.

Much of the fire around Kimmel vs. Morrissey has died down by this publishing, and the late night host even extended the olive branch on Wednesday’s show. So hopefully this will all go away soon.

Finally, Yesterday managed to yield one more sagacious series of quotes from Moz, wherein he provided Paul McCartney with this challenge: “If he cared passionately about animals, he'd return his knighthood.” Why, because Morrissey wants him to? Moz goes on to commend Sir Paul on his tireless efforts for PETA, but thinks he should renounce his Knighthood because the Queen wears enough fur “to blanket most of Russia”. Maybe Paul McCartney is proud of his Knighthood, and the accomplishments he amassed over the course of his life to earn it. But no- it makes Morrissey mad and has to change, just like everything else in the world.

Review:

Amok - Atoms For Peace

Having listened to Amok several times I can tell you what Atoms For Peace actually released is Thom Yorke’s second solo record, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not what it could have been. Or, to put it more accurately, what I dreamed it would be... [Full Review]

16th Notes:

If you need to get in touch with Scott Weiland, you should just call Slash.

After growing tired of hearing the prayers and receiving the letters of one Jeffrey Hart, Trent Reznor has decided to acquiesce and reunite Nine Inch Nails. Trent and company even have a tour planned, while Jeff is busy looking up Winnebago prices... Due to their intense internet campaign, and major support from web luminaries such as myself, the Vancouver Canucks have chosen The House That Heaven Built by favorite sons Japandroids as the team’s intro music. Japandroids beat out fellow Canadians Nickelback by a very wide margin, which I guess proves there is still some justice in this world... in Canada... In an attempt to get the last word in their ongoing and epic conflict, Sony Music Entertainment has removed the albums The Money Store and No Love Deep Web from Death Grips’ Youtube page. I wonder which party learned the most valuable lesson from this circumstance? My guess is neither... SNL funnyman Andy Samberg recently proposed to fairy princess Joanna Newsom and, seeing as how they are now engaged, I’m assuming she said yes. This particular couple has always perturbed me as an outside observer, but as I have proven time and again through the years I don’t know a single thing about love... Earlier this week Slash told Rolling Stone magazine that Scott Weiland had been fired from the band he helped found, Stone Temple Pilots. When Rolling Stone contacted Weland about the claim he denied it, and told the magazine he had no idea where Slash was coming from. The very next day STP released a statement announcing Weiland had been fired from the band. I am not at all surprised that Slash knows more about Weiland’s career than Weiland does...

Top Ten List:

Um.. he is wasting that beer.

Did you know that today is Justin Bieber’s birthday? No? Okay, let’s try this one: Did you know it’s also Ke$ha’s birthday? I didn’t think so. Customarily I would honor monumental musical births with a Top Ten List devoted to the tunes which the celebrating artists gifted the world with... but this is Bieber and Ke$ha we are talking about.

Let’s start this over.

Did you know tomorrow is Jon Bon Jovi’s birthday? Born fifty years ago in Sayreville, New Jersey, the ridiculously good-looking Bon Jovi (his mother was a Playboy Bunny) was destined to be a star. By the age of sixteen he was already playing clubs in his native New Jersey, and one year later he appeared on his first professional recording, Christmas In The Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album (the track he’s on is titled R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas. BTW, you’re all welcome for these amazing Bon Jovi anecdotes I’m supplying for your next big get-together).

A few scant years after pleasing George Lucas Jon Bon was fronting his own band, and had a hit single on the radio. A few lineup tweaks, and a couple of cans of Aquanet later he had platinum records, a private plane, and (possibly. Ok, probably) your mother. Below is a list of the ten best Bon Jovi songs of all-time.

10) Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
9) Never Say Goodbye
8) I’ll Be There For You
7) Always
6) Blaze Of Glory
5) Runaway
4) Bad Medicine
3) Wanted Dead Or Alive
2) You Give Love A Bad Name
1) Livin’ On A Prayer

Clip Of The Week:

As you are already aware, Atoms For Peace’s debut record, Amok, was released this week. If you’re interested in my critical opinions on the record then you can just click on the link to my review, because this is the Clip Of The Week section of Clef Notes and Thom Yorke has shared more of his dancing.

The clip below is the official video for the Amok single Ingenue, and consists of Yorke and renowned contemporary dancer Fukiko Takase engaging in some intensely-modern Wayne McGregor choreography. The video was directed by Garth Jennings, who also was behind the camera for Radiohead’s Lotus Flower video (the one which spawned the dancing Thom Yorke obsession), and it seems that he’s recaptured a lot of the magic which the beloved black and white video contained. My evidence for this assertion? Just go ahead and try to google all of the Gifs which have generated from Ingenue in the past week alone.

Track Of The Week:

A worthy cause.

I'm Not Saying - The Replacements: Back in February of 2012 we received the excessively sad news that Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke, was hospitalized, and was unfortunately left partially paralyzed by his medical setbacks. In an effort to help raise money for his massive medical bills, numerous musicians and friends of Slim founded the Songs For Slim project, a combination of special musical releases, auctions, and merchandise which has already grossed over six figures.

This week former Replacements members Tommy Stinson and the legendary Paul Westerberg unveiled their contribution to the Songs For Slim project, in the form of a five song cover EP aptly titled Songs For Slim. The EP was released in a limited edition of 250 10” vinyls, and all of the copies were auctioned off this past week for the grand total of $105,743.32. I have provided a link to the cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s I’m Not Saying (popularized by Nico), which appears on the EP, and I must say... it is very nice to hear Westerberg’s voice once again.

If you are interested in participating in any future auctions, buying some of the future releases (there are upcoming efforts by Frank Black, Lucinda Williams, and The Young Fresh Fellows), or otherwise supporting Slim, then head over to the Songs For Slim project website here.

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1 Responses »

  1. Always is a much better song than #2 and #3, like a trillion times better, Dead or Alive is eh and You Give Love... ain't much better.