All posts tagged: John Mellencamp

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Ol’ John Cougar’s Holiday Gift Guide

If’n y’all ain’t familiar with what ol’ John Cougar does round here these parts, go back and read some of my col-umms what with to familiarize yourself with the fact that ol’ John Cougar is a good old fashioned down home country boy from a small town making real music for real Americans, but that your boy John Cougar is also an immortal shapeshifting werewolf what can control the Indy 500 pace car with his mind. It’s your good ol’ buddy John Cougar. Now I know I what usually give you advise on your personal problems and sitch-you-ayshuns, but right now I’m here to give you the real whatfor on what sundries and embodiments to get for y’alls progeny and whatnot on yer holiday list. Because be it for such pagan-like festivities like Christmas or Hanakah or Kwanzaa, or if’n yer like ol’ John Cougar and recognize the truth and beauty of the holiday we call Alazkazakz, or “The Great Reckoning,” or “The Final Ascendance of Yr,” y’alls got to buy gifts to show the …

Kenny Aronoff

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 19: Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff. For liner notes geeks like you and me, the name alone conjures up at the very least, the thought of that one really awesome drum breakdown, one which arguably put Aronoff on the radar of many for the first time. When you get the chance to interview someone like Aronoff, it’s a bit intimidating. Your mind starts to spin as you think about all of the records that this guy has been a part of…..and all of the people that he’s played with and still plays with. But as I discovered the first time that I got the chance to speak with Kenny, he’s an awesome dude. Mellow, humble and down to earth. Which is why when we started sketching out our wishlist of folks that we wanted to talk to here on the Radio Hour, I put Kenny on my short list. It didn’t take much more than sending an email his way to nail something down. From there, it was just a matter of finding a day that would work with …

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10 Movies…Directed By Rock and Pop Stars (To Prepare You for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’)

Lots of musicians decide they are famous and attractive enough to act, but it takes a special kind of hubris to take a break from making music to direct a movie. Sometimes it works out, as with the fruitful horror filmmaking career of Rob Zombie, whose The Lords of Salem comes out this week. Here are some others who gave it a shot. The Education of Charlie Banks The guy who got an Oscar nomination for The Social Network was once directed by Fred Durst, the guy who wrote the line “gimme somethin’ to break / how ‘bout your fuckin’ face.” But he does know what it’s like to be a violent thug, so there’s that. Yentl Streisand has one of the greatest voices ever, and she’s a good actress, too. And then there’s this literal vanity project, in which the 41-year-old Streisand directs her own performance as a teenager, who disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva. Falling From Grace Ol’ John Cougar made himself up a movie-film real good like, with …

Advice From Circa-1982 “John Cougar”: Your Valentine’s Day Problems Solved!

A special Valentine’s Day edition of our ongoing advice column in which readers ask Circa 1982 “John Cougar,” a pop singer, good ol’ boy, and immortal shapeshifting demigod for help in solving their romantic quandaries and peccadilloes.  (Previous columns here and here.) Dear John Cougar: I want to make a grand romantic gesture for my boyfriend for Valentines Day, but I live in a small town and there aren’t a lot of options here. Any ideas? I got a real, real original type idea. First, ol’ John Cougar, who is from a small town if you didn’t know that, thinks you should go up to that water tower you got in that town, cause you live in a small town, and it sure as stink got itself a water tower. Then you paint your special lady’s name up on that water tower in that dang ol’ small town, as there is no bigger thing of romanticalizin’ then somethin’ that has never been done before, which ain’t no small feat in Pudwater, Indiana, which is where …

More Advice From 1982’s “John Cougar”

 Circa-1982 “John Cougar” once again be takin’ your advice queries on matters of flesh, personal relationships, career, and metaphysics. (Read the first installment here.) Dear John Cougar: My best friend pranked me really good. I want to get him back. Any fun—but harmless—suggestions? Is your best friend Bob Seger? The John Cougar of Michigan? (He is also from a small town called Detroit, which used to have people in it, but is now made up entirely of used truck parts, feral dogs, and Bob Seger’s illegitimate grandbabies.) Because I tell you what. I know how to get your best friend back real good, if’n he is Bob Seger. Here’s what you do. Step one: find yourself a hooker. A real dirty one is best. Dirty meaning grimy and covered in filth, which is to say nothing of her bill of goods. Okay, you got that hooker. Now what you wanna do is murder that hooker. Then you take that dead hooker and you put her on the strip of concrete what lies in front of …

The Friday Mixtape: 7/9/10 — White Label Madness!

It’s White Label Friday, kids! When I say dance, you best dance, muthafucka! Note: It should be said up front that most of these MP3s were acquired during the Wild West days of Napster, meaning that most of them are vinyl rips and have since been reissued on CD or higher-bit-rate MP3. But hey, free is free, right? The Damned – Alone Again Or (Extended Version) original version from the album Anything (1986) Shannon – Let the Music Play (Omar Santana Remix) original version from the album Let the Music Play (1984) Rock and Hyde – Dirty Water (Extended Version) original version from the album Under the Volcano (1987) The Thompson Twins – Lay Your Hands on Me (UK 12″ Mix) original version from the album Here’s to Future Days (1985) Duran Duran – Notorious (Latin Rascals Mix) original version from the album Notorious (1986) Joe Jackson – You Can’t Get What You Want Til You Know What You Want (Extended Version) original version from the album Body and Soul (1984) Roxy Music – Angel …

Rock Court, Small Claims Division: The Romantics vs. John Mellencamp

All rise. The rules of this courtroom are simple. You will be presented with two songs, one by the plaintiff and one by the defendant. It is your task to decide if the defendant’s track is only coincidentally similar to the plaintiffs or, as members of the Bar Association put it, they’ve been a baa-aaad boy. You have been duly instructed. Today’s docket: The Romantics, plaintiffs vs. John Mellencamp, defendant The Romantics – What I Like About You from The Romantics (1980) It’s the same beat, the same chords, the same everything. You’d have to be deaf to disagree.

John Mellencamp – R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. from Scarecrow (1985) “The subtitle is “A Salute To ’60s Rock” – At least I had the balls to admit it was a homage.”
Wait! Neil Diamond has just burst through the courtroom door, knocking over the bailiffs! Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry from The Feel Of Neil Diamond (1966) “It may only be three …

CD Review: Meshell Ndegeocello, “Devil’s Halo”

Mention the name Meshell Ndegeocello to the average music fan and you’ll likely receive a “huh?” in response. There may be a handful of people who remember her from her brief brush with MTV fame in the mid ’90s, thanks to the hit single “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” and her presence on John Mellencamp’s Top 10 cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night.” The average music fan would probably conclude that Meshell was merely a blip on the pop music radar. The average music fan would be wrong. However, despite never achieving (or actively courting) mainstream success, Meshell has built up a rabid and well-deserved cult following in the 16 years since her Grammy-nominated debut, Plantation Lullabies, the album that virtually kicked off the “neo-soul” movement that spawned D’Angelo, Maxwell and Erykah Badu, among others. In that time, the singer/songwriter/bassist/bandleader/rapper/poet has become her generation’s answer to Prince (although thankfully releasing albums at a more leisurely pace). Criss-crossing genres with ease, taking unflinching looks at religion and racial and sexual politics while also …

Sugar Water: Celebrity Soapbox!

Bad news — my girlfriend, Aimiee, and I are still on that steamship we boarded in China two weeks ago. You know the phrase “slow boat to China”? Well, it turns out the boats from China aren’t any faster. Internet service is spotty here at sea, not to mention it feels like there are always a billion people waiting in line behind me to use the ship’s one public computer, so publishing a new column last week became impossible. But during my five allotted minutes on the computer last Saturday, I read that movie star Matthew McConaughey was appearing on CNN’s House Call to discuss parenting with the show’s host, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Matthew’s been a father for less than two months, so if CNN’s treating him like an authority on the subject he must really know his stuff! I figured Matthew must know a lot about all kinds of stuff and therefore would enjoy an online forum in which to discuss his various interests and philosophies, so I got in touch with his agent, …

Basement Songs: John Cougar Mellencamp, “Golden Gates”

I’m not sure when my brother, Budd, brought home his copy of John (then) Cougar Mellencamp’s Uh Huh. The cassette showed up in the basement one summer, a year or so after its release. Like most of America, I was a big fan of “Pink Houses,” and I was thrilled that I now had a copy of it and his other big hits from that album, “Crumblin’ Down” and “The Authority Song.” At this point in his career, Mellencamp was establishing himself as a “legitimate” artist, hence the use of his real name (the record label wouldn’t allow him to ditch the “Cougar” until years later, for fear record buyers might get confused….huh?) In addition, there was the radio staple (at least in Cleveland), “Play Guitar,” on Side Two, which borrowed heavily from Them’s “Gloria” (Mellencamp often slipped the “G-L-O-R-I-A’s” into his concerts during that number). The rest of Uh Huh is filled with more of the same ’60s garage band rock that Mellencamp still champions, as well as one of Budd’s favorite tunes, the …

Hall of Fame Week: John “Johnny Cougar” Mellencamp

For anyone who grew up in the Midwest, John Cougar speaks our language. We’ve stuck with him through the early years on to the Farm Aid thing through to his modern-day output. For those keeping score, he went from Johnny Cougar to John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp and then, simply, “John Mellencamp.” (Trivia: Lou Reed referred to him as “my painter friend Donald” on New York.) He’s put us through more name changes than The Artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” It all stemmed from his first manager giving him a rock-star identity in the 1970s, with which he landed a couple formulaic hits. Later, Cougar-Mellencamp took control of his own career and morphed into a real musician worthy of the Rock Hall. Because of the name changes, it was sometimes hard to find his records (under the Ms? The Cs?) but once we did there was always a bushel of corn-fed, no-bull rock-n-roll to be found between them thar grooves. While Cougar-Mellencamp might have made his name a moving …

Mix Six: “Frickin’ Awesome Drummers”

A guest DJ in the house! It’s none other than Popdose’s very own Scott Malchus, who is here to mix it up with six FRICKIN’ AWESOME DRUMMERS! What I love about this mix is that Scott didn’t go for the obvious choices when it comes to great drummers. Instead, he found some gems that highlight the spice and groove great drummers add to a song. I think you’ll hear what I’m talking about when you download the mix and read along with Scott’s notes. Party on … DOWNLOAD HERE

The Popdose Guide to John Mellencamp

Act I: Johnny Cougar Chestnut Street Incident (1976) purchase this album (Amazon) I remember finding a cassette of this album back in the ’80s and enjoying the hell out of it, most notably for the fun covers of “Jailhouse Rock,” “Twentieth Century Fox” and “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and whenever I found a book that claimed to review every album ever made, I’d look up my favorite artists and Mellencamp was on that list, so whenever I came across the entry for Chestnut Street Incident I was always shocked to see it get one star (and in some cases, less than one). This album is despised — I think I even read one review which claimed it was one of the worse albums ever made. At the time, I thought the writer was being overly harsh; however, I was lacking history and context.