All posts by Johnny Loftus

Pay to Slum: A hologram at the end of the world and other tales.

The Dead Weather

Josh Groban might make the closed captions sing, but it’s‘s world to steal. Did you hear the news? and his band, Los Angeles-based underground Tybo fighting champions and dance-pop vocal trio the Black Eyed Peas, have with this week’s activity on the Hot 100 been officially canonized by the ruling order of their native Mars. Their jerseys were also retired. But don’t switch off your hologram machines just yet, Midwestern children — “I gotta feelin'” your product placement party visionary and beloved spin move endorser is still gonna hologram his way across the nation. Will.he.WILL!

Between Fergie-offs at the local Y and keeping up with all Will’s tweets from the gaseous fog near Phobos (“I don’t even know where that is, but it sounds hologro-mantic!“), it can be difficult to remember that there’s a real rock ‘n’ roll band behind the digitized neon smoke and bedazzled mirrors. That’s right, and they’re called the Dead Weather.

Continue reading Pay to Slum: A hologram at the end of the world and other tales.

Pay to Slum: 3Oh!3, Don't Trust Me

Video: 3Oh!3 – “Don’t Trust Me”

3Oh!3. Or at least that’s how it’s written on the page. The Boulder, Colorado-based band has gone Splashwater Falls with high school kids and post-emo undergrads who’ve moved on from that genre’s woe-is-suburban-me overtones to a sound that, instead of wedging screamo and hardcore antics into the mix, mines the remaining shards of the electro blog-house moment to buff up and reveal the cool diamond behind the antisocial coal. Writing drippy MySpace diary entries is one thing. Dancing the cool jam of the moment is better.

It’s true! After all, “Don’t Trust Me,” 3Oh!3’s hot shit single, shares its bottom end power source with numerous chart contenders, including Katy Perry‘s “Hot N Cold” and “Love Drunk,” the current charting single from Boys Like Girls, another group who survived the finale of emo as this generation knew it.

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Pay to Slum: Oldsmobile Cailat

Video: Colbie Caillat – “Fallin’ For You” (live at Six Flags, Louisville)

“And Lady GaGa‘s ‘LoveGame’ is still No. 5,” states this week’s Billboard chart action report, and you can almost sense the screen saying “I know, can you believe it?” While GaGa herself reads Billboard‘s statement and declares that she hasn’t lost a step in the bed, America reads it and figures it’s true: her best material peaked too early, and now there’s no one left to fight off‘s advances. We need a hero.

The problem with today’s pop heroes is that they fly too close to earth. They’re awesome all of the sudden, but then slam through three or four billboards on the interstate before skidding a few times and coming to a stop in a pile of “Why is THIS on your iPod?” That leaves the veterans — “Check out the vintage section at this year’s Lolla! I got some MCA-green Manic Panic!” — and Michael Jackson — “That’s a big Sha-MOAN!” — to grab the summer jam gauntlet. Can they do it? Probably. Vincent Hannah chimes in: “They will walk and you will let them.”

Pacino and the screen are probably right. It’s tough being a pop fan when’s there no new jam to like or even dislike at any great volume. And just like that, Colbie Caillat drifts to a no. 12 debut on this week’s chart, her “Falling for You” drifting like a Sunday morning stroll through Boredom Woods. It sure is pretty in here. Wait, which way is out? Hello? Anyone? Michael?


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Colbie Caillat: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Pay to Slum: Drake, "Best I Ever Had"

“Unauthorized” video: Drake – “Best I Ever Had”

Yesterday, word of Michael Jackson‘s death spread like a riot through the social networks. But once the conjecture had been put to bed and the tributes and eulogies posted, most feeds marveled at the novelty of music videos on MTV. In its zeal to cover the passing of an icon — instead of the latest thug-lite nursery rhyme from Akon — the network had blown the dust off the Betacams and started spinning MJ’s old jams nonstop. It was just like 1983, only without Duran Duran or Synchronicity to play foil to the dominance of Thriller. MTV also blew the dust of John Norris‘s crypt. That wasn’t as great of an idea.

Back then, there were too many great songs. They defined an era; they continue to define wedding receptions. Nowadays, we’re dealt jams from “rising hip-hop star” Drake, whose “Best I Ever Had” used the “unauthorized” tag to find its way to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Drake’s like a Target version of Lil Wayne, his collabo partner for a different, equally “unauthorized” chart gainer. While Weezy isn’t even a rapper anymore — he’s a bounty hunter like Dengar, or a man who plays guitar for reasons we don’t understand, or a guy spitting the insane fantastic — Drake can’t muster much more than a few empty mumbles.

Continue reading Pay to Slum: Drake, "Best I Ever Had"

Pay to Slum: Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"

Video: Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”

Visualize world Peas? Not on this planet. While is definitely a universalist — that’s been a tenet of his group from way back, way before the moon missions and Ferginomics — his gospel has grown suckier. It has no flags. All horizontal dance moves and platitudes, it spends mountains out of the coffers underneath Black Eyed Peas Multi-Platinum Capital & Savings to become what is essentially ad copy for the BEP brand. ( is gonna ride on that missile they’re shooting into the moon. His money clip is a spaceship.) Not incredibly,’s own turn as a pitchman for Pepsi assured the soft drink giant’s sugary bauble of a renewed logo would be even more boring than it already is.

Dude’s like Hardee’s.

And yet, it only takes 249,000 people to make a hit like this possible. That’s not a lot. Across America, right now, there are at least that many people smiling and nodding at one another in shouty entranceways, having decided that 30 minutes is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to wait for a table at TGI Friday’s. There are at least that many kids who’ve at least thought about maybe downloading Brokencyde‘s new album. These facts are a signal of the Rapture, as you know. It’s that one day very soon when we’ll join together around the methane burn-off cone at the nearest landfill and combine the precious metals we didn’t already mail to Cash4Gold into a melty totem that looks like Fergie. It’ll be fried, and you’ll be able to eat it. But those same facts also prove that somewhere, right now, there are a bunch of parties going on, and they’re all as boring as BEP’s video starter kit promised. The strikes again.

Hmm, symmetrical energy fields are in balance this morning. That can only mean one thing, America. Taboo got up on the right side of the dancefloor.


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Black Eyed Peas: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Pay to Slum: Lady Gaga, "Love Game"

Video: Lady GaGa – “Love Game”

Anyone educated in sex knows the facts: when you’re arrested for breakdance fighting, seduce the nearest cop. When Lady Gaga has sex, it’s only in two places: a 26th century parking garage or in a phone booth after a particularly steamy breakdance fight. This is because, as she says, she’s educated in sex. But it’s also because Lady Gaga does lines of WTF off the hyphen in dance-pop.

“Love Game” isn’t even the best single off of The Fame. “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” still power neon lights on the moon, and have better versions of kooky Gaga speak like “disco stick.” But that stick is just long enough to give “Game” the Lady brand of weirdness. It’s articulated, calculated, and calibrated to make you suddenly crave crappy, but totally baller-ific bottle service. That’s the Gaga guarantee, etched on a brass plate in a time capsule she discovered jutting from solid rock on the floor of the Pacific. (This was while she was a passenger in X-Tina‘s bathysphere. Underwater, Christina Aguilera calls all-time X-Tina.) “Make them crave bottle service,” read the runes, and Lady Gaga knew it was time to buy a new bodysuit. Oh, and to always be educated in sex.


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Lady GaGa: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Pay to Slum: Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"

Video: Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”

Taboo is a fellow in Black Eyed Peas. Also known as He Whose Name Has No Periods, the rapper, dancer, and top notch haberdasher is apparently also a galactic ambassador, a dude who filled the Sea of Tranquility with asparagus dip just so he and could chomp on planets and taste rainbows. It has to be this way. BEP are popular vertically, horizontally, and every which way but loose. Their digital downloads come with extra ones and zeroes to handle the breathless overflow. They break periodically into television broadcasts with messages of faith and power in the form of easy-to-read beats and language without sentence structure. This is easy when you have a summer house on SPACEWAY-1.

But let’s get back to Taboo. He’s on a supersonic boom, you know, and when you hear that spaceship zoom, that’s when he steps inside the room. Or so it sort of goes in a later verse of “Boom Boom Pow,” BEP’s current chart topper and the lead single from The E.N.D. Taboo continues, forsaking English in favor of the jargon spit on the showroom floor at the Alpha Centauri Best Buy: “That low-fi stupid a bit,” he glitters. “I’m on that HD flat.” Taboo knows what he raps. That Best Buy has the greatest deals in the universe.

Fergie, of course, is also along for the Peas’ latest meteoric ride to the jutting tip of the Billboard Hot 100. Warning: she dismisses the world as “2000 and late.” We’re all dead like Duchovny in The Rapture. But she offers us solace, too — while we’ll never stalk the stars and rings of Saturn like the quartet, whose great space coasting jeepney is tricked out with lazers, we must only declare that we’re friends with Peas. Presto, it’s salvation.

“People in the place,” the Fergalicious Lady of Fatima bellows. “If you want to get down, put your hands in the air.” And then she gets to drop the beat that will save us. Because In BEP’s universe, the day the earth stood still was also the day it danced contentedly toward revolution.


Each week Johnny Loftus will select a song from your hit parade to explicate, celebrate, or humiliate.

Black Eyed Peas: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

At the Barbershop; or How Creed Led Me to a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

CreedWe recently uncovered the original email message that inspired us to launch Glorious Noise. Back in the day, we had it showcased as a feature, but it somehow got lost in the shuffle of redesigns and content management system switches. We’re happy to bring it back. —Jake

Subject: At The Barbershop
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001

I had my hair trimmed today at Supercuts. As I was the only patron, and dislike conversing with my barber, I was an audience of one for Pilar’s polite humming to the super sounds of KISS-FM on the hi-fi. As we sat in the silence of an empty Supercuts, she hummed along absentmindedly to “all the hits on one station,” and seemed downright happy about doing it. After the requisite R & B power ballad and a few minutes of radio station nonsense, the opening chords of a familiar rocker filled the room.

Ladies and gentlemen, Creed.

Continue reading At the Barbershop; or How Creed Led Me to a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

Wash Yo Butt! The Future of Ass

Cheeky!We’ve all seen the, er, cheeky banner ads, and some of us even witnessed the flap over butt-filled billboards in our hometowns. But have any of you actually visited the Web site? It’s for a product called the Washlet manufactured by TOTO (not, I assume, the good-timin’ purveryors of LA-based soft pop from the late 1970s and early 80s), and there’s a good chance that the product, the site, its music, style, and actors are all from the future.

We’ve all heard of Web portals. But can the Web cross the boundaries of time and space? If so, I want the next site I visit to be be Abraham Lincoln’s blog.

Anyway, Washlet. Pillowy new age murmurs in the background as six multi-cultural ambassadors to squeaky clean nether regions first give us the moon and then the start. “It’s called the *Washlet*,” the guy in the center says, and he pronounces the brand name with such mirth, you wonder whether this isn’t some crafty Bob Odenkirk sketch.

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The Final OC Finale (for real this time)

The OC Series FinaleAdmit it: you’ve already forgotten about them. You felt your brain forgetting them even as you watched “The OC” series finale tidy it all up. It’s a week later, and you’ve moved on to “Heroes.” Or maybe, if you’re slumming, “Wicked Wicked Games.” But here are a few pitches for series spinoffs anyway, because anything’s better than “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Briefcase or no briefcase? No briefcase.


Husband-free for the fourth time (or fifth? I already forgot), Julie Cooper and her daughter Kaitlin discover Julie’s beat-up orange Plymouth Sundance from high school parked under the San Diego Freeway, right where she abandoned it in 1986. There’s even a few wisps of dried-up pot in the ashtray. Ready for a new life, Julie and Kaitlin head east in the battered-but-lovable subcompact, and find adventure, laughter, and a little bit of romance in all the nowhere towns and hard-luck havens along the way. It’s “Promised Land” meets Thelma & Louise, or maybe “Gilmore Girls” in a car. Recurring special guests: Shelley Hack and Tracey Gold as a “Cagney & Lacey”-type detective team convinced the Cooper girls are part of an illegal cross-country road race.

Continue reading The Final OC Finale (for real this time)