Tag Archives: Twisted Sister

We’re all parasites drinking John Coltrane’s blood

I just downloaded Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” from the Gnutella p2p network a few minutes ago. I’m listening to it as I write this, hoping it serves as a suitable jumping off point for my latest thoughts on downloading music. This is not only because it’s the most recent song I’ve “stolen,” in the RIAA’s parlance, but also because it was one of my first.

I was late to downloading, simply because I had a 56K modem and no patience. When I got a cable modem and took to downloading, Napster was in its death throes. But I did snag a poorly ripped version of this song, one of my favorite ’80s metal-lite anthems, and it has occupied three megabytes of my mp3 collection ever since. That is, until just now when it was replaced by a 256 kbps version. While the question of why someone would see Dee Snider worthy of such a staggeringly high bit rate is one for the ages, a more important question beckons. Why did I download the song in the first place?

Continue reading We’re all parasites drinking John Coltrane’s blood

The Ear of the Beholder

For reasons too tedious to contemplate and therefore innumerate, I use MSN to connect to the Internet. As a result, when I long in I get to a horribly inane interface and the MSN homepage. Or maybe it is a “portal.” There is a multitude of clickable items and images, from news to weather to fashion to entertainment to. . . .

Today I happened to spot a line: “Ugliest Bands of All Time.” Which, I admit, is intriguing due to the oddity (but nowadays who can tell: who’d ever even been thinking about anthrax outside of a few metalheads or fans of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before now?). So I clicked through and found the following list with no explanation:

· “We’re Not Going to Take It”—Twisted Sister

· “Run-Around”—Blues Traveler

· “Pet Sematary”—The Ramones

· “American Girl”—Tom Petty

· “Heaven Can Wait”—Iron Maiden

· “Search and Destroy”—The Stooges

· “No One Likes You”—Scorpions

· “My Best Friend’s Girl”—The Cars

· “Free Bird”—Lynyrd Skynyrd

· “Tearin’ Up My Heart”—’N Sync

What the hell is this all about? Is Tom Petty thought to be uglier when he sings that song? Is Iggy more attractive-post Stooges? Does the list maker have something against Germans? And why isn’t there a picture of Dee Snider’s mug if the whole thing is about profound unattractiveness?

One thing of note is that the list consists wholly of men. Which is not sexist in the way that you might think. I’d argue that with few exceptions, ugly women just don’t make it big in show biz. From Britney to Shania, from Madonna to Jessica, it is all about looks first and pipes second. Which is often audibly unfortunate and visually appropriate. Ugly men abound, which makes me think that there isn’t, perhaps, a whole lot of distance between TV newscasts and the music industry (e.g., can you image a female version of Willard Scott talking about the weather?).