Fish In A Barrel | July 2006

Bono returned to Europe to pursue his other favorite pastime: making insincere, gushy appearances in biographical documentaries…

{mosimage} Another celebrity noodling on his flying V at Planet Hollywood? Oh no, dear friends, Steven Seagal is the real-fucking-deal. While we've been pissing away our days mocking the Chili Peppers' comeback and working on our math-rock side project, this man has toured the world to promote his upcoming album, Mojo Priest. Well, OK, he played one date in Japan and one in LA. The album features the tracks "Alligator Ass" and "Talk to My Ass" (what can we say? The man loves asses), and is being shipped to FIAB headquarters, posthaste. In the interim, we're going to kick back with a can of Steven Seagal's  Lightning BoltTM Energy Drink (starting with "Cherry Charge" flavor, then transitioning to "Asian Experience") and enjoy the wait. 

Toke on the Water | If you’re looking for something to do on January 2, 2007, and you love extended bass solos, have we got a deal for you. Jam Cruise 5, a five-day journey on the MSC Opera, will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale early next year and feature performances by Derek Trucks Band, Drive-By Truckers, Greyboy Allstars, Deep Banana Blackout, and many others. You—yes, you—could have the opportunity to share awkward conversation in the buffet line with the flutist from Hot Buttered Rum (“Dude, that’s a shitload of cold cuts.” “True dat, Dude. Hand me the tongs?”). Life changing moments like this are well worth $1,000 to $2,200 a person, right? Although this year’s activities have yet to be revealed, past Jam Cruises have included sunset yoga, a Social Change Through Music panel, and stupid human tricks (peaceniks are so bendy!). We’ve got money on a Drive-By Truckers’ escape-by-dinghy on or before Day 2. We almost thought this floating festival could be a hoot until we viewed the “vibe preview” video of past cruises on the official Web site—sweet, fancy Moses. The bewildering, convulsive dancing. The heartfelt hugs. The ill-fitting tank tops—this is what our darkest nightmares look like. Oh Poseidon, won’t you call forth your mighty wave and wash these hippies clean? Anyhoo, you’ve only got six months left to sell enough pocket shrines and silvertone jewelry to reserve a cabin, so unfold that card table outside the farmer’s market and get to it. Oh, and there are no pets allowed (you’ll have to leave your five dogs at home) and a passport is required—good thing you got one that time you totally almost joined the Peace Corp.

What Costello’s Dutch Opera Hath Wrought | Unsatisfied with boring listeners in the musical traditions of the 20th and 21st centuries, Sting is branching out to further anesthetize his fans with the music of 16th century composer John Dowland. (Don’t pretend to know who that is. No one believes you.) Sting’s next album, due in October, has been self-deemed “strange,” “delightful,” and intriguing to all. (We deem it “cutout-bin-tastic.”) “The album is voice and lute, there are a few four-part harmonies that I sing, and it’s all music from the 16th century.” Score! Finally someone has stepped up to fulfill the desperate need in popular music for lute virtuosity. In keeping with this trend of mining ancient history for album concepts, we expect Bryan Adams’ Caveman Tunes (Arrgh) and Norah Jones’ Rats! Croonin’ ’Bout the Black Death sometime in 2007. Only time will tell if Sting will whip out the lute (ahem) during his European tour this summer.

Albarn Hates Some More, Attains FIAB Idolatory™ Status | We love us some Damon Albarn. The Blur and Gorillaz frontman can always be relied on for slightly incoherent vitriol, usually aimed at his Brit-rock contemporaries. While we took exception to his proposed campaign to rid the world of Pete Doherty—Awesome English Dude™ heir-to-the-throne (reigning king: either Gallagher brother) and wearer of natty hats—we were more than willing to overlook our differences when Albarn launched repeated attacks on Live 8, calling the effort off-target and “imperious.” And now he’s after Radiohead’s elaborate live shows: “[Y]ou’ve got this developing humanist thing that’s coming out of you, which is great. Then you’re creating these massive impersonal events where you set up as the subject of thousands of people’s adoration. Where is the humanity in that? That’s just idolatory [sic, we think? Is this one of those fake British words? If so, shouldn’t it contain at least one “u”?].” Now, some people might wonder if Damon should be so critical of ridiculously expensive, stadium-only tours while he plans the Gorillaz’ holographic, digitally displayed, 3-D, two-years-in-the-making 2007 world tour. Not us, though. We’re just happy to hear someone else say mean things about mousy Thom Yorke & friends. Oh Damon, you had us at “imperious.”

Bono: Equal Opportunity Exasperator | It’s been far too long, FIAB readers—it’s time to return to our roots, get back to basics, reflect on why we’re all here. We’ve neglected the Fly as of late—mocking him had become too easy, too cliché. For cricket’s sake—Blender has taken to gently ribbing him, and those pantywaists still toss the Black Eyed Peas’ salad on a regular basis. However, recent events demand notice. While kicking back at a bar in Mali during a trip to campaign for African aid, Bono saw fit to jump on stage with a band performing archetypal African chant songs, grab the mic, and add his own lyrics. We bet he thought he’d get the crowd pretty jazzed, but—shocker!—they were unacquainted with the honky in tinted shades and his vast catalog of politically themed anthems. We’d sell our souls to see the glances exchanged after he tossed off a goodnight wave and retired to the Mali Four Seasons. After saving Africa again (will you people please pull it together? He’s only one man!), Bono returned to Europe to pursue his other favorite pastime: making insincere, gushy appearances in biographical documentaries (we’ve been introduced to a plethora of his “greatest influences,” including Eminem, New Order, Kylie Minogue, Morrissey, “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Roy Orbison, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Abba, and Patti Smith). In Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, Bono waxes poetic about the impact Cohen had on his songwriting (yeah, yeah, yeah—we had the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, too) and dubs him “the original rapper.” Ah, sweet Bono, whether you’re simultaneously stealing hip-hop from the black community and misunderstanding Cohen’s contributions to music and poetry, or faking your way through a tribal chant in front of stunned locals, we believe your true legacy is providing FIAB with respectable column-filler in a month dominated by news of American Idol and Ashlee Simpson’s new nose. And we thank you.

| The above are the opinions of Fish in a Barrel, and not necessarily those of the editors of PLAYBACK:stl. Just the funny ones. And the ones who can’t decide which is more exciting: the Strokes’ sure-to-be soul-tastic cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me” featuring Eddie Vedder and Josh Homme (together at last!), or Diamond David Lee Roth’s upcoming album of bluegrass renderings of Van Halen classics (please find his recent Leno appearance on YouTube immediately—your lives will be better for it).

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