Bastard Tested, Bastard Approved?

I’m not sure that a discussion about this band is allowed on this forum, but I need to weigh in on Tool.

I hadn’t hear one of their songs(except Sober)  until a couple of weeks ago, after they released a new song, and finally got their stuff on streaming platforms. I was too busy studying the pie hole back in to 90’s to pay attention to them, and I certainly wasn’t going to spend money on a CD from a band who’s logo is a wrench that looks like a dick. Plus their songs are really long, and that’s saying something coming from a jam band fan boy.

Fast forward to Labor Day weekend… I’m hooked. I basically spent last weekend working my way through their albums, and I’m digging me some Tool. I don’t even know what you’d call it… metal? It’s prog rock for sure, and it’s pretty heavy.

Any of you bastards listen to these guys? They’re a bit different from the normal stuff here on the blargh. If you haven’t heard them, here’s a few to get you started. If you like really long songs with a shit ton of fuzzy distorted guitar, and a drummer that sounds just like Neil Peart, you might like Tool. Here’s a couple to get you started…

So I guess I’m in the Tool army, and I’ll be seeing them November 8…

Our Precious Bodily Fluids

 

Is fluoride making us idiots? Was General Jack D. Ripper right after all?

Probably not. Lots of limitations on the most recent study, including long-term vs episodic fluoride exposure, controlling for lead exposure, noisy data, and a couple of individuals with extremely low IQ’s that may have thrown the entire data set. Also, previous studies indicated problems only at extremely high fluoride exposures – much higher than typical water fluoridation.

But don’t let that prevent us from getting a good panic on!

The Immune System, The Gut Biome, And Obesity

Turns out it may not just be calories in, calories out.

We’ve been fattening cows with antibiotics since the 1950s, but we’re just now starting to understand the relationship between the types of bacteria in the bovine gut and how they impact weight. Turns out, that relationship might exist for us, too – and the fix may not be as simple as probiotics.

According to an article in The Atlantic

“A lot of the recent research on probiotics suggests it’s really not easy to keep and sustain new communities,” Stephens says. The immune system could explain that. “It may well be that your immune response gets ‘stuck’ at an early age based on what you’ve exposed it to. Probiotics might not be enough to change a person’s microbiome, because your immune system determined early on that certain microbes are either appropriate or inappropriate in your gut.”

Read the rest or don’t here.

A Brief Design History Of A Watch You’ll Never Own

Fun if for no other reason than you get to see a shitload of mind-numbingly expensive watches all in one place.

A silly question that we get asked quite a bit here at HODINKEE is, “What is the best watch?” Sure, I get why people ask it and what they’re getting at, but it’s impossible to say anything is “the best” when you’re dealing with something as subjective and personal as wristwatches. What you like aesthetically, the history that’s meaningful to you personally, and the idiosyncrasies of how you live your life all impact that answer of that question. However, there’s a similar question that we also get asked a lot, for which I do think there are a few good answers: “What is the most important watch of all time?” The Rolex Submariner is a pretty darn good answer. It’s not the only answer, but it’s one that I find tough to argue with.

Fixing The Worst VFX Shot Ever

Fascinating!

I can easily remember sitting in the theater watching The Mummy Returns with the wife, laughing my ass off when the shot in question popped up. This loud, idiotic sequel was annoying as shit already, and somehow, a rubberized Dwayne Johnson at the end was the perfect cherry on top.

The fix isn’t 100%, which these guys readily admit, but it’s a million times better.

I Thought I’d Seen It All

Check out “Twink” miming with The Pretty Things for a bewildered French TV audience.  Ever heard of Twink?  I hadn’t, so I poked around on Google.  Nicknamed after a British hair product, Twink was a mime, drummer, close friend of Syd Barrett, and general scenester of the London psychedelic underground.  He played drums with an early version of T. Rex, with Syd Barret occasionally, on one Pretty Things album, and with the Pink Fairies.  In the early 70’s, he was in Hawkwind with Lemmy.  His band The Rings were on the ground floor of the London punk scene in ’77.  Some refer to their lone single, “I Wanna be Free” as England’s first punk record.  It’s not very good compared to what was about to come from the Damned, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Clash, and Jam.

What led me to this video was my fondness for The Pretty Things,  a very good British r&b band who never made any headway in the U.S.  Their guitarist, Dick Taylor, had been in an early version of the Stones.  Like the Stones, their forays into psychedelia were not always memorable, as you can hear above.   You can hear them at their best here and here.  Their raucous version of Roadrunner is my favorite cover of that song.

Kid(s) A

I wish I had a music teacher like this when I was in school. This guy gets all these kids to sing Optimistic by Radiohead, and they killed it. So good to see young kids from diverse backgrounds exposed to artists like this. Check out this guys You Tube page. They cover some pretty good songs, not just the modern crap that passes for music these days…

What’s The Deal With That Song?

It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever. Somehow, this song manages to be both. I’ve heard “Werewolves of London” on the radio most of my life without ever giving it much thought – until today.

You might know that this was the first single off Excitable Boy, Zevon’s third solo album. You might even know that it stayed in the Billboard Top 40 for a month, reaching number 21 on the Hot 100 in May of 1978. But did you know Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are playing on it? Wikipedia, where you at?

The song began as a joke by Phil Everly (of The Everly Brothers) to Zevon in 1975, three years before the recording sessions for Excitable Boy. Everly had watched a television broadcast of the 1935 film Werewolf of London and “suggested to Zevon that he adapt the title for a song and dance craze.” Zevon, LeRoy Marinel and Waddy Wachtel played with the idea and wrote the song in about 15 minutes, all contributing lyrics that were transcribed by Zevon’s then-wife Crystal. The song is in the key of G major, with a three-chord progression that runs throughout. However, none of them took the song seriously.

Not long after, Jackson Browne saw the lyrics and thought it had potential, so he started playing “Werewolves” live. (T-Bone Burnett also played it on the first leg of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review in 1975.) Zevon thought about putting it on his second solo album in 1976, but for some reason, decided against it.

According to Wachtel, “Werewolves of London” was “the hardest song to get down in the studio I’ve ever worked on.” They tried at least seven different configurations of musicians in the recording studio before being satisfied with McVie and Fleetwood’s contributions. The protracted studio time and musicians’ fees led to the song eating up most of the album’s budget.

Zevon later said of the song, “I don’t know why that became such a hit. We didn’t think it was suitable to be played on the radio. It didn’t become an albatross. It’s better that I bring something to mind than nothing. I still think it’s funny.” He also described “Werewolves of London” as a novelty song, “[but] not a novelty the way, say, Steve Martin’s ‘King Tut’ is a novelty.”