Queen Minus Freddie Mercury? No Thank You

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funnyjunk.com
Friends have urged me unsuccessfully to attend tonight's Queen concert with them. As the band and guest singer Adam Lambert tour, I imagine this scene unfolding for others elsewhere. Some are excited to see Brian May, a we're-not-worthy, guitar-playing legend. Others are interested in Lambert, whose voice is matched, if not surpassed, by his panache, and how he'll interpret the band's array of insanely great songs.

These are strong arguments for, which makes the argument against seem so basic. For others like me, the defense for our disinterest boils down to this: no Freddie Mercury. As honest as it is, it sounds childish. I've said it out loud and can tell you it recalls a grade-school playground debate.

"How come you don't wanna come?!" they whine.

"Because Freddie Mercury won't be there! Duh!"


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Rolling Stone's Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The Second Half

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Leon Payne, Hank Williams, Jerry Irby at the Studewood Club, Houston, circa 1950. Payne wrote Williams' hit, "Lost Highway"; Irby wrote "Driving Nails In My Coffin."
Given the spread and the appeal-to-all-age-groups nature of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time," the possibility that the list was computer-generated seems more and more likely.

Either that, or Rolling Stone is farming out its country blog to Best in Texas magazine? There are those ever-present, pesky concerns about advertising revenues generated via record labels that need constant cultivation, you know?

How else can the inclusion of Eric Church, Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves be rationally explained? In particular, Musgraves' track is so new, how can anyone have had the time and reflective distance to pronounce it a classic on par with tunes like "Night Life" or "Mama Tried" yet?

Actually, it looks like a hook in the water -- or an olive branch? -- for the Americana Music Association crowd. But be it human- or cyber-generated, the list has other glaring problems, not the least of which is that a reader has to click on 100 different pages to view it all.


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Rolling Stone's Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The First Half

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Tim Patterson via Flickr
What would Johnny Cash think?
In further efforts to reassure us that it is still relevant, Rolling Stone magazine recently started a country clickbait section called most cleverly (drum roll, maestro) RS Country. I know, the heart pitter-patters in anticipation.

A brief perusal of the site finds basically the same crap, errr... nuts and bolts of most music blogs: lists out the ass. The most recent list that generated beaucoup clicks, errr...intelligent, thoughtful discussion was their recent mega-list, the "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time."

They actually didn't do too bad a job, as these things go, pieced together as they are like Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors." But the list didn't even make it through the first ten songs without tripping up on their own set-up blurb, which states a great country song has "twang you can feel down to the soles of your feet."

Pure poetry, huh? Those country folks over at Rolling Stone are pretty quick with their descriptions.


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The 15 Most Messed-Up O.J. Simpson Lyrics

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This week America is celebrating -- although that might not be precise terminology for such a dubious occasion -- the 20th anniversary of the Nicole Brown Simpson murders, in which the ex-wife of NFL Hall of Famer/actor O.J. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death in the overnight hours of June 13, 1994. A few days later, O.J. opted to flee in a white Ford Bronco driven by his friend Al "A.C." Cowlings rather than surrender to police, touching off a nationally televised low-speed police chase that was eventually seen by an estimated 95 million people in the U.S. (Rockets fans might remember Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals versus the Knicks being interrupted by the chase; Houston lost the game but took the next two to win the city's first major-league sports championship since the 1961 Houston Oilers.)

After a couple of hours on the Southern California freeways Simpson returned home (or was escorted by cops), gave himself up and was ultimately acquitted in October 1995 after a trial lasting more than eight months. Today so many people remember their exact whereabouts upon learning the verdict that the event has been likened to the JFK assassination a generation before. Although public opinion about the trial has always been sharply divided (and split uncomfortably along racial lines, then and now), it's difficult to deny that the whole Simpson affair -- from fans holding "Run, O.J., Run" banners on freeway overpasses during the chase to the 24-7 coverage of the trial that set the contentious tone of cable news to this day -- held up a funhouse mirror to American society that showed us more than we really wanted to know.


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Why Can't We Let Dead Musicians Be Dead?

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Michael Jackson's hologram doppelganger at this year's Billboard Music Awards.
Recently you may have seen Michael Jackson on television, despite the fact that Michael Jackson has been dead for five years now. Through the use of hologram technology, his corpse has essentially been dug up and plastered on our TV screens, with herky-jerky movements and backing music crafted posthumously from antique scrapped recordings of the man's voice.

Freddie Mercury showed up at Queen's musical We Will Rock You in London. Tupac showed up at Coachella; Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E at Rock the Bells. It seems like this is where our society is headed into the future, and it raises an interesting question about us. Why can't we let the dead just be dead?


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FPSF and Craigslist, Part 2: Free Pass for Boob Flash

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Photo by Stuart Seeger via Flickr
Why are we not surprised Aggies are behind this?
Call it a case of someone taking capitalism (or bad taste) to the extreme, it's just surprising something like this hasn't happened sooner. Or maybe it has, but thank God the Internet is around to preserve everything in amber.

Earlier this week but after we told you about the bull market for Free Press Summer Fest passes on Craigslist, someone claiming to be a 22-year-old Texas A&M student exponentially upped the ante. On the same part of the Houston message board, this upstanding College Station citizen posted an ad offering one of two wristbands, which he allegedly won from a local radio station, to "one and only one lady" (age 18 and up) willing to flash her boobs to him and his friend at a location of her choosing near the festival's main entrance around 11 a.m. this Saturday.

Ew. Ew. One more time, ew.


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Got $2K? It's Not Too Late for Coachella

Note: Coachella, Southern California's version of FPSF, starts today in the high desert outside Palm Springs. Our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly will be there the whole weekend and will be bringing us regular updates.

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If you don't have tickets yet for the first weekend of Coachella -- which starts this afternoon -- don't bother.

As you can see from the SeatGeek chart above, prices on the secondary market (places like Stub Hub and eBay) are absolutely out of control right now.

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The Five Most Difficult Song Lyrics to Understand

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If the reference in this photo eludes you, read on to the end, friend.
Most bands want their vocals to sound crisp and clear for maximum singalong purposes. How the hell are you going to lead a stadium of people to sing your lyrics at you if they don't know what you're saying?

But there are exceptions, and it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that for whatever reasons bands have recorded songs, intentionally or not, that continue to befuddle karaoke singers around the world. Some have even sparked controversy, because if you can't understand what they're saying, they could be saying anything! Even something dirty! Here's five of the most ridiculously hard-to-understand songs.


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Music's Got 99 Problems, and Jay Z Ain't One

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According to a recent report, Justin Bieber's mom -- who we'll just call Mama Bieber -- is planning to launch her music career.

Yes, that means exactly what you think it does. Two Biebers will be working the fame-whore stroll -- probably together, since rumor has it that they're recording a duet. We know what you're thinking: The world doesn't need a Bieber duet, and we'd have to agree with you. The last thing we want to see is more Bieber headlines, about mother or son. They've done enough already.

And the idea of a Bieber duet may be a travesty, but so are a lot of things happening in music at the moment. Miley's tongue shoved down Katy Perry's throat is a prime example. So much wrong; so little right.

So you may be having girl problems, and we do indeed feel bad for you, son. But the real issue here is that music's got 99 problems, and a bitch still ain't one.


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Five American Anthems Sung In Other Languages

Categories: WTF Island

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This past Sunday, we witnessed what was either a charming portrayal of the broad multicultural landscape that is America, or the most shocking betrayal of American values by an American cultural icon that we've ever witnessed. Of course, I'm talking about Coca-Cola's commercial during the Super Bowl that featured "America the Beautiful" being sung in multiple different languages.

Immediately following the premiere, the Internet exploded with tweets and Facebook posts and blogs by outraged conservatives who felt that Coke had betrayed them by singing that song in anything other than good old American English.

While I don't want my conservative friends' blood pressures to spike any more than they already have, I decided to respond by immediately going to YouTube and finding as many quintessentially American songs sung in languages other than English as I could because, well, I'm a troll of the highest caliber. Here are the five best that I found.


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