Little Moby Homemaker: Domestic God

Moby's A/V Corner

"Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates" 

by The Bird And The Bee (CD)

Let's get a couple of things clear right from the get go.  First, Hall & Oates fucking rule!  (My metal friends can call me a "Mary" or whatever--but I am not ashamed to admit that I love the music of Hall & Oates.  (I'm not so hot on their clothing and facial hair choices...but that's neither here nor there.)  Secondly, I haven't a clue who indie/alt darlings The Bird And The Bee are. (Like I explained, I am still listening to H&O; so that's probably why I'm not real familiar with The B & The B.)

That being said, I was highly skeptical when I heard about The Bird And The Bee's tribute album to the legendary Daryl Hall & John Oates, "Interpreting The Masters Volume 1"I became even more alarmed when I discovered that "Interpreting..." was an electronic/synth pop send up of my favorite Philly duo.

I'll save a lot of key strokes here--I had NOTHING to worry about!  "Interpreting The Masters Volume 1" is a true listening delight!  Hall & Oates' greatest hits are updated- just enough.  The Bird And The Bee's simple electronic arrangements and spot on, angelic vocals prove to be a winning "less is more" approach to Daryl Hall & John Oates' already highly identifiable songbook.

Truthfully, I don't know that re-mixes of the original recordings of these classics would sound as good or as relevant as The B & The B's tribute recordings?  You already know all the songs by heart in this nine song collection; so I'll save the song by song run down.  But I would be remiss if I did not mention I can see see no way that the lead track "Heard It On The Radio" can't help but be a feel good hit of this summer!

"Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute Daryl Hall and John Oates" truly has something musically for everyone.  Indie fans will enjoy the alt/pop credibility and sensibilty of The Bird And The Bee.  Old farts, like me, will enjoy a new (but not over the top) take on old favorites.  Everybody will enjoy an extremely wonderful collection of really great, really fun songs.

Little Moby Homemaker gives "Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute Daryl Hall and John Oates" a BIG TAIL UP (that's GOOD!).  Get this one in your ipod!

"Red Light Fever" by Hot Leg (CD)

In 2003 I swore to God, that British rockers, The Darkness would be soon be the biggest rock band in the world!  With their second album, "One Way Ticket To Hell...and Back" in 2005--I just knew they were poised to take over the thrown left vacant by the once mighty Guns N' Roses.  It's now 2010...and obviously, I was wrong.  But, I will stand by my deeply rooted assertion that Justin Hawkins (the frontman, guitarist and main songwriter of the The Darkness and now Hot Leg), with his insane operatic voice and his uncanny ability to blend classic/hard rock and pop, is one of the most entertaining artists in rock.

The debut album by his post Darkness rock outfit, Hot Leg, leaves off right where The Darkness did--AC/DC meets Queen in the 21st century.  With "Red Light Fever", Hawkins adds another dynamic to the readied mix, though-that of 80's pop.  

Right from the get go, "Chickens" comes straight ahead with a heavy dose of power pop. Then Hawkins hits you with the chorus--straight up opera.  It's either crazy or genius.  I am going with the latter.  Even if you feel otherwise, there is no denying the sheer vocal talents of Justin Hawkins on this one.

On "You Can't Hurt Me Anymore", Hot Leg channels "Highway To Hell" with Freddie Mercury singing.  Throw in a killer Thin Lizzy-esque dueling guitar solo, and you have rock magic in this humble Homemaker's opinion.  "Ashamed" is much of the same, except an aura of the Eurythmics eases in. The cleverly dirty,"Cocktails" takes its cue from Sparks and early 80's Cheap Trick.  The most over the top homage to 1980's synth pop comes in the form of "Gay In The 80's", a hysterical nod to Rick Springfield's "Human Touch".

The grandiose "Trojan Guitar" borrows the thump of Billy Squier's "The Stroke" and blends it with some Zeppelin flair.   "Red Light Fever" ends with the indulgent power ballad, "Kissing the Wind" which could make Freddie Mercury jump out of his grave to file a join in the fun.

All the 80's MTV influences aside, Hot Leg's sweet spot is the same as The Darkness'--good ol' fashioned rawk.  "I've Met Jesus", "Prima Donna" and "Whichever Way You Want It" fall right in line with The Darkness' greatest rock hit, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".

Hot Leg's first offering is a really fun, energetic collection of great rock/pop songs.  There is a little something for everyone--but Justin Hawkins' unique vocals tie the whole album together and keep it from getting too schizophrenic.  

If you like your rock served with a side of synthetic cheese; you will really enjoy this album.  

Moby Homemaker gives Hot Leg's "Red Light Fever" a TAIL UP. (That's good!)

"Black Dynamite" (DVD)

I'm going to cut right to the chase here.  If you have the ability to laugh-GET BLACK DYNAMITE!  

Black Dynamite is a "kung-fu fighting, pimp slapping, gun-blasting 1970's Afro-American action hero/ladies' man" out to avenge his brother's death, save local orphans from rampant heroin abuse and avert a fiendish plot by "The Man" to shrink "Little Richard" with contaminated malt liquor in this hysterical tribute to 1970's era blaxploitation films.

I call Black Dynamite a tribute as opposed to a "parody" because it is far more than a spoof.  It's only imperfection is that is that the movie may be too perfect--too dead on.  The film is like going to see a KISS tribute band.  When you go to the local watering hole to see them; you know it's not 1978.  You know you know you're not in Cobo Hall Arena.  But for an hour and half you think you're witnessing KISS!

That is Black Dynamite in a nutshell.  Unlike the Wayans' Brothers' blaxploitation spoof "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", Black Dynamite keeps the gags more subtle and less over the top (at least at the beginning).  Not taking anything away from the Wayans' opus; but Black Dynamite takes it to another level.  If you enjoyed "Sucka" you will love Black Dynamite.

I really don't want to give any more away.  The costumes are spot on.  The music and effects are perfect.  The film actually has the grainy low budget quality of a movie filmed in 1974.  Michael Jai White, who plays former CIA agent "Black Dynamite" is deserving of an Oscar nomination for his performance--because of his unbelievable ability to not crack the fuck up in every scene.

So, grab your foxy momma, some Anaconda malt liquor and enjoy this dvd.  He's super bad.  He's Outta Site.  Moby Homemaker gives a BIG TAIL UP (That's Great!) for Black Dynamite!

"Thou Shalt Have A Time Machine" by Rabbit Children (CD)

"Thou Shalt Have A Time Machine" is the first offering by the up and coming Chicago indie/rock/pop quintet, Rabbit Children.  I won't bore you with all their biographical background (you can find the band on:  What you do need to know is that the Children definitely had their subscriptions to NME growing up.  And it shows through in their capable, meticulous playing and well crafted Brit pop styled songs.

"...Time Machine" is just that--an homage to Brit pop of the 1960's through the 90's. That's not to say that it is a complete rip off or throwback.  The tunes in this debut could easily be heard in the film "Garden State" or on the latest episode of "Grey's Anatomy".

The lead track, "Escape" is among the Children's strongest on their debut.  It blends the indie creepiness of The Cure with straight ahead British pop of the 90's.  Songs like "Who Knows", "Fingers Crossed" and "Pretty" manage to borrow the poppier spirit of The Smiths.  While "Keip" uses a great mix of textures to create some thoughtful James-esque sugar.

"...Time Machine" also shows another side of Rabbit Children--the dark, moody facet.  "Bill The Butcher" updates the sinister charm of The Who's "Uncle Ernie" with a twist of Kinks-y merriment.  You could hear Duffy singing the Phil Spector-esque throwback ballad, "She's Got Green Eyes".  Songs like "Postcards" and "Stay The Course" are examinations in cantankerous introspection.  The album finishes with the interesting "Sunshine", a tribute to the dolefulness of John Lennon with a slight country whimsy.

Sonically, "Thou Shalt Have A Time Machine" takes a "less is more" rock/pop sonic approach--and the simplicity works.  Listening to it, you may ask the question, "Is this what happens when The Smiths and The Cure have been aged and pasteurized in the Midwest--like tasty cheese?".

This record is a good start for Rabbit Children.  After the "...Time Machine", it will be intriguing to see where the future takes them musically.  

Moby Homemaker gives "Thou Shalt Have A Time Machine" a TAIL UP. (That's Good!)

(Catch Rabbit Children live Friday March 5 at the Montrose Room 5300 River Rd, Rosemont, IL 8:30pm)

"Hellbilly Deluxe 2" by Rob Zombie (CD)

Full disclosure: I love, love, love Rob Zombie (in a very close to gay way)!  I have adored him ever since I first heard the rumbling of "Thunder Kiss '65" by his old band White Zombie in 1992.  I applaud Mr. Robert Zombie for his vast contribution to the field of exotic dance, by providing a soundtrack unto himself for two generations of strippers throughout the globe. One cannot enter a gentleman's club without hearing one of his stirring compositions.  Not to mention, Zombie's films are among the sickest, funniest horror films ever.

This all being said, I was really enthused to hear that Mr. Zombie had put together a new kick ass band to record the "sequel" to his 1998 superbeast classic album, "Hellbilly Deluxe".  Zombie has recruited former Marilyn Manson axeman John 5, former guitarist from the ghoul rock outfit Wednesday 13, Piggy D.,  and whom I consider the best new generation drummer on the planet, Tommy Clufetos (formerly of Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent).  Rob Zombie's band is talented, loud, spooky and heavy.

If you have heard Rob Zombie's music, you know it combines the elements of metal, rock, industrial and an undefinable, almost funk swing.  Unfortunately, Zombie and Co. decided to abandon the bulk of this winning formula and opted to go for a more classic rock sound on much "Hellbilly Deluxe 2".

The first track, "Jesus Frankenstein" has a KISS -ish "God of Thunder" feel. "What?" is frighteningly close to stealing the main riff of Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You".  "Mars Needs Women" and "Cease To Exist" sound like throw aways from a forgotten Alice Cooper album of the early 80's. "Werewolf, Baby!" is a horror based "Slow Ride" (yes, Foghat).  "Virgin Witch" borrows from classic Sabbath. The final track of the album, the nearly nine minute "The Man That Laughs"  is reminiscent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer with its grandiose synthesizers and its mid song drum solo.  I love Tommy Clufetos' playing--but let's save the solos for the concert when I need to piss, okay?

There's nothing wrong with classic rock--but it's just not what Rob Zombie does best.  And that is not to say that there are not some great, rockin', fun, signature Zombie tracks in this collection.  "Sick Bubblegum" and "Burn" could have come from the original "Hellbilly" album.  "Werewolf Women of The SS" 's Munsters meets punk/metal is one of my favorite Rob Zombie tunes to date.  It's "Howl Baby Howl!" chorus will stick in your head for days...

I think Rob Zombie may have lost his way on this one.  Perhaps it was the all the hillbilly and classic rock he used in the directing of his "Halloween" remakes that took him to this place?  Regardless, he and his band still rock...just not the way I would've wanted or expected.  And that doesn't mean that I have lost hope in the "Astro Creep".  "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" is not a nightmare--but it isn't up to par with the original.

For that reason, I'm sorry Mr. Zombie; but Moby Homemaker is leaving his tail in the water and swimming by. (That's not great).

"Feel The Steel" by Steel Panther (CD)

"Fuck the Goo Goo Dolls. They can suck my balls!"  That's the FIRST line off of Steel Panther's debut album, "Feel The Steel".  If you agree with that foul sentiment--read on, this album's for you!

If you are easily offended-just stop reading NOW! I swear, this could be the raunchiest record review ever. were warned.

Formerly known as "Metal Skool" (check them out on youtube--hysterical!  There's video of them performing with some real deal talents--and Tony Homo), LA's Steel Panther is Hair Metal's answer to Tenacious D.  They are part spoof, part tribute and ALL kick ass glam metal (think of all the worst parts of Poison, KISS and DLR that you LOVE!).

I won't bore you with names and the credentials of these guys.  They are legit, real musicians who have played with some well known artists.  Instead, I would like to use my time to do a quick and raunchy song by song breakdown of this filthy, verimnous, hysterically rawkin', fun cd.

"Death To All But Metal"- This hair band rock anthem asks the proverbial question, "Where's Def Leppard? Where's Motley Crue?", while also telling Dr. Dre and Eminem to "suck each other".  Can you see where this record is going??

"Asian Hooker"- By far, my favorite epode to Asian call girls, sushi and blow ever.

"Community Property"-A filthy love ballad which asserts that the singer's manhood is "communal".  This one would make even Tommy Lee blush.

"Eyes of a Panther"-A genuine Judas Priest-esque rocker...until  you realize that the woman who is the subject of the song is being compared to a large cat....get it?

"Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)"-An homage to  Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"...and boning fat chicks.

"Eatin' Ain't Cheatin"-Do I really need to say anything else?

"Party All Day (Fuck All Night)"-Finally, somebody found a way to make "Livin' On A Prayer" cool...and extremely profane!

"Turn Out The Lights"-An in depth exploration of scoring with ugly broads set to song.

"Stripper Girl" conjurs the spirit of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", except this tender ballad details the wonders of pole dancing, fake boobs and doing blow.

"The Shocker"-I have to put the chorus in print...I just absolutely have to!  Chorus: "Two in the pink. One in the stink"!

"Girl From Oklahoma" borrows the lameness of Extreme's "More Than Words" in this acoustic debasement of Midwestern girls.

Completely infantile.  Completely crude.  Completely vulgar. Completely sexist.  Completely Metal!  If you miss spandex, mullets, Aqua Net Pink, picking up strippers and doing blow, "Feel The Steel" is up your depraved alley!  This one is NOT for kids and your wife with loathe it (unless she is a fake tittayed, coke snorting stripper)!!!

My brother Mulleteers unite! Don your Dokken t-shirts and turn this shit up!!!

Moby Homemaker gives Steel Panther's "Feel The Steel" a TAIL UP (with devil horns!!!  \m/ \m/)!!!  (That's good).

"Them Crooked Vultures" by Them Crooked Vultures (CD)

Them Crooked Vultures is one of the newest "supergroups" on the music scene.  Comprised of Josh Homme (guitarist and vocalist for Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana's drummer and Foo Fighters frontman) and the legendary John Paul Jones (bass player of Led Zeppelin); Them Crooked Vultures are actually more of a "super garage band".

If you like QOTSA, you will LOVE the Vultures debut.  Fans of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana will probably understand it.  Hard core Zeppelin fans may find "Them Crooked Vultures" a bit challenging.

Dave Grohl is back where he belongs beating the hell out the skins and adding great background vocals a la his Nirvana days and the album has the bottom heavy bass of many of the great Led Zeppelin recordings. But, most distinctively,"Them Crooked Vultures" definitely has the spastic sound of Queens of the Stone Age.

That being said, my fellow classic rock mullet-teers, fear not!   The funkiness of Zep can be found in tunes like "Reptiles".  John Paul Jones harkens back to the obscure Zepplein classic "Wearing and Tearing" on  the Vultures' "Elephants".  "Bandoliers" ends with a "Kashmir"-esque outro.  And, Them Crooked Vultures pay a wonderful homage to Cream on "Scumbag Blues"; even incorporating some "Trampled Under Foot" keyboard stylings from Jones.

This is not a "pop"  or even a "classic rock" record.  It is pretty much an alternative/stoner piece.  At points it does get fuckin' weird.  "The Doors-y "Warsaw.." and "Caligulove" are a bit off the rocking path.  The disco-ish "Gunman" somehow finds a way to blend elements of Pink Floyd, David Bowie and straight up electronica.  Like I said, it can sound fuckin' wierd...interesting and loud, but strange.

As a Queens Of The Stone Age fan, Moby Homemaker gives "Them Crooked Vultures" a TAIL UP (that's good!).  Led Zeppelin and Foo Fighters fans, give it a try--but enter with caution.

"Animal" by Ke$ha (CD)

Let me begin by stating that everything about Ke$ha's debut album "Animal" is contrived. Let me also admit, that contrived pop music is a guilty pleasure of mine. I am not ashamed to admit that I have attended a Debbie Gibson concert...just don't tell anybody.

If you have ears, more than likely you have heard Ke$ha's totally infectous #1 single, "Tik Tok". Well, the whole album is just that--infectous. "Animal" is chuck full of auto tuned vocals, drum machines, samples and cheerleader chants. No new ground is broken here. In fact, Ke$ha conjurs her inner Gwen, Fergie, Ace of Base and even Taylor Swift. The song "Stephen" literally sounds like a Taylor Swift got "Lost In Emotion" with Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. But, that doesn't matter. She's not interested in creating this decades "Sgt. Pepper".

Perhaps the thing that makes Ke$ha different from the aforementioned pop divas is her attitude. Songs like "Backstabber"' whose chorus sings ( "'re such a shit talker"), to her references to drinking and boozing in tunes like "Your Love Is A Drug", to her ode to older men macking on her in "Dinosaurs" sets her apart from your everyday Miley Cyrus'.

That attitude is evened out with the tenderness of the title track of the cd which could very well roll with the ending credits of "Valentine's Day II".

But the enduring theme of this contrived pop tart album is fun. "Party At A Rich Dude's House" will have you fist pumping like Pauly D. and "The Situation" on a Saturday night at Club Bamboo.

Dudes will hate this album. Chicks will, more than likely, enjoy it.

Ke$ha's "Animal" finds the strange crossroads where workout music, pom pom routine music and poll dancer anthems meet.

If Moby Homemaker were a chick, he would give it a TAIL UP.  (That's good!) Since he can't admit to his friends he listens to shit like this--he won't comment.

"Zombieland" (DVD)

Do you like gore?  Do you like extreme violence? Do you like filthy language?  Do you like Metallica and Van Halen (you know, the good version with David Lee Roth)? Do you like to laugh?

If you answered "yes" to these questions: 1) you are a man and 2) you will love this film.

"Zombieland" is a post apocalyptic undead comedy starring Woody Harrelson, the hot dark-haired chick from "Superbad", and the kid who isn't Michael Cera. This is not a thinking man's movie--and that is why it is so fantastic.  There is a great cameo from a film legend, a ton of blood and guts and lots of hillbilly laughs delivered by Harrelson.

After you put the kiddies to bed and the wife goes to watch "One Tree Hill": slip this one in, crack open a PBR and enjoy.  It's quick and fun.

Moby Homemaker: Domestic God gives "Zombieland" a TAIL UP (that's good!).

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