Posts tagged ‘Billy Joel’

September 3, 2011

Song Challenge 19: Adult-Contemporary Guilty Pleasures

edited by ANDREW HICKS

Chicago's "Look Away" video: Hot chick. Fiery explosion. Still somehow boring.

Okay, I’ll go first. One of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is Chicago‘s “Look Away.” It’s a Diane Warren song, even (that lady has written some of the worst pop ballads of all-time and become a billionaire in the process), and I love its maudlin gaudiness. The video, on the other hand, looks like an awful version of the depressing first half of a Folgers commercial with pyrotechnics tossed in.

What does “adult contemporary” mean exactly? Music that appeals to adults or music made by adults? Or both?

Any music where you can replace the word “baby” with “Jesus” and it still sounds like it fits.

The narrowed-down definition would be: music by people our age for people our age. However, you can look at “past adult contemporary” music as well, which was music for peers in that time period. Think of softer, more R+B-driven non-bubblegum pop. Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Amy Grant‘s secular stuff, Elton John, Billy Joel, etc.”

“Look away, Jesus, look away…

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August 14, 2011

9 Crazy Christian School Memories


1. In first grade, I’m not even 6 years old when the teacher instructs us to speak in tongues. Like it’s a class exercise or something — we just finished our simple addition, now it’s time to talk in tongues. There was a whole room of small children and a middle-aged lady producing spiritual babble on cue. Can’t vouch for the other kids, but I faked it to fit in. Just said random Italian-sounding words. I only remember this happening once. It should seem obvious to both believers or non-believers that you don’t simply tell a kid to have the Holy Spirit come upon him and get spiritually overtaken on demand.

2. Our school cafeteria had the world’s best pretzels with cheese and ice cream sandwiches made from soft, Subway-sized chocolate-chip cookies. You could get a pretzel with cheese AND ice cream sandwich for 75 cents. My health never stood a chance.

3. When I was a sophomore or so, the school booked veteran session guitarist turned Christian solo musician Mike Deasy to perform in chapel for the junior high and high school. They took up a love offering among students to help cover Deasy’s travel and performance expenses, but there wasn’t much love offered, I suppose because everyone was holding onto their cash to buy ice cream sandwiches with. We were all reprimanded by a teacher a few days later, who said she was taking up a collection to mail Deasy a check or something. Keep in mind, this guy had played with the Beach Boys, Byrds, Joe Cocker, Jackson 5, Billy Joel, Little Richard, Elvis, Simon and Garfunkel and Frank Sinatra.

4. We read Shakespeare from a Christian textbook that changed Lady Macbeth’s line, “Out, out, damned spot!” to, “Out, out, foul spot!”

5. At one point, two of the school administrators who ranked higher than our principal interrogated the entire high school one person at a time. We were brought into a downstairs room I’d never seen before to be asked if we were users of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco or smokeless tobacco, or if we knew of anyone who did. It was like a vice version of McCarthyism.

6. I remember my science teacher publicly embarrassing a female student and sending her to the office because the cameltoe in her acid-wash jeans was “showing all your nooks and crannies.” I’m still strangely aroused by acid-wash cameltoe to this day.

7. The entire high school is ushered into the underground tunnel connecting the school to the church for an emergency meeting. By candlelight, in somber tones, a teacher tells us, “Today, [the science teacher] was arrested by the state of Missouri for refusing to teach evolution in her classroom.” A few gasps are heard and tears are shed before it’s revealed to just be a simulation of end-times chaos or something.

8. I am told to go to Hollywood and write more wholesome movies like Sister Act.

9. Before the drama teacher arrived to class, we’d have one student stand guard at the door while the rest of us snuck a peek at pay-per-play UHF music video channel The Box on the TV/VCR AV cart combo. Nine times out of ten, Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” would be playing on The Box. Forbidden fruit, indeed!

May 15, 2011

Announcing Ertel Gray’s 500th Facebook Friend Contest Winner

G.I. Joe's Destro, off to refinance his home.


Last week, we announced our first We’re Not Funny contest — Be Ertel Gray’s 500th Facebook Friend. Which inspired 53 friend requests and 253 people asking themselves the question, “Who the freak is Ertel Gray?”

While we still can’t answer that specific query, we can tell you Ertel took this contest very seriously, putting together a grand-prize package said at press time to include a crayon drawing (“really cheesy, think third-grade art project”) of Ertel and his new friend, a bobblehead of Destro from G.I. Joe, and a copy of the SyFy original movie Revenge of the Rats.

“It’s a horrible movie, and I have a HUGE fear of rats/mice,” remarks Ertel, “so giving away Revenge of the Rats will be a double blessing.”

This prize package will be sent via postal service to the lucky winner, whose name is…

Before I announce the winner, I’d like to mention that Ertel received requests from strangers, friends of friends and people from Ertel’s hometown. Ertel decided not to consider anyone who lived close to home, because, a) Who wants to mail a package around the block? and b) “Every time I’d run into them, there’d be that awkward pause, followed by, ‘Hey, remember that time…?’ ‘YES, I REMEMBER, GOD DAMMIT!'”

The winning entrant in this contest is…

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January 29, 2011

Rock Hate: Buddah’s List

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We thank Buddah for inspiring Saturday’s post, “Music Hate: A WNF Free-For-All,” after he shared with us this list of his picks for the crappiest of the crappy rock songs.  –Andrew Hicks]

12 Most-Hated Rock Songs


I don’t even know if this qualifies as rock music. No wonder people get drunk and throw up at weddings.

Hippie stoners meet preschool melody. Reminds me of the Sponge Bob theme song. For the record, I have a Mafia hit on the creators of Sponge Fucking Bob.

The first white bitch since Deborah Harry to attempt rap music. Billy should be prison raped by Elton John for this garbage.

Did Janis die too young? I don’t think so. And I believe she was on my 1970 Celebrity Death List.

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