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Songs I’ve Had on Rotation by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, My Secret Public Journal  //  1 Comment

Hey folks, I don’t really have much to say today. Aside from the reviews and commentary, I’ve been working on some music and other projects too. I’m also looking into why the site sometimes loads slowly or doesn’t connect as well as it should. Peace

Here’s some songs that I’ve been listening too…

Fugazi-Waiting Room

Cowboy Troy-New Sheriff

The Ramones-Cabbies on Crack

Devo-The Rope Song

Frank Zappa-Muffin Man

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“Snow/Winter” Online Mixtape by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music  //  1 Comment

Well folks, out on my end it’s snowing right now. So, I thought might as well put on some of my favorite songs that correlate with the weather. So, here are a few cuts off of my “Winter/Snow” mixtape. Enjoy.

Frank Zappa-Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

Red Hot Chili Peppers-Snow (Hey Oh)

Black Sabbath-Snowblind

Kid Rock-Warm Winter

The Mighty Boosh-Tundra Rap


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Keri Hilson-”The Way You Love Me” feature by John M. Ellison IV

I’ve heard a buzz about this video for Keri Hilson’s video “The Way You Love Me.” I saw it and thought it was…overrated. To me, the video is fairly tame. But on the other hand, I’m used to stuff like Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics. Take notice that I said “Wendy O. Williams”, not the talk show host “Wendy Williams.” Also, the inane sentiment of “Keri Hilson is a bad role model for the young girls out there”, “Trashy” or whatever idiotic “shallow as urine on asphalt” variant of that statement that lingers through the internet.

What grabs my ire about Hilson is the poser vibe from her. She’s no worse than dudes that become rappers trying to do something positive but who actually were better drug dealers! She’s proven her lack of musical knowledge via a little sideways comment about a friend of mine’s hairstyle. If she knew music, she would’ve been aware that aside from his main r&b group, he has a rock band that he’s been working on. Besides, true musicians/songwriters listen to everything. Remember, that there’s nothing pure about musical inbreeding, folks.

Well, enough of my attempts at lambasting this “pardoned turkey,” let’s roast this video!

The video starts out with a meeting take place that’s reminiscent of the meeting scene from the film “the Dark Knight.” But wait…Is that Jojo’s in this video? Where’d she come from? The last time I heard anything about her was when Eminem named checked her in his song “Ass Like That.” Faith Evans is in here too? I don’t have any issues her…she responded to my sister via twitter and was very polite to her. So I don’t have anything to say bad about her. The lead male role in the scenes dialogue is corny. “Cut the crap?” That’s real “gosh darn” gangsta. Then the song starts with Keri Hilson donning a leather wardrobe that makes her look like a bootleg Ohio Players album cover model and her backup dancers go into this stiff choreography that makes Riverdance with Michael Flatly look funkier.

Another amusing part of the video is the choruses containing the lyric of ‘f*ck me, F*ck me’ with matching “rapid fire coochie thrusting!” Thanks for the offer but you’re kind of bony for my taste. Beside with all that vigor I thought she was going to pop her leg out of her socket. “I got the kind of p*ssy that will keep you off the streets.” Okay, trouble is her enunciation sounds like she’s saying “pissy.” When I first heard this, I thought “…Is she into water sports or something?” The club scenes kind of remind me of the video for Wyclef Jean’s single “It Doesn’t Matter” featuring The Rock from back in 2000. I think it’s the blue hue that does it.

To be fair, there are some good points about this big steaming pile of “trying to hard.” I like the synth line on this track; it reminds me of the raves I used to go to every year in my teens. In closing, unless you’re the type that revels in false outrage and underweight vaginal gyrating, just skip this awkward moment and watch some old school Wendy O. Williams’s videos or Rockbitch videos…if you have legal access to the latter that is.

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Cowboy Troy-”New Sheriff” review by John M. Ellison IV

Out of all of the guys I’d expect to get to know or have ANY common ground with, Troy Coleman better known as Cowboy Troy is definitely on that list. After getting to know him better, it comes out that we share common interests such as pro wrestling and bands like Motorhead, Judas Priest, Social Distortion and Suicidal Tendencies. Also, it turns out that we’re fans of rappers like Public Enemy and Ice-T and we share similar sense of humor.

As a quick refresh to the feature I did on him earlier this year, Cowboy Troy is a country artist from the Dallas, TX area who fuses together rap, rock and country into his own style that he calls “hick-hop.” I could go more in-depth but I’ll save that for another article.

On Tuesday December 7th, 2010 I was scrolling through my twitter feed and I noticed a song Troy tweeted out called “New Sheriff.” So, I headed over to iTunes and downloaded the song.

“New Sheriff” Starts off with a main riff that sounds like a mix between Bon Jovi’s talk box sound meets late 80’s Ramones.

I also noticed with this song that there’s a change but not entire departure from his familiar “hick-hop” sound. In this case, I describe what he’s doing as a harder southern rock sound. This also features some tasteful slide guitar playing and a strong rhythm section that switches from country to rock throughout the song seamlessly. Also, you have lyrics that‘s a testament to his persistent work ethic with a sense of humor about it. “Hard time in this biz/ trying to feed a wife and kid/ and doing the best not to be an answer on a game show quiz.”

Overall, the song “New Sheriff” is more about staying diligent even when the chips are stacked against you. I could actually see it being used as a theme song for a WWE pay-per-view.

Also, when he isn’t extensively touring, check him out when he’s hosting “Texas Country” on the Nashville-based cable channel, The Country Network. Check local listings for channel availability.

Check out the single at

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Oi to the World by the Vandals feature by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, Videos  //  No Comments

Well to wrap up the holiday themed weeks, I thought I’d finish with the Huntington Beach punks, the Vandals and their single “Oi to the World.” Originally featured on the Vandal’s 1996 holiday album of the same name, “Oi to the World” is about a young punk by the name of a young turban wearing punk name Haji who started an oi! band and gets harassed by Trevor and his crew of skinheads.

Haji and Trevor duke it out and after beating the crap out of each other they noticed there respected “friends” abandoned them. Even though near death himself, Haji saves Trevor’s life by making a tourniquet from his turban and finished the rest of the night by buying each other drinks (specifically bourbon.) Also No Doubt covered this song.

Anyway, check in next week for my feature on Cowboy Troy’s new single “New Sheriff” and other random topics.

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“Backdoor Santa” by Clarence Carter feature by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music  //  1 Comment

“Backdoor Santa…” Honestly, when I first heard this song I thought “I wonder if Elton John has done a cover of this?” What? I mean, Elton John jammed with the Isley Bros. a few times and dude always had some soul to him and…never mind. Anyway, since I featured “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC yesterday, I thought I would do a feature on the song where the sample came from.

So, here’s the original double entendre-laden “Backdoor Santa” by Clarence Carter.

“Backdoor Santa” is a playful ode to philandering and running out the back door that’s indtrumentally supplemented by some fuzzed out guitar licks, strong horn section and arranged in a “12-bar” blues song form. When listening to the song, I started to think “Hopefully, there wasn’t any ice where he was running out the back door.” I mean, It’s bad enough slipping on ice while trying to get away from some extramarital chicanery and even worse by getting caught and getting beat up by her man! I also realized that Clarence Carter is visually impaired too. I wonder, what if he walked into the wrong house? What if he gave the wrong amaout of change to bribe the kids with? What if he stuck it in the wrong–y’know, I’m thinking about this too much. Enjoy the song.

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Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” feature by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, Videos  //  1 Comment

Holy crap! You mean there’s another influential band from Queens whose uniformed look also contained leather jackets and just straight out rebel attitude? Yes, I referred to Run DMC as a band. Seriously, Run DMC could rock out with the best of them. Their album “Raising Hell” and the videos I posted for the Jam Master Jay tribute proved that.

Yes kids, before he was Reverend Run, Diggy and Jojo’s dad and had the reality show on MTV, Run-DMC was paving the way for rap to breakthrough to the mainstream and was the group that your parents and probably grandparents by now were bumping on ghetto blaster and rocking fresh Adidas in a B-boy stance. They were probably cooler than you when they were your age, pretty scary thought, huh? Seriously…look through their year book, you would be surprised. Actually, you’ve probably heard this song in a ton of commercials and on the radio during this time of year…well; it beats “White Christmas.” But c’mon, how can you go wrong with a track that samples the horn riff from the Christmas themed soul classic “Backdoor Santa” by Clarence Carter and laced over a big beat from probably a DMX drum machine.

I probably lost you at the “rocking fresh Adidas in a B-Boy stance” part, huh? Anyway, let’s get to the breakdown of the video.

You have Santa is rapidly tapping a Simon Says deciding whose naughty and whose nice until this elf comes in and puts everyone on the naughty list until he comes across Run, DMC and Jam Master Jay. The first verse is pretty much Run explaining how he found Santa’s wallet and gave it back to him and got some money back for it. In the second verse, DMC is pretty much describing Christmas at his place. The video wraps with Run and DMC rapping in unison with Jam Master Jay on the turntables and DMC wrapping it up with the final verse.
In conclusion, this is another classic that you should have on your playlist especially during this time of year.

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The Ramones-Merry Christmas, I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, Videos  //  1 Comment

The Ramones…where do I start with these guys? In a nutshell, they were four dudes from Forest Hills, Queens, New York who all had a musical admiration for bands like the Stooges, the Beatles and Mad Magazine that played instruments and started a band that played stripped down no frills anti-corporate rock that was akin to stuff like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. But also when put together they became as volatile as a bleach and ammonia cocktail in a badly ventilated room. Seriously, if they had “reality tv” back in the 80’s, they would’ve made a show worth watching. Like most other influential bands, the Ramones were ignored for most of their tenure and three of the core members have sadly passed on due to health or drug related issues. But, you can hear their influence or inspiration with most of the pop-punk bands of the 90’s and 2000s and now in a lot of commercials. I’d expatiate on this, but it’s a moot point that would just equate into rambling.
So, let’s focus on the holiday gem from 1989’s “Brain Drain” album, “Merry Christmas I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight.”

I remember seeing the video on one of those holiday themed video countdowns on MTV, I’m not sure if it was Adam Sandler hosting, but for some reason I keep thinking it was him. Seriously, post a comment if you remember this special! The video starts with a couple arguing with a stereotypical New York accent and consists of cuts of the band and the comical antics of a couple quarreling. Interesting enough, the video clocked in at 3:29, whereas the actual song is 2:05.

For seasoned fans of the band, you’ll notice that this is a little more medium paced than their usual songs. But, it still has all their hallmarks such as repetitive sing-a-long lyrics, low almost crooning with a thick Queens’s accent vocal from Joey and three chords with some Chuck Berry influenced slides from Johnny. Okay, kind of off topic but isn’t it sort of ironic that Joey Ramone who was Jewish was singing a Christmas song? Anyway, the difference between this and their usual sound is since this is a holiday song; you’ll notice it’s been sweetened with some synthesizer pad, bells.

In closing, if you’re a fan of the Ramones or goofy holiday songs and cheesy videos then you’ll enjoy this song.


The slower, shuffle solo by Joey Ramone

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Lil Wayne’s “I Am Not a Human Being” by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, Videos  //  1 Comment

Sorry folks, when I think of blacks in rock post-Jimi Hendrix…I think of 24-7 Spyz, Bad Brains, Living Colour and Funkadelic! Yes, just because it’s promoted that Lil Wayne likes Nirvana, it doesn’t make him diverse; it gives him better than I expected taste though. Honestly, if I could find out more about his personal musical interests, I’ll probably be more susceptible to his music in general. Its artists like him that where his back story is a lot more interesting than his musical efforts. To me at least…Anyway, enough digressing and let’s get to Lil Wayne’s “I Am Not a Human Being.”

To re-hash an older story, I find a video on Youtube that looks like it was shot with a black light giving the video an “episode of the X-Files directed by Hype Williams” vibe…which is kind of cool when you think about it. Theme wise, it’s a continuation of Lil Wayne’s Martian gimmick a la Ziggy Stardust, Kool Keith and reminiscent of Marilyn Manson’s video for “The Dope Show.”

The video consists of brief cutaway images of money and Martians that will have a self-proclaimed “conspiracy theorist” who happens to lack a sense of humor probably lock themselves in their closet in sheer terror…and then continue to smoke bad weed. Another part I liked was Wayne chanting throughout parts of the song proclaiming “I am not basic!” The irony about that line is that I can imagine a lot of “basic” people chanting that part as a mantra for their intellectual posturing.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for trippy lyrics and guitar hits over a hard and heavy live drum beat. Interesting enough, “I Am Not a Human Being” is made up of leftovers off of “Rebirth”, maybe if this was on “Rebirth” I would’ve bought it or legally download at least.

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Viva la Vida by Coldplay feature by John M. Ellison IV

By GPR84  //  Music, Videos  //  No Comments

Coldplay…where do I start with these guys and what can be said that hasn’t been said before? After some light research, I found out that they’ve actually been around for a while. Members Chris Martin on vocals and piano, Jon Buckland on guitar, Will Champion on drums, and Guy Berryman on bass came together in 1996 while attending the University College of London. The Safety EP was issued shortly after their first gig at a Manchester festival for unsigned bands. The band’s breakthrough was in 2000 with their hit single “Yellow” off of the Parachutes LP. To be fair, I liked “Yellow” but maybe the constant exposure of “Yellow” and “Clocks” burnt me out and also the fact I was more into heavier guitar sounds. I got tired of their dull hybrid sound of U2 and Radiohead.

In fact, I put bands like this under the label of “heroin rock” or “Ambiencore.” Either way, it gave me the nods.

Actually, whenever I even heard the mention of Coldplay I would say “I hate Coldplay! If you misunderstood I’ll said it in Spanish! ‘No quiero Coldplay!’ “And whenever I would listen to the radio and hear the DJ say “and here’s Coldplay’s–” instant dial turn on my end. But, on one fateful day, I heard this boastful, orchestral intro that lead into this four to the floor drum beat into a song that just took me on a majestic ride. It turns out that song was called “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. In fact I even found myself fist pumping at the thumping drum breakdown/ vocalizing outro at the end. This was before I even heard of Jersey Shore mind you.
Interesting enough, the band ended up getting into a lawsuit with a few other artists because of the similarities to their compositions. Songs such as “Song I Never Wrote” by Creaky Boards, “If I Could Fly” by Joe Satriani and “Foreigner Suite” by Yusef Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) oddly enough sound similar, but most of the cases have been settled out of court; in fact Creaky Boards later retracted his plagiarism statement after finding out that their song (Songs I Never Wrote) was recorded after Coldplay recorded Viva la Vida. They also realized that they’re both Legend of Zelda fans and were both inspired by the music within the game.

In conclusion, Coldplay is another group that I had to grow into and I’m glad that I have; besides I’m a sucker for Legend of Zelda.

Check it out here
Coldplay-Viva la Vida

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