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The Upstart Pipsqueaks present a special Irish stylee Saint Patricks
Day edition of their fine, fine funny column.. It's all about the spud-eating,
kilt-sniffin', clover-wearing, parade-bombing, sheep-havering, haberdashering,
whiskey-swilling, leprechaun-chasing, dole-abusing, U2-loving, blarney
stone-kissing Paddy-Micks. So throw back a pint or a malatov and join
us as we listen to:
Sinead O'Connor "the Lion and the
Skid: The Lion and the Cobra… Starring Sylvester
Stallone, Chuck Norris, Lee Van Cleaf….
Rux: I just saw a movie with Lee Van Cleaf the
Skid: The Octagon?
Rux: No, it was with Chuck Norris… Game of Death,
Skid: Oh no, that was the Octagon.
Rux: It could have been.
Skid: I was watching it.
Rux: Really? On Saturday?
Rux: Yeah. When we were helping that friggin’
Hybrid guy move.
Skid: That lousy so and so.
- jackie -
Rux: Girl Rock!
Skid: Girl rock album… take one.
Rux: So, You’ve decided to listen to girl rock.
Skid: It’s a public service, in cooperation with
the FCC and other local authorities. This is Shine-head O’Connor, performing
Rux: What’s this song called? Jackie?
Skid: Jackie. Kind of dark. Kind of moody… something.
That’s a nice chug-chug there. Building. Building. Then one of her other
personalities takes over.
Rux: So, she likes the dark rock?
Skid: At one point, yes.
Rux: What’s this called? The Lion and the Cobra?
So, this is her first album?
Skid: Yeah. At least in these United States. She’s
full of pip and vinegar.
Rux: This was all pre-pope burning?
Skid: Uh huh. But it’s all leading up to it.
Rux: Well, certainly.
Skid: The high point of her career. Now, who is
responsible for the music on this?
Rux: I don’t know. I assume that she is. I know
that she does play guitar and write her own music.
Skid: That’s her chugging on the electric guitar
there. Well, we don’t know that, but she does play some guitar on this.
Rux: She does play guitar on the record?
Skid: uh huh.
Rux: How come you always get the liner notes?
Skid: Because I can put my hand on your forehead,
and you can’t reach me.
- mandinka -
Rux: That song was really anti-climatic.
Skid: Yeah, it really built up, and petered out.
Rux: Do do do do… this is very 80’s. Yeah, it
kept building and building and never quite got there, and then dropped.
So, this was the single, right? Mandinka.
Rux: There was a video for this, too. Right?
Skid: Sure. She did this little dancing bit. She
tried to do the Natalie Merchant dance.
Rux: Aaaaaaaaah. Natalie Merchant. (sings) But
I do know…. maaandinkaaaaa. (spoken) I’m just going to sing along for
this album. Talk amongst yourselves.
Skid: All right.
With the style of music that she is doing here… nice and light
and poppy, it’s not very offensive at all. It makes me wonder why Marc
Almond didn’t really hit it big here. You know, it’s the same sort of
music, and wearing the leather jacket… so….
Rux: Yeah, But Marc Almond had that weird vibe.
You know, with all but a couple songs.
There were a couple songs that made it to radio, but for the most
part he had a really weird vibe to me. And I’m super pop boy. And some
of it was too weird for me.
Skid: I don’t know why I like that stuff and you
Rux: I think it’s a little bit avant garde.
Skid: Oh, is that it?
Rux: I think so. It’s not real straight ahead.
This is pretty straight ahead. Marc Almond was never really one to be
straight ahead… if you know what I mean.
Skid: He’s a little tongue in cheek.
Rux: I dig this.
Skid: You like that back beat though.
Rux: That little extra… whatever-that-is? ticka-ticka-ticka.
Yeah, I do. I love stuff like that.
I don’t like what she does with her voice.
Rux: You don’t like the squealieeeeee…
Skid: No. When she says, “I don’t know no pain,
I think I’m… ashamed…”
Rux: All right.
Skid: And this part…
Rux: (sings) oh ho ho ho ho. This is the down
Skid: This is a Thompson Twins track.
Rux: Yeah. It kind of is, huh?
Skid: Yeah. She’s like… It’s like a baby finding
Rux: Maybe that’s the purpose.
Skid: Oooh. We do tend to read into things, don’t
Rux: Yes, we do. Maybe that’s why the no-hair
Skid: Aah. I think you may be onto something.
Rux: She’s a baby.
Skid: Ahh. Yeah. And the leather jacket with the
“fuck off” button. Oh wait…
Rux: Oh yes. Because all of us, as infants… did… some… with that…
Skid: Um. Allright. I think it’s one of those
cases where the celebrity overshadowed the career.
- jerusalem -
Rux: With the pope thing?
Skid: Even prior to that. One of those things
where they went, who’s this bald Irish girl?
Rux: And you think they just dug it because of
that? Because she had a shtick?
Skid: It’s one of those cases where more people
know her name than know her music.
Rux: Yes. That is very true. That’s very true.
Skid: And what accounts for that? Who is responsible
Rux: I don’t know. But I like what this song is
doing. Some highly chorusy guitar there. Kind of dark. Very Adam Ant-ish.
Skid: Yeah. I’d agree with that. Some bouncy strings
and she’s kind of whispering here…. Oh for… Where’d Todd Rundgren come
Rux: So, you don’t like the keyboards? See, you’re
going to hate this because of the chinky-chinkies.
Skid: Ooohhhh. Get off the effects pedal. She’s
all smarmy vocals. And then try to be sweet again, you see?
Rux: I don’t remember this track.
Skid: I appreciate the fact that she uses her
voice like an instrument… and she tries different things, and tries to
get different sounds out of it… It just doesn’t work for me.
Rux: What about she’s squeezing all these words
Skid: It’s not a whole lot.
Rux: She’s actually being the rhythm instrument
Skid: Yeah, percussive device. And that is going
to come from your 80’s CBGB bands. Your Blondies and Plasmatics.
Rux: Yeah, I reckon that’s true. Shoe time.
Going off key with herself on the vocals.
Rux: You’re who?
Skid: Going off key with herself on the double
vocals. This is about Jerusalem, here.
Rux: This is Jerusalem.
Skid: With her vocals, she’s doing… the way she
comes across, it is a little avant garde. It’s almost a jazz… like a…
What’s that one broad I hate. Basia.
Rux: No, this has no ties to Basia. No Time or
Skid: No. Kind of some dissonance like that.
Rux: Yeah, she uses the diminished vocal progressions
and stuff. She does throw in a lot of this space-filling vocal.
Skid: Yeah. She loves the sound of her own voice.
She can’t decide if she wants to be pleasant or not.
Rux: I think it’s all fairly pleasant.
Skid: Really? None of that grates on you, huh?
Rux: No. But I really dig the irish singers, where
they do this with their voice. Do the high thing… there is a very nice
resonance to it for me. That is very pleasant.
Skid: Really? I can’t cope with it.
Rux: See, I wanted that song to do more, too.
Skid: Left you wanting, did it?
Rux: Yeah, the music’s dynamic, but it doesn’t
go the full range of where it should go.
-just like u said it would b-
Skid: Now this might not have the MC Lyte on here.
That may have been the next one.
Skid: Yeah, McLyte. the McLights.
Rux: What year was that? ’87?
Skid: Somewhere around there. This is like a more
traditional song here. She went walking the dog?
She went walking in the garden, I think. How can you not like when she
does that with her voice?
Skid: Now that, I like.This is a nice one. This
is more traditional, but she puts some twists into it.
Rux: Dude… that’s like the best dip-thonging of
Rux: Yes. Dip-thong. diiiiip- thooooooong.
Skid: Dip thong thong thong thong thong.
Rux: Don’t even start with me. The dip-thong thong.
Okay, so on this album… there were no strings. They were all synthesized.
But I bet on the next album there were real strings.
Skid: Yeah. They could afford it by then. I don’t
think they sold enough of this one to make any money, actually. But… enough
for the record company to back it. That’s nice. But see, that’s a traditional
Irish thing, there.
Rux: Following the… yeah. The bouncy…
Skid: I may just record this song and keep it.
This is my Sinead O’Connor collection. and I’ll tell you another thing.
I like the synthesized strings. It’s very cheesy and weird.
Rux: I think when it’s like this and it’s used
well, its not cheesy. When it gets cheesy… well, you know when it gets
Skid: Oh, it’s cheesy.
No, it’s not cheesy. It almost sounds more like accordion here. You know,
it’s like string accordion.
Skid: It’s like WHAT?
Rux: String accordion.
Skid: Is that some weird dream you had?
Rux: Yes. As Chow would say, the 3-man-shelf-tape.
Skid: Yes. This song is really a nice arrangement.
It’s got a good feel.
Rux: Oh my! This reminds me of like, the Northeast
Skid: She wants me to be her mother… The Northeast
WHAT? Is that some dream you had?
Rux: ummm…. The Northwest sound.
Skid: What’s the Northwest sound?
Rux: You know. The Seattle thing.
Skid: Ohhhh. You mean the Puget sound.
Rux: Yes. But this was way before that. The way
the vocals work, it’s like traditional Irish Seattle thing.
So this is some sort of Pearl Jam?
Rux: I think this is where grunge stole everything
from. Is from Sinead O’Connor.
Skid: Man, you’ve been having some weird dreams.
You’ve been eating pizza before you go to bed, huh?
Rux: There would have been no Nirvana without
Skid: Huh. You heard it here first. Wow. What
a blanket statement that was, folks. Can he pull out of it?
Rux: I’m going to break this news to the world.
There would have been NO NIRVANA without Sinead O’Connor.
Skid: Front page on the New York Post tomorrow:
Nirvana is Dead.
Rux: This thing doing the percussion in this song
is not like a drum. It almost sounds like a guitar.
Skid: Uh huh.
Rux: Now we have some percussion going on.
Skid: Uh huh. And that’s ok. I think I’ve said
before… percussion is not necessary. Well, percussion is, but drums are
not. I don’t have anything against drums…
Rux: Drums are what set us apart from our primate
monkey brethren, really. Let’s look at 2 of the best records of the year
2000. John Cash and John Hiatt. There were no drums.
Skid: Johnny Cash. John Hiatt had no drums?
Rux: Nope. The closest things were a tambourine
and a shaker and someone hitting the back of a guitar case.
Skid: That was a great song. This is… Never Get
Old. Okay, who’s this?
-never get old-
Speaking the Gaelic here.
Rux: It’s not Sinead?
Rux: Maire Brennan?
Rux: Maire Brennan’s sister, Enya…
Skid: And she just said… The sounds of the thriller…
Rux: (laughing) She did not…
Skid: How’s that bit go?
Rux: Something about… and whosoever shall be found
without the soul for getting down, must stand and face the hounds of hell
and rot inside their corpses shell… or whatever. I don’t know… It’s been
a long time. We’re going to have to scare up that album and review it.
Skid: That would be good.
Rux: No one sees or hears the sounds of… the thriller!
Skid: In Manila…
Rux: Now, this is nice… for me.
Skid: I think what she actually said there… Enya…
she said: A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a
hearty Hi-ho Silver…
Rux: How do you know that was Enya Brennan?
Skid: I have the notes.
Rux: Pre- Nicky Ryan Enya Brennan.
Rux: Nicky Ryan. Produces all the Enya records.
Skid: I think it is important to inform our audience
that if you plan on buying a Clannad cd, be very, very careful, as you
may put it into your player and find that its not Clannad at all…
Skid: Ronnie Milsap.
Rux: Likewise, if you buy the Vaselines anthology
record… be very, very careful because it might be some Swedish heavy metal.
Skid: That’s worse, because it’s probably very
tough to get the Vaselines’ records.
Rux: Probably. No, I think it was on sub pop.
It was the collection.
Skid: So, they pressed the whole batch wrong.
Rux: The Complete Vaselines, or something. It
had like 20 tracks.
Skid: I had the same problem when I bought a copy
of the Refused. It was all Swedish metal.
Rux: I’m going to step out on a limb here and
say that this song is where Enya got all the stuff for Orinoco Flow. Listen
to the boop boop boop boop.
Skid: It is very similar. Probably the same people
worked with her, you’d imagine.
Rux: No dude. Nicky Ryan doesn’t produce Sinead
Skid: I don’t know who’s who.
Rux: I’m coming over there.
Skid: You can’t get me.
Rux: I want to be so angry with you, but this
music doesn’t allow me to be.
Skid: And that makes you very angry.
Rux: Yes, that even makes me more angry. The music
not allowing me to be angry.
Skid: This is a movie soundtrack. No, it just
sounds like it.
Rux: Um... Enya did record a soundtrack to a movie.
Skid: All right. What did she do?
Rux: It was called the Frog Prince.
Skid: Some kid’s story, there?
Rux: Yes. I think it was the story of the Frog
Skid: I don’t speak Gaelic, so I don’t know what
this song is about. Erin Go Bra-less!
Rux: Erin Go Bragh… less.
Skid: What you got there?
Rux: This is my new toy…
Skid: Looky looky.
Rux: Look, it’s Jebus.
Skid: Am I the first picture?
Rux: No, the dog was the first picture.
Skid: Super. I play second banana to the dog.
So you like it, huh?
Rux: I think it’s pretty cool. Here on the Upstart
Pipsqueaks, we have received a new… well, we haven’t so much received
it as bought it…
Skid: So what’s Enya’s name?
Rux: Enya Brennan?
Skid: Enya ass…
Rux: Shut up. She’s the sister of all the Brennan
boys and girl from Clannad.
Skid: I know.
Rux: She’s Maire’s sister.
Skid: Ok. That makes sense. I didn’t know their
last name. And I didn’t know that Maire Brennan was in them. I knew that
Enya was in there, but didn’t know her last name.
- troy -
Okay, so… That’s kind of a long pause. This is the part
where you fall asleep because there is no sound.
me when I’m in focus.
Skid: I can’t tell without my glasses… Looks good!
You’ve got to turn it this way.
Rux: You do it.
Skid: Gimme it.
Rux: She’s kind of losing me on this song, but
I guess it could be the fact that I’ve got these other toys to play with.
Skid: So, she was doing some dance beep beep stuff,
and she was doing some…
Rux: yeah, but she’s got… She does this on her
records, where all of a sudden she just does something ultra-mellow that
you can’t even hear… you are used to hearing the record at a certain volume…
Skid: Ummm. Hey Rux? Your digital camera has a
pre-recorded click click noise.
Rux: I know… Its for the shudder. I shudder to
Skid: (mumbles)Oh my gahh… Ok… I’ve got the speaker
cabinet there… oh no… watch out for this thing…
Rux: Oh yeah, I got to take that off of there…
watch out for that, the flash isn’t on.
Skid: How do I turn on the flash?
Rux: The little flash button down there below
the viewfinder thingy. I like this… Song.
Skid: (laughs) oh my…
Rux: Isn’t that weird? The backlight thing? (laughs)
I look like a DJ… standing behind the mixer here, it looks like a turntable.
Skid: Now, these are real strings…
Rux: Yeah, I think they probably are.
Skid: And quite dramatic strings.
Rux: You can turn off the auto focus and…..(fades
into background) I like this song.
Skid: I’d kill a dragon for you…
Rux: What’s this song called?
Rux: Over. Not yet over….
Skid: It’s pretty nice.
Rux: Now, this is the most dynamic thing on this
record, so far.
A lot of mythology references there. So, she thinks she is Helen of Troy,
Rux: Don’t you? I mean, don’t you think YOU are
Helen Of Troy?
Skid: No, but I got a Trojan in my pocket. Is
that a Trojan in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Rux: Both. Yes, I am. I don’t know what this song
is about… but it’s fucking beautiful. Uh oh. We’re supposed to curb the
cursing, for all the mothers and children who read our column.
Skid: It’s about Tom Bodett. You should have left
the light on.
Rux: Should have left the light on. They tricked
me. I thought the song was over.
Skid: This is some sort of prog-rock opera. It’s
just sad that most people probably dropped off the first couple songs
there, and didn’t even get to the good stuff.
Rux: Yeah, you know that the only thing they ever
played on the radio was Mandinka, so I wonder if anybody ever got past
Skid: The 80’s stuff. This is probably the stuff
that the critics like…
Rux: The people who have to listen to the whole
Skid: Right. The first few songs were like a decoy.
A Trojan horse, if you will… I could do without the tambourine, but the
rest of this is real nice.
Rux: I like it okay. It’s all right with me.
Skid: is it still building for you? or has it
Rux: No, I think its still going. Going up, up,
up, up up and away in my beautiful balloon. Those do sound like real strings.
Skid: Those are definitely strings.
Rux: They’re not cheesy enough to be synthesized.
Skid: Oh, they’re cheesy.
-i want your (hands on me)-
Rux: They played this on the radio, too. What’s
this one called?
Skid: I want your… (hands on me). This is the
Rux: Every good album has a parenthesized song.
On that New Ben Franklins record….
Skid: There’s a parenthal warning…
Rux: Where they had New Bitter Pop Song (Somewhere
Skid: Why don’t people just name the song that?
Rux: I don’t know.
Skid: I don’t like the parenthesis. Especially
when its something like I want your (hands on me).
Rux: Or when its: Sex (I’m a…)
Skid: What’s that?
Rux: It was a Berlin song. (sings) I’m a man…
I’m a goddess… I’m a something….
Skid: I would say… some of the early crappy Murphy
stuff that was all on synthesizer… the drum beats.
Rux: I don’t think there was any crappy Murphy
Skid: Well, of all of it, the crappiest. Where
they had synthesized African rhythms and polyrhythms.
Rux: Yeah… but that stuff was good, man. Are you
talking about Love Hysteria? Or before that? Like Dali’s Car, and the
album with I stand, hands akimbo?
Skid: Yeah… Shake it down…
Skid and Rux: (in unison) Shake it down, shake
it down now. shake it down, shake it down, shake it down now.
Rux: This song is making me want to dance.
Skid: It is repetitive.
Rux: You know why this camera is going to revolutionize
the Upstart Pipsqueaks?
Skid: Uh no…
Rux: Shut up. That’s why. It does video, baby!
Skid: And then we’ll overdub sound?
Rux: No, it does sound too.
Skid: Nice, mind if I smoke?
Rux: On video? I’m ok with this… you don’t like
this though, do you?
Rux: As for me and my house, we are okay with
Skid: This makes me want to say the obligatory:
This review hasn’t been funny at all.
Skid and Rux: (in unison) They’re going to cancel
Rux: Now see… I can understand you not liking
this because of a) the polyrhythms, and b) that guitar.
Skid: Uh huh.
Rux: The INXS and funk guitar.
Skid: But mostly it is the repetitiveness. The
lyrics are put it on, put it on, put it on, put it on me. And over and
over. And I feel that if you have nothing to say, then don’t say it. And
if he hasn’t put ‘em on her by now, he ain’t a’gonna.
Rux: Not just if it’s not something nice, but
if it’s nothing to say, say nothing.
Skid: At least, don’t say the same thing over
and over. If you’ve got nothing to say at least make it rhyme.
Rux: But that’s the literary device. How can you
not rhyme “put it on, put it on, put it on me” with “put it on, put it
on, put it on me”.
Skid: Your mind is on vacation and your mouth
is working overtime.
-drink before the war-
Rux: You are cracking me up, mister. Do that thing
you do that’s so cute.
Rux: Ahhh. Go to bed.
Skid: I think a few songs there were really good,
and then there is some really bad. It’s just inconsistent.
Rux: I think she is trying to cover a lot of ground
on a debut record.
Keep ‘em guessing. Where’s she gonna go? What’s she gonna do? Who is she?
What’s with the head? Oh boy.
Rux: Is this not my beautiful house? Is this not
my beautiful wife… (sneezes) Is this not my… snot in my hand?
Rux: Am I not your girl? This is another one of
those unchallenging tracks, isn’t it? It doesn’t make you have to listen.
Skid: It might.
Rux: You think she’s going to build it.
Skid: Maybe. So far, its’ just giving us a break
from that last one.
Rux: Hey Skid… What are you building?
Skid: A building. Some of it would have been good
sleepy-time music, until that last…
Rux: Yeah, but you interject some songs like that
last one that would wake you up out of a dead sleep.
Skid: Right. Exactly. Oh My God. You are not going
to believe this. Electric and acoustic guitars on Mandinka?
Rux: (pause) Michael Brooks?
Skid: Nope. you said it was starting to sound
Rux: I don’t know, dude… That was like 15 or 20
Skid: You said it was starting to sound like Adam
Rux: Is it Marco Pirroni?
Skid: My friend, it is… Marco, CALL US!
Rux: Oh, Mein Gott in Himmel.
Skid: Phone call…apparently the signal has been lost,
so Rux has lef the studio with the cordless phone. Which leaves me here
to talk about it. Hello dog…
Who was that? Was it Marco?
Rux: It was the editor of Hybrid Magazine.
Skid: Oh my goodness. How lucky we are. Hello Mr. Big.
How do you feel about the Shinehead O’Connor? Are we being cancelled?
Is this our pink slip?
Rux: Uh… I don’t think we are cancelled yet.
Skid: So, we’ve been able to fool them for one
Rux: So it seems. It seems that the editor of
Hybrid Magazine has just phoned me to tell us that the lawyers would like
to have a meeting with us.
Skid: Oh… I’m busy that day.
Rux: I’m out on field trip that day.
-just call me joe-
Skid: Well, that last track was kind of slow and
Rux: It didn’t go anywhere?
Skid: Not really.
Rux: Well, I’m sorry that I missed it to talk
to people from the magazine… And have rousing conversations.
Skid: That’s all right. We had rousing conversations
while you were gone.
Rux: The Upstart Pipsqueaks endorse Doctor Marten’s
Skid: My Goodnesh.
That’s what we really need. Doctor Martens! Send us free boots!
Rux: I said BOOTS.
Rux: This is nice. Kind of dark.
Skid: Kind of ringy guitars there.
Rux: There are only a couple of songs on this
record that have full instrumentation. You know, a lot of this is just…
Skid: They have their shots…
Rux: They WHAT?
Skid: They have their shots…
Rux: Yeah. ok. This one, I’m sure is going to
build into something. Or not.
Skid: Some of this is reminding me of Berlin…
Rux: Marco Pirroni??? Played guitar on this record?
Skid: Yeah. It says he appears courtesy of himself.
Rux: I was just kidding.
Skid: You weren’t kidding. You said it really
sounded like them.
Rux: Well, it did. But I didn’t think it would
Rux: The dog is being kind of skittish. I think
he’s a little freaked out by the Sinead Mc O’Connor.
Skid: I think it’s just going to plod along like
this for a while. Time to make a phone call…
Rux: We seem to have um… picked some very unexciting
Skid: You think?
Rux: I mean, the records are good, but we’re not
Skid: Maybe we just need to pick more exciting
Rux: Yeah… Where’s Melvin? When is Melvin going
to come and be a guest with us?
Skid: I don’t know. It’s hard enough getting us
Rux: That’s true.
Skid: No, this song is not going to go anywhere.
Rux: Nuh uh. Everytime it wants to break, it just
Skid: It still reminds me of Berlin. I am a jelly
Rux: Also, Ich Bin Ein Berliner.
Don’t call me mister, she says. (sings) Don’t call me daughter. Oh, it’s
just… Just call me Joe. Hey Joe. Where are you going with that gun in
your hand. Its just call me Joe.
Rux: I like that. I like the horror stories. This
is your thriller track, right here. Let me see those liner notes…
Skid: here’s where it all falls apart. This is
what you’ve been waiting for.
Rux: This is Kevin Moony appearing. I can’t believe
that’s Enya, dude. That’s amazing.
Skid: Kevin Mooney? That’s not right. You’ll put your eye out.
Rux: I had no idea that she was friends with people…
Skid: Well, she had a kid, so she had to be close
Rux: She had a kid?
Rux: With a man?
Skid: I should hope so. That or some Pan out in
the fairy circle.
Rux: I did not hear that she had a kid.
Skid: I think if the child was fathered by Pan,
though… He wouldn’t let her name it Jake.
Rux: Jake O’Connor?
Skid: Well, whatever the guys last name is… Pan.
Rux: Jake Pan?
Rux: When did that all come down?
Skid: Before this album. Which is fortunate for
the kid, because celebrities that have babies… and Madonna.
Rux: Wow. There you go.
Skid: The Lion and the Cobra… Dog and Butterfly.
We had very little to say about it. Thank you. So long, suckers.
Rux: Thank you, Seattle… goodnight.
Skid: The Irish grunge stylings of Skinhead O’Connor…
Rux: I’m telling you, this is where it all started…
Times Rux said "dude", after not having used
the word for decades: 5
Obscure references that no one will understand: 15
Times we think we are smarter than everyone else: 0
to 1 times some
Previously on the Upstart Pipsqueaks:
write to us at : Upstarts@hybridmagazine.com