Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Is Everclear’s Version Of The Steve Miller Band Classic “The Joker” The Worst Cover Song Ever?

Everclear was one of those bands from the mid-nineties that were all over the radio for a couple of years, then promptly forgotten. They were signed by legendary A&R man Gary Gersh during the great “alternative music” explosion, and scored enough Top 40 hits (“Santa Monica,” “Everything To Everyone,” “I Will Buy You A New Life”) to earn themselves an exemption from being inducted in the dreaded one-hit wonder club. However, once the 2000s rolled around, mainstream audiences largely turned their back on the genre, choosing to spend their disposable income on hip hop and boy bands instead of the grungy bands that rose to prominence in the nineties.

For some reason, Everclear released a new record this week called Return To Santa Monica, which features re-recorded versions of their biggest hits and a handful of covers. This news would’ve entirely evaded me, had I not been poking around on Spotify earlier today and saw it featured in their “What’s New” section. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the album and saw that one of their covers was “The Joker,” the 1973 classic rock staple by the Steve Miller Band (perhaps they were inspired by the chart success of Seal’s 1996 cover of “Fly Like An Eagle”?). I unapologetically love “The Joker,” so I decided to give it a listen. Not the best move I’ve ever made. Rather than putting an interesting musical spin on the pot smoking anthem, it instead features lead singer Art Alexakis speaking in free verse about atrocities he suffered in high school at the hands of jocks and cheerleaders and, in a bizarre turn, also makes reference to his cat tearing out his nipple ring. (!!!)

Now, I’m not saying that this is the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, but I’m also not saying it’s not NOT the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, either. Give it a listen, make up your mind, and let us know if you can think of any covers that are worse than this in the comments below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Is Courtney Love The Devil? Urge Overkill’s Eddie “King” Roeser Thinks So

You’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little bit of Nirvana overkill of late, because we’ve been dealing with those same issues in the wake of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary. However, Urge Overkill‘s Eddie “King” Roeser just shared an incredible story on the band’s official website about the handful of dates back in 1991 when his band opened for Nirvana just as they were beginning to break out in popularity, so we figured it was worth sharing with you. In his blog post, Roeser talks of how, over the course of one week, Kurt, Dave and Krist went from playing a “flat” show in Cleveland to “freaking out” because of the sudden onslaught of “meatheads” that started attending their shows. Roeser describes these gigs as being “easily among the greatest rock shows I have or will ever see,” but the bands ultimately split ways in Kansas. As Roeser tells it…

“Both bands drove through Stull, Kansas, as they wanted to partake of the legendary haunted crossroads celebrated by our song of the same name (we had just released the Stull EP). It was a warm autumn day and Cobain sat down against the huge oak tree by the church and joked ‘If there is a Satan, I want him to come and get me.’ No sh*t, that’s what he said.

Next time I saw him he had married Courtney Love.”

It’s tough to write a kicker that will top Roeser’s slam, so we’ll just leave well enough alone.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…. [UrgeOverkill.com via Todd Wicks]

by (@unclegrambo)

Shocking Audio Reveals That Michael Jackson Was So Drugged Out During His Final Days That He Could Barely Speak

People still haven’t quite gotten over the tragic passing of Michael Jackson a little over two years ago, but now that Dr. Conrad Murray‘s manslaughter trial is underway in California, expect things to get worse before they get better. Prosecuting attorneys are currently in the midst of outlining their case to the jury against Dr. Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician at the time of his death and had prescribed him the Propofol that he overdosed on. Earlier tonight, we pointed you in the direction of the gruesome MJ autopsy photos that were shown in court today, but now some new evidence that’s just as disturbing, if not as visually graphic, has emerged.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “emotional high point” of the trial’s first day was the audio recording that we have for you above. The recording, which was captured on May 10, 2009—just six weeks before his death—highlights a Michael Jackson that the public has never been privy to. Gone is the boyish, enthusiastic voice that we all knew and loved; in this audio, it has been replaced by a drug-addled, slurred speech that is wholly unrecognizable as Jackson’s voice. Yet beneath this tragically sad exterior, the passionate heart and competitive spirit of Michael Jackson was still fully alive. “When people leave my [This Is It tour],” he explains, “I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life…He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.” Sadly, he never got the chance to prove that to audiences one last time, but even still, his legacy as the King of Pop will always remain in tact.

Conrad Murray trial off to an emotional start [LAT]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Which Of The 2012 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees Is Most Deserving Of Induction?

The nominees for the 2012 Class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were announced earlier today. The group is, as it has been for the last few years, an eclectic bunch made up of artists from a wide variety of musical genres: New nominees this year include The Cure, Eric B. & Rakim, Guns N’ Roses, Heart, Freddie King, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rufus and Chaka Khan, the Small Faces, the Spinners, and War, while holdovers that failed to get inducted last year are Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Donovan, and Laura Nyro.

The RRHOF’s induction process is mysterious and secretive, so you don’t see the same kind of public campaigning by nominees for induction that you see in, say, the sports world. However, that doesn’t mean that the committee who makes the decisions of who gets honored and who gets snubbed isn’t reading this blog post. So, with that in mind, vote for the act that you feel is most deserving of the honor in our poll below, and maybe, just maybe, Jann Wenner and his band of choosy cronies will pay heed!

Rock Hall of Fame Nominates Guns ‘N Roses, Joan Jett, Beastie Boys [FoxNews]

by (@unclegrambo)

The Baby From Nirvana’s Nevermind Cover Isn’t A Baby Anymore

Remember the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana‘s Nevermind? You know, the one who was swimming in hot pursuit of the almighty dollar? Well, turns out that little baby isn’t a baby anymore. The Nirvana baby’s real name is Spencer Elden, and he’s a 20-year-old student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (and, if you haven’t put two and two together, he’s the guy in the picture above). He did an interview with CNN on the occasion of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary, where he revealed a startling fact: Neither he nor his parents have ever received a single dime in royalties! C’mon Courtney Love, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, toss the kid a few sheckels and make it right. After all, he’s got student loans to pay off!

The Nirvana Nevermind Baby Is Back in the Pool 20 Years Later [Egotastic]

[Photo: Egotastic]

by (@unclegrambo)

Tha Carter XXIX: Happy Birthday To Lil Wayne On His 29th Birthday

Twenty nine years ago today in New Orleans, a young boy named Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. was born. He appeared to be a normal baby, happy and healthy, with one major exception: He was born with a diamond grill in his mouth! Just kidding; it would still be a few years before Dwayne would fully transform himself into Lil Wayne, but not that many. He wrote his first rap song at age 8, was signed to Cash Money when he was just 9, and had his first platinum album (as part of the Hot Boys) at only 17. After Guerrilla Warfare debuted at #1 on the charts, Lil Wayne went solo. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Today, Weezy is one of the biggest music superstars in all the world. His latest LP, Tha Carter IV, sold more copies during its first week in stores than any other album released this year. He’s also a figure of immense controversy, one who has been arrested multiple times while in possession of both drugs and guns, the latter of which led him to an eight month, all-expenses paid stint on Rikers Island. However, he remains the most popular solo artist, both on the streets and in the suburbs, in the rap game these days.

We’re excited to wish Lil Wayne a happy 29th birthday. To celebrate, we rounded up 29 of our favorite pictures of Lil Wayne being awesome, and below the cut, we resurfaced a hilarious clip from our 2008 series, “Ask Weezy.” Enjoy!

View Photo Gallery

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by (@unclegrambo)

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga And Tyler The Creator Lead List Of O Music Awards 2 Nominees

The inaugural O Music Awards were held in Las Vegas back in April of this year, and we were there with behind-the-scenes coverage every step of the way (remember our punch drunk interview with Rebecca Black?). The show was such a resounding success that the powers-that-be have decided to hold another one this year. On Halloween, no less! We’ll have more details on location and timing of the event to follow in the coming days and weeks, but for now, check out the complete list of O Music Awards 2 nominees and begin voting TODAY.

EMERGING ARTISTS ODD FUTURE’S TYLER THE CREATOR AND THE WEEKND BATTLE POP ROYALTY LADY GAGA, KATY PERRY, JUSTIN BIEBER AND OTHERS TO LEAD NOMINATIONS FOR O MUSIC AWARDS 2

MULTIPLATFORM SHOW TO PREMIERE ON OCTOBER 31

VOTING AND OPEN NOMINATIONS BEGINS TODAY

FAN SELECTED CATEGORIES INCLUDE THE OOPS! I DID IT ONLINE AWARD, BEST ARTIST WITH A CAMERAPHONE, BEST WEB-BORN ARTIST, BEST VINTAGE VIRAL VIDEO, AND BEST LYRICS VIDEO

New York, NY, September 27, 2011 – Following the success of the inaugural O Music Awards from April, MTV Music Group today announced that O Music Awards 2, the multiplatform event celebrating and honoring the artists, innovators and fans of digital music culture will return for this year’s second awards festivities live on October 31, 2011. The multiplatform experience will utilize MTV Music Groups multiple screens. Fans will be able to watch the entire show live on OMusicAwards.com, as well as select performances across MTV Music Group websites (MTV.com, VH1.com, CMT.com, LogoTV.com and MTVHive.com). In addition, there will be integration in television, mobile and tablets. This cycle’s nominees span multiple musical genres and decades and include a mix of established and up-and-coming artists.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Is Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All” Actually About Her Disdain For The Media?



When we first heard Kelly Clarkson‘s latest single, “Mr. Know It All,” we figured that, thematically, it was a fairly straightforward kiss off to an ex that did her dirty. This was backed up by Clarkson’s introduction to the song at the iHeartRadio festival over the weekend in which she dedicated the song thusly: “If you’ve ever dated anyone that’s a know it all, this one’s for you.” However, after watching the video for the song that debuted in the wee hours this morning, it’s apparent that there’s another target for her ire: The media.

The video opens with Clarkson sitting on top of a suitcase, all alone in a large room. Closer inspection of the walls reveals that it isn’t a hideous wallpaper pattern that Kelly is sitting in front of, but rather, a collection of nasty headlines and stories about Clarkson’s label drama and relationship woes, all culled from newspapers and tabloid magazines. And they say print media is dead!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Gavin DeGraw Explains Why He Picked “Grenade” By Bruno Mars To Cover

Last week, we gave you a sneak peek at Gavin Degraw‘s Top 20 Live set, which features his cover of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The clip has, as they say, “gone viral,” so we thought this was a perfect time to share with you the reasons why Gavin chose to cover this particular song over all the others. “Stylistically, it was close enough to what I do to have a shot at doing it effectively,” Gavin told us just moments after wrapping his set (which we’ll have for you soon, promise!). “It’s a real stand-out, as far as quality goes. It’s an exciting song to sing. [Bruno Mars] a very talented writer and producer.”

We couldn’t agree more! If you missed the cover the first time around, we’ve got it for you below…

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by (@unclegrambo)

Alec Baldwin Revisits His Great, Great Tony Bennett Impression On SNL Season Premiere

It’s hard to believe, but at the spritely age of 85 years young, Tony Bennett is as ubiquitous as ever. His new album, Duets II, is on pace to debut at #1 on the Billboard albums chart, his controversial remarks about 9/11 had his name in the headlines (for better or worse) all last week, and on Saturday night, Alec Baldwin capped a bravura Saturday Night Live hosting performance with his great, great impression of the man born Anthony Dominick Benedetto.

This is the fourth time that Baldwin has broken out his hilarious Tony Bennett character while hosting SNL; the first came in 2002, the second in 2005, and in his 2009 appearance on the show, he was even joined by Mr. Bennett himself. This weekend, Baldwin as Bennett was asked to give his opinion on what’s going on at the movies, which was really just an excuse for him to tell his hilariously ribald tales of what life was like back in the swingin’ sixties. There were references to Charleston Chews, “HeBros,” seeing eye myna birds, and a three-way between him, Bobby Darin and a blind lady. Truly some great, great, great stuff.

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