Monday, November 23, 2009

Las Dilly Sisters

We try not to post back-to-back videos on The Typing Monkey. But the office is about to close for a week to mark the start of the season of insane indulgence, and we just had to share the following with you:

[courtesy joeescalante]

Elders, explain to the children how eagerly you rushed home from school to tune in for this sort of programming. Kids, understand that Yo Gabba Gabba! owes a big debt to The Banana Splits.

For those of you with the temerity to have read this far, thank you. We reward you with a link to Las Dilly Sisters' MySpace page, which includes the Sisters covering The Standells' "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White." And if you have ears and a heart, you will punch the play button repeatedly. That final harmony!

[A tip of the hat to Dale & K.P. -- ed.]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Going to Hell Again

Hymns in the Key of 666
(Minty Fresh)
Recasting heavy metal songs as crisp modern folk with chalky female vocals isn't ironic or post-anything. The two genres share much thematic content. After all, if you're going to write a song about a train and you're not a Mississippi Delta blues singer, then chances are you're a folkie, or Saxon.

The Swedish trio chose smartly for at least half of their 10-song LP. Two compositions from Iron Maiden -- "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills," both tales of brutal combat and the futility of war -- work so well in folk form that the line between original and cover version blurs. And the previously mentioned Saxon tune about the mail-carrying train ("Princess of the Night") reveals its nostalgic core once the amplification and denim are removed.

Musically, Key of 666 holds up for a good stretch. The rococo soloing of metal translates nicely into simplified, plucked acoustic guitars and icy piano. Peeling away the pummeling rhythms also exposes the blues and rock structures at the core of early metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.

One of the trio's biggest surprises comes from the face-value reading of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Take It." Though it never reaches the level of coal-miner union fight song, it does make you realize what a crafty songsmith Dee Snider is. And they put light raga decorations on AC/DC's "Thunderstruck," giving a fine impression of '60s hippy noodlings in Eastern divinity.

The inclusion of Europe's "Rock the Night" is puzzling to American ears. Also, Hellsongs should have known not to touch the overexposed/over-covered "Paranoid." Really, with such a bounty of Black Sabbath material to plunder, why that one?*

Reference material: It's difficult to learn of Hellsong's premise/gimmick and not think of the French duo Nouvelle Vague. That's okay, because Hellsongs likely has the same shelf-life. Who knows what folk-metal enthusiasts think of Hellsongs, but heshers who love classic metal might check out Hymns in the Key of 666, now that it's finally available in the U.S.

*At the time of this posting, Hellsongs' MySpace includes their version of "Warpigs" and it's vastly superior to their bland take on "Paranoid."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Is a Thing

After some of the laziest research ever conducted at The Typing Monkey offices, it turns out The Hollywood Cookie Diet exists. 

Snake oil aspects aside, the very idea of trying to marry cookies (indulgent, fat- and sugar-filled delights that are, like all pleasurable things, meant to be enjoyed in moderation) to losing weight (because the first thing we think of when we think "weight loss" is a hearty stack of Lorna Doones) makes perfect sense as long as you staple the word "Hollywood" to it.

However, for the past couple years, The Hollywood Cookie Diet people have been using Santa Claus for evil. How this slipped past us until just now is a mystery we wish we hadn't stumbled upon.


And in regard to that half-assed research mentioned above, The Typing Monkey isn't alone in just discovering this mildly upsetting commercial. 

Media critics have noted for the past year that because television advertising is cheaper than it's been in years, we're seeing more as-seen-on-TV type products during the more expensive daytime and evening broadcast hours. Eleven seconds must be dirt cheap -- have anything you want to advertise?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Comics legend and professional crank Alan Moore has revealed that he will be writing the libretto for an opera written by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the duo behind the cartoon band Gorillaz.

The news comes second hand from NME via Mustard magazine, which interviewed Moore about his new magazine Dodgem Logic. (Read the first four pages of the interview on Mustard's Website.) Moore seems affable in the text, though he gives characteristically long answers. And he promises that Gorillaz will appear in a forthcoming issue of Dodgem.

As for the opera, Hewlett and Albarn both have referred to it as a Gorillaz/not-Gorillaz project, possibly titled Carousel. [Not to be confused with the 1945 Broadway hit by Rodgers & Hammerstein. -- ed.]

You may commence making Gorillaz/Watchmen/V for Vendetta jokes now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The "Monolith" Monster

CFCF (aka Mike Silver) plays the kind of mechanized electronic mood-pop you thought had gone away when your parents gave their Vangelis records to a charity shop. 

Where French duo Air and their many imitators gaze dew-eyed toward a floral, early 1970s space, CFCF looks straight down the barrel of the Harold Faltermeyer '80s. (Or if you really want to geek out, the Fabio Frizzi '80s.)

After winning a Crystal Castles remix contest, the Montreal native began loosing various remixes onto the Web, and posting his original compositions as well. An EP, Panesian Nights, came out in January '09 followed in October by a full-length, Continent.

While you wait for The Typing Monkey to review Continent, listen to/download "Monolith" and while doing so, pretend you're on a train to somewhere exciting.