About Us


There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.

There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.

If you are in a band, have released a physical (rather than an MP3) CD or record, and would like us to review your efforts, contact us at tickleyourtaint@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Charles Bradley (1948-2017)


By SoDak

Charles Bradley was the type of person you wanted to hug. Chances are if you met him, he would hug you, as he deeply appreciated the opportunity to share his music with fans. He lived much of his life in poverty, working odd jobs just trying to survive. He often performed as a James Brown impersonator. Late in life, he found moderate success with three strong retro-soul records. His first full-length record, No Time for Dreaming, was released in 2011. The record opens with the exceptional song, “The World (Is Going Up In Flames),” which hits the listener in the heart, given the beautiful soul sound and the lyrics that speak to the general disregard for humanity that is all too common today. Bradley’s voice is rough, but captures the emotional depth of the lyrics in each song. This debut also includes a cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” with a wonderful vocal performance. He sang his heart out on each record. His most captivating songs touched upon his own struggles and experiences. I am particularly fond of “Strictly Reserved for You” from Victim of Love (2013) and “Good to Be Back Home,” “Nobody but You,” and his cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes,” which serves as the title of his final record in 2016. At times, his voice has the power of Otis Redding, just with more age. Bradley was easily moved to tears, as he was compassionate and desired a more humane world. His music continues to serve as an open hand to connect to each other.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ice Cube, “Good Cop, Bad Cop” song/video




Null:

I really liked Ice Cube’s albums AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990), Death Certificate (1991), and The Predator (1992). The Predator is a full on American classic. You might not want to hear it, but you should. He was on a role in the early 1990s. The records are some of the funkiest I have ever heard, and Cube can spit out a rhyme with eloquence, anger, and humor. The lyrics are often disturbing, violent, sexist, and at times racist in regard to Koreans. They present a particular perspective. Before “gangster rap” became a thing, the guys in N.W.A. called it “reality rap.” The social commentary on Cube’s first solo albums is important and should be heard—warts and all.

I didn’t keep up with his later releases. I have never seen any of his movies; people say they are funny. Nevertheless, when I happened upon this new song/video by accident this summer, I was very impressed.

Apparently, Ice Cube still has it. Everything good about his music is present in “Good Cop, Bad Cop” This is a song for the United States 2017, or any year, really. It makes me angry, as we all should be. It also makes me want to do a funky dance, as we all should be doing. Somewhere in between the lines, it also makes me smile. Well, of course mace “has a terrible fucking taste.”

As for the visuals in the opening of the video, many people feel as if they live in a police state: poverty, war, racism, and murder—all of which is systemic and true blue.

By the end of the video, I no longer want to dance. Another victim’s blood is mopped up off the floor, followed by a gavel proclaiming no one is accountable.

Say what you want about Ice Cube, but the fact that he recorded this song and put this video out makes him more relevant than most artists these days, with a few exceptions. There are so many artists with so little to declare in times like these—at least at his level of popularity, wealth, and fame.


SoDak:

My knowledge of hip-hop music is limited to Public Enemy, The Coup, Dead Prez, and a few other bands. In 1988, my friends and I would listen to N.W.A.’s first record, Straight Outta Compton, while playing basketball on the school playground. It marked a dramatic improvement over the Kool Mo Dee and LL Cool J tapes that were the staple for years. The opening notes and lines of the record demanded attention. For obvious reasons, “Fuck tha Police” was our favorite song. The sentiment resonated with punk rock and metal kids. But more than this, it was the direct condemnation of police violence and the killing of black men that was so important. The consequences of structuralism racism were put front and center in a powerful way. This song continues to be relevant in so many ways. At Riot Fest several years ago, Ice Cube performed “Fuck tha Police,” while a video of police beatings played in the background. It was emotional and powerful, forcing the audience to bear witness to one of the consequences of systemic racism.

I am quite intrigued by Ice Cube’s “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” The song is fuckin’ funky and soulful. Ice Cube does a great job with the delivery of the lines, as he takes aim at corrupt, abusive, and violent cops. “Black Lives Matter is not chit chatter, because all they [i.e., racist cops] want to do is scatter brain matter. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. A nine is terrible in your face. The mace has a terrible fucking taste. The pen is a terrible fucking place.” Ice Cube has penned an important song for this historical moment, where black men continue to be beat and shot by police and where cops are exonerated. We need more frank songs such as this, and more people in the streets organizing for revolution.




Monday, October 16, 2017

Grant Hart (1961-2017)

Null:

I love Hüsker Dü, which means I love Grant Hart. I was introduced to the band in the formative years of my life, back when punk rock, of all kinds, saved me. I have never heard a band that sounds quite like Hüsker Dü: Bob Mould’s wall of melodic guitar noise, Greg Norton’s bass laying some kind of impossible foundation so the whole thing didn’t blow away, Grant Hart’s weird-ass drum sound. “Is that a delay or an echo on the drums? Who does that?” Grant-fucking-Hart does that. Many drummers have a district style, but Grant had a district sound too. He also sang with a deep longing and desperation while he played the drums.




Depressing and emotionally heavy, psychedelic punk rock is the only way I can describe Hüsker Dü’s sound during the SST days. Mould and Hart, the principle songwriters and singers, were both influenced by 1960s pop as much as by The Germs. Mould’s songs were often cathartic exorcisms, but Grant’s songs were 60’s girl group gems wrapped up in a psychedelic wash like watching Phil Spector drowning in a pool of LSD. Grant’s songs were about love, books about UFOs, not giving up, how the news was shit, and how we were all fucked if we don’t get it together. Mould became the big star out of this group, but this band was a three piece—make no mistake. Grant’s incredible talent and lack of superstardom somehow made him more human, real, and unknown.

I have one Nova Mob record and one Grant Hart solo record. I like them. I should get more. But the sound and the plea to “Keep Hanging On” is etched on my heart and it makes me want to cry, as if he knew this was the mantra to get us through this life.



SoDak:

When I think of the mid-to-late 1980s, I have fond memories of college radio in Rapid City, South Dakota. KTEQ was a breath of fresh air, given that it regularly played punk rock and new wave. It was consistently a source of new music. Such was the case in 1985, when one of the DJs played five Hüsker Dü songs, from three different records, back to back. I got goose bumps as “Pink Turns to Blue” started. I loved the mix of grittiness and melody. On this first listen, I could not understand all the lyrics, but I picked up enough to know that it was about a woman who overdosed. Next was “I Apologize,” which made me want to jump around the room. Finally, the DJ indicated that he was going to play three songs from the new Hüsker Dü record, Flip Your Wig—the title song on which both Bob Mould and Grant Hart sing, “Makes No Sense at All,” and “Green Eyes.” Between songs the DJ shared how much he loved Hüsker Dü, explaining what each song meant to him. These interludes allowed him to cue up the next song to be played, since these songs were not consecutive on the record. I sat in my room eager to experience each song, as a wave of different emotions washed over me.

From that moment on, I was hooked on Hüsker Dü, especially the different emotive qualities of the two singers. Grant Hart’s songs often seemed warmer with his rounded vocals. At the time, I was surprised to learn that Grant Hart also played drums, as I could not imagine how someone could sing like he did while banging away behind the kit. Flip Your Wig remains my favorite Hüsker Dü record, but their other records also contain songs that are among my favorites. In particular, I love Hart’s “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely.” When Candy Apple Grey was released, I would listen to this song over and over, taken by the tension between yearning, separation, and heartbreak. Years later, Political Asylum recorded a brilliant acoustic version of this song. I am still struck by how catchy “Could You Be the One?,” “Too Much Spice,”  and “She Floated Away” are on the second side of Warehouse: Songs and Stories. Hart’s “She Floated Away” seemed filled with both sorrow and whimsy.



Following the demise of Hüsker Dü, I continued to buy Grant Hart’s records, whether it was Nova Mob or his solo records. While the conflict and creativity of Hüsker Dü could not be matched, I very much liked Nova Mob’s “Old Empire,” “The Last Days of Pompeii Benediction,” “Over My Head,” and “Where You Gonna Land.” My regret in relation to Grant Hart is that I learned he played in Eugene, Oregon, where I was living, two days after the show.





Friday, September 15, 2017

Black Lips, Satan’s Graffiti…or Is It God’s Art (2017)

By SoDak

In August, I spent a week hiking in Glacier National Park—fortunately before all the fires started. For road trips, I usually bring along a stack of CDs that I have not heard, in order to have time to really listen to a record. On the third day, we took the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the westside of the park to the Many Glacier area. For the drive, I selected the newest record by the Black Lips, Satan’s Graffiti…or Is It God’s Art. My wife and I drove along Lake McDonald, then followed the river, before starting the climb to Logan’s Pass. Periodically, we stopped to walk through fields of wildflowers, to sit by waterfalls, and to watch mountain goats climb up cliffs. We were excited to see two grizzly bears, swimming across a river. Once we arrived at the trailhead, we hiked in fog and rain to Ptarmigan Tunnel and then to Iceberg Lake. We counted the piles of fresh bear scat that we passed on the trail. Wildflowers abounded in the high meadows. This astonishing day was just one of many in these mountains. Wait, it seems that I forgot to mention anything about the Black Lips record. Well, this is because Satan’s Graffiti…or Is It God’s Art is forgettable. To be fair, someone might contend that the experience and beauty of the national park served as a distraction and did not allow me to appreciate the record. For me, music has the potential to diminish or enhance an experience, just as the place can influence how I feel about music. Throughout the week, we listened to music that complemented our experiences and that is woven into memories of these days. This is not the case with the new record by the Black Lips. It seems uninspired. It sounds like the band just showed up tired and fucked around while making the record. This is unfortunate, as I have very much enjoyed several of their previous records. Fortunately, for us, we have many other great records that satisfied us on this trip.