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

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.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Glen Campbell (1946-2017)

Glen Campbell (1946-2017)

Spooner D:
My first exposure to Glen Campbell was on TV; really this was the only media I had access to as a child of the 1980s. Hee Haw wasn’t really a Sunday dinner time ritual as it was a way to pass the time before the table was set. This show was beloved in the South, but both of my parents were from the North. The Lawerence Welk Show, which followed Hee Haw, was much more of a draw. Nevertheless, something about Hee Haw sucked me. I remember Glen Campbell playing “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” I am not sure who he played with, Buck Owens or Roy Clark, but I was mesmerized by it. Maybe it was the song, but this performance has always stuck with me. This was the first song I learned how to plan on guitar in high school on my friend’s Dad’s 12 string. I later learned of Glen’s connection with the Beach Boys thru yet another TV show or special. My dad adored the Beach Boys, and I knew more about them than I did about the Catholicism that was forced down my throat every Wednesday and Sunday. I’m not a Glen Campbell fan or follower but truly connect him with that time of my childhood. He was a great guitarist, which I now know and appreciate. Many of my musical influences are a result of a personal connection with a performance, rather than a studious approach to dissecting an album, and Glen was definitely one of those. RIP Glen Campbell and thank you for the memories.

I didn’t really grow up listening to Glen Campbell as much as I did all the members that made up The Highwaymen, and other more “outlaw” style country. At that time, I mostly just knew “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Glen Campbell’s more or less someone I got into within the last 3 years, primarily after finding out how important he was to music through way of the most important studio band, The Wrecking Crew. With that said, I think that makes him possibly the second most important member of the Beach Boys.

When I grew up in the 1970s, Glen Campbell was everywhere. His songs were played across the dial on AM radio stations. I fondly remember listening to his versions of “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “Galveston” while riding in the backseat of my parents’ car. Glen Campbell’s countrypolitan music was smooth and comfortable. Along with my mother, I would sing the chorus, while staring out across the South Dakota plains. In 1975, his pop song, “Rhinestone Cowboy,” was a massive hit. While I preferred his songs from the 1960s, I would also sing the sweeping chorus of “Rhinestone” every time it was on the radio. In many ways, Glen Campbell was woven into my childhood, as a familiar musical thread. It is only many years later that I learned about The Wrecking Crew, the Los Angeles studio band, which played the music on so many of the hit songs and records throughout the 1960s. Glen Campbell was one of the members of this elite group. During the last decade, I bought his new records as they were released, and was pleased to find many songs that I particularly enjoyed. His contribution to the history of rock and country is undeniable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Katy Perry and Taylor Swift: An Exercise in Self-Flagellation

Katy Perry, Witness (Capitol Records, 2017)
Taylor Swift, 1989 (Big Machine Records, 2014)

by Kloghole

God, I fucking hate sociologists. Well, not all of them, but most of them. I was sitting in the Montreal airport waiting for my plane, surrounded by the din of sociologists describing their “white people problems” to each other. “Montreal is so hard to get to. At least in Philly, my friends run a day care where I can leave my kids during the day. I’ll pay them of course, but…” Now, I am fucking edgy and sitting on the fucking plane. I try to create a quiz for my Intro class, but the whole first part of the chapter is on theories of psychology. I thought I assigned a fucking Intro to Sociology textbook. Don’t we have any fucking theories of our own regarding culture? Fuck. So, I throw down my glasses, and I can now faintly hear what sounds to me like the bubblegum catterwalling of some underfed pop diva. My mind flashes back to a terrifying memory and the awful reality that I agreed to review Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. So, as I sit on the plane, I craft this little gem right next to the poor fuck with so little self-respect he cannot bother to indulge a musical genre that isn’t chartworthy.

While visiting SoDak, we plundered the local record stores. While sifting through the recent arrivals, I spied Katy Perry’s new release. I had the idea to review some music that I thought I would have difficulty tolerating. It was a self-imposed test of trying to be open-minded about certain musical traditions. I failed fucking miserably. Katy Perry fit this category pretty nicely, so I picked up the cd and dreaded the exercise. To further punish myself, I decided to up the stakes and add Taylor Swift to the review, in light of their “feud.” I chortled loudly at the prospect, probably more out of nervous fear than light-hearted mirth.

This was shortly after Perry dropped her album at midnight, and Swift decided to release her entire collection on streaming music sites. I have to say, I do not know either of them very well, so I cannot really tell which is the bigger asshole in this affair, but I can say that Swift’s timing of her release was certainly a real fuckin’ cunty move. I really don’t care how much you detest someone, but Swift proved herself a grade-A shitbag.

I decided to start with the Perry album, probably because I had a little more sympathy for Perry given Swift’s calculated assholeishness. I really did not want to listen to either of them, but I needed to get it over with. I had to drive back to my hometown, so I figured it would provide a perfect opportunity to listen to the two albums when it would offend the least amount of people and I could (and would) have to listen to them uninterrupted. I also was less likely to go to the liquor cabinet and try to numb my senses.

Well, Perry lived up to all my expectations. Absolute vapid nothingness for nearly an hour. The digital instrumentation added to its sterile sound and message. The highlight of the album was “Miss You More” that seemed to have some gravity of emotion, but otherwise the album was glittery pop nonsense. I think I enjoyed the twist of the lyrics “I miss you more than I loved you.” That lyric might actually fit well in a classic country song, but it would have to have a line in there about who got the pickup and the dog. Even her song that is purported to be direct “dis” of Swift was pretty lifeless (I guess the term is throwing shade now, but that is probably already out of fashion).

It came time to put in the Taylor Swift, and I was dreading it, and soon glad that I played Katy Perry first. Taylor Swift’s sickly-sweet dance beats coupled with inane lyrical meandering left me wanting to strangle myself with anything I could find in the car. I reasoned, in very quick order, that if I had started with Swift, I would have ended to whole sadomasochistic, self-flagellation right then and there.

At one point, I pulled up to an intersection, and had to stop next to other cars. To get the full sonic experience, I was playing the stereo quite loud. Because Perry and Swift rely on digitized drum machines, the car was vibrating in the annoying way those cars do when they drive down your street. Keeping my eyes forward, I just wanted to climb out of the car, stand on the roof, and scream to people, “I am not listening to Swift because I like her. I have to do this for a music review!” What an awful fucking feeling – the idea that someone, somewhere may think I like Taylor Swift enough to turn it up. Fuck me.

The Swift album was an extended disc, and I could not believe how many sonic turds these girls could pack in a single album. I got to song 10 on each disc, and was horrified to find out the torture was far from over. What the fuck Perry? Can’t you stop at 10 like a reasonable fucking human being. Really, 15 songs? Oh shit, I just remembered Swift is an extended disc. Goddammit, son of a bitch, shit, fuck.

My extended torture was thankfully mitigated by some interesting additional tracks at the end of the Swift album. It was like getting a sucker at the doctor’s office after a botched proctology exam. She explained her writing process by providing three demo recordings of her playing guitar or piano and singing along. These brief acoustic arrangements allowed the natural quality of her voice to be paired with simple instrumentation. At its core, she may have some strong, and with better lyrics, emotionally engaging songs. Instead, to sell albums to dimwitted, emotionally immature, pop-culture, shit gobblers, she lathers every fucking song with digital high-fructose corn syrup laced with saccharin and MSG.

If you just listen to Perry and Swift’s voices, you can tell that they possess a dynamic range and potential for emotional and powerful singing. They are undoubtedly talented. I thought Swift’s acoustic tidbits were actually listenable, aside from the lyrics. Even though these two are “talented,” their popularity is not that they exceed the talent of the scores of singers who have been relegated to obscurity. Their popularity is their ability to firmly squeeze themselves into the stereotype of ideal beauty in our patriarchal, sexist, capitalist “paradise.” They are commodities, plain and simple. They perpetuate the objectivity of women by being the exaggeration of that very objectification. We may complain, and I do, about artists that objectify women in their lyrics and behavior, but Perry and Swift live that objectification, perpetuate it, and use it to sell their fucking shitty albums.

Their musical talent is not unique nor exceptional. The crap on those two albums can easily be duplicated by other artists. They do not really stand out in the world of aural diarrhea that is that genre of music. Similarly, I was amazed and horrified to recently hear that Shania Twain is one of the top-selling artists of all time. To think that she has written better songs than … okay, you can list just about any classic country singer. Jesus-fuck, are you fucking kidding me? Treat yourself like a fucking sex-doll, and watch the fucking money roll in.

So to sum, god-fuckin awful. GOD-FUCKIN AWFUL. Like most phenomena we face at this historical moment in time, one side of my brain completely understands the popularity of these two artists given the commodification of everything, including people. There is also the other side of my brain that screams, “What in the fuck are people thinking listening to this shit?” How the fuck did this even make it to market?

My rating for this whole experience is six slimy turd nuggets shooting, pop-gun style, out of my ass in an explosive diarrhea. Goddamn. I am not going to do that again. Fuck me. Oh shit, as I edit this, I am wondering, was it that bad? I have a morbid curiosity to play them again, sort of like when you get a rancid bite of food, and you take another bite because you are not sure. On second thought, I am going with my first instincts. I have a lot of other music I can listen to.

Sweet Dreams Motherfuckers!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

By Dave

I’m gonna review one of my favorite records, because I think new music is shit. As Mike
Patton said, “It’s a new sound, but an old sound….” Living in the land of Danava and Red Fang is like being stuck watching network television all day. You only have one station, and they only play reruns of The A-Team and Dukes of Hazzard....

So what’s this record that doesn’t make me feel like I’m wasting my time, and what’s left of my hearing? It’s Double Nickels on the Dime by the Minutemen—a band that wasn’t really influential, didn’t last very long, but I think they were a life line and a small moment of positive recognition for the people that get it. 

The songs are too short. Many are less than a minute long. The lyrics often meander through abstract diatribes that oddly fit the angular bass lines that drive my favorite songs on this double LP. The best songs on Double Nickels are driven by inventive instrumentation and raw personality. It’s kind of a stripped down eccentric record, for eccentric people hiding in plain sight. If you like this sort of thing, you probably already know about this album. I think Double Nickels on the Dime hits a really great balance between interesting instrumental exploration and compact song structure. There is some traditional verse, chorus song structure on the album that allows D. Boon to tell a couple stories, and expound on his political views, but these moments of recognizable song-smithing come and go quickly in the stream of consciousness that makes this record such a unique experience. It feels like you are on a road trip with the band engaged in a complex discussion of ethics and politics that doesn’t let up to give you a moment to catch your breath. 

The Minutemen fit into a small, but very important group of rock bands that were able to make a mark by being completely honest. I feel that when I listen to their records, that I am getting an intimate window into their lives. They didn’t embrace the performance cliches of rock theatrics, or the conventions of socal contemporaries like Black Flag or the Descendents. They were just three working-class dudes from Pedro, and their rejection of the status quo makes their music all the more moving in its unadorned, quirky humanity.