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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Barry McGuire, “Eve of Destruction”

From time to time, the taint ticklers will share reflections regarding specific songs.

P. F. Sloan wrote the song “Eve of Destruction” in 1964. (The Bryds were offered the song and turned it down.) The following year, Barry McGuire recorded a demo version, on which Sloan played the guitar. This rough cut was given to a DJ who happened to play it on the radio. The song became a hit. While the song has been recorded by numerous artists over the years, it is McGuire’s version that is seen as the classic.

Class Warrior:
SoDak shared this song with me (with us, I should say—I am merely one of who knows how many people in his music-sharing circle) over a decade ago. It must have been 2003 or 2004—a fitting time to hear this song, in other words. Many of us were present at the largest protest the world has ever seen—a globe-spanning movement against the impending war in Iraq. I don’t need to tell anyone that this war ended up as a complete disaster for the people of Iraq, and a total corporate gift for “defense” companies in the United States.

Somehow, the stakes now seem even higher than they did in 2003. If you had told me back then that it was possible to have a worse regime than that of George W., I may have believed you, but would have been horribly disappointed. The fucking human Cheeto we have now is hellbent on dragging humanity into some capitalist-fascist dystopia. Well, at least he can’t take away our love for each other, or make beer stop tasting good. I still think we will win, and that people like Trump will spend their final days rotting in a jail cell.

We need more troubadours like McGuire to help us out in these desperate times. Will they respond? Will we?

If not, it’s a good thing I love the post-apocalyptic genre. There’s a fair chance I’ll get as much of it as I can stomach.

Why do we always go back to the ‘60s/’70s in music when we want a song that has deeper meaning? Why aren’t we picking up on new musicians that write protest songs? It seems like a major component of the Trump election centered around people yearning for a past that didn’t really exist. So why listen to dated folk music? I thought it was embarrassing that Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This is the worse of the cult of the ‘70s. Fucking stop, it ended a long time ago. There are new artists with new ideas. If you care about music support them, let this other shit go. Fuck retro.

Gusty Bellows;
It’s alright. This is the summer of love, dude. It spoke to my soul; it touched my Aquarius—over and over again.

The first time I remember hearing “Eve of Destruction” I was around three years old. It was the early 1970s and I was riding in my dad’s 1968 Valiant through the Black Hills. For me the meaning of the song has changed over time. As a child, I enjoyed listening to this song simply for the melody. By the time I grew into a rebellious teenager, protesting the 1991 Gulf War, I came to see the song is an important political take on the turmoil of the 1960s. Today, all that ugly history is starting to look rather tame. Now the song only makes me shake my head in disgust, as it could have been written yesterday. When you “think of all the hate there is in Red China, then take a look around” to Mar-a-Largo, Florida. 

Jimmy “Explosive Diarrhea” B:
There are quite a lot of songs that make me feel nostalgic for a time I barely knew (if I ever really knew it at all), such as “Ohio,” “For What It’s Worth,” etc. In 1965, when this Barry McGuire song was released, my parents were newlyweds, and my father was about to begin his quest of trying to avoid the Vietnam War—he somehow always stayed one step ahead of the draft board, first by having a family, later by joining the national guard, and finally by aging out of the draft pool. One of my earlier memories is of him shushing me while we watched television together. The screen was filled with soldiers; it was an announcement of troops returning home after the Vietnam War had been officially declared over. I remember how happy he was.

Songs like “Eve of Destruction” make me remember a happy time in my life, which is odd considering how depressing it was. It was a time before Reaganomics destroyed families. It was a time before the personal computer, cell phones, and blockbuster movies. It was a time when people would not or could not avoid each other (through the use of technology) and there was a stronger sense of community. And, most important to my eight-year-old self, it was a time of climbing trees, exploring the woods and mines, racing little red wagons down dangerous mountain sides, building forts, and all the other stuff that kids do (or did before computers and video games).

I first heard this song on an old AM radio in my dad’s garage one summer when I was a teenager. At least, that is my first memory of it, though it is likely I had heard it before, but this is the first time it spoke to me, or maybe the first time I really “heard” it. I immediately thought it was great, as I was basking in the light of punk rock, Bob Dylan, and 60’s “protest rock.” His spitting vocal tone set the stage for the unapologetic condemnation that would be a hallmark of punk rock. It is more than an anti-Vietnam War anthem, as it highlights war profiteers and the subtle insular hypocrisies of our day to day lives: “You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace, Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace….” It presents a real critique that filters through the war machine to our acquiescence of these horrible atrocities while sitting in apathy at our dinner tables. I think it really speaks to de-humanization of those in faraway lands and those living next door. The music is great. The words are great, and unfortunately, still timely. It’s a classic.

A few months ago, the night of November 8 to be exact, I was overcome with a sort of grief upon finding out that the angry tweeting misogynistic inexperienced oompa loompa had been elected to office. That feeling only lasted that night. November 9 brought about anger that I had not felt in a very long time—an anger that not as much made me want to destroy, but rather to create. I had in mind a protest video/art piece, depending on the view of the matter. The video would have involved close ups of me lighting some sort of U.S. Federal Reserve Note, possibly a $100 depending on how broke I was at the time, then using said note to light a cigar or cigarette, followed by using the note to then set an american flag on fire. I would then drop the flag on the ground, and have the camera stay focused on the flag as I walked away; hopefully a bald eagle would somehow drop dead out of the sky and burn up in the remains. So why did I not create this video? I couldn’t find the right song to use. Now that complete apathy has overcome me, I know that it would have been this song. 

When I was a child, I liked the growl in Barry McGuire’s voice. It sounded as if he was on the verge of spitting out the words. While the song was not polished, it was very catchy. I did not focus on the lyrics the first few times I heard the song. Absurdly, I became captivated by the song, when it was used repeatedly within an episode of The Greatest American Hero in 1981. I remember almost nothing else about this television show except for the blond, curly haired superhero and the theme song. In this episode, every time the superhero would get in his car, he would turn on the radio and “Eve of Destruction” was playing, which served as a warning prompting him to act to prevent a crazy U.S. general from firing nuclear weapons. As stupid as it sounds, the combination of the song and a plot focused on nuclear annihilation hit me, making me listen to the lyrics closer from this point forward. I remember the version on the show sounding odd—very clean. Since I had only seen this episode this one time, it was only much later that I learned that the version used on the show was sung by Joey Scarbury, who also sang the theme song for the television series. Following this show, I picked up a 45 single of the McGuire version and listened to it incessantly. Every election cycle, I could call a local radio station when it was request hour and ask for the song to be played and dedicated it to all the politicians running for office. This protest song only barely anticipated the shit that was culminating. Ever-expanding imperialist wars, the intensification of capitalist exploitation, the ongoing rise of fascist tendencies, and structural racism have turned the world into yet a bigger grave. “And you tell me, Over and over and over again my friend, Ah, you don’t believe, We’re on the eve of destruction.” “My blood’s so mad” watching this shit show within the country and world in general.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Joe Pesci, Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just for You (Columbia, 1998)

By Jimmy “cacare frequenti” B

Pesci is a friend of mine. He was warned once before when he tried to go straight by making his Little Joe album back in 1968. This time he is trying to hide behind the fugazi name of Vincent Laguardia Gambini. The capo isn’t going to like this. Yeah, Pesci put out an album of fun songs, and youse are going to like some of them. I hope this album never makes it to Youtube or gets reviewed on the fucking internet. This fuck, Pesci, swore omerto, and he is, with his limited but mostly in tune singing voice, describing crimes he has committed. Jesus Christ, he even lets the pigs know our methodology with lyrics like, “I don’t drive by, cause I’m a wiseguy, I just drop by with a couple of guys, and I take your eyes, cause I’m a wiseguy.” Now every screw on the east coast knows a corpse with missing eyes was whacked by a guy from our arm. Pesci could probably get away with this if he was a big earner. But with this poorly received album he will barely make the vig. 

And, what’s with this goombah’s misogyny. This guy sings about how he is banging chicks all over town. Fuck, he tells us he might even be fucking our wives and girlfriends. His problems with his coumare are legendary, but for fuck's sake why must this guy tell the whole world about his puttanti. “Shove your love up your big fat ass,” he tells her. And he accuses her of having a crack pipe stuck in her ass. This is bad enough in private, but now everyone knows his problems. And, that, my friends, makes it our problem. We may have to send him a strong message, if you know what I mean. 

Actually, this fucks attempt at a Christmas song and his cover of “It’s a Wonderful World” may have already bumped off this records short life. Youse should probably have a sit down and listen to this cafone’s record before deciding on a course of action. It is a mixed bag.

Solleticare la mia macchia per quattro minuti.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Album Covers Review: Volume One (Foreigner, Head Games; Morrissey, Swords; Linda Ronstadt, Silk Purse)

By Null and SoDak

To begin, it is important to note that Null and Sodak talk about everything under the sun, including album covers. In a series of reviews of album covers, we would like to address that old question, “What the fuck?”

Our first album cover is Foreigner, Head Games (Atlantic, 1979)

Null: I’ve never been a fan of Foreigner.

SoDak: Who is? I’ve never met one.

Null: They always seemed like sweaty polyester, masculine 70s rock to me, but it feels like this album cover has haunted me my whole life. I’ve never heard the album, but I would come upon it in record stores when I was still in elementary school and I found it to be shocking and frightening. My first impression was that this girl was about to be sexually assaulted in the men’s bathroom. The look on her face is that she’s horrified by something—either by something she just did or by something that is about to happen to her. The slightly grainy texture of the photograph just made it that more creepy. As a kid, I would look at it disturbingly and then move on to the next record, but inevitably in the future, I would see it again and again. I, mean, seriously, what the fuck?

SoDak: When I first saw this album when I was young, I was completely confused. I did not want to look at it for very long, as it was unsettling, but I wasn’t sure why. The image entered by head, but I did not linger. I was not sure if she was peeing in the men’s urinal. Of course, her skirt would then be dangling against the urinal cake. And then, why the fuck was she holding the toilet paper? To pat herself dry?

Null: At first, I didn’t even notice she was sitting on the urinal. If she is peeing? She is either going commando or she didn’t pull her underwear down. Is she taking a crap?

SoDak: Maybe that is the shocked look, as she has just been caught squeezing one out? But, again: What the fuck? There are four stalls next to her. How old is she anyway? She is dressed like she wants to go roller-skating.

Null: Her skirt is all musical notes. However, the toilet paper is problematic because it is coming from inside the stall. Did she crawl under and grab it?

SoDak: And why the hell is she stepping on it?

Null: I don’t think it’s intentional. It looks like there are names and/or numbers on the stall and she is trying to wipe them off. I wonder if she is wiping off her name and number that someone else wrote up there.

SoDak: I think those are names of Foreigner songs. “Double Vision” is written just underneath her ass on the wall of the stall. That song is not even on this record. Guess, they thought their previous album was so worthy that it could be scrawled in bathrooms.

Null: And it is written in urine stained color. It seems the more I know about this cover the less I understand. If this is meant as “bathroom humor,” I don’t think it works very well. I still find it disturbing. It looks like it could be a still from the movie Friday the 13th. Overall, I am still left with the impression that the camera lens is a sexual predator. Maybe that is part of the reason it is so creepy. The photographer puts the viewer in an uncomfortable situation.

SoDak: Not to mention the girl in the photo.

The next album cover is Morrissey, Swords (Sanctuary, 2009)

Null: I have been a major fan of The Smiths for the majority of my life. Morrissey has quite a few good records too, but he is a little hit or miss. I thought The Smiths had great album covers. They were always a picture of some unknown, wayward, alienated youth of some kind, which I think perfectly captured the music. However, when Morrissey started making solo albums he adorned them with pictures of himself. I think he should have stuck with The Smiths tradition. Swords is a collection of b-sides from his output from the early 2000s. When I first saw this album cover I figured that quality control had gone out the window. The cover is horrid.

SoDak: Does he think he is a great explorer? Where is his spyglass? Maybe he is trying to strike a pose similar to Rodin’s The Thinker, but for a modern, nature loving audience. Then again, when I think of Morrissey, I never imagine him in the woods. Who the fuck knows? Perhaps, he is looking for Grizzly Adams, and thinking about the fun they will have together.

Null: With that look on his face, he seems to be suffering from gas pains. Is that why he is bending over? Also, he seems to have captured the “I’m Bruce Springsteen and can’t find the top buttons of my shirt” disease.

SoDak: He certainly seems to be trying to present himself as one of the common people. Guess, we all have gas pains. We just do not fucking select them as the images to share with the world. He is definitely bearing down.

Null: The back cover is even worse. He is wearing two fucking wrist watches. Somehow, it wouldn’t seem as weird if he had them on the same wrist. Maybe, I’m wrong?

SoDak: His expression seems to be indicating that he has done something very wrong.

Null: I know that Morrissey can be self-deprecating, but he can also be vain. So, why would he put a picture of himself on the back cover like this? Any normal person would have thrown this photo out. And yet…is Morrissey playing a joke on us or does he just not give a fuck anymore? Is this intentional? Returning to the issue of gas pains from the front cover, here it looks like he just sharted. There is a foreboding sense of heavy eye-lidded relief. The only way this back cover could be improved is if his shirt wasn’t buttoned up correctly.

SoDak: I suppose that him sharting himself on the front cover explains him bearing down. He was trying to suppress a fart and instead got a surprise. The back cover presents his shame, as he stands with a leg to the side, uncomfortable from poopy drawers.

Null: Is this what it looks like when he does yard work? Is he clearing brush?

SoDak: It is the look of someone who just buried his stained underwear under the tree.

The next album cover is Linda Ronstadt, Silk Purse (Capitol, 1970)

Null: I actually have this record on vinyl. I really like this album cover.

SoDak: Hmmm.

Null: Seriously, I think it is great. Mariah Carey would never be cool enough to sit in a pigpen.

SoDak: Therefore, it is cool?

Null: Every girl I knew as a little kid lived on a farm.

SoDak: All of my cousins lived on farms. They did not sit in the pigpen without jeans and boots—maybe in the chicken coop, but not with the pigs. I suppose she is telling us that she can get down and dirty. Or maybe, she was promoting 4-H.

Null: Despite my liking of the Silk Purse cover, it has left me with some unintended mental pictures that I can’t seem to shake.

SoDak: Her loving erotic gaze upon the pig? Her happiness that the pig was going to be turned into pork chops? The fact that Linda is sitting in a pile of shit, or that after this photo she was going to go wallow in the mud with all the pigs?

Null: For some reason, this album cover and its title always leaves me with the impression of a ball sack, meaning, the ball sack of the male reproductive organ variety. I’m not sure why that is. Of course, ball sacks aren’t made of silk. Yet, maybe because of the color and texture of the pigs, I always picture Linda Ronstadt walking around with a ball-sack purse. It is just the combination of the “purse” and the pigs. I picture a “pig purse,” which my mind turns into a ball-sack purse. I may need therapy. I should probably stop talking.