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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Huey Lewis, “I Want a New Drug” (1983)

By Null and SoDak

Music videos are bewildering and often a clusterfuck. While they started out as low budget items, as the 1980s progressed, thousands of dollars were spent to produce videos. Many of these videos celebrated the callousness, disillusions, and gluttony that generally went along with the Reagan presidency. The first video to air on MTV was The Buggles’s “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Videos became a tool to generate hit songs. Countless hours were wasted by youth, hoping to catch a video by a favorite band. Instead, ballads by REO Speedwagon and Foreigner—just to name two—were forced down the publics’ gullet. For some, videos were thrilling, as it was exciting to see rock stars in a new medium. For others, seeing a video, especially if it was the first exposure to a song, created negative associations, given the stupidity on the screen, usually consisting of barely clad women, expensive cars, ridiculous fashion trends, and endless parties. From time to time, the folks at Tickle Your Taint will share reflections and what-the-fuck questions regarding specific videos.

SoDak: I first heard this song on the radio, and have always had a soft spot for this song. Fortunately, Huey is also soft as he gets out of the bed. Morning wood in those white boxers would be a terrible start to the video. Strangely, the first two guitar notes sound like someone springing a boner.

Null: You’re right; it is a very “springy” guitar into. Huey has a nice place. A modest apartment with a map of the world tacked to the wall, but, considering this was his mega-hit album, he still didn’t get a bed frame yet. It seems like a lot of work to fill the sink with water and ice cubes just to sing a few lines.

SoDak: Oh yes, he goes in for the rock star, polar bear plunge to wake up. The first one wakes him up, so he can sing during the second round.

Null: He didn’t seem that groggy when he got up. Was the polar dunk merited?

SoDak: The guitar and keyboard players look very bored to death. They are probably wondering how many times they will have to play this song in their lives.

Null: If only they would have known.

SoDak: Yikes, the red suit—I think he is auditioning for Miami Vice, oh wait, it’s 80s rock n’ roll. That explains just about everything.

Null: He stole it from Loverboy or Sammy Hagar. Every time I see him run out with the red suit on, I think of Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” video. However, he is wearing black and red, the colors of International Socialism. I’m sure this is the message he was trying to send.

SoDak: I fuckin’ wish.

Null: Look, it’s her. A dream on a bike. My 7th grade heart just skipped. Isn’t she the same woman that is in their “Heart and Soul” video? I loved her. He has a cool car; he is a San Francisco rocker, if I am correct in my skyline identification skills.

SoDak: It is hilarious that Huey is such a rebel, as the suits look so disgusted, as he jumps on the ferryboat. I suppose this serves as a foreshadow to “Hip to be Square.” Instead of Bob Dylan standing there, holding que cards with lyrics, the lyrics are headlines in the paper.

Null: Strangely, his bandmate is reading the paper and another bandmate gives him Alka-Seltzer. They pretend they don’t know him. Oddly enough, we don’t see them rushing to the gig. They are already on stage playing when he finally gets there.

SoDak: The woman is everywhere. Coincidence, I think not—bicycle, boat, audience. The problem is that Huey seems more like a stalker.

Null: The premise of this video is much more problematic than that, SoDak. The subtext of this video has something to do with quantum physics. Both Huey and the mystery woman are headed to the same destination—the gig. Yet, Huey is rushing to get there in time, while the mystery woman is leisurely traveling to the same destination—and yet, she arrives first, as she is at the front of the audience when Huey runs on stage. At the beginning of the video they start off at the same locale—he jumps in his yellow car, while she rides by on a ten-speed bike. How is this possible? I would expect some New Age Quantum Mechanic “types” to suggest that time is relative to how we perceive our journeys.

SoDak: I think they are stealing the entrance from the Blues Brothers, as he arrives late taking the stage, during a guitar solo.

Null: That moment when you realize your dad’s golf buddy is your drummer…and check out the kid next to the mystery women when Huey gets on his knees and sings to her. The young man wants some Huey.

SoDak: The creepy moment is when he dances and sings in front of her. I think his dick is noticeably flapping inside of his pants—slightly screen left. Oh yeah! He is hoping that she noticed it.

Null: It’s all quantum physics.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

John Wetton (1949-2017)

On January 31, 2017, progressive rock musician John Wetton died. He played in King Crimson, UK, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Asia, and Icon. In Asia, Wetton was the lead singer and bass player. Asia’s self-titled debut in 1982 was the biggest-selling record that year. What follows are a couple reflections from taint ticklers.

Jimmy “Explosive Diarrhea” B:
In the late 1990s, I was attending graduate school in a small Midwestern college town. One day, in between classes, I dropped by the one and only music store in town to browse the shops small stock of used CDs. I started chatting with the store owner, and somehow we started talking about Rush, which moved us onto the topic of progressive rock. I was fairly new to prog music at that time. I got into prog backwards. I didn’t start with Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson like other people. No. My first baby steps into progressive rock were with the obscure bands Camel and Marillion. The shopkeeper/owner, after listening to me ramble on about Camel, pulled out a record from behind the counter by an even more obscure band called UK. For some reason, I didn’t buy the record that day, but I remembered the band’s name and found a vinyl copy a few weeks later. I didn’t know it at the time, but with the purchase of UK’s self -titled album I was reuniting with John Wetton. Many years had passed since I had bought one of his albums (I had and still have a 45 rpm single of Asia’s “Heat of the Moment.” I also owned the full-length album on cassette at some point).

I think the obscurity of UK is an apt metaphor for Wetton himself. Few people, even fans of progressive rock, know who he is. But millions of people know the songs he recorded with Uriah Heep and Asia. I include myself in this mass of cluelessness. I didn’t realize until after his death he had played on Return to Fantasy, one of the best albums Uriah Heep recorded.

John may have been relatively unknown, but he influenced multiple generations of progressive musicians. And, he certainly had an influence on my musical journey. UK was more progressive than what I had listened to previously. Camel and Marillion were somewhat mild in terms of musical complexity. And Yes and Genesis (from the Duke album onwards) were firmly aimed at top forty success. UK didn’t seem to give a shit about fame. They were a super group of super musicians who wanted to make an awesome record, and they did. They kept the lights on by playing with their main touring groups. But, the first UK album will always be special to me. It acted as a gateway album that brought me to many other progressive rock discoveries and helped me to develop a love of jazz.

I really don’t know much about John Wetton, other than the fact that he was in a lot of bands and he was a prog-rock guy. He played bass and sang. I know he was in King Crimson, but my knowledge of their music is weak, at best. Having said that, another of his bands, Asia, left a long-lasting impression on me with their hit song “Heat of The Moment.” I always thought it was a great song and crank it up whenever I hear it. It reminds me of a particular time and place, namely middle-school in Arizona in the early 1980s. It is a safe bet that this is the most popular song he was associated with. I bought Asia’s first album several years ago as a novel curiosity to see what the album that produced “Heat of the Moment” was like as a whole. I was baffled upon the first listen and I continue to be. It has some of the cheesiest 80s synth on it, some of the most perplexing soundscapes, and some interesting drum parts. It is from another planet. I always kind of admired the album and disliked it at the same time. I have kept it around all these years and still listen to it every couple of years with the same perplexing impression. I guess this is what fascinates me about the record. I’m not quite sure about it and I don’t think I ever will be. I guess in some weird way I treasure it for this reason alone. The guys were obviously talented and “Heat of the Moment” hasn’t lost any of its shine. In the future, I may buy another Asia album. I don’t really want to, but I probably will just because I know it will be challenging. I am sure others would have much more to say about John Wetton; however, this is the little bit of gum he threw on the sidewalk that has stuck to my shoe since I was a kid. I think I’ll just leave it there.

In 1982, I was one of the million plus people who bought the record Asia. I believe that I received it in the mail as part of the Columbia Record Club. I ordered it because I loved the first single “Heat of the Moment.” This rock-pop song is catchy as hell from the opening notes and vocals to the chorus. The rise and fall of the song was captivating, the keyboards were nicely incorporated on this track, and the sense of yearning was intriguing. When the record was delivered, I immediately ran off to my room to listen to it. As “Heat the Moment” started I smiled. There is an interesting sense of comfort I get when I hear this song. I also liked “Only Time Will Tell.” But as the record went on, I became less interested and confused. I am not sure why. It could be that I did not have an ear for prog-rock elements at the time. But even today, I think the opening two tracks are by far the most enjoyable songs on the record.