Out now on Checkers Records Collective, the new LP by JCM, "The Fall of Bryan Metro".

Listen To This Now!!!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Metro's Memorial Day Weekend Preview

Hey all, Metro here, and I am so out of the loop. This is me out of character, but I honestly had no idea this weekend was Memorial Day weekend. Speech time! It's not because I think it is a lesser holiday. Its actually quite the opposite. I think its one of the more important ones. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all who gave their lives, along with those who served, to ensure we can live our lives as we do today with CashMe's and GoFundMe's with little to no inspection, along with restaurants out there that promise endless ribs via a singular price point, an exceptionally amazing experience as long as you stay off the internet and don't watch the news. Sarcasm aside, I honestly appreciate those that have fallen, and have served. I would not be able to express my views in this current format without them. That is, until one or six people disagree and a shitstorm starts and I end up getting blocked, banned, threatened, etc. But to have that right to speak freely, and truthfully (most of the time), would not be here if not for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, men and women all of whom are much better than me. Even one of my ancestors, my Uncle J. enlisted in the Korean War, so I think I'm entitled to at least something free, anything free, this weekend; a meal, a car wash, a monetary donation. Of course, you would have to be a complete idiot if you think I was being serious, but if you are reading this on the internet or smartphone then you have to have seen...oh fuck it. This is supposed to be a Memorial Day Weekend Prevue. So lets get to it!

Okay, I have nothing. Either I am officially blocked from every venue in town, or its just that nothing really is going on. I spent way too much time (five minutes) looking up Facebook event pages, which some might consider stalking, and found nothing of interest. Yeah, there's the Amy Gore/Duende show at UFO if you wanna party like its 2008, or the Distillers with Rock and Rummage camera in hand, oh and Florence and the Machine playing tonight, which I had no idea was happening until five minutes ago, and of course there's Movement downtown which I also forgot about and would be interested about a decade ago and a chill washes over me when I realize that I'm going to have to endure/ignore two weeks worth of Sheefy posts about Movement for....ummmmmm...two weeks. At the very least he could paint one of his murals on Moby's forehead, and no, I didn't bother to check the lineup.

Going through FB events I saw that there is actually a lot going on this weekend, but nothing that really interested me. So for the full list check out....oh shit, I don't even know where to send you to. Hip in Detroit is brain dead, Milo is playing Scrabble with himself, and Melody has been promoted to the job she's been doing for the past two years (I've been there). Anyway, none of these events interest me, so its a story that might bore you. Instead, I decided to have some fun and do a List. While checking out the event pages, I couldn't help laughing at the amount of people commenting that they couldn't make it. I've seen, and experienced, it for years and it never fails to give me the chuckles. So I give you.....The Top Ten Excuses They Can't Make The Show!

Top Ten Excuses They Can't Make The Show-

10. "I want to be there, but I got discounted tickets to Movement, no wait, I mean a Movement afterparty."

9. "I want to be there, but I have to work that night."

8. "I want to be there, but I'm not feeling well. Its the cancer."

7. "I want to be there, but I scored tickets for the Chicago show in Toledo."

6. "I want to be there, but I have to work that night."

5. "I want to be there, but family is coming to town that weekend."

4. "I want to be there, but my band is playing that night. I will try to pop in after."

3. "I want to be there, but I'll be in Chicago that night, visiting family."

2. "I want to be there, but I have to work that night."

1. "I want to be there but I saw you're playing with the JCM and I actually have to work that night with my family after a doctor's appointment and will actually be out of town playing a show with my band at a Movement afterparty being held in Chicago."

So, that's it for my Memorial Day preview. Any Constant Readers in a band, you are welcome for the chuckles as you have probably experienced at least one of these messages (Goldhouse Media is notorious for it). Check your social media for events you may be interested in or maybe just relax, go to a park, go to the zoo, bbq, DIY baby! Anyway you cut it, I'll see you in hell muthafuckasss!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Metro's Real Preview for B.A.S.H. Fest (Part 2)

*Disclaimer- First off, I find it extremely sad, and concerning, that I have to have a disclaimer for one of my Fest previews because, y'know, that whole freedom of speech thing, but it is 2019 so I will just have to deal with it, rock and roll. This site is an entertainment, gossip, pop culture, pointing out public idiocy, and sports site. I don't make a profit from it, and basically offer it as a fun "escape" that no other site around these parts can claim. The site's policy (first posted in Feb. 2017 and repeated yearly since then) is that if you find anything offensive or a fact incorrect e-mail me at bryanmetro1@hotmail and I will remove it and apologize in private or publicly, your choice. That is the disclaimer. Okay, on to the preview! Wait!

Disclaimer 2- I'd like to attend this event in person and cover it including performances, turnout, the quality of delicious food, and my tarot reading, but I think I would be in great danger and I value my life. Okay, now on to the preview!

Hey all, Metro here with my preview of next month's Bash Fest at the Trumbullplex. The previous post, Part 1, was a partially fictitious build up to this actual preview which basically means I was stalling because I didn't know how to frame and outline this one. *Editor's note-While editing this piece I realized that its not even next month but in July. Yikes, am I out of the loop. While some of Part 1 was fiction, the section involving Bash Fest was true. Bash stands for "Bands Against the Spread of Hate.". I personally would have went with a subtle reference to the 1987 film "Dragnet" and called it P.A.G.A.N. Fest, "People Against Goodness and Normalcy", but hey that's just me. Bash Fest is a one day Fest (?) featuring music, guest speakers, among other things, and it all benefits Anti-racist and Islamophobia causes. I actually took the time to see if Islamophobia was a real thing and it is, and actually started in the 1970's, which is my favorite decade for movies with personal favorites, Godfather 1 & 2, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, Star Wars, and even inspired one of Spielberg's decent later period films Munich. There is no excuse to be fearful or hateful of somebody because of their religion. No excuse at all! The last thing I want is a bunch of Easter Worshippers hunting me down at Dollar Tree. Anyway,the cost is $10 and, oh fuck it, why listen to me. Here is the event page:
Bash Fest!!
For those of you who (wisely) cut off their social media, here is the content of the "Details" section:

Full disclosure, the event page blocked me from posting or commenting before I even knew the event existed which I find extremely flattering, but also concerning. The JCM has played at Trumbullplex before and honestly had a miserable experience regarding sound, set times, general organization and communication, but it is 2019 and I will cut them some slack because, after all, they are "your favorite anarchist DIY space". Well aside from that blocking anybody on social media who may have a kernel of a thought someone wouldn't agree with part. I guess a true anarchist embraces the censorship, cuddles with the censorship, butterfly kisses to the underside of the censorship, but I guess that's what we get around here.

Once seeing the event page and verbiage I posted above, I initially thought this was a fake event designed to catfish me into posting something ill-advised, but nah, it's real. And actually could be a good thing which coincidentally is the title of my favorite "Fine Young Cannibals" song. One of my writing tropes is doing a litany of things that can be better: the environment, women's rights, 3rd world hunger, police brutality, etc. The irony, which is lost on most, is that you would have to be an imbecile to disagree. Who is against the earth? Who feels there should be fewer women's rights but increased police brutality? (Though I am on record that I support the police and the shit they have to deal with every day. Its almost as bad as being a writer). I also fully note that there are pockets of people who would argue against the environment, women, race, and say these are not real issues. Not a prediction, but a spoiler, but there are. On the other side there are pockets of people who are not open to organic dialogue and some who feel that a certain race does not deserve a voice. I see this equally as crazy. This Fest preview has been the most difficult in 11 years of doing this. We are in an age where celebrities don't go on late night talk shows to promote a film, but rather for Resistance Therapy. Nobody can say anything anymore without it being dissected in the "public court", that is until they block you for not having the same opinion, but will spend an extra 15 minutes trying to get you fired. Its useless. As George Clooney's scientist character said in my fake Part 1, "I think we are all doomed!" Anyway, this is supposed to be a preview of a Fest and it has taken me this long to get to it. Do you see a problem here? As usual, I will do it like I've always done. Poke fun (if the band sucks, tough shit). I will sample one song from every act and give my take on it along with any other garnish. Lets go back to 2016 and channel Vintage Metro...

Bash Fest Preview-
First off, before we get to the musical acts, lets take a look at that "garnish". The event page has the promise of "delicious food and refreshing drink" which immediately set off my alarms. Is this included in the price point? What's the food? Is it vegan? Is there a cash bar? Ah who cares about details. I would be wary about the delicious food considering the last time I was at the Trumbullplex I saw a man sleeping in his own puke. But, they could be under new ownership just like El Club, so lets give them a chance, but only if it fits your narrative/complaints of the week. In addition to the questionable "delicious food" and the music there will also be tarot readings from GeminEye Tarot. I cannot vouch for their accuracy but I'm a little skeptical since they weren't able to foresee security cameras on an occupied building in a completely unrelated incident that is in the past. There is also Pounce Distro (?), who will have a table set up with cool zines, books, pins, patches, etc. I looked into them and they seem to be an anarchist group that really doesn't do anything other than repost other people's content, ideas, and thoughts. I like them because they understand irony, but not really. Meh, lets get on to the bands.

Pancho Villa's Skull- "Live at New Way"- I like this act. Its different yet traditional. Very solid. The political banter between songs was unnecessary because you are playing at the New Way, but they still get the Metro Seal of Approval. I would hope that they would not have a Mexican flag present because the Trumbullplex could be seen as blighted and we don't want anybody's mother to toss it in the trash. The band is Hispanic for those who care.

Girl Fight- "She's a Killer"- Standard female fronted punk pop. The song wasn't bad, but just standard. Joan Jett did it better. The band is white for those keeping track.

Dear Darkness- "The Song"- This song seems to be a rip-off of a song I can't remember. This was pretty bad. A classic example of somebody trying too hard. They've been around for a few years but have never broken through, despite booking themselves at Kelly's for a few years. This is a pass for me. The band is white for those with the scorecards.

True Blue- "Slow Dive"- More generic indie-pop. It didn't make me like it, but it didn't make me hate it. It just made me indifferent which is the worst crime an artist can make. The act is comprised of one black artist and one white, that being Zach Shipps, who is the whitest guy in the room, so he counts as two.

Goldzilla- "Cardi Weather"- Above average hip hop. Not bad at all. Who is this Eddie Logix though? The guy has his tag on all of Goldzilla's media. Lol, I checked. Its the white guy!! Interpret that as you will. This act is composed of black and white for those keeping tabs.

Fat Angry Hens- "Fantasy"- Pretty much unlistenable. Zooey Deschanel, but without a budget. The group is predominantly white and probably insufferable, but they do include a token black girl, not that it matters. Baby steps.

Tooth- "Outlook"- More standard punk. I think I heard three different songs I couldn't place in this one. This was okay, I guess. The band was predominantly white, though they did have a black drummer, but Paul McCartney did it first.

Stonecrest MI- "Surf Rock Song"- Easily the worst song I previewed. I'm sure that the lyrics were autobiographical and not satire (click the link), and the singer was pretty bad. I really tried to be nice but this was shit. Looking at the Bandcamp pic, I realized they may be handicapped so if that's true (I'm not checking), then they get the Metro Seal of Approval. Their demographic is 2/3'rd white and 1 black.

So that's it for my preview of the musical acts. I know many of you are wondering why I felt the need to include the demographics of each act, but that was my point. It doesn't matter! A good cause is just that. The message is the point, not the messenger, and that's why we are in what we are in because people can't reconcile that. Who cares if 75% of the bands stink? It's for a good cause. Don't listen to me, listen to the message and click the link I provided to see the list of charities this show will benefit, do your own research on them, and donate if you wish. I didn't bother to vett any of them to see if they were legit, but nobody cares about that anyway, but I'm sure they mean well, so donate if you wish.

As for the event's mission statement of, and I quote, "White Supremacism is on the rise across North America and Europe," I can only think back to a similar post I saw on Facebook in 1940 warning me and I ignored it, and by 1941 I was fuming that Caveman Woodman was not doing a pop-up show at Auschwitz, so now I feel the obligation to promote this event (because lets be honest, nobody else is) because of that guilt. Its the least I can do. I tried to make this post entertaining (I failed), informative (yes), and get the word out (yes). I tried to include enough bratty meanness to satisfy some Constant Readers, along with being fair. Ah, who cares anyway. This was easily the least fun I've had when writing in at least 3 years. Hope some of you feel the same feeling reading it. Till next time.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

The Great American Novel...I mean Unpublished Post

Hey all, Metro here. For the first time in this blog's history I spent a day outlining and writing and typing a post only to decide at the last minute not to post it. I have it saved as a draft, but do not plan on publicly posting it. The content was another typical Metro Preview of a local show/Fest, this one being the Bash Fest at the Trumbullplex in July. I thought it was a unique event that nobody really is talking about and that it should be covered and previewed and give readers an opportunity to comment without fear of being blocked. The "Bash" in Bash Fest stands for "Bands Against the Spread of Hate". Unfortunately, one of the main reasons I am not posting my comprehensive preview is because of hate. As a local journalist (the best), I have an obligation to report if I feel a band stinks no matter the cause. While reviewing the bands I found some that did stink, some that were generic, and some that were pretty good (there are 8 bands scheduled), and I gave my honest take on their artistic output as I have with every preview. However, I feel that in 2019, my honest take would result in hate which is the exact opposite of what Bash Fest is trying to promote. I believe that any take other than a glowing review/endorsement would be met with hate, more threats, more headaches, more free WWE tickets.

Yes, I understand that this never stopped me from posting in the past (Heloooo Queen Kwong!) but I think the majority of people have totally lost their shit and cannot differentiate between satire, one's opinion, gallows humor, and honest critique, and the fact that the original post had two written pages of disclaimers just showed me that its not worth it. The post would have had that sludge, along with a preview of the venue, The Trumbullplex, which would have been a blast, along with a review of the non-musical attractions such as tarot card and an anarchist merch table, and of course the band previews, followed by my honest opinion of their mission statement. But you can see all of that here on their event page which I'm posting Right Here. Bash Fest.

I know this seems like self censorship, and it kinda is, but with the amount of hypocrites and unwell people in the world who cannot process somebody with an opinion other than theirs is at peak levels. You can block anyone you want on Facebook and Twitter and their opinions are gone. For 12 years I have prided myself on not blocking a single person no matter how hateful (and threatening) the things they said. So because I am the alpha-narcissist, my very first "block" in history will be.....Me.

However, if you wish to read my original post/preview, feel free to message me privately or e-mail at bryanmetro1@hotmail. And who knows, I may go on a bender this weekend and post it anyway!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, May 20, 2019

Metro's Preview for B.A.S.H. Fest (Part 1)

"I cannot reconcile that he only wanted to say 'Hi'."

Scott is babbling to no one and we are all sitting at the pool at the house by the beach and it is supposed to be 80 degrees in two days and everybody wanted a jump start on that. It is me, Trent, Amy, Scott, Matt, Oakley the black personal trainer, Kenny Kenny the event booker, Pinkie the six figure agent who currently has no clients, Jessie who actually is a girl, Dot who legally changed his name to a period during detox in Encino, Preston, who by the name, should be working for CNN but actually doesn't work, Terry who manages social media accounts for celebrities who don't have social media accounts, Alice who writes for Buzzfeed and who I slept with last week and won't stop hanging around and now I have to schedule a doc appt, another person named Jessie, this one male, who coaches MMA and bounces at a gay club in West Hollywood, Andy who is our dealer, Sean Young, the actress, who has been staying at the house the past week and nobody can figure out why, Colleen who probably has the best body at the pool but was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, a major turn off.
I check my messages. Screening invite for the next BlumHouse horror film (pass), message from Wang about the NBA playoffs (Warriors in six, my reply), dinner invite from Jonah Hill (a possibility but only if he pays), and everybody is still shaken by the incident from last night and the knocking on the door.

Lon Chaney once said that the scariest thing he could think of was waking up after midnight and looking out the window and seeing a clown outside, just standing there. Something equally as scary, we discovered, is hearing knocking on the door late at night without expecting anyone. The knocking started around one in the morning and Trent and Scott were in the living room playing the newest Red Dead Redemption on the Xbox, and Matt, Amy, and I were in the master bedroom "sleeping". It startled all of us because we weren't expecting anyone and the house was security gated due to the incident with the Mexicans. We all agreed to immediately move to Trent's Darkroom where he develops photos and also serves as a panic room.

Once in the Darkroom the knocking started again and everyone jumps except for Amy who is already asleep again because of the Klonopin. Scott suggested that somebody go get Sean Young who was asleep in the guest room, but I assured him she was fast asleep with her valium and wine in the guest room. The first matter to be discussed was "who could it be?" and this lasted for around five minutes, and we concluded that it could be anybody from Lance the Hollywood sound guy, off work early from the next Ryan Gosling movie which involves a planet that becomes aware and folds in on itself killing 99% of the population and the survivors are a rag-tag group comprised of Julia Roberts, Matt Dillon, Matt Damon, Paul Rudd, Jason Robards, who plays the president filled with regret, Dwayne Johnson as the everyman, and of course, Gosling. George Clooney has a brief cameo as a scientist and only has one line, "I think we are doomed!". We chuckled when reading the script realizing that the 1% of people remaining after the disaster are played by the one percent (I included that part for those who didn't get the joke). Then again, the person at the door could be Oakley the black personal trainer, who has the security code but not a key, or Erik our other dealer, or Ally who had an affair with a senator but also sees Trent's dad who is out of town (Syria this week), and everybody knows that her real name is Rielle, or even Bruce who is Sean Young's agent.

The knocking starts up again and I flip out and volunteer to go out via the side door and like surveillance things. Trent curses his father for not installing security cameras and I don't bring up the reason why being Trent freebasing in an open space, and Matt is crying. Once outside, I crouch around the patio and notice a dead coyote near the pool that wasn't there earlier when we were tanning. It was me, Trent, Amy, Scott, Matt, Sean Young, Derek Jeter the former baseball player, Patty who hosts a morning gossip show, Dan who manages a gas station but has an amazing body, Bruce but not the Bruce who is Sean Young's agent, and Rachel who is just friends with everyone.
There is a warm mist above the pool because it senses the dead coyote and wants to feed and there is even a quiet humming and I contemplate dumping the carcass into the pool to placate it but don't want to get too close and I still have to check the door. Last week we had to fish out three squirrels, two possums, and one hawk. We assumed they were just depressed but knew that wasn't the case when we discovered after recovering them (the pool was dormant at the time) that they were drained of all their blood. The pool had caught them.

I creep around to the front of the house and scan the door. Nobody there. "Thank god", I mutter and head back to the side entrance kicking the coyote into the pool causing it to boil and skin the animal. The wind is picking up and I hear "Thank you", or maybe not. Once back in the Darkroom I assure everyone that nobody is out there. My line was, "They must have left I guess". We return to the living room for drinks and Trent puts on a laser disc of "Liquid Sky" and Scott contemplates calling one of our dealers but decides not to because it could have been one of them at the door. Nobody is into Liquid Sky tonight so Trent puts on the bootleg copy of last week's Macaulay Culkin show at the Viper Room when the knocking starts again.
   "Fuck this," Trent says and goes to the door. Once opening it we see a plain looking man, around 30. All he says is, "Hello, I just wanted to say Hi." He turns around and heads back up the drive, a ghost. Matt, crying again, asks if we should give him the security code.

"I cannot reconcile that he just wanted to say 'Hi'", Scott says again as we jump cut to the present and nobody reacts and the topic is forgotten. Finally Matt speaks, "Hey Metro, why don't you cover local Detroit stuff as much as you used to? I read through the Metro Times that Johnny R. sends from Michigan via an Indiana PO Box every week and there are a few things you could cover"
   "Just boring," my reply, bored.
He persists, "Look at this right here," shoving an article placed next to an ad for Gusoline Alley at me, "Bash Fest! A bunch of bands and a good cause."
   "What is a Bash Fest? Isn't a bash a fest or are we using different metrics today? I'm confused and honestly stressed out," I whine, still bored.
   "No no, Bash stands for Bands Against the Spread of Hate!"
   "Really? This could be a good, productive, and more importantly, a proactive, progressive, process (I pause to look to Trent for another word that begins with the letter P but he is asleep) ummmm thing. We definitely need to make a difference in race relations and society in general along with reducing pollution and dealing with those, ugh, other countries. Just this week I messaged DC Comics Studios (along with posting it on FaceBook for the likes) that I was disappointed with their casting of Robert Pattinson as the new Batman but not because he is a poor choice, I mean he basically auditioned for the role in Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, but rather because he is another white male taking up roles that could go to more diverse casts. Why can't we have a "BatTran" movie, or even a Nonbinary Bat Person flick? Jesus, Tunde can even play Kingpin. I also reached out to John and Exene from the band X to try to convince the band Fear to come to Detroit so I don't have to go to goddamn Ohio. My pitch was 'El Club's alright....if you're a homosexual'.

  "Whoa," Scott says, doing his best Keanu.
I reply, "I will do a preview of this show because it is something important to me and something that needs to be done. I only hope that no white people are involved because that just complicates the progress being made. How can we improve race relations if we don't exclude those that are the problem to begin with? Exclusion is the key even if they support, donate, perform, they are still the issue, the real problem about getting everybody on the same page. They should have no voice. I think it would be hilariously brilliant if the people behind what this fest is talking about, and actually want to help, exclude those that actually want to help but aren't aren't welcome. Coming up what just gave me a migraine. Yeah, this fest is on my radar. I'm on it."
   "Metro, you are on fire right now," Matt gushes, and I ignore him.
   "On fire doll," Sean Young says, talking in her sleep again.

That's it for Part 1 of my Bash Fest preview. You probably will want to keep your eyes open for Part 2 which is the actual preview mid week. Prolly not want to miss it.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, May 13, 2019

Local Toxic Person of the Week + The Underrated List

Hey all Metro here. We at the Lavender Blog are introducing a new weekly feature: The Local Toxic Person of the Week! If you read the blog you most likely live around Detroit which means you are in close proximity to toxic individuals, especially in the music scene. I have featured many ghosts of them here in previous posts. There are tales of infidelity, money scams, venue bias. It is a cornucopia of bullshit. Of course, I understand this applies to all major cities, but my frame of reference is Detroit, and as the best local journalist in the city I feel you need to know who these toxic people are. Everybody knows that one booker who only books his band or his friend's band at their venue. Jesus there must be at least 510 of them out there. Everybody knows the person who changes bands because they were busted cheating. Everybody knows someone who tries to get local businesses closed because "they made me unhappy".   Sooooo, this week's Local Toxic Person of the Day is!  

Just kidding. This is the follow-up list to last week's popular "Overrated" list. This one is the "Underrated" list. This one was tougher to come up with and thus, most likely disappointing, but that's why you should help out in the comments section!

The Underrated List-

10. Richard Pryor- Yes, he was #1 on my overrated list, but after the people he influenced took off (and he couldn't keep up, to be honest) then he was pushed to the curb and became underrated.

9. Burt Reynolds- For a few years he was the biggest star on the planet so that's why he's not higher on the list, and he was kind of a jerk. But for the amount of money he drew, along with sneaky good performances like Boogie Nights, to be a footnote in 2019....yeah underrated.

8. Nick Nolte- Great actor. Always an aura of sadness around his performances. Not winning the Oscar for "Warrior" cemented him on this list.

7. Ty West- Not sure if anybody knows who this is. So he's underrated! The director of House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, and The Sacrifice is a master of the slow burn horror feature if you don't want cgi jump scares every 5 minutes.

6. X- I find the early 80's West Coast punk scene especially boring, but X stands out as the best of that crop. You can catch them in a bit at El Club if you're not boycotting or trying to shut it down. I've seen them 3 times and they have always delivered. John and Exene even signed my copy of "Less Than Zero" (which was also signed by Bret Ellis). Also responsible for one of my favorite lyrics, "This is the game that moves as you play".

5. Ray Liotta- Yeah a left field choice, but the dude is fantastic in everything he's been in (didn't see Dumbo Drop). The fact he was not nominated for an Oscar for Goodfellas is among the biggest crimes the Academy has ever committed.

4. Johnny Thunders- Lead guitar for the New York Dolls, junkie, and thief. Still his influence on other bands cannot be discounted, especially 80's metal. I know a few people in the music scene and I don't recall anybody saying, "I want to be the next Clash", but from a personal standpoint, when I picked up a guitar I said, "I don't want to be the Clash, too much work. I'm cool with Johnny".

3. The Zombies- Criminally underrated. Completely under the radar in the 60's because the Beatles and Stones were peaking, but I would put "She's Not There" up against any of the other classic tracks of that era. Plus used to brilliant effect in Kill Bill Vol.2. Actually they are number 1

2. Bryan Metro- How can the best local journalist in this city along with being nominated for 17 Detroit Music Awards only end up with one???! A total crime. Plus he calls out toxic local people and supports numerous animal rescue charities, along with never reducing himself to be a doorman once.

1. Sky Ferreira- Sky may not be the best singer or actress but she is a master of the Cult of Image which I covered  a few posts back. I had the pleasure of meeting her at El Club for New Years Eve 2017 and thankfully the protests had yet to start, though I doubt she would care about a couple of blobs with zero proof of any issues. We had a brief conversation regarding sleep habits and ended with a playful puppydog forehead bump. THIS IS MY LIST AND THIS IS NUMBER ONE DAMMIT!

Anyway, as I said above, this was not as well constructed as my "overrated" list but I hope you have fun with it, and let me know who I left off! Till next time.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Metro's Overrated Media Artists Medium Rare

*Update- This was a pleasant surprise in that it has created dialogue and debate and encouraging any and all opinions. Some of you have some very decent selections that I have overlooked, some have broke the rules and suggested politicians (admittedly an art in itself), and some are a little bit off. I have received a few messages from people who are having difficulty posting in the comments. I may just copy and paste it in the comments. So far the winner has been Donald Glover so he gets added to the Honorable Mentions which of course will prompt people to say "why do you have so many black people, including #1, on the list" which of course is not true as the majority are white. Its a fun topic, and has convinced me to do a follow up next week of most underrated.

Hey all, Metro here. The other day I was having dinner with a friend at a pretty decent steakhouse and I was having a steak medium, while she was having hers rare with extra au jus on the side. The sucking sounds would have normally been embarrassing in such a public setting but I had already been drinking for hours and didn't really care and I was more concerned/aware of her voraciousness regarding consuming the steak considering we had a train kid we picked up while pretending to see Captain Marvel at the Bel Air theater who was now in the trunk of the car, sedated, and ready to be bled later that night at Kenny's house.

The topic of conversation over dinner was about the very real concern of self censorship and how I felt that I had very real, important things to say, critique, poke fun at, joke about, but due to the escalated cloud of very real threats I have decided to just not say anything and how much it ate me up inside because why should I no longer have a voice as a writer, and why should my opinion no longer matter (or worse, would no longer be tolerated), and I was bored but wouldn't admit it. I decided to turn the topic of conversation over to who we thought was overrated in their respective field of art, excluding sports because Russell Westbrook would be an easy #1. The criteria was that they had to be universally, or near-universally, liked but jusssst a little overrated. Also, all recent local artists were excluded from the pool because it would have taken up the entire list, so sorry Jason, JSB, Sheefy, any permutation of Prussia/Jamaican Queens, and George Morris (kidding on the last one; nobody cares).

The conversation, and subsequent list, was sparked by a social media post that popped up on my social media during dinner that gave me a headache stating, or asking, if anybody was funnier than Tracy Morgan. My simple response was "yes", and after the few seconds of fear about possible violent retaliation because I had just made an opinion on social media that many would construe to be racist or misogynistic even though Tracy Morgan is a male, it made me think about the truly overrated out there. So I decided to come up with a list. Its not meant to agitate (its a crime that I have to say this in 2019), but just to start up a dialogue. So lets get started with my list of artists who I feel are overrated. If you agree, disagree, have some of your own, feel free to leave them in the open comment section below. Freedom of speech still exists in some places on the internet.

Honorable Mentions-
Tracy Morgan- Not a big enough name to make the main list, so I guess that makes him properly rated, but aside from a few SNL characters, I really don't find him funny. Being the cause for this list gets him a mention though.

Donald Glover- Not a long enough career to justify making the main list, but another example of somebody who can do no wrong and if you disagree your employers will be contacted by people offended that you disagree. My favorite aspect was around 50 reviews of the Star Wars "Solo" film that said it was meh, "but Donald Glover is great in it". It was like critics were afraid to completely critique the movie without offending Demographic Whine.

MC5- I didn't include them on the main list because they did have one classic album (so did the Sex Pistols {properly rated}, see my essay on image), and influenced a bunch of other bands such as The Stooges and Rage Against the Machine (both properly rated as well). However, their second album was overproduced by Springsteen's producer and had about one quality song, and nobody knows they even had a third record (which was decent). They treated women like shit (although who didn't in those days?), but I believe the art and the artist should be judged on different levels. I just wanted to point out something everybody throws under the rug. Oh and Wayne Kramer is such a tool. I left them off the main list because of Rob Tyner and Sonic Smith, who are actually underrated, so it balances out.

Steven Spielberg- I really wanted to include him on the main list but cannot justify putting the director of Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark there. He is more of an example of "The Decline". His output from Duel to Jurassic Park was an amazing stretch. After that it has been hit or miss with Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, and Catch Me If You Can being standouts and A.I. being an ambitious, beautiful, failure. All directors hit "The Decline". John Carpenter, Tim Burton, Coppola, DePalma, even Hitch. The only two who dodged it are Martin Scorsese who's Wolf of Wall Street was the best film of 2013 and filled with the energy of a thirty year old filmmaker, and Stanley Kubrick who's final film Eyes Wide Shut was met with tepid reaction but is actually a masterpiece. I was going to include Kurosawa, but never mind. This is why I was initially nervous about the upcoming Tarantino film Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, then realized I shouldn't be because Tarantino is also aware of "The Decline" and is retiring after his next film.

The Main List (Course Cooked Rare)-
12. Foo Fighters- The go-to band for people who don't listen to rock naming their favorite rock band. Also, the go-to band for the award show producer who realizes "Shit, we need a rock band". Dave Grohl has cultivated a nice guy, everyman, public persona, but sometimes I think he's just being an actor. There's something phony about it all. One and a half good songs.

11. Modern SNL Comics- I find it such a turn off when people think they're funnier or smarter than their audience (unless its me). Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Seth Myers, Bill Hader, I'm looking at you. They always seem to have that same smug look playing to the camera and to the eight people they are having drinks with that night. I will admit that "being funny" is next to impossible to pull off these days for the reasons I stated above, and most people have to cater to a certain demographic, Demographic Whine, or else they will be burned at the stake on social media and be looking for work. Completely toxic and very 2019.

10. Jordan Peele- Get Out was a good movie but overrated and benefitted from Oscar Guilt. I haven't seen Us yet but when the media marketing changed from "Us" to "Jordan Peele's US" then you are officially overrated (and full of yourself). It reminded me when The High Strung (decent but generic rock act) was being referred to as the band with the guy who wrote Bird Box. How does that matter in a music setting? I doubt it was their fault and probably more the media and cult of inferiority that always pops up in Detroit. Plus the new Twilight Zone sucks, but, once again, panders to the same demographic of the Cult of Whine. I did love Keanu though.

9. Terrence Malick- Can shoot a good film, but only has one classic film with Badlands (which came out in 1973). Is known for the time between film releases. He has been more prolific recently, but the work is met with crickets, even from the film nerds, once again, another example of "The Decline". Those same film geeks consider him a film god (fuck, which reminds me I forgot to include Clapton on the list). Still, I find him overrated.

8.5. Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Sting/The Police-  There, all better.

8. David Foster Wallace- Some book geeks consider him a god, but they probably didn't know about him until he hung himself. Has some decent stuff. Has some unreadable stuff. Bonus points for using his literary fame to doff a bunch of girls but demerits for treating them like shit. I do subscribe to separating the art from the artist (yeah, even Polansky, though its tough), so just based on the art, I find it boring. And overrated.

7. Allison Janney- I will admit that I am not that familiar with her full body of work, but I do watch a lot of award shows. Half because of gambling and half because I enjoy entitled celebrities put their foot in their mouth appealing to that same demographic of Whine, wanting to be accepted but ironically come off as talking down to everyone (more on that in a bit). I have never seen her lose an award nomination. Oscar, Emmy, thank god she doesn't have a record deal. The Caroline Striho of Hollywood. Completely overrated.

6. Alfonso Cuaron- Good director with a very good film in Children of Men, but I had to put him above Malick because he has an Oscar (full disclosure- I stole that reason from my friend, but it was a point I didn't want to leave out). Not a prediction, but a spoiler, but I bet the general public can not name his latest film (which won Best Director haha) without hopping on IMDB. I'll save you the time. It was Roma. Bonus points if you can name the movie that won Best Picture. It was Green Book. Not a prediction, but a spoiler, I bet none of the Constant Readers have seen either.

5. Radiohead- One great album (OK Computer), one okay album (Kid A), and one classic single (Creep). That is one decent fucking career. Oh wait, they have other stuff? Well, there goes that. Very overrated. Bonus points for being completely devoid of a sense of humor and always up their own asses. Bonus points for boring me.

4. The Clash- Speaking of bands full of themselves, here we have the most overrated band of all time (anybody saying The Beatles.....just stop). The Clash are good for 1-3 good songs a record, but most of it is filler (which is hilarious because I think they had a double LP). Yet, some say they are the greatest, or most "important" (how insufferable), band of all time. Pump the brakes on that. Just the most overrated.

3. Meryl Steep- This one is too easy. She actually would be higher if she didn't alienate 41% of her fans (you know, those who aren't part of the target Demographic of Whine) by bringing up politics during awards shows. Actually, that may move her to properly rated. Once again I try to separate the artist from the art, and yes she had a great stretch of quality movies in the early/mid-80's, but to be nominated for everything is a little over the top, thus overrated. I did like her in Death Becomes Her and She Devil. By the way talking politics at award shows is a "thing" I can't believe still happens. It is the equivalent of searching for likes on social media. The people you are talking to already agree with you (unless somebody invited James Woods or Dennis Miller, or heaven forbid Randy Quaid), so what exactly are you accomplishing? Well, aside from alienating a chunk of the viewers. Silly.

2. Bryan Metro- Winner of a Detroit Music Award, along with some referring to as "the best local journalist in Michigan". Yet, really doesn't put much effort into anything. I'm not exactly sure if anybody has gotten more attention by doing so little. Completely, 100% overrated.

1. Richard Pryor- I know this one will shock some, but hear me out. Is he influential? Absolutely, with Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock (who are actually funnier in a stand up setting) as disciples. In regards to his film career, he was often cast as a white studio exec's idea of a black person; a vaudeville-esque bumbling goof. See Superman 3 and some of the Gene Wilder comedies. I wouldn't dare deny his talent and influence, but I will not waver that he is overrated.

So that's it, my list of overrated artists. I'm sure some will agree, and some won't, and I may even be unfriended by a few from the Demographic of Whine (how some are remaining, I have no clue). Still, I found it to be a fun topic to talk about which you can do freely, without moderation, in the comments section below. Who is it for you? Does anybody even care because it has nothing to do with the local scene or your band? Who knows? My ex had a psychological obsession, refusing to watch any movies with Juliette Lewis in it (even though, she is properly rated). She never actually gave a reason why, which both interested and concerned me. Does this post contradict placing myself at #2 because I actually put effort into it? Nah....still overrated. This will probably be the lone post of the week. Stay tuned for my prevue of "Bash Fest" next week. It will only be up for an hour because I don't feel like being killed.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro