Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Listomania (Special Two Tons of Fun! Audio/Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what the heck that means. Yes, my Oriental Hanes Underwear engineering consultant Fah Lo Suee and I are off to lovely Collinsville, Illinois, where we plan to ring the doorbell of Rep. John Shimkus [R-Out of His Fucking Gourd], the congressman currently poised to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and run. Afterwards, we...

Okay, look, I'm sorry folks, but I really can't summon the energy to do another obligatory lame joke here. That's because Shimkus is the guy, as you may have heard, who claims that global climate change isn't a problem due to God having promised Noah he wouldn't destroy the Earth again.

Let me simply say it here, then, and for the record: There is no fricking excuse imaginable for allowing a patently insane ignoramus any input into the serious life and death business of America's energy policy. None whatsoever. And while I don't, as George Harrison said in Help, want to knock anybody's religion, I gotta also say -- if the Republicans let this theocratic nutcase within a mile of that committee chairmanship, which would be an act of breathtaking cynicism and irresponsibility, then I frankly hope they burn, over a slow spit, in the hell I personally don't believe in.

Okay, rant over. Now on to more pleasant topics, and I will try to refrain from any similar outbursts in the future.

Sooo...because things will probably be quiet around here for a few days, as per usual, here's a fun little project to help us wile away the idle hours:

Best or Worst Post-Elvis Single or Album Made By a Fat Person or Persons!!!

And before you say anything, I'm aware that this week's theme might be considered unkind or offensive -- that my attempts at humor here might easily cross over the line from snark into genuine bad taste, or even gratuitous cruelty. So let me assure you -- having had weight issues of my own from time to time, the remarks that follow will be both sensitive and un-judgemental.

[Note: If you believed any of the preceding paragraph, even for a nanosecond, please e-mail me at I have some bridgefront property in Brooklyn I'd like to discuss with you.]

Oh -- and please. No Meatloaf. There's really no need for that. Really.

And my totally top of my head Top Six includes:

6. The Fat Boys -- Jailhouse Rap

Hey, what can I tell you -- these guys always cracked me up.

5. Heart -- These Dreams

Heart - These Dreams .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
I actually love this song, and to be fair, when it was recorded, Ann Wilson was still drop dead sexy in a bodice-ripping, serving wench in a Hammer vampire movie sort of way. In 2010, of course, her significant other (whoever that might be) probably has to feel her up with a catcher's mitt.

4. The Notorious B.I.G. -- Juicy

Yeah, yeah, a lot of people thought the whole East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud of the 90s was a big deal. Puhleeze. Like it could hold a candle to the Big Band war of the 40s, when musicians from the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Woody Herman's Thundering Herd were popping caps on each others asses on an almost daily basis.

3. Solomon Burke -- Cry to Me

Solomon Burke - Cry to Me .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
The late great Burke was always a rather large guy, but let's be honest -- by the beginning of the current century he'd become (in Nick Tosches' immortal phrse) such a big fat fuck he mostly couldn't be bothered to get out of his chair even when in front of an audience.

2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive -- You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Yeah, right. Bachman-Turner overweight was more like it.

And the Numero Uno big-boned song of them all most likely has to be....

1. Mountain -- Flowers of Evil

Ah, Leslie West -- the obese Eric Clapton. I actually think Mountain are a tad underrated (the Nantucket Sleighride album is a lovely piece of work, IMHO, as is the LP from whence the above derives) but West himself deserves respect for having inspired perhaps the coolest of all album titles -- The Great Fatsby.

Alrighty then -- and what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: best or worst horror film whose story involves a backstage show-biz milieu -- is now up over at Box Office here. As always, I'd be in your debt, eternally, if you could pop over there and say something obnoxious. Or perceptive. Or just hello, if you're of a mind -- I'm not picky. Thanks!]


pete said...

How about people who did their best work and THEN got fat, like Lowell George?

Reg C said...

Someone once compared Al Anderson of NRBQ to Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton-- together, on the scale. (He has slimmed down somewhat after leaving the band for Music Row.)

I recommend The Same Old Thing from "NRBQ at Yankee Stadium". I owe your old colleague Joel Vance thanks for steering me to that, my favorite disc of the '70s.

NYMary said...

Can I get some love for Mama Cass?

And yeah, it was overplayed at the time, but in retrospect, Wilson Phillips did credit to both sets of parents. (though honestly, it's pretty offensive: "Carnie, do you mind hiding under this circus tent? kthnxbai!" Because that's what heavy women need: more layers!

Oh, and another contribution in the Heart category, filmed along the same lines: "This Man Is Mine," the video for which is inexplicably not on Youtube.

Maybe important? Both Carnie Wilson and Ann Wilson have now had gastric bypass surgery. Me, I think I need to dig out my blazers. TV tells me so.

Faze said...

That Mountain song has a nice swing to it and (if I dare say) doesn't sweat much for a power trio. Still, my nominations would be anything by the Turtles, whose frontman Mark Volman made the world safe for Barenaked Ladies. I'd particularly like to point out Volman's work with the post-Turtles Flo & Eddie, in particular "If We Only Had the Time", which might have been a soaring, "Eleanor"-type single, if it didn't break into a screaming bridge halfway through, a touch added, no doubt, to demonstrate the boys' incorruptability to an audience that must have included future boss Frank Zappa.

Sal Nunziato said...

"Sick Of Myself" by Matthew "Look At My Man Boobs" Sweet.

Have you seen him lately? Go on your roof.

MBowen said...

Please, try to keep up people - the best record ever made by a fat guy was just released about two months ago. I refer, of course, to Cee-Lo Green and his immortal kiss-off anthem, "Fuck You". Seriously, this is a definitive summer song.

Feral said...

Seeing that you didn't qualify the list as pop or rock...

Aretha Franklin - Respect
Etta James - At Last
BB King - The Thrill is Gone
Howlin' Wolf - Killing Floor

J. Loslo said...

Billy Stewart-- "Summertime." He also did a song called "Fat Boy," in which he thanks his lover for being in love with, well, a fat boy.

¡barangus!™ said...

Pat DiNizio is a Zeppelin these days so Smithereens "Wall of Sleep"

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

I'm kinda partial to the Big Pun/Fat Joe joint, "Still Not A Player".

And anything - anything at all - by Biggie.

Michael said...

First thought is Elvis himself but I can't think of any recordings I like from his rubenesque period.

Two from the nouveau soul revival:
Adele (19)
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (100 Days, 100 Nights)

Edward said...

Others have already picked off my obvious one, but I have to throw in a pitch for my old friends from DC, who have shed much of the weight, Tru Fax and the Insaniacs

Blues Traveler - Runaround
The Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace
Elvis Costello (during his fat period) - The Other Side of Summer
The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men

Edward said...

And one more from the 70-80's DC scene

Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band with the Fabulous Rootettes - Dare To Be Fat

TMink said...

I thought I had seen Matthew Sweet getting large. Who cares?

Please do not forget d. boone of the Minutemen, another portly rocker. It is difficult for me to pick just one song, but how about Corona from Double Nickels On The Dime, their amazing double album. The instrumental version of the song is that catchy Jackass theme.

And as for Shimkus, it would help if he got his Biblical "scholarship" right. God tells Noah that he will never curse the world with another flood, but elsewhere in scripture it is fairly clear that God may end it with fire when He has had enough.

What that has to do with being good stewards of God's wonderful creation, I have no earthly idea. From a Christian point of view, God left us in charge of taking care of his creation, and exploitation and ruination due to greed do not qualify as stewardship. They qualify as rape.

Sorry for the rant. Rock on.


Dave said...

How about a song from a fat man in tribute to fat women? Dan Bryk's "BBW (Chunky Girl)"

steve simels said...

I can't believe I left out the Cee-Lo "fuck you" song.

That is without question the greatest thing ever.


steve simels said...

Sorry for the rant. Rock on.


Not a problem. This is an objectively pro-rant zone.

The Hamzinger said...

What, no love for Bad Manners? That's a crime as Buster's one of the best fat front-men of all-time. And if my band, the Misfats, had ever not been too lazy and actually recorded something we'd own this list...

Anonymous said...

Fat has been defined upward in our time. Fats Domino and Chubby Checker would not be singled out for their size had they come along in 2010. They actually look pretty svelte by today's standards. In the 1950s, Solomon Burke(at least in his later days) would have been a side-show attraction.

steve simels said...

And if my band, the Misfats, had ever not been too lazy and actually recorded something we'd own this list...

The world's fattest Misfits cover band, ladies and germs.

You, sir, are a genius.

cuddlefish said...

James "Baby Huey" Ramey's posthumously released and Curtis Mayfield produced album The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend is one of my favs.

Any of the Greatest Hits albums by Wesley Willis.

Billy B said...

Loved Mountain. Climbing wasn't a bad LP either.

I have fond memories of parking with my HS girlfriend whilst playing the double live set Twin Peaks in the 8 player.

steve simels said...

Uh, this guy probably takes the, uh cake.

And lots of it, now that I think of it.

MBowen said...

Then there's this gem, a masterpiece of American new wave/post-punk by one of the only three or four decent bands to come out of San Francisco.

MBowen said...

And another '80s fave, the only synth-pop band with a really great singer.

Mike said...

I hope I read through the comments well enough to claim David Thomas of Pere Ubu as my own contribution.

And the Cee-Lo song is indeed the best thing ever created.

steve simels said...

Ah, Romeo Void. And Alison Moyet is, indeed, the only great singer out of synth-pop. Good calls.

But you know -- we really should be talking about Sandy Denny, who may have been the greatest pop voice of our lifetime/

And let's be honest -- if she had been a little skinnier, she would have sold more records than Linda Ronstadt or fricking Celine Dion combined.

Anonymous said...

here's Leslie (wearing what appear to be pajamas) with his band the Vagrants:

Awesome clip.

Btw Shimkus is one of those politicians that vowed if elected he'd only serve a couple of terms and then get out of DC. Guess what? His time's up and he's still there.

MBowen said...

I forgot about Sandy Denny, although part of that is that, as I noted to one of her biographers, she looks like a different person in almost every photo taken that it's hard to have a firm mental image of her.

Meanwhile, the leader of these guys may well have been one of the chubbiest speed-freaks of all time. They still made hellaciously great records, though.

TKK said...

These guys were a few tons of fun:

Screaming Trees

(bonus - a LONGBOX! And Letterman announces the wrong song!)

Anonymous said...

Sandy Denny fat? How dare you! I don't think I like you no mo'.

This outside the rules, but it's what came to mind: Olive Oyl's ode to Bluto, He's Large, as sung by Shelley Duvall in Robert Altman's very peculiar "Popeye". (It's the only thing I really liked in that movie.)

nosmok said...

A few weeks back I chimed in with Israel Kamakawiwoole's "Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World" for some other list topic. Now I see I should have saved him for this one. No musician has ever been larger.