Rickys Random Articles

Random Review: Listening to E-talk’s Top 20 Countdown on the Radio

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Road Trips are a delicate creature, especially with friends you have never road tripped with before. There’s so many questions to consider

a) are people talkers? are they sleepers?
b) is there a small bladder person? are we stopping often or going for broke?
c) who rides shotgun? what are their duties?
d) are there any personal topics that are off guard in conversation?

Of all the questions to ask, the most important one is obviously

e) who is in charge of music?

Most of the time when I’m on a road trip, it’s usually in my former roommates car in which the music selection was up to me. However, on this trip, I was on a trip with three other friends and this question was unclear. It didn’t matter, as we all forgot to bring an aux cable to plug our respective musical devices into. We were at the mercy of the radio.

The radio.

As a non driver and infrequent car passenger, this technology has long been lost on me, thrown to the wayside with other seemingly obsolete technologies (VCRs, Gameboys, Discmans). Without an auxiliary cable for our ipods, it became our only source of music for the five hour journey.

Let me tell you something you may already know: the radio sucks.

However, as we have learned in previous adventures, every bad opportunity is an opportunity to write and that opportunity rose like Bruce Wayne as we approached Kingston. We luckily landed on FLY FM 98.3 and the E-Talk Top 20 Countdown.

I naturally decide to write down my thoughts as each song came on, and here it is.

20. Some Pink Song
Looking this up now, this song is apparently called Blow Me (One Last Kiss). At the time of listening, I thought it just sounded like Katy Perry’s Fireworks, only with Pink. For my books, Pink has been one of the most consistently mediocre pop stars of our era. She has always hovered in the second tier of stars – at first she was behind the likes of Christina Aguilera and Britney, now she’s behind the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna. I think her insistence on trying to pretend like she has personal issues/demons is what holds her back. Look at the lyrics of this song “Just when it can’t get worse, I’ve had a shit day / Have you had a shit day? / we’ve had a shit day” who do you think this targets? High school losers who’ve had shit days. The popular kids in high school don’t have shit days, and certainly wouldn’t identify with these lyrics and that is who all the losers in high school aspire to, so they’ll always be slightly embarrassed about listening to this track/Pink even if they really like her. That’s probably why she’s never broken through the ceiling.

19. Some band – Mariana’s Trench
I’m not even going bother looking up this song or band, I think they are Canadian and they sound emo. The music is deceptive, as it sounds like Katy Perry’s Fireworks with a male voice. I think every electro-pop tune with an anthemic chorus sounds like Katy Perry’s Fireworks though. What’s the deal with musical artist turning geographic locations into their band names? Flo Rida, Mariana’s Trench.. I can’t name anymore actually, but it’s dumb.

18. Rihanna – Where Have You Been?
I wrote “Sounds like Rihanna with a less skillful producer than Calvin Harris” However, I looked this up and Calvin Harris co-produced this track, so not his best work. I’ll actually put all the blame on Dr. Luke. Take a look at his discography and you will understand why. I don’t think anyone has benefited from good producers more then Rihanna in the past ten years, but to her credit she picks the right tracks to sing. However, seeing as how she only seems to spend time instagramming herself in a bikini these days, I’m sure the people at whatever record label she is on have already created a machine to replicate her voice and produce new albums.

Flashback! K’Naan – Waving Flags
This track is the perfect example of why it would suck to have your song tied to some large event. Now everyone thinks about the Olympics/World Cup (forgot what it was) anytime this song is played. That might be okay you think, but you know what this makes this song sound? Dated. Not good for longevity, great songs are timeless however, this song is associated with 2010. Not timeless. I actually don’t like this track anyway, as it’s one of those rare songs that sound good in the first minute and then gets exponentially more annoying with each passing minute until you are ready to impale yourself with a flag by the time the last saccharine chorus ends.

17. Alanis Morrisette – Guardian
I didn’t even know she was making music, but this song sounds a bit like Hands Clean. It’s still kind of catchy but let’s face it, she’ll never recapture You Oughta Know. Don’t feel sorry for her though, that album sold 33 million copies. To put it into perspective, Katy Perry’s album sold 7 million.

16. Some Hip Hop Track
At the time I wrote “Sounds like crappy Roll Deep. I’m guessing it’s Pit Bull since I associate him with mediocre club level hip hop tracks”. I was correct.

15. inoffensive pop song with a catchy chorus
I’m guessing Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez. Never did found out because Tanya Kim and Ben Mulroney’s heads were both stuck up some celeb’s ass and they forgot to say what song this was. Apparently this was Karmin.

14. Another inoffensive Euro flavor pop track
This seems like a trend, pop songs with euro flavored beats. The singer’s voice seems to be drowned out by the beat for a majority of the songs. Apparently this was Hedley.

13. Heartbreak Coverup – Jesse LaBelle
When the announcer first said, I thought it was a Heartbreak cover song by Jesse and Belle. Not sure what to think about this track, but I can’t get over the lazy drum machine in the background. I think this is for teenagers to listen in their bedrooms for some reason . the use of the word “alcohol” makes the song seem more deep then it is.

12. Kelly Clarkson
Still trying to top her hit single from eons ago. Not gonna happen. I will say she is the master of self affirming pop hits, no one gets more mileage out of the whole “this is me, I am flawed, accept me for who I am, rawr” pop tracks then Kelly Clarkson does.

At about that time, we lost reception. So, that’s it.

Overall, as one would expect, the songs fell into three categories

a) club tracks that are primed for dance floor/remixes
b) sappy songs for teens to emote to
c) songs for unpopular kids to feel good about themselves

so basically, same as it always was.

New Olympic Sport Suggestion: Escalating High Dive

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The Olympics are fun and all, but it’s getting kind of stale. Every four years it’s the same same sport. How many triple flips can you see before you become bored?

It’s time to inject some life and drama into the tournament and I am here to provide some suggestions. I have a bunch but here is the first.

Escalating High Dive

This is a new “sport” and tests one of the most human elements – fear as well as the ability to dive accurately. The venue will be an outdoor pool of about thirty feet deep. Here is how it will go

First Round
A celebrity judge (since it’s in London, let’s say… Pete Doherty) will spin a wheel with some numbers, 15,25,35,45. Whatever number the pointer lands on is the starting point. Let’s say it lands on the starting point of 25. The diving board will be elevated to 25 meters. Pretty easy, most contestants will dive off 25 meters. Each contestant will then perform their dive off 25 meters and they will be judged accordingly.

Eliminations will occur in one of two ways:
a) every round, the diver with the lowest score will be eliminated


b) a diver decides the height is too much and opts out of diving.

Second Round
After the 1st round, the diving board height will once again be raised. But the real question is..by how much?

This will be determined by the diver with the highest score from the previous round. The diver will be given the mic and ask how much they want the diving board be raised. It is up to the divers discretion to decide (at least increments of 5 meters). They can pick to raise it by 5 meters, or 20.

So this will go on and on until there is one diver remaining, and they get the gold medal.

Think about the excitement. What if after one round, the diver decides to raise the diving board 20 meters? how many divers would drop out? How scared will the crowd be if there’s two divers duking it out on a 60 meter diving board?

So many possibilities. What do you think?

Happy Canada Day Weekend! A tribute in Pictures (2012 version)

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It’s once again time to celebrate our fabulous country, one that I leave very often but always come back to. Here are some things to remind us just how great Canada is.

12 Year contract! Woo.

The most loved and hated basketball players for Canadians in one picture! Steve Nash, coming to a Toronto Raptor near you (bank it).

Congratulations to Carly Rae Jepsen for not only introducing us to a song THAT NEVER LEAVES YOUR HEAD and also, one of the funnier memes of 2012.


We have cool celebrities

This guy might be the best hitter in baseball

Introduced everyone to gothy techno.

The best chocolate bar

Finally, Here are some random Canadian music acts. Have a good weekend!

Can Con Lyrical Analysis: Moist – Leave it Alone

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It’s been a while since we did lyrical analysis here at the Panic Manual, but that’s just how life is sometimes.

Just like the previous time, when we dug deep and exposed the meanings of Our Lady Peace’s classic track Superman’s Dead, we will once again reach back in the sands of time and look at another classic from the 90’s – Moist’s leading single off their sophomore album Creature. That track is Leave It Alone.

For the record, I really like this song. Even today. I’m sure 15 year old Ricky enjoyed it more but it’s got a good flair to it. However, I have always wondered – what the hell is it about?

I asked Paul what he thought, to which he said “just … leave it alone, man”

Let’s have a look at the lyrics. I have put some notes in the lyrics in parentheses.

I’d walk the water to get back to you (Jesus reference?)
And where I was complete
We found you scattered by the highway side too
Soon to be released
Gathered the pieces up and clean the places
Where you were undone
(humpty dumpty reference?)
And washed the wreckage out unfinished all the
Thoughts that we’d begun

I came to burn the sky and tear away
The beauty that it sows
If I could rape the day and find the things I thought
I’d always known

Leave it alone again tonight

I laid your arms out long untwisted there
And shaped what I could find
Unmade the most of it and then left the rest
The parts unrecognized
My reconstruction was the only way
For one last look at you
I lost the sense of absolution
That we never knew

Leave it alone again tonight
Leave it alone again tonight

And it takes me back from this place here
It takes me back from this place here

I came to burn the sky and tear away
The beauty that it sows
I came to rape the day and find the things
I thought I’d always known

Leave it alone again tonight

And it takes me back from this place here
From this place here it takes me over
And it might be lost in this place here
From this place here it takes me on

Tonight leave it alone

From what I gather, the first two verses seem to indicate David Usher wants to heal or remember a person he cared about, who has changed or is broken in some emotional way. It’s really the chorus that I can’t understand. What does he want to leave alone?

What the hell does this line mean?

If I could rape the day and find the things I thought I’d always known

Why must you rape the day? Can you not find out gently and kindly? what does raping of a day entail? This befuddles me.

In conclusion, I have no idea what this song is about. So if someone can tell me, that would be great