Hide your women. Hide the children. Glammed-up synth-punkers the Killers are coming to town in support of their platinum-selling Hot Fuss, and there just might be hell to pay. We took a look at how the retro-rockers-of-the-moment compared to some real killers in history, and let us tell you: It ain't pretty.
"Blood Countess" Báthory: In 17th-century Hungary, the cold-blooded Countess Erzsébet Báthory reportedly killed women for sport and bathed in their blood to make herself beautiful. She changed her clothing five or six times a day and spent hours admiring her legendary beauty in mirrors.
The Killers: The ruthless Killers have recently engaged in a little bloodsport of their own, claiming similarly coiffed labelmates the Bravery and their lead singer, Sam Endicott, stole the band's look, style and sound. Gonna have to side with the Bravery on this one, but both bands clearly spend a lot of time in front of the mirror admiring their 'dos. And as far as the lady-killing goes, neither group seems to be having too much difficulty.
Gavrilo Princip: This notorious assassin executed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, 1914, which caused Austria to declare war on Serbia, thus triggering a minor affair we like to call World War I.
The Killers: Likewise, the Killers are slaughtering Franz Ferdinand, the Glasgow-based synth-heavy post-punk act to which they're most frequently compared. While the Killers' Hot Fuss rests comfortably on top of the Billboard charts, the saucy Scots (who've stated they aim to make "music girls can dance to") haven't seen nearly the same success with their catchy self-titled debut.
Joe Hunt: An '80s psychopathic murdering fave, good ol' Joe captured the popular imagination as leader of the Billionaire Boys Club. Besides serving as the subject of a must-see NBC Movie of the Week starring Brat Packer Judd Nelson, Hunt managed to convince his fellow investment-club members to kill several of their wealthy clients in a twisted scheme involving kidnapping, Swiss bank accounts and well-dressed prepsters.
The Killers: The Killers are deadly serious about their retro-prep look, sporting white blazers, skinny ties and boat shoes (yikes) with alarming regularity. Toss in a little eyeliner and they've developed a new style the kids are calling "yacht goth." Hunt would be proud.
Evril LeBaron: This Mormon murdering machine had 13 wives, 50 children and legions of followers who killed 25 to 30 people. When LeBaron was placed in prison for murder in 1901, his children continued the killing spree on his behalf.
The Killers: Though he apparently isn't afraid of the occasional all-out party, Killers vocalist and songwriter Brandon Flowers is also Mormon and has been known to inspire loads of less harmful, yet highly irrational behavior (mainly ass-shaking and extreme rocking out) among the Killers' legions of followers. -- Rich Sharp
TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET, CONTINUED
R. Kelly does not know how to write. Really. He admitted to Vibe Magazine last year that he isn't good at reading or writing, period. Yet this apparent fact has not prevented the accused statutory rapist from penning "Trapped in the Closet," a monstrous, multipart song that the crooner refers to as an "urban soap opera." So far he's completed videos for Parts 1 through 5, each one more jarringly ill-conceived than the one before it; Parts 6 through 12 are soon to be released and Kelly has intimated that he may go to 20 or more. Adding insult to injury, he's also developing a play and a film for the saga.
Except the story line isn't much of a saga at all -- it's downright boring. So far, it goes like this: Kelly hides in the closet after the husband of the woman he's freaking comes home; Kelly argues with said husband, who is a pastor and who, it is revealed, has a gay lover (?); talk of being gay ensues; Kelly phones his wife at home and is shocked to hear a man answer; Kelly races home, berates his woman, does the do with her, then finds a used condom in his bed.
For obvious reasons, The New Yorker has declared the elements of the work as falling somewhere "between John Coltrane's open-ended searching and gospel's time-honored combination of improvisation and hamminess."
Um, what the fuck?
While we hate to spoil endings, Wack has come upon lyric sheets for upcoming installments of this epic.
Part 6: "I can't believe that cop done fooled with my girl/ If I find him I'ma make his head whirl/ My wife says, 'Wait! There's more to this rocky boat!/ I haven't yet mentioned, my other boyfriend's a goat! Goat! Goat!'"
Part 7: "After my wife says all this mess/ Gotta leave, can't handle the stress/ Drive to the club, hopin' the ladies are tight/ Gotta get laid at least four more times tonight/ That's my plight/ What rhymes with 'plight'?/ Fight? Might? Lucite? Lucite!"
Part 10: "Decide to leave up out the club/ In the car, hit the gas, wanna find me a cub/ Stop, voices in my head, please stop, please!/ I'ma find me a girl at Chuck E. Cheeese! Cheese! Cheese!"
Part 15: "Chuck E. Cheese is off the chain/ The way these girls look is causin' me strain/ Oh shit, a video game/ Mayor McCheese/ Man, I think I'm gonna hit up Mickey D's/ Why are thousands of spiders crawling up and down my arms?"
Part 73: "The seventh-grade girls say, 'We can go to our house, Daddy ain't there'/ I say, 'Great! Just show me where!'/ And, 'Can I plug a video camera in up there?'/ Now the three of us are upstairs rockin'/ Ain't no way I'm stoppin'/ Look out, the Kelly volcano's about to start pop--" [remaining words are smeared and indecipherable].
Part 1,379: "Now I'm flying a spaceship with 20-inch rims."
Part 73,431: "People of Earth/ This is your master, R. Kelly/ You will obey me as I am the one and true leader of all men/ Now who wanna go fuck in a kitchen?" -- Garrett Kamps and Tamara Palmer
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
HOUSTON VS. CHICAGO
Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago are certainly two of the Windy City's most durable exports and their arrival here this week at the Woodlands Pavilion reminds me of a hypothesis I have always had.
Namely, this: Houston and Chicago are mirror images of each other. I mean that in the sense that the two are alike but opposite. Think about it. They're both huge cities and inland ports with thriving blues scenes, but Chicago's a Blue State city, Houston's Red. Chicago boomed in the 19th Century, Houston in the 20th. Chicago's immigrants are mainly from Europe; Houston's from Asia and Latin America. Chicago is unendurable in the winter, Houston in the summer. Chicago is comparatively dense and packed with all manner of public transport, Houston's spread out and only starting to cotton on to passenger trains.
Press assistant Night & Day Editor (and walking music encyclopedia) Scott Faingold spent his young adulthood in Chi-Town, so I thought the two of us could take the momentous occasion of having these Second City auteurs to chart the parallel musical histories of the two metropolises. (Click on the caption, above right, to enlarge the graphic.)