Sunday, March 11, 2007

I'm finding Black Adam's new musical direction difficult to support.

Those of you with long memories may remember that during my time as the late Mr Dibny's psychiatrist, I developed a fondness for Steve Lombard, who bounced back from that regrettable incident at the New Year to host Lombard's Late Late Lunch Hour, the conceit being that Mr Lombard is so utterly 'wicked chill', in the parlance of the times, that he takes his luncheon at ten o'clock in the evening as preparation for spending the small hours locked in the arms of inebriation and presumably his latest sexual conquest. Thus Lombard is seated at table by a character in chef whites called Alain Kickasse, and proceeds to tear his way through a twenty-ounce steak, served with pommes frites and some of the most unhealthy-looking onion rings I have ever seen, all to the accompaniment of dancing girls, an array of sports bloopers and live music from ZZ Top.

Needless to say, I find it completely fascinating as a snapshot of our current cultural milieu.

During the course of this titanic meal, Lombard presents his view of the current political regime and its opponents using his Freedometer - a sort of sliding scale with a drawing of a capitulating primate at one end and a photo of John Wayne at the other - gives a short precis of the current developments in the sporting arts and provides the viewer with his current pick for 'Ho Of The Show' (this week: Jane Austen). Finally, he invites a guest to his table to share post-prandial cigars. I was expecting perhaps an appearance from Elliott Sadler, who reminds me of Baudrillard as a young man, but the eventual appearance of Black Adam - dressed in a tuxedo as well as his trademark cape - shocked me to the core, considering recent events. It was only last month that Lombard accused Adam in print of being little more than an Egyptian Robbie Williams! I'd have thought that particular hatchet to be uninterrable.

Oh, and also I understand Black Adam's family was murdered by some sort of talking crocodile.

Well, I recorded the show for posterity, as I have long been an afficionado of swing music and all those who turn their hand to it, and I've long been impressed with Black Adam's work in the field. I took the liberty of making a transcript for those reading Ralph's journal - while I know he despised swing and its proponents, he did know both Lombard and Adam, and thus I'm sure he'd have chosen to use the space in this way rather than in yet another rant about the vast sums of money he was owed.

LOMBARD: Compliments to the chef! My left arm is still tingling. Ha ha ha! Ow. Okay, after a meal, what's better than a good cigar? And what's better with a cigar than a little sweet music? Ladies and Gentlemen, it's an honour to welcome onto the show the ruler of Kahndaq, whose fifth album, 'Sphinx Of Swing', comes out two weeks today... Black Adam!

ADAM: Thank you. Thank you very much.

LOMBARD: How do you spell that? Kahndaq? It's two Ks, right?

ADAM: Oh, I can't - can you believe this guy? It's a K and a Q. Hey, say that Robbie Williams thing. Say it to my face, I dare you.

LOMBARD: Can you believe - hey, can you believe this guy? You ain't a Robbie Williams fan?

ADAM: The man is an insult to swing. He's an insult to swing music. I mean, about the time he was making that album, I was punching the Justice Society, and the Flash said to me later he thought I was the better musician. I'd just punched the guy in the face!

LOMBARD: That was after your first album?

ADAM: Yeah, 'The Swing Of Eternity'. I'm kind of embarrassed by that now... I mean, there's so much more I could have done. At the time I was kind of hampered by the whole supervillain thing, I mean, on the one hand, all that time trying to conquer the world, it's time you're not in the studio. Also, people see you hanging out with supervillains, being a supervillain - it hurts sales. I think that's why the fourth album -

LOMBARD: 'Zehuti Frutti'.

ADAM: Yeah. That's why it flopped, because I was with the Society a lot, and the papers were all 'oh, he's a supervillain'...

LOMBARD: Well, it worked for Sinatra.

ADAM: It's a different time now. People don't like it.

LOMBARD: Okay, I'm gonna change the subject a little now... you've had some personal tragedy recently.

ADAM: Yeah. Yeah, this week in fact. Um... I don't know if this got on the news here, but my wife, Queen Isis, and my nephew were, uh... well, they were killed. And in my nephew's case, eaten. By some mad scientist death machines.


ADAM: Yeah.

LOMBARD: How's this affecting the album?

ADAM: Oh, massive changes. Top to bottom. It's going to be delayed. I mean, I've already pretty much gutted the opening track -

LOMBARD: 'You Tear Me Apart'?

ADAM: Yeah, now it's 'I Tear You Apart'. In fact, the whole album, it's not going to be called 'Sphinx Of Swing' anymore. Right now the working title is 'Swinging The Sword Of Horrific Venegeance'. I'm thinking May, June release.

LOMBARD: I know last week, on the phone, you were saying the album was on the theme of hope, kind of about your hopes for a unified world - I guess it's more about horrific vengeance now? Is that specific horrific vengeance, or horrific vengeance against humanity in general?

ADAM: Yeah, it's about total war on humanity now. In fact, I'm kind of declaring pretty much total war on humanity, here, now.

LOMBARD: Wow, on my show?

ADAM: Yeah, yeah, you heard it here first. On Lombard's Late Late Lunchtime. I'm declaring war.

LOMBARD: How about that, folks? Wow, total war. Look, this is going to sound kind of crass, and, y'know, feel free to tear my head off -

ADAM: Go ahead, go ahead. I'm open to criticism on this.

LOMBARD: Look, we had Isis on the show in February as our Valentine's Day Hottie, and she was very much into... her whole political stance seemed to be about not declaring total war on humanity. I mean, she was kind of a liberal. I'm just wondering...

ADAM: All her idea.

LOMBARD: No. Really? Was this before -

ADAM: Her dying wish was for me to declare total war on humanity. I was as surprised as you were. I mean, I guess it's like a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, you know. Anyway, she definitely wanted vengeance, and she didn't really specify against who, so...

LOMBARD: you need to rework the album a little.

ADAM: Right, exactly. I need to change a few things around, but it's still going to be a great album. 'I'm Holding Your Heart In My Hand', you remember, that track I came on and sang last month - that's still on the album. The emphasis is changing slightly, I mean, it's not, y'know, a metaphor any longer, but it's pretty much exactly the same. So yeah, I don't think my fans are going to be disappointed.

LOMBARD: And in the meantime, you've got this war on humanity thing going.

ADAM: Yeah, I'm sorry about that, Steve... I know it's not really what I was booked to talk about, but, you know, the album won't be out until June, and my war starts now, so, you know...

LOMBARD: Adam, you can... I'm flexible, you can come on and talk about whatever you want. Seriously, we love having you here.

ADAM: You're just saying that because of the tearing-in-half thing.

LOMBARD: Aw, come on, I can't - can you believe this guy? Huh? No, we love you, man. I'm even sorry about the Robbie Williams thing. You're more like the Egyptian Scotty Morris.

ADAM: Oh, now you're just flattering me. You're trying to butter me up. I'll kill you last, how's that?

LOMBARD: Can you - seriously, can you believe this guy? Black Adam, ladies and gentlemen. Give him a big hand.

And there you have it.

Personally, I'm somewhat perturbed by this news - it seems that at best, Adam's latest album will have a maudlin quality, and at worst it will tip over into full-on shmaltz. Frankly, as far as the state of modern swing music is concerned, Isis' death couldn't have come at a worse time.


Blogger Green Arrow said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Black Adam's stuff, but you really haven't suffered until you've heard Arthur Light's band, The Doctor Light Orchestra, covering Xanadu. Arthur does all of Olivia Newton-John's dance moves, plus the lightshow. Creeped the hell out of me.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Wonder Girl said...

You old people are sooo lame. The best musician in the whole multiverse is A. Bizarro. Scare Tactics can be OK too, but they try too hard. Yeah yeah, you are a vampire, a werewolf and whatever and you sing Heavy Metal or something... whatever, poochies.

Also... Black Adam is going to try to kill us all? Is he retarded or something? For Zeus' sake, he is just one guy who can fly and punch hard. Wonder Woman can hold him while Superman punches him. What can he do? Send the mighty might of his third world country to attack us? They are going to shoot malaria at us? cholera? polio? As soon as you see their troops, you just have to drop some coins to the floor and they'll forget whatever the heck they were doing. They don't even have to be quarters, just nickels and pennies.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Dr Robert Willis, Phd said...

Racism does not become you, young lady. The Kahndaqi people have faced great hardships in the past and survived with dignity. The long struggle with Qurac comes to mind, and also the invasion by Moldova in the 1500s, and the whole Atlantis-Gorilla City war in the twenties, which somehow spilled several thousand miles over into Kahndaq with tragic gorilla-themed consequences. And of course, we're not even mentioning the terrible Starro plague, which seemed to never end during the bleak days of the eighties. I still remember Bob Geldof's haunting song "Do They Know They Have Alien Starfish On Their Faces At All?"

11:40 AM  
Blogger Peter Eng said...

A. Bizarro was great, but ever since that whole Lexcorp thing, it's looking like he's not going to be making a second album.

In any case, he wasn't swing - and Black Adam's had rhythm from day one, and nobody ever accused him of depending on electricity to play good music.

And as far as bad music goes, I think the disco-era retread Black Lightning - Unplugged is a competitor for the DLO's cover any day.

5:14 PM  
Blogger jean loring said...

I always thought that Black Adam should record a duet with Shania Twain. After all, those big muscles and body rending shenanigans "don't impress her much" and after Black Adam's recent bitey crocodile related tragedy he certainly could do with a "Party for Two".

I wrote to his record company with this suggestion but they only let you have green wax crayons in Arkham so I don't think they took it too seriously :(

5:42 AM  

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