#31 – “P.S.O.K. (Paul Stanley Of KISS)” (2006)

A.S.: I love this song.
L.K.: It took me a long time to appreciate it, a looong time. On the one hand I can understand why people hate it, but on the other hand, I kinda can’t anymore.
A.S.: I really can’t, I mean, it’s this really funny, incredibly strange collage of Paul Stanley saying variations of the same stage banter, and at the same time, it’s this really lively, driving rock instrumental.
L.K.: You really have to have no sense of fun at all to be angered by this, even if it isn’t exactly your cup of tea. I didn’t “get” it when it first came out on the podcast. I was annoyed by its existence. I was one of “those people”. And then I heard it again a couple months ago for the first time in years, and heard it a couple more times since then, and it grew on me massively. And I mean, I’m sure TMBG themselves appreciate the realities of stuff like the fact that banter isn’t always 100% fresh (though at least the Johns don’t run around falsely claiming to have not played a song in a loooooong time).
A.S.: I first heard this when I downloaded all the free stuff from the band’s site en masse and I was expecting something really bad, given its ridiculously low favorability among fans, but I loved it and love it even more with each listen. It’s one of those great pieces of music that really has dubious reasons for existing – “Why was this even made?” “What caused someone to create this?” – I love songs like that.
L.K.: Oh yeah, I can’t claim to understand why it exists, but it is wonderful and also it is, was, and it always has been free. I don’t get how people get so upset over this song. It’s not like you paid money for it. It just exists.
A.S.: Paul Stanley’s inflections are great too: “ALCAHAAAAAAHHHHHHL!”
L.K.: It’s very quotable, in a fucked up sort of way.
A.S.: “We got any people here tonight that like to get HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH?!” Holy geez, the bassist on this was on Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions album?  Oh man.
L.K.: Jeremy Chatzky! Jeremy Chatzky!
A.S.: Totally different style of playing here.
L.K.: The part of me that is interested in Mr. Flansburgh’s political opinions is also interested in this song, just because it’s reappropriated clips from a KISS bootleg compiled into another song. No wonder he opposes SOPA. I wonder what sort of legal grey area this song as a whole falls into…
A.S.: Unauthorized sample of an unauthorized bootleg
L.K.: Nobody’s making any money on it, but nobody’s necessarily losing money on it either… it’s complicated.
A.S.: You know, for a weird, one-off oddity, it’s pretty complex too; the weird little vaguely-baroque keyboard bit in the middle breaks things up nicely.
L.K.: Yeah, it’s pretty complex for something put together as a gag.
A.S.: God, this song… you know, I don’t know if I could truly be friends with someone who loathes this. What about three minutes of ridiculous/dishonest Paul Stanley concert banter could possibly be so loathsome?
L.K.: Yeah. If you want to hate something in music, there are so many disgustingly egocentric acts out there making super-serious music. Go hate on some of that. Don’t hate on Flansy making weird KISS banter remixes for fun. It’s just silly and dumb, but nothing particularly loathe-worthy.
A.S.: There are evil people in the world nowadays who hate this song.  We won’t be afraid of those people.
L.K.: Oh, I just want to briefly mention the uh… the “video” for this, posted just a couple weeks ago for Stanley’s birthday. The official video that consists of a slideshow made almost entirely of bad Paul Stanley fanart and toys and other related creepiness.
A.S.: There are some gems there.  I mean, obviously this is to be expected of a band whose fans are known collectively as an “army”.
L.K.: How they got such a huge fanbase, I’ll never know…
A.S.: Hard rock!  Theatrics!  Dumb and catchy hooks! I think it’s painfully obvious how KISS became huge.
L.K.: Really ugly guys in really ugly facepaint! Costumes! Gross tongues!
L.K.: All-midget tribute bands!
A.S.: Okay, I don’t think even the members of KISS foresaw that in the beginning.
L.K.: I don’t think anybody could, but I am now eagerly awaiting the same for all other bands. I am waiting for a They Might Be Giants tribute band whose members are entirely under four feet tall. “Ironic” folks would dig the hell out of that shit.
A.S.: The band would be called, “They’re Actual Size”.  [Oof.]
L.K.: I was just going to mention Terry Pratchett’s “We’re Certainly Dwarves”.
A.S.: …Anyway, we’ve been doing this for a month now!
L.K.: Oh man. One down, eleven to go… for this year, at least. Do you think we’ll eventually get through every song? In a recent interview, one of the Johns (Flansburgh, I believe) said that they recorded 120 songs during the last 4 years, so in theory at least, we should be able to eventually catch up to THEIR ENTIRE RELEASED OUTPUT.
A.S.: I don’t know, but we’re going strong now, and at least we know we have readers – coincidentally, we recently received our 1,000th blog view. I have no idea how that compares to other month-old blogs, but either way, thank you to anyone who has been reading/following this!
L.K.: We really do appreciate it!
A.S.: We’re not just bullshitting you like Paul Stanley might!

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