Friday, April 04, 2008

taking the teddy bear test

When Beckeye tagged me with this top 15 sexiest male musicians meme, I thought it was going to be a breeze. What could be easier, I thought. And I immediately started jotting down names.

When I reached 25 names within a few short minutes, I began to have an inkling that this might involve a bit more selectivity than I originally thought. I was going to have to do some culling. I was going to have to establish some criteria besides I love this man he’s so talented and cute.

So I implemented what I call the oh-god-I-just-fucked-my-teddy-bear rule. If I allowed myself to imagine a selected musician in a carnal situation, and it made me cringe because he is so adorable and sweet that it would be like, well, fucking your teddy bear, then that man is out. You’d be surprised at the number of worthy men I had to eliminate that way. A shame really.

So to you - Colin Meloy and John K Samson and Wayne Petti and Chad VanGaalen and Joel Plaskett and Tony Dekker, my heartfelt apologies. You are tops in my heart, but you don’t pass the teddy bear test.

These guys do:

Bry Webb (the Constantines)

- that voice, which I have heard described (accurately, I assure you) as jagged chocolate, the passion and the energy he puts into performing, those plaid shirts. He walked past me in the lobby once and I was too overwhelmed to say anything to him, but I sure was sweating.

Jarvis Cocker

- he always had that swaggering yet ambivalent sexuality thing going for him when he was with Pulp, and now that he’s in his 40s and was a stay-at-home daddy (thereby cementing his place in women’s hearts) before bursting back on the music scene with his great solo album last year, he just keeps getting sexier. Plus anyone who can rock the same style of nerd glasses for decades has got all kinds of chutzpah.

Thom Yorke (Radiohead)

- is anyone really surprised that Thom is on this list? Quite frankly, most of the members of Radiohead could be under consideration – Jonny for his hair and incredible talent, Ed for his smile, Colin for his articulate intelligence and personality, and Phil for, um, well, he’s a very good drummer and he has a nice shiny scalp.

But how could anyone not be swayed by that twitchy little ginger who rules my heart? When you combine that soaring voice with that scruffy little face complete with wonky eye and those premium dance moves, his incredible musical vision, plus his commitment to fairness and to living and touring responsibly, well he’s pretty much back to save the universe, isn’t he? And that makes our Thom one sexy lad.

Hawksley Workman

- a flamboyant, larger than life showman, who all but throws himself at the feet of his audience. He's got the moves and he's got the voice, and he sings about sex a lot.

And in person, he's a real sweetheart.

Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy)

- quite frankly, the most stunningly beautiful lad I have ever laid eyes upon. Makes me wish I was a gay man. Plus he almost single-handedly made violin playing and being a gaming nerd cool.

Also put on the best concert I saw last year.

Jim Reid (the Jesus and Mary Chain)

- Jim was always pretty sweet looking back in the day, with his pouty face under the mass of hair, and all that tight leather. He was the more outspoken member of the band, and when he opened his mouth to spout off with that Glaswegian accent, well there's no resisting that, is there?

He still looks pretty fit and fine today and, unlike his brother, has wisely now given up on the JAMC hair and leather.

Rufus Wainwright

- my phone's on vibrate for him. Rufus once boasted the sweetest sideburns in rock. Bring back those sideburns, Rufus! And nobody sings Leonard Cohen like Rufus Wainwright.

To this day, nobody rocks a pair of lederhosen and white knee highs like Rufus. I think I actually want to go shopping with him.

Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian)

- almost didn't pass the teddy bear test, what with his angelic voice, his tweeness and the fact that his hair looks like his mother cuts it with a bowl, but then there are those subversive lyrics which throw everything into confusion. And besides, there's that irresistible Scotish accent again. Just about anybody with a Scotch accent automatically qualifies. (Except Adrian Moffat from Arab Strap. Although he has a lovely brogue and he sings about dirty sex a lot, he's not sexy at all, just dirty.)

Stuart, despite the pictures I have seen of him in starched and ironed pyjamas, makes the cut.

Joe Strummer (the Clash)

- the legendary voice of a generation. Besides putting the fun into punk, Joe always maintained his ideals and lived by his principles. A classy man to the end, and that, my friends, is very sexy.

Bob Marley

- I could have been talked into spending a weekend on a tropical island with him. He could have been my Survivor boyfriend. And he undoubtedly knew where to get the really good pot.

Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello)

- "fashion god" pretty much sums it up. Anyone who can take those pants and that disturbing mustache and turn them into icons has got to possess some pretty mighty kahonas.

Matthew Good

- he kind of perfected the snarly rocker look back when he fronted a rock band, but has since melded his look into more of a mature geek, alongside his evolution to searing and dark acoustic songs. He is still one of the brainiest musicians around (and brains are definitely sexy), with a scathing wit and a refusal to accept bullshit from anybody, tempered by a deep grasp of geopolitics and a very real concern for human rights.

Lenny Kravitz

- I don't even like his music, to tell you the truth, and I get the impression that he's kinda skeezey, but damn he is one fine looking man!

Billy Bragg

- another aging punk who has maintained his principles. He is also, hands down, the best banterer I have ever encountered. I would have no problems going to a concert just to hear him talk. He is dead funny, and humour is always sexy.

Peter Elkas

- although I am not smitten with his music, I really appreciated how sweet and patient he was when posing for "this is me" photos, even after the camera kept crapping out. And you have to admit, the man is a serious hottie.



Whew, I'm exhausted after that! But dang I had fun! I'm going to try to keep the fire stoked by tagging 4 women whom I am pretty sure have some strong opinions of their own on this topic - Allison, Deb, Mellowlee, and 668. Ladies, wow us with your picks!

And to the men who made it through this post to the bitter end, you are awfully sexy for having the determination and stamina. Well done, you.


668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i will never look at a teddy bear the same again.

the fact that you sent me an urgent email on this was awesome.

ps...i only get 15?!

Gifted Typist said...

Nice picks, BB.
I used to live not far from Joe Strummer. Word from the locals was that he was a great guy.

I know this probably isn't cool for an alt.-indie-loving gal like yourself, but my #1 pick would be Bono.
Or Michael Johns, but shhh, don't tell BeckEye.

BeckEye said...

Holy shit, who is this Peter Elkas fellow? Dizzz-amn!!

Nice list, even with no Eddie Vedder. (Silly, silly Zombie.) I don't get the Rufus Wainwright thing though. Never did.

Yo, GT. Step off, girly.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Somebody has to protect the virtue of our teddy bears, 668.
Well, I received the tag as top 15, but if you feel you simply can't cut your list shorter than, say 130, then I say, rules be damned!

I think Beckeye can hear whenever somebody is hitting those particular key strokes to spell out that name, Gifted, so I would advise you to pick up a can of mace at the store today.
I am so gratified to hear my impressions of Joe Strummer's nice-guyness being confirmed. And I have to respect you for admitting to your Bono-love. That takes guts.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahahaha! SEE? I knew you could hear Gifted typing out "Michael Johns", Beckeye! Do I know you or what.
Peter Elkas is a Toronto musician, you really should come to Canada some time.
And I would never even dream of stepping betwixt you and Eddie.

John Mutford said...

I'm not sure how Colin Meloy failed the teddy bear test but Final Fantasy didn't. The guy looks twelve.

And the Kravitz picture made me laugh.

Interesting list though.

Beth said...

One HAWT list, girl.

I once hugged Rufus Wainwright. He's quite wee, but simply beautiful.

Love Mr. Bragg. He remembers you if he talked to you five years ago. Sadly, he's never spoken to me — but he has chatted up several of my girlfriends. In a proper manner, of course.

Joe said...

I have never been eliminated by the teddy bear test.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's what I always thought too, John, that Final Fantasy looked 12. Until I got face to face with him, and he actually looks at least 17. So he's legal.
Do think those are Lenny Kravitz' real abs? Damn!

Beth, next time Billy Bragg is here, I am going to go chat him up (in a proper manner of course) and claim that we met 4 years earlier. Just to mess with his mind. I have a feeling he would appreciate the joke.

hahahaha! No,Bubs I don't imagine you ever have.

Allison said...

Stellar, stellar list! There are going to be some repeats on my list, thanks for the tag it looks like a lot of fun. However, I don't know if I can do 15...I tend not to know what my favourite musicians look like...we shall see, I'm up for the challenge.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The fact that they are your favourite musicians without your knowing what they look like speaks in your favour, I think, Al. No pretty boy elitist from you!
I just know that you are up to the challenge and I am very keen to see your list. I shall not scoff.

mellowlee said...

I love your teddy bear rule and your list! I will keep it in mind when I do my list. I will most likely post it from work tomorrow (my first day back) *DRAMATIC SIGH*

Oh! I got your postcard just yesterday, because I hadn't checked my mail all week haha! Thank you so very much. I love posties!

Dale said...

Another list I didn't make. WTF?! Oh yeah, I am not a musician, a teddy bear or widely believed to be sexy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bummer about having to go back to work tomorrow, Mel, but at least you've got plans to do some really useful activities there.
And if you didn't check your mail all week, that must mean you were having a great week off!
I eagerly await your top 15 list.

I came this close to putting you right at the top of the list, Dale and then I heard that you have not been playing guitar hero lately, so I had to drop you like a hot potato. It's nobody's fault but your own.


Sigh .... I was just licking the kitchen floor looking for something sweet like an errant chocolate chip when I was drawn back to the laptop to read this post... I actually have to agree with your choices but will add Leonard Cohen. He may be getting older but when I hear his voice.......

PS I'm trying to get your Teddy Bear test out of my mind. Ever since Vanity Fair's article, " Pleasures of the Fur" in March 2001 and the discovery of "Furverts"


phlegmfatale said...

Yum. Eugene Hutz gives me girl wood. *MEOW*

jim dandy said...

you lean a little towards the dreads and straight up-hair doo guys, methinks.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Furverts? That is not within my realm of knowledge, UB, and I'm not certain I want it to be. Now I feel really bad for my poor teddy bear.
I know someone half my age who thinks Leonard Cohen is a sex god, so there you go. Some guys get better with age.

"Girl wood" - hahahaha! Well said, PF!

I never looked at them from a hair doo perspective before, Jim Dandy. They do all have hair, but that is not necessarily a prerequisite.

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