Ted Nugent

The 62-year-old rocker has never been one for subtlety. Whether it’s a lightning-quick guitar riff or a verbal assault, Nugent comes at you like a fist to the face. And playing the Sunset Station Amphitheater on July 2, Nugent was certain to discharge some holiday fireworks of his own. Declaring “every day is Independence Day where I come from,” Nugent unleashed a torrent of rockers from his ’70s heyday, starting with “Free for All” and “Stormtroopin’.” In between songs (and sometimes during), the Motor City Madman took full advantage of his First Amendment rights (“If any of you don’t like a political rant, then fuck you! This is freedom music.”), performing “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,” bleating like a sheep in his version of the “French national anthem,” and barking for President Obama to (in so many words) perform oral sex on him. Nugent kept the focus on the music toward the end, closing strongly with hits “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Stranglehold” and “Great White Buffalo.” Love him or hate him, Nugent continually refuses to compromise his music or his beliefs, and there’s something admirably American about that.

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Humans love anthropomorphism. Ever since Walt Disney first made a mouse whistle and walk on two legs in Steamboat Willie, we haven’t been able to get enough of animals, insects and inanimate objects that act like us. Children are especially prone to this obsession, so it follows that nearly every animated feature produced these days revolves around a cast of non-human characters who sing, dance and spout knowing witticisms that many flesh-and-blood actors could not convincingly pull off.

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