So, yeah...my last post was kind of whiny. Although I have every reason to have a serious hate on for 2006, I should probably try to find some of the bright spots of the year to do the requisite "year in review" post.
Personally and professionally, 2006 totally blew. I may have brought a few troubles on myself, but most of my problems were caused when Baby New Year morphed into Chucky about halfway through the year and took his evil wrath out on me. Anyway, since this is not a "personal journal" or work-themed blog, it's lucky for me as a blogger that the few truly good moments of this past year had everything to do with pop culture, specifically music.
The Pop Eye's Top 5 Things That Didn't Suck in 2006:
5. Christmas. I received Totally '80s Trivial Pursuit as a gift. Radical!
4. Pearl Jam at Continental Arena, 6/1/06. I almost spaced out on this concert and then managed to snag a ticket at the last minute. Probably the best of the five PJ shows I've seen.
3. The success of Escape From Bellevue and Other Stories. This was an off-off-Broadway production starring my friend, Chris Campion, and his band, Knockout Drops. When I first moved here at the tail end of 2005, the PR firm I was working for was doing all the promo for the show, which was really exciting for me because it was something that I really believed in. The show actually debuted in December '05, but ran through February '06 - several weeks past its initial intended run, due to overwhelming demand. I caught a lot of the performances and the show honestly never got old for me. Basically, it was a series of hilarious, yet emotional, monologues about Chris's life on stage and off the wagon, set to a rock soundtrack and interspersed with multimedia presentations. I suppose you could call it kind of a vaudevillian version of Storytellers meets Behind the Music. I was really happy to be involved in any way, and even happier that the show caught the eye of another director and is slated to hit a bigger theater in early Spring of '07. Enjoy one of my stupid little celebrity-sighting anecdotes from the original run here.
2. Glenn Tilbrook at Maxwell's, 12/11/06. Yet another concert I went to this year all by my lonesome. (I've actually grown quite accustomed to the solo concert experience.) I've loved Glenn for many, many years now and am still so sad that I never got to see Squeeze live. This show helped make up for that though. Even though I was too chicken to approach him and even if he was losing his voice a bit, it was a great night that I won't soon forget. It's hard to beat a voice that is pure beauty...even if it's slightly hoarse beauty! And if you people haven't bought one or both of his solo records yet, shame on you for the rest of the year.
1. The Bogmen at Webster Hall, 12/21/06 & Bowery Ballroom, 12/22/06 - 12/23/06. I might slip into some flowery speech here, but I swear that I'm not being hyperbolic. Being at these concerts was the happiest time of my life this year, and quite possibly one of the best times I've had in several years. It's hard to explain how amazing these shows were to people who didn't experience them. I will say this...I've been to a lot of concerts. I've seen some great acts. I've been around some dedicated fans. Springsteen shows can be like giant religious revivals, Pearl Jam shows are huge balls of energy, and those little, intimate sets like Tilbrook's really make the audience feel personally involved. Still, of all the shows I have been to in my life, I have never witnessed a connection between artist and fans that was this strong.
First of all, most of the Bogmen fans were never ready for the band to break up and still don't want to accept that they won't eventually get back together. So after five years of no live shows, these three nights were just an explosion of anticipation, joy and love like I've never seen. Secondly, for people like myself who never had a chance to see The Bogmen live, it was an opportunity to finally understand why this band is so important to so many people. I mean, I had high expectations going into the show, but those expectations were quickly met and then blown away. While all of the Bogs are talented musicians on their own, it's apparent to anyone who has ever seen them that they were meant to play together. When those 6 guys are together, the result is beyond chemistry. Beyond magic. I don't know if there's even a word for it. It's just right.
The music alone was enough reason to be wowed, but there was so much more to these concerts than great music. There was the knowledge that all of the money earned was going to a worthy cause. There was a certain spiritual element, due this band having been so deeply and personally affected by 9/11, which prompted them to reunite then and now. There were the fans now living in different parts of the country who didn't care what else was going on in their lives; the minute they heard that The Bogmen were reuniting, the tickets were bought and plans were made. There was the feeling that everyone present was part of a special family; that Bogmen fans are in on a great secret that the rest of the world doesn't know about. There was so much love and energy coming from both sides - from the stage to the audience and from the audience back to the stage - that it just collided and formed a great big ball of awesomeness that exploded in mid-air and showered over everyone. ("Big ball of awesomeness" may not get me any cool freelance jobs, but I'm sorry. That's what it was. And thanks to Neil Finn for the inspiration on the "showered over everyone" bit.)
As much of a music lover as I am, even I never imagined that something as simple as a concert could make me so truly happy. In a year that was so hard on me, these 3 nights made it much more bearable. Years from now when I look back on 2006, chances are that I'll remember it as the year I traveled over many bumps (and a few gaping craters) in the road to finally reach a Bogmen show.
For my original story of Bog love, click here.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining, Not All Bogs are Mucky, or Hell's Ice Machine Occasionally Works If You Hit It in Just the Right Spot
So, yeah...my last post was kind of whiny. Although I have every reason to have a serious hate on for 2006, I should probably try to find some of the bright spots of the year to do the requisite "year in review" post.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Up yours, 2006!
This has been the worst year ever. And not just because Britney and K-Fed split up. If you don't see any new posts until the new year, it's probably because I've decided to stay in bed with the covers over my head until this hellish year finally ends. But if I get struck by lightning or a piano falls on my head between now and then, I won't be surprised.
Come on, 2007. Get here soon!
(Sorry, no video this week. I'm just not in the mood.)
Friday, December 22, 2006
Again, thank God for YouTube. Since I moved from Pittsburgh, I never get to see my favorite Christmas commercial. It's for a regional restaurant chain called Eat 'n Park. People like to compare it to Denny's, but those people are blasphemers. Eat 'n Park is the best...deserving of its label "the place for smiles." And don't even get me started on their potato soup. Drool.
Anyway, I found this commercial online today and had the same reaction as always: mushy, gushy, teary-eyed, sappy-sweet joy. The spot is only 30 seconds long but it never fails to push my weepy buttons. I can't even control it. All the sweetness and tears pour out of me like vomit.(Cheerful simile, eh?) Well, hopefully I can make someone else cry with this because most people think I'm really strange to let this little ad affect me so.
Now that we've all got the warm fuzzies, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, no matter what you believe, where you're from or who you are. I may post before Christmas, but I may just need to soak up the joy from these Bogmen concerts (last minute change - I'm going tonight, too!) and then relax on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when I'm back home with the fam. So just in case you don't hear from me until after the 25th, God bless you...everyone.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Here's hoping that 2007 is the year that Writeprocrastinator becomes Memeprocrastinator. Yep, he tagged me again. Well, I guess it's my own fault for being so damn fascinating.
Once again, I'm going to try to tailor this meme to a pop-culture format. The purpose this time is to come up with six strange quirks about myself. As if six would even come close to scratching the surface...
The Six (Pop) Quirks of BeckEye:
1. I've never joined a fan club or written a "fan letter." Even though I've been in love with John Travolta since I was 5, I've never written him a soppy, gushing letter or tried to get an autographed photo. Even though it would probably save me money and time in regards to concert tickets, I've still never joined Pearl Jam's Ten Club. I just recently signed up for the Glenn Tilbrook Yahoo! Group at someone's suggestion, but that's not really a "fan club," just more of an online community. I think I have problems with commitment. I can't even fully commit to my obsessions! Does that make me an Obsessprocrastinator?
2. Sometimes I still pretend I'm a rock star onstage when I'm belting out a song, whether it's in my room, in the shower or in my car.
3. I'm strangely proud of the fact that I've never watched an episode of Survivor, yet I'll willingly clog my brain with crap like American Idol, America's Next Top Model and all those Road Rules/Real World challenges.
4. I've never seen any of the Godfather movies all the way through, and I probably never will unless someone ties me to a chair and makes me.
5. My CDs have to be in alphabetical order or I will spaz.
6. I really hate Tweety Bird. I know it's probably pointless to truly hate something that isn't even real, but I do. I hate him/her/it. I want Tweety to die. I'm still holding out hope that there will be a "Lost Looney Tunes" cartoon where Sylvester finally catches Tweety and goes medieval on his/her/its ass.
Now I'm supposed to tag six more people. However, in the spirit of the season, my Christmas gift to everyone is letting you all off the hook. Of course, you can use the meme if you want to willingly tell everyone what makes you tick. Or tic.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Just call me Johnny Rebel, because I'm breaking all the video rules this week!
First, I'm scrapping my plans to post all classic Christmas videos. Most of the good ones really aren't that "forgotten." Second, I've decided to post a video that probably isn't forgotten or classic for the majority of people out there. You would've had to see it in order to ever forget it, and most of you probably never have. Therefore, as I'm sure you're all blissfully aware, you kids are lucky to have me.
This week's video is "Suddenly," by The Bogmen. Not only is this one of my favorite bands but they are, as put so well by Lonn Friend, "the best band no one ever heard." I actually became a fan after they were already broken up, but it was only because my initial interest in them was derailed. I'll explain.
Back in 1995, the video for "Suddenly" debuted on MTV. I saw it and was instantly taken with the song, the band's sound and lead singer Billy Campion's unfiltered goofiness. I can't remember if I only saw it the once, or if I possibly caught it again, but it wasn't more than twice. Unfortunately, The Bogmen never really took off and because the song never got any radio play, I couldn't remember many of the lyrics or the band's name. For a while, I would ask people if they had ever heard it, attempting to sing the bits I could remember. No one had a clue. I don't know if search engines weren't as amazing in '95 or if my search skills needed improvement, but for some reason I was never able to find anything out about these guys. Eventually, I just forgot the song ever existed.
Cut to about 5 years later when a friend of mine from Michigan sent me a couple of mix tapes. You guessed it; "Suddenly" was one of the songs included. As soon as I heard it, everything came back to me in a rush and I remembered how much I loved that song and video. I decided to look into the band more, but it was still hard to find much information on them. I was able to find another song, "Raga," for download but I didn't immediately like it. I thought perhaps they were just another band with one cool song and nothing else to offer.
Eventually, "Raga" grew on me until it got to the point where I loved it. This was a year later. I wanted to hear more. I finally got some info on the band. They had a rabid fan base in New York and the upper East coast, and were well-known for their incendiary live shows. Unfortunately, they broke up in 1999, but reunited in the December following 9/11 to perform two shows for Secret Smiles, a charity started by Kristy Irvine Ryan, wife of keyboardist Brendan Ryan. Sadly, Kristy was one of the many to be lost on that day.
During my research, I found The Bogmen's two major label records on Ebay and gobbled them up. I soon realized that my first impression of them was more accurate than my second...they were a talented group of guys who had so much more to offer than just one funky, silly song. I was hooked and have been ever since. My only regret is that I wasn't able to be part of The Bogmen experience from the beginning.
I could really go on and on here but, I'm probably not going to fully do the band, or my feelings about them, justice. Let's just say that The Bogmen have meant a lot to me over the past few years. Billy Campion, who I thought would be such a cool guy to hang out with based on my first glimpse of him, turned out to be just that! We ended up becoming friends after I became a fan of his new band, Vic Thrill + The Saturn Missile, and he essentially helped me get to New York. I've come to know many of the guys in the band and they're a great bunch. Even though they're all off doing their own things, they're very aware of the impact that The Bogmen had on its core group of loyal followers.
That brings me to my reason for posting this today. It's been 11 years in the making, but I'm finally going to get to see The Bogmen live! With this year marking the 5th anniversary of 9/11, the band is once again reuniting, this time for three nights and a new charity, Kristy's Smile. They're playing this Thursday at Webster Hall and on Friday and Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom. Thursday's show was originally slated for the Bowery as well, but since all the shows sold out so quickly, they had to move one night to a bigger venue. I'll be going to the Thursday and Saturday performances, and can hardly wait! You can be sure that I'll be posting my reviews here. I'm unfortunately battling a cold right now, but I'm hoping to be 100% by Thursday. I'm going, regardless.
And now...on to the video. The album version of this song is much longer, with a lot more crazy talk and a whistling solo! But, the radio edit still gets the basic groove across. The video is pulled right from Chris Cassidy's Bogmen documentary, so it's complete with Matt Pinfield's original 120 Minutes intro. Hope you dig it!
You might also want to check out these MySpace pages:
Yours truly helps maintain these first three, which is why they're so byootiful...
Vic Thrill + The Saturn Missile - Features former Bogmen vocalist, Billy Campion
Mad Larry - Features former Bogmen guitarist, Billy Ryan, and keyboardist, Brendan Ryan
Radio 4 - Features former Bogmen percussionist, P.J. O'Connor
Mark Wike - Former Bogmen bassist
Clive Tucker - Former Bogmen drummer
Friday, December 15, 2006
I love Christmas. I do. Generally, I can easily wade through the sea of commercialization and "gimme gimme gimme" attitudes and enjoy the holiday for what it really means. However, there are a few things that really irk me. For now, I'll focus on one: the deluge of Kay Jewelers commercials.
You've all seen these ads. You all know the cutesy little jingle that accompanies each one..."every kiss begins with Kay." Maybe it's slightly irrational and, yes, there is so much more going on in the world to be pissed off about, but these commercials make me so angry. Excuse me while I get up on my soap, er, ring box for a moment.
Men: Every kiss does not begin with Kay. At least it shouldn't. If you only get kisses from your woman when you give her expensive gifts, you could be married to or dating an actual prostitute. It might be time to rethink your relationship.
Women: Jewelry does not equal love. If your husband/boyfriend is showering you with assloads of jewelry, he's probably either cheating on you or cheating with you. If that's not the case, your man may feel like wasting all his money on sparkly trinkets is the only way to get your attention. If you're putting that kind of price tag on your affections, you could be an actual prostitute. It might be time to rethink your priorities.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It occured to me today that I broke my own rule by posting that Squeeze video yesterday. I had planned on sticking to a Christmas theme with my "forgotten classics" throughout December, and I was so geeked out about seeing the Glenn Tilbrook concert that I forgot. Since I'm certainly not taking that vid down, I'll post a classic Christmas video today.
I don't know that this one was ever "forgotten," but I have to post it because it's too absurdly hilarious not to. So, grab a nice cup of cocoa and break out some crackers...Hall & Oates will provide the cheese with their cover of "Jingle Bell Rock."
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
In honor of last night's Glenn Tilbrook concert (read the post below for my thoughts on the show), the featured video this week will be a favorite of mine, "Another Nail For My Heart," by Squeeze. It's also one of the few popular Squeeze tunes that wasn't on last night's set list.
The sound on this clip seems a bit muffled, but just turn your speakers up. They should already be up to eleven anyway.
By the way, does anyone know why this song titled differently every time I see it? Half the time it's listed as "...for my heart" and the other half I see it as "...in my heart." He's clearly singing "for." But the title could always be different. I guess this would've been the perfect question to ask Glenn! I have to remember that for next time.
My long-time craving for some live Glenn Tilbrook was finally satisfied last night in good ol' Hoboken, NJ. I always knew Hoboken had more to offer than just drunken frat boys and the memory of Frank Sinatra. At a cozy little music venue called Maxwell's, I was treated to The Golden Voice. Tilbrook is one of my favorite singers in the universe. If Paul Rodgers dies, Glenn is next in line for the crown. Well, he and Eddie Vedder might have to battle it out, but I think Eddie is kind of a pacifist so it wouldn't be much of a fight.
Before I get into specifics of the show, I should tell those of you who don't already know this that I'm a complete jackass. I walked in the door of the club and there, at a table right near the front, sat Mr. Tilbrook and his band. We made eye contact. Well, he probably just looked at me like anyone would look up at someone who just walked into a room. The thoughts behind my eyes were quite a bit different though. I played it cool but basically I was screaming inside my head, "Oh...oh...oh my God, there's Glenn Tilbrook...he's sitting right there...what do I do...do I say hi? Look how adorable he is...he sees me staring at him, he probably thinks I'm psycho...I have to meet him I have to meet him I have to meet him..." That all flew through my head in the 5 seconds it took me to walk from the door to the bar. I never did talk to him, although I was chatting with some guy at the bar and we were standing in front of the band's table the whole time. Of course, I kept giving Glenn over-the-shoulder glances and contemplating going over there and saying something that was sure to be very unoriginal ("I'm a big fan"), dorky/stupid ("listening to your voice puts me in another universe") or creepy ("I had a semi-hot dream about you recently"). Any of them would've been true, but probably wouldn't have endeared me to him in any way. I even took my camera along in the hopes that I would meet him and talk him into posing for a pic with me, but since I was too chicken to open my mouth, that didn't happen. Drat.
I'm sorry I have no pictorial evidence of the evening, period, but my digital camera sucks. It's a Wal-Mart $80 special, what can I say? I tried snapping a few shots during the show. I was only standing about five rows back, so I thought they would be okay, but none turned out.
When Glenn hit the stage, I was in Heaven. The minute I heard that voice, goosebumps starting popping up all over. The set list was great and it seemed like he really crammed a ton of songs in those 2 hours. There were a lot of old Squeeze songs played, like "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," "Slap & Tickle," "Footprints," "Up the Junction," "Some Fantastic Place," and a bunch more. I was very surprised but elated that Glenn kicked off the show with "Annie Get Your Gun," which is sort of tied with "Another Nail For My Heart" for the "favorite Squeeze song" title. It's also better than Prozac. It's impossible for me to be unhappy when I hear it. There was also a much more rockin' version of "Goodbye Girl," which the audience helped to sing, more audience participation fun with "Black Coffee in Bed," and the long-awaited (for me, anyway) all-Glenn version of "Tempted."
During the show, Glenn kept apologizing for losing his voice. He definitely seemed to be having a bit of trouble, even taking about a ten minute break and returning with what appeared to be hot lemon water. Even a little hoarse, he sounded terrific. I would rather hear him on his worst day (and I guarantee you this wasn't anywhere near being his worst day) than 80% of the singers out there at their best.
All of Glenn's solo songs sounded great as well, especially "Parallel World," the sweet notes of which proved that he hadn't completely lost his voice, the uptempo but lyrically depressing "Hostage," and "Neptune," a fun, poppy tune that evolved into a serious jam.
Speaking of jamming, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Glenn's stellar band, The Fluffers. Drummer, Simon Hanson, was ab fab, even if I kept getting distracted by his familiar appearance. I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of all night. I think I've narrowed it down to a little Peter Stormare meets the "Everyman." The keyboardist, Stephen Large, was completely crazy and added quite a bit of fun to the show. I immediately loved him, even though I was a bit weirded out by his microphone fellatio. I could picture him as the "charming cad" that you'd see in some British indie film. You know, the very likable guy who ends up breaking the heroine's heart, but everyone somehow forgives him. And then there's Lucy Shaw, the bassist. She's kind of Reese Witherspoon meets Nancy Wilson, if either of those girls were to ever pick up a bass. I think I developed a bit of a lesbian crush on her during the evening. It's gone now...Catherine Zeta-Jones need not worry.
I'd also be remiss if I just focused on Glenn's vocal ability and left out his musical prowess. I've always known that he's an accomplished, incredible songwriter and musician (he plays a gazillion instruments), but it was easy to forget what an amazing guitarist he really was during the Squeeze days. With their poppy, new-wave sound, it seemed that the guitar was rather understated, in favor of heavy keyboards. Besides, I've always focused on Glenn's glorious voice, so I probably never paid enough attention to the musical compositions. Whatever my problem was, seeing him live reminded me that the man can not only sing like an angel, he can wield one hell of an axe. He even played the guitar behind his head in homage to Jimi Hendrix during a cover of "Voodoo Child." Yes, the Glenn Tilbrook Experience was quite spectacular.
At 49, Glenn still has more rock 'n' roll spirit in him than most guys half his age. Stunning vocal ability, musicianship, energy, humor...he's got it all. He is the complete package. (The darling, baby face and infectious smile certainly don't hurt him either.) If he comes back to this area again, I'll certainly go. I'll just have to arm myself with some possible opening lines and a better camera.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Paris Hilton is like, sooooo sweet. No wonder she's totally Britney's BFF. Since the media has been having a field day with the recent antics of K-Fed's ex, Paris decided to clear everything up, as anyone would, on MySpace. Apparently, this is an actual bulletin that was posted by Paris or whatever one of her minions runs her page:
I told Brit I'd write a bulletin on here to try to clear some news to at least the people who are on my list...
Lately, you've been seeing pics of me and Britney partying (blah blah) and she knows that some of her fans are very upset about what they call her "behavior" and sadly they're blaming the issue on her being friends with me. Yeah, me and Brit have become really close in the past few weeks, and we've gone out alot in the past few nights, but I never influence anything she does, and neither does anyone else.
Brit is her own person and she deals with her own things everyday. For people to call out her parenting skills on behalf of her partying ethics is appalling. Britney loves her kids to death, and I know for a fact that it truly hurts her when she sees these cruel things being written about her.
She goes home every night to her babies and partying has not come in the way of her parenting.
Anyone who has called her out on this should really be ashamed. There are thousands of mothers out there who like to go out and have a good time. But, you do not see people out there calling them "bad parents." She's young, and if she wants to go out and have some fun, let her. Just because she does these things does not mean she doesn't care about her children. For the sake of Britney and her kids, be kind.
Pretty good, Paris. You managed to write five whole paragraphs. Just a few things...
1. "Brit and I," you dolphin-nosed moron. "Brit and I." And "alot" = "a lot." As in, "There are a lot of mistakes in this dumb-ass bulletin."
2. "For people to call out her parenting skills on behalf of her partying ethics is appalling." Man, I love when stupid girls try to sound intelligent. Can someone break down this sentence and explain exactly what the hell it means? It reminds me of that character Damon Wayans used to play on In Living Color, who just threw a bunch of 50-cent words around, not having any idea what any of them meant.
3. "There are thousands of mothers out there who like to go out and have a good time. But, you do not see people out there calling them 'bad parents.'" Uh, sure you do. It's just that not all bad parents are as famous or Google-able as Britney.
4. "She goes home every night to her babies...". Well, gee. Paris is right! Britney really deserves the "Mother of the Year" award for remembering to return home to her children after a long night of drinking and beav-flashing.
5. "I never influence anything she does, and neither does anyone else." This is partly true. I mean, we all knew that Britney was a skank before she ever met Paris. But c'mon...all of these little hosehounds don't influence each other? Please. Whoever said young Hollywood was like "high school with money" was dead-on. And in high school, everyone is influenced by everything. However, a simpleton like Paris Hilton certainly has no influence over me or any normal, half-educated person, which makes me wonder....if she doesn't think she's that influential, why did she bother to write this in the first place? Who does she think she's going to convince?
I'm waiting for her next bulletin defending Nicole Richie. "Thousands of girls out there get drunk and end up on the wrong side of the road, but you don't see people out there calling them bad drivers. Don't hate us 'cause we're rich and skinny. Being mean is so not hot."
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I've complained many times about the state of so-called "music television" many times here. The big channels like MTV and VH1 rarely air videos anymore, in favor of goofy reality shows and various other junk. I've been wondering where all the videos have gone, and thought they could only be found online. However, being currently unemployed and prone to bouts of insomnia, I've found myself awake in the wee hours of the morning, glued to the tube. Of course, bad movies and "Girls Gone Wild" infomericals dominate the airwaves between 2:00 - 4:00 am but, as it turns out, that's when MTV and VH1 actually play videos!
The problem with these channels, as with mainstream radio, is that the same stuff is played over and over, day in and day out. Below are the vids that seem to be in heavy rotation on both channels...and my thoughts. (Note: I shrunk the videos down a bit so this post wouldn't take up 3 pages!)
"Bones," The Killers - This is one of my favorite songs out right now, and the best video I've seen since OK Go's "Here It Goes Again." Appropriately, it's all about bones. As you might expect of anything directed by Tim Burton, it's eerily beautiful. The best shot is of a couple of skeletons running down the beach towards each other in classic romance movie style, then they crash into each other and literally fall apart. But where the hell is Johnny Depp? When a director has a guy like that at his disposal, he should use him in everything.
"Irreplaceable," Beyonce - I guess this is a decent song. It has a nice beat and a pretty catchy chorus. The video is standard MTV fare and Beyonce looks good as usual. At first I thought this was kind of a "girl power" song about kicking a loser boyfriend to the curb, but something about the lyrics bothers me. During the chorus, she sings, "You must not know 'bout me, you must not know 'bout me/I can have another you in a minute/Matter of fact, he'll be here any minute." That doesn't really make her sound tough, it just makes her sound like a hooker. Or a slutty rebounder, at best.
"Call Me When You're Sober," Evanescence - I wouldn't say this band is bad, and the lead singer definitely has a great voice, but they just annoy me. Every song sounds exactly the same. And every video is like a something out of an Anne Rice novel. Boring.
"Welcome to The Black Parade," My Chemical Romance - The first thing I noticed here is that the singer is now a bleached blonde, so he no longer looks like the love child of Meg White and Billy Corgan, as I previously stated. Now he's more like the love child of Susan Powter and Billy Corgan. Anyway, I'll give the director props for this clip, since it has an almost Tim Burton-esque quality to it with muted colors and a chilly feel that's almost palpable. But, overall, I give it a thumbs down. It's another lame song that sounds like a million other songs that are popular right now, and another lame "ooh, aren't we deep and dark?" video. It stars Lukas Haas (the big-eared kid from Witness) as a newly-dead guy marching in what appears to be the Homecoming Parade at Goth U. It also appears that the guys in the band raided Duran Duran's wardrobe from the "Is There Something I Should Know?" video shoot and found some outfits in the reject pile.
"Fergalicious," Fergie - It disgusts me that my 12 and 13-year old nieces love this song. I'm trying to set them straight, I really am. It's not quite as annoying as "London Bridge," but it's trying. Fergalicious. Come on. More like Fergisgusting. I'm sorry, but am I the only person who thinks this woman is a hag? I mean, she's got great hair and a killer body, no doubt. But have you noticed that the camera never lingers for very long during facial close-ups? It's because she looks like a 50 year-old, high-priced call girl. And do we really need to see one more grown woman slutting around in little girl clothes? Take the damn Girl Scout uniform off! Thin Mints are one of the great joys in my life. Please, Fergie, don't ruin that for me.
"Boston," Augustana - My brain keeps telling me that I shouldn't like this song because it seems like the kind of generic, sensitive, indie pop-rock that would normally aggravate me. I can't dislike it though. It's a good song. As far as the video goes though, it's pretty, but bland. And I'm a little surprised that a marginally successful band was allowed to destroy several perfectly good pianos. The lead singer bothers me a little. He reminds me of about 85% of the guys I see hanging around at any given NYC bar. You know, the fairly cute guys with their meticulously mussed hair who are wearing way too many layers and speak much too softly to be heard above the noise, which is okay since everything that comes out of their mouths is pretentious bullshit.
"Pick of Destiny," Tenacious D - This is pretty funny, and even though it makes me want to see the movie I'm sure I'll still wait until it comes out on video. I love the line, "She who is snarky is full of malarkey." Wait...I think Jack's talking about me! But I'm also groovy, so I guess I should be in his movie. Sidebar: This is probably childish and gross of me, but true. The first time I saw the huge poster for this movie, I thought it was going to be a movie about boogers. It showed Jack and Kyle reaching up for this big, green thing, which I had no idea was a guitar pick. I was glad to find out that it wasn't about boogs. Even the easily-amused child in me couldn't endure nose-picking jokes for two hours.
"White and Nerdy," Weird Al Yankovic - God bless Weird Al. I love this guy. He is brilliant when it comes to fame. Just when he starts to get "over-done," he disappears completely and then comes back at just the right time with more hilarity. My favorite is still "Smells Like Nirvana," but this one might be one of his best songs. The lyrics kill me ("Only question I ever thought was hard was 'Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?'/Spend every weekend at the Renaissance Faire/Got my name on my underwear") and, in usual Weird Al fashion, the video action matches the song perfectly. And who doesn't love a good Donny Osmond cameo?
"It Ends Tonight," All-American Rejects - Now this song is the crappy, sensitive indie pop-rock I was talking about earlier. The video isn't much better. The singer goes shopping for fireworks so he can set up his own pyrotechnic show behind his whiny band, while they play this song for some hipsters at a truckstop. I can almost hear Beavis and Butthead talking about this one...
Butthead: Uhhhh, these guys have to blow stuff up so people will ignore how bad they suck.
Beavis: Mmmm-heh-heh, yeah...fire, FIRE! Heh-heh...mmm-heh...
Butthead: Huh huh huh huh huh huh....
"Show Me What You Got," Jay-Z - The first time I saw this video, I thought it was a commercial for NASCAR. It starts with a race between Jay-Z, Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhart, Jr., which seems odd, but then it quickly turns into a typical modern-day rap video, with the standard footage of Jay-Z livin' large with fast cars, fast boats and fast women. See Jay-Z gamble. See Jay-Z smoke a cigar. See Jay-Z flirt. See Jay-Z stand around while everyone else dances. Hear Jay-Z ask us to show him what we got about 300 times. That's 294 times too many, in my book.
Now, who wants to stay up until 3:00 am tonight to watch videos?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Since I did a scary theme in October, I guess I'll stick with a holiday theme for December. I'm kicking it off with a video for my favorite Christmas song, Billy Squier's "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You." This video brings back great memories of when MTV was young and fresh, and the M still stood for "Music," not "Mindless."
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I was a huge fan of Guns N’ Roses back in the day, and I still think that Appetite for Destruction is one of the best rock albums of all time. I totally loved Axl Rose, and thought that he was actually probably a sweet guy underneath that skinny tough-guy exterior. (I didn't always have the best judgment when it came to men.) I may have had a bit of a crush on him at one point. I even dressed up as him one year for Halloween. I’m happy to say that I avoided any gender-identity issues that could have resulted from that experience, but unfortunately Axl's issues are still alive, well and many. Mainly, he's suffering from an overblown ego crisis due to his beliefs that it’s still 1988 and that people still care about the New and Unimproved GN’R.
Despite what his plastic surgeon would have us believe, the guy is getting older...he just hasn't gotten any wiser. Ax-hole is still up to his old tricks. First, Axl fired Guns’ opening act, Eagles of Death Metal, after their first gig last week failed to make an impact on the black tee-clad mullet heads in the audience. Second, he still thinks it's okay to show up onstage whenever he feels like it, cancel shows and make lame excuses for his behavior (he has a headache, his throat hurts, his ass itches, etc). Third, he is still trying to convince everyone that Chinese Democracy exists and convince himself that it will be the most important record in the history of rock. If it actually sees the light of day, that is. I would've bought the album if it had been released back when GN'R was still GN'R. But now that they're just RN'Some other guys, I've lost interest. I know a lot of other fans have too. And ever since Axl's return to the scene as a cornrowed wax figure who occasionally gets into fights with fashion designers, more and more fans have come to accept that the Guns N' Roses we knew and loved is officially dust n' bones.
Did Axl never get the memo that his out-of-control, moody, drunken, bad boy shtick just ain’t cool anymore? Not that it was ever cool for rockers to take themselves too seriously. Axl did show some humor when he referred to his fired tour-mates as the “Pigeons of Shit Metal.” I’m sure that comment would at least get a big ol’ “HA-ha!” from Nelson Muntz. Still, Eagles of Death Metal got the last laugh with this brilliantly cheeky follow-up statement that has nearly persuaded me to buy their record without knowing anything about them or ever having heard a song:
"At first the audience refused to welcome us to the jungle, but by the time we took our final bow, it had become paradise city. Although Axl tried to November rain on our parade, no sweet child o' mine can derail the EODM night train. We say live and let die."
Humorless, botoxed Axl probably wants to get in the ring with those guys now, but they might need to get in line behind Vince Neil. I think he's been waiting kind of a long time.