#806: Freestylin’ in 2 the New Year

A followup to #804:  Freestylin’


GETTING MORE TALE #806: Freestylin’ in 2 the New Year

Here we are, friends!  Only a few days into the new year and new decade.  Doesn’t really feel like it, does it?

One of the last things I did in 2019 was hang out with the ever-entertaining Uncle Meat.  The newest musical addiction he’s got me started on is a YouTube channel called Todd in the Shadows.  Todd has two series that we are currently enjoying:  Trainwreckords, and One Hit Wonderland.  Both series have been immensely entertaining and informative.

I’ll give you an example.  Remember the New Radicals?  They had a single hit at the end of the 1990s called “You Get What You Give”.  At the time, people thought singer Gregg Alexander was the next Mick Jagger, but the thing that caught the attention of the press were these lines:

Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson,
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson,
You’re all fakes, run to your mansions,
Come around, we’ll kick your ass in!

Manson was pissed off just to be mentioned in the same line as Courtney Love, who was far less amused.  The media focused only on those lines, and none of the rest, like “Health insurance rip off lying, FDA big bankers buying.”  The New Radicals split before they released their second single, with Alexander having achieved everything he set to accomplish.  He then moved behind the scenes, where he became an even bigger success.

Bigger success?  Indeed, Alexander’s songs have been recorded by Santana, America, Mandy Moore, Hall & Oates, Enrique Iglesias, Rod Stewart, some of the Spice Girls, Rivers Cuomo, and even Hanson who held no grudges.  The guy is definitely getting the last laugh.

I was aware of none of these things except for the media hype.  I wrote off Gregg Alexander as a poser with a dumb hat.  Well, he ditched the hat and found his niche.   Thanks to Todd in the Shadows, I know more about the New Radicals and I even like their second single, “Someday We’ll Know” as covered by Hall & Oates.

Todd in the Shadows also has excellent episodes on Van Halen III, Hootie and the Blowfish’s sophomore record, Mungo Jerry, Cyberpunk by Billy Idol, and CCR‘s Mardi Gras among many.  Did you know Mungo Jerry re-recorded “In the Summertime” as an 80s song?  While I don’t always agree with Todd, it’s remarkable how often our thought-paths do cross.  We had many similar misgivings about Van Halen III, including the lack of Michael Anthony’s vocals.  He concludes that it could just be that the Van Halen brothers are assholes.

Meat and I ended the decade by surfing the Tube, and enjoying a few laughs.  It occurred to me, you could just record us talking and put it online as-is, like a four-hour podcast.  I don’t want to start recording the conversations I have with friends, but that’s exactly what it is like.  At one point I said to myself “It’s almost a waste that I’m not recording all this talk.”  But then I smacked myself in the head and said, “No fucking way do I want to do that.”

It’s like I mentioned a few chapters back.  I can’t just write about music, or talk about music.  I have to spend more time just listening to it.  And it’s the same with friendships.  Just because he speaks solid gold every time he opens his mouth, that doesn’t mean I have record it for posterity.  In a way it’s too bad, because our discussions would blow away 90% of the podcasts already out there, but life matters more.  You gotta just live it, not constantly worry about missing an opportunity to post something and get hits.

Even though it would be awesome.

In 2020, I aim to live a little bit more, and search for content a little less.  Some folks (not naming names) feel that perhaps I’ve become too critical – that I can’t enjoy things without critiquing them.  While I’ve always been writing reviews, perhaps my gears are a little stuck.

Two more things I’d like to change:

  • Less politics
  • Less time on social media

Neither of those two things have made my world a better place.  They suck up too much time and energy.  It might be hard to be less political in 2020 knowing what it yet to come, but it’s not like a political rant is going to make the world a better place.

Don’t mistake this for “resolutions”.  New Year Resolutions are just lies we tell ourselves for a few weeks before we slowly but surely resume business as usual.  I’m not planning on ditching any of my bad habits, just some unproductive behaviours.

Music can make the world a better place.  So let’s consume more of it!  Let’s chat like Uncle Meat and I can, about all the great stuff out there that’s filling our ears!



  1. Todd in the Shadows is good stuff. I particularly enjoyed his Trainwreckords on Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk, CCR’s Mardi Gras, and Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged (I’d never heard anything she’d done, the episode was just comedy gold).

    “Some folks (not naming names) feel that perhaps I’ve become too critical – that I can’t enjoy things without critiquing them.”

    Well these folks critiquing your criticism for being too critical should stop now that you fixed your Virtual Lights Strikes review. Harrison won’t be there to bug you, unless he wants you to appreciate Transformers 2 & 3 next. That would be an insurmountable task for this guy, so good luck to you on that front! Harrison=#1.

    Speaking of Bay, Bad Boys 3 comes out this month (not being directed by him). I wonder if it’ll set an even lower shit threshold that what we’ve come to expect out of the first two? Two hours of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith incessantly bitching at each other in front of incomprehensible action sequences with zero comedic payoff. Who would want to see that? The only reason I ever watched them was because they were the only action films referenced in Hot Fuzz that I had never seen. Unfortunately I own the first two in a 4K steelbook now, but I’d like to sell them to some poor soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DUDE I watched Lauryn Hill last night. I had the same reaction as Todd — I was watching somebody in the middle of a mental break and it was uncomfortable. I like the rawness of that album, but not as…her next album, basically. It’s more like a fanclub release.

      Confession: Have not seen Bad Boys 1, 2, or 3. But a 3 without Bay? That sounds like bad comedy.

      Fuckin’ Hot Fuzz man. High fives all around there.


      1. That’s no cofession, that’s a blessing. Stay away. Stay far away. They make The Rock look like cinematic gold, and I know you hate that one (it’s probably the only Bay film I like at a’ll because of Connery and Cage).


  2. Indeed, perhaps I have been a bit too critical of LeBrain a few times, but it was all in good humour and/or with positive emotions from my side

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Harrison you are only one of the people who have said this — and when they are multiple observations of the same thing, then I want to listen to them!

      Off to see Rise of Skywalker again today! Just going to enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep doing what your doing man!
    How about Anthony’s lack of bass playing on VH3 as well. That’s ED’s solo album which me and Tbone refer VH3 as Mike ‘Post’ Production.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yed Todd mentioned Anthony’s lack of participation and credits that for part of why the album doesn’t sound like Van Halen. Which, day one, is what I was saying the day the album came out. I said I couldn’t hear Anthony and it didn’t sound like VH, mark my words!

      Todd also goes off on Mike Post — he supposedly quit halfway through the album.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked Extreme so my take on Gary is not that judgemental. Saw them play live on that tour with Cherone. I still like Without You. To me it sounds more like Extreme with VH layers.


  5. I hadn’t realized that the New Radicals singer became such a successful songwriter behind the scenes – the Semisonic singer had a similar trajectory.
    That’s a good motto, live a little bit more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of that was new to me too, but there’s more to the story — New Radicals was actually a duo and Danielle Brisebois had quite a career of her own,m both before and after New Radicals. Strongly recommend that episode!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That New Radicals tune is a belter, though it’s overplayed. Isn’t he the guy behind Ronaldo Kearing’s Love is a Rollercoaster?

    Anyhoo, here’s to great conversations online and off during 2020.

    (Also, as well as a lack of backing vocals, VHIII suffers from a lack of tunes)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not know about Ronaldo Kearing but I wouldn’t be surprised. When Todd in the Shadows plays clips from the songs the guy wrote, you recognize the New Radicals in them right away!

      You gotta watch the Van Halen III episode. He goes after the songwriting…and the lyrics, oh the lyrics….

      Liked by 1 person

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s