Melissa the Troll logged in at 1 AM last night to tell me that my opinion does not matter. I did not need Melissa to tell me that, but who is going to tell Melissa that her opinion matters just as much?
Melissa left a comment on my Avril Lavigne – Under My Skin review. Apparently her math isn’t that great, as she didn’t realize that my 3.5/5 score = 7/10, a pretty good review. She probably didn’t like that I found a few songs to be “shit”, but what can you do? It’s not like my opinions actually matter.
GETTING MORE TALE #787: Mix CD 19 – “The Green Album”
As we’ve done in the past, let’s have a look at a mix CD I dug up, from about a decade ago. It’s an interesting mix, made mostly of stuff I found online. Any time I’d gather at least 80 minutes worth of downloads, I’d burn them to a CD. I considered that to be a much more permanent format. This disc is really just an archive of things I downloaded during a certain period of time in 2008. The title 19 suggests that it’s the 19th such archive CD that I burned. More than that though, I made it a good listen. As usual there are surprises and a few attempts at buffoonery. Let’s dive in.
The first thing to notice: There are 23 tracks on the CD, but 19 listed on the front sleeve. That means I hid four comedic bits somewhere between the songs, to be discovered by surprise. That’s why I left off the track numbers.
The opener “Big Yellow Joint” is a jingle from the TV show Arrested Development. Remember the Banana Stand? In the 60s it was a popular place to meet to buy and sell weed! But that’s out of the way quickly and it’s “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago from a very poor quality mp3. “25 or 6 to 4” is the definitive rock song with a horn section. Find me a better one.
Then, seamlessly, it’s an old childhood favourite: “Bad to the Bone”! When you make a mix CD, the software generally defaults to a three second gap between songs. I liked a tighter flow than that, so I always used one second or even no gap. This disc is almost 80 minutes long so I used every second I could find. The transitions on my mix CDs are always top notch. After George Thorogood, it’s Pat Travers with “Snortin’ Whiskey”. I was probably hearing these tracks on the radio a lot at the time, so I downloaded ’em and burned ’em.
A really terrible sounding mp3 of “Sonic Reducer” by the Dead Boys reflects my love of the movie Hard Core Logo. It started with the H.C.L. version of “Sonic Reducer”, and then Pearl Jam’s cover. If I liked those, I figured I should download the original. But all this proves to me is why you need to buy the CD. Downloaded versions suck. This is sonically not up to par and I’m surprised I was satisfied by this 10 years ago.
The first audio hoodwink follows the Dead Boys. It’s a 30 second clip from the movie Walk Hard, starring John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox. This clip features Jack Black as Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Justin Long as George Harrison, and Jason Schwartzman as Ringo Starr.
Having a chuckle at the Dewey Cox clip is a perfect way to transition over to a couple good reggae songs by Inner Circle: “Sweat” and (of course) “Bad Boys”! Have a laugh, then get down and dance. I like what I did here, if I do say so myself! Going from that back to rock and roll is tricky, but I think I pulled it off with the very poppy “Fire, Ice & Dynamite” by Deep Purple (Mk V). It’s an oddball rarity, only ever appearing on a Deep Purple DVD as a video slideshow.
One of my favourite 80s songs, the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” still pleases today. I can only handle the Dead in small doses, but this is my favourite of their songs. It’s probably 50% pop and 50% nostalgia. In keeping with the 80s, it’s Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, a live version with the 1999 lineup supposedly intended for the Sandler flick Big Daddy. Immediately following is a live version of “Dead Flowers” from an earlier time. Ah, Limewire! I remember regularly typing in searches like “Guns N’ Roses rare” or “Guns N’ Roses live” and downloading anything I could get my digital digits on. It was also hit and miss in terms of quality. These are bootleggy but not excessively so.
I remember watching Napoleon Dynamite a fuck of a lot back then. I used the presentation Napoleon gave about the Loch Ness monster for the next unlisted comedy bit. Then it’s another rarity, also only available as a bonus track on a DVD: “Nobody Knows What It’s Like to Be Lonely” by Motley Crue. The track is 7:05 long, and every fan of Too Fast For Love needs to hear it and have it. “Song to Slit Your Wrist By”, which I used to think was by Motley Crue but is actually by Nikki Sixx’s 58, is a waste of time that I shouldn’t have included. I thought I had downloaded a rare Japanese bonus track. In a cruel twist, Motley included a 58 song on the Japanese edition of Generation Swine, forcing me to seek it out, not realizing it wasn’t actually Motley Crue.
In the very first instalment of Getting More Tale called That Crush on Avril, my not-so-secret affection for Avril Lavigne was revealed. Let’s be honest, folks — her second album rocked. I still like it. She’s never rocked heavy like that since, and I’ve long since gotten off the train. This CD has a rare acoustic version of “Complicated”, but far better then that is Weird Al’s parody “A Complicated Song”.
“Why’d you have to go and make me so constipated? ‘Cause right now I’d do anything to just get my bowels evacuated, In the bathroom I sit and I wait and I strain, And I sweat and I clench and I feel the pain, Oh, should I take laxatives or have my colon irrigated?”
In 2008, Harem Scarem released a free official download: a recent live version of “Hard To Love”. This was intended as a final gift to fans, since the band were breaking up. Temporarily, thank you very much! The live version shows off the band’s impressive singing abilities, and of course being an official download, the sound quality is all but perfect. I followed that with a live radio performance by ex-Tesla guitarist Tommy Skeoch, a song called “I Left the Circus”. Well, I think technically he was kicked out of the circus. It’s a jokey song about Tesla. According to Skeoch in the intro, one of the guys from Tesla heard it and took it well. “Although he’s kind of a pompous fuck and I don’t really like him.” I’m glad I downloaded this; I don’t know how you’d find it today. Who knows what radio show I downloaded it from. The LeBrain Library™ is a storehouse for things like this. I keep things that the record companies lose in massive fires.
In the late 80s, Robbie Robertson had a popular single called “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”, from his solo debut. Some like it, some hate it, but it’s a remarkable song. It sounds both retro and futuristic. It featured a weird electronic instrument called the Omnichord, and an explosive chorus accompanied by Sammy BoDean. A lot of this CD, scattershot as it is, features songs I enjoyed in my youth, but don’t own the albums. I should fix that.
After a final sketch from the movie Superbad (“I’m gonna cry myself to sleep every night. When I’m out partying”) it’s the ultimate rock comedy of all time. Can you guess what that might be? No, not Spinal Tap. No, not Bad News either. It’s Van Halen’s isolated vocal track of “Runnin With the Devil”!
Weird CD indeed, random but with a lot of effort to make it cohesive and listenable. I’ll give myself:
WTF SEARCH TERMS XXXI: Freddie Mercury’s Mic Stand edition
Gather ’round yon computers and tablets boys and girls, as we once again recount some of the…errr…more amusing search terms that led people here to mikeladano.com. If you’re new, this is a series of bizarre things that people have typed into search engines to get here. And once again, this proves that there are some pretty sick individuals out there! Let’s begin.
The Swedish rock band Europe, and their singer Joey Tempest, have been the source of many bizarre hits from the search terms. This is NOTthe firsttime!
1.joey tempest satanist 2.satanist sign on shert of joey tempest 3.opinion of joey tempest about religion
Not sure why the obsession with Joey Tempest and religion. At all.
Here’s one to warm the heart:
4.avril fuck by bruce dickinson
And I’m sure many people have this question:
5.did freddie mercury masturbate his mic stand
Next up we have Poison. I’m sure Poison had lots of dirty sex back in the day, but this? Who the fuck wants to know? Bobby Dall is, like, the least sexy guy in Poison.
6. bobby dall sex tales
And we round out today’s list with just a bunch of dirty, filthy shit. Literally.
7.trough urinal dick parade 8.film porno women shit and piss 9.boy to boy big cock six part 10.hyenas fucking
Thank you internet! You are the gift that keeps on giving.
RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale #343: Tyler and LeBrain episode 3 – The French Invasion
Please welcome Sebastien to Getting More Tale. Seb is a Sausagefester who also happens to play drums, produce, and own a recording studio. Today we discuss the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, and modern music.
Do you have any artists or songs that just drive you insane upon mere mention of their names? Sure you do. Don’t lie to me. You can’t hide that Hatorade deep inside! Like my buddy Aaron I thought I’d create a list of five.
1.“Fancy” – Iggy Azalea. I don’t hear much in the way of music, or songcraft on this repetitive juvenile rap. I hear people calling Iggy Azalea “talented”. What exactly is her talent? Hiding her Australian accent?
2. “Hello Kitty” – Avril Lavigne. So terrible, on so many levels. This has nothing to do with rock and roll, a genre that Avril claims to be a part of. No, this is unabashed brass-ring grabbing novelty crapola.
3. “Porn Star Dancing” – My Darkest Days. Somehow, this Canadian post-grunge bunch of posers got Zakk Wylde to play on this track. I don’t know how they did that, except perhaps promising him a lifetime supply of Jack? This awful, stinky excuse for a rock song also features Chad Kroeger on vocals. Giddy up, horse-face.
4. “Painkiller” – Three Days Grace. There are two soundalike Canadian bands with the word “Days” in their names. And now, both of them even have the same singer. Double the pain!
5.“Michael” – Franz Ferdinand. I absolutely despise this song. They listened to it in the Record Store during my miserable final days there. “Indi rock” was popular with certain groups of individuals and of all the songs I endured, this one I hated most. Sitting at work, listening to the dude from Franz Ferdinand singing “So come and dance with me Michael, so sexy, I’m sexy,” was not my cup of tea at all.
Let’s get on with it. The version of Under My Skin that I have comprises 13 songs, so let’s put the headphones on. “Take Me Away” opens strongly with sparse, polished guitars and keyboards. It sounds like Evanescence, actually. It was written by Avril and her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. At this point, Avril wasn’t singing with any annoying contrivances in her voice. She was just blasting away (most likely in autotune). Given that this song is very produced and plasticized, it’s still a good song. So far we’re 1/1.
“Together” is a bit too melodramatic for Mike 2014, but damn, I still love that fucking chorus. I’m singing along with my fist in the air. Shit! 2/2.
One of several hit singles was the ballady “Don’t Tell Me”. This one makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little bit. I’m uncomfortable with this kind of teenybop rock now. But that fucking chorus hits and…ahh fuck! Still, the chorus can’t save the song, it’s shite. 2/3.
Avril returns to her so-called punk roots with “He Wasn’t”. Phil X on guitar here, but he doesn’t get to solo (a damn shame). As much as I want to hate the song, I can’t. It seems pretty sincere, and it ain’t bad. It’s snarky but not annoyingly so. 3/4 now. “How Does It Feel” is a ballad, not a bad one either. The instrumental production on this one (by Raine Maida) is excellent, although the vocals still sound autotuned. Phil X again on guitar. The score is now 4/5.
I’m a total sucker for the single “My Happy Ending”. Butch Walker wrote a pretty cool song, and the chorus is one of those Avril bellows that she is known for. The lyrics, like most of ’em, are about some dude. I can’t really sing along to “He was everything, everything that I wanted,” sincerely, you know? Still, the score is now 5/6. And it’s going to go up to 6/7, because I remember liking the song “Nobody’s Home” a lot. I’m not sure what the lyrics are exactly about, but Avril sounds like she’s trying to get serious, so that’s better than words about some dude. Ben Moody from Evanescence itself co-wrote this one, so you can guess who it naturally reminds me of. Still, I’ll maintain that 6/7 because the chorus is still great.
“Forgotten” starts out crap. You sure can tell this one was written by Chantal Kreviazuk as that is who it sounds like. The track doesn’t improve on the chorus. Pass. The board reads 6/8. A good song called “Who Knows” is up next, and even though it wasn’t one of the single, I think it’s one of the best songs. This one kind of sounds like a pop metal anthem, you could imagine a band like Warrant having a song like this. It has mellow acoustic verses with a shout-y fun singalong chorus. 7/9 now! “Fall To Pieces”, written with Raine Maida sounds like an Our Lady Peace outtake. A pretty good outtake, with a great bridge. Good enough for 8/10.
I have always liked “Freak Out”. It’s just fun. This one too sounds like a Raine Maida construction, but it is not. It’s written by Butch Walker and Avril’s drummer Matt Brann. It’s easier to listen to than most Our Lady Pea(ee-yai-ee-aye-ee)ce, so the score is now 9/11. As my buddy Craig might say, it’s looking like it’s time to hand in my Man Card.
Maybe not! “Slipped Away” is utter shite that I cannot listen to. It sounds like Chantal…guess who wrote it? The chorus is not too bad, but this song is crap. Can’t take it. If I could deduct 2 points, I would. 9/12. It’s down to the “bonus track” now. “I Always Get What I Want” originally came from a UK edition, but I bought this CD from my nearest Walmart. There’s something on the fine print about Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd, so maybe that’s something to do with it. “I Always Get What I Want” is another “punky” Avril, but like “Slipped Away”, it too is crap. Sounds like Avril’s trying to be her heroes, Green Day. No thank you.
The final score for Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin is 9/13. Did I like it as much now as I did in 2004? Not quite. It might have been that I liked a couple more of those sappy songs. However, I’ve already said far too much here. I’m going to cut my losses and get out now.
Welcome to the first of my new continuing series; the “Post-Record Store Tales” I’ve been talking about. Here are the RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale. Featuring my Simon Pegg action figure as the new “Mini-LeBrain”! Title suggested by Aaron!
To quote David St. Hubbins, “Hope you like our new direction!”
RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
#321: That Crush on Avril
One of those lingering points left after the conclusion of Record Store Tales was this: my unexplained, unusually large Avril Lavigne CD collection. This is that tale.
When Avril’s first album arrived in 2002, I was encouraged to listen to it by a new hire at the Record Store. “I hear that this album has some of the best pop songwriting that has come out in years,” he said. “From a technical point of view. I read that the album is just mathematically perfect, from a songwriting perspective. Mind if we listen to it?”
“Sure,” I said. “Throw it on.” I scanned the credits. Each song was co-written by big name mega-writers with more gold records than I have socks. There were big name producers on every song, and some familiar names from my metal collection: Josh Freese might be best known as the drummer in the Vandals (among many others) but I first heard his name in regards to Guns N’ Roses who he was with for a short time. Another guy, Alessandro Elena, was the drummer in Bruce Dickinson’s Skunkworks. (He’s the subject of their song, “I’m In a Band with an Italian Drummer.”)
I know that the album was mostly pre-fab, but I didn’t mind it. Since I was limited in what I could usually listen to in-store, and Avril was fairly safe, I played it a lot. I always recommended it to customers who were looking for new music for their kids, who thought Britney was getting too skanky. As a bonus, punk kids seemed to hate her. Eventually I bought a copy myself.
I probably annoyed the shit out of my co-workers.
Avril released her heavier second album (Under My Skin) in 2004, and this is where my crush really began. Avril had a new image and a new sound. I don’t like thinking about that crush anymore; I have been mocked enough. Hell, Craig Fee mocked me for it on the air just this past Wednesday! It is true that I had a crush on Avril. The new grown-up Avril had gothed out and turned up on the cover of Maxim. Maxim agreed with me, just look at that headline!
Today, the thoughts of “Chavril”, that unholy union between Avril and Horse-man, makes me feel ill. It’s like finding out your ex-girlfriend is now seeing that jock in school you just fucking hated. We recently heard that Chavril was splitting. If so, I say good for her!
So anyway, the second album: It had more names from my metal shelves. In addition to Josh Freese, the legendary Kenny Aranoff and the astounding Brooks Wackerman played drums. Phil X of Bon Jovi and Triumph was on axe. Finally the Canadian duo of Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida were playing and co-writing on most songs too. This is accompanied by an overall darker and harder approach.
I really had this coming. In Part 314 (The Musical Crimes of Mrs. LeBrain) I exposed the somewhat embarrassing contents of Jen’s CD wallet. I knew retribution would come. Enjoy this penultimate episode of Record Store Tales, and its final guest shot, courtesy of Mrs. LeBrain. (Warning: LOTS of pictures!)
By MRS. LeBRAIN
RECORD STORE TALES Part 319: The Musical Crimes of LeBrain
#10 HIM – And Love Said No. That deep dark gothic prince Ville Valo makes lonely girls swoon, but he is also hanging out on LeBrain’s shelf.
#9 Soundtrack – SMALL SOLDIERS. I don’t know how this made it into the LeBrain home. I understand his need for everything Geddy Lee has ever created, but “Mixed by DJ Z-Trip“?? Is that really worth it? (Not to mention that you have to rock out to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to get there.)
#8 ROD STEWART – “If We Fall In Love Tonight” CD single. Going through my adventure here, I came across this single, designed to get the listener to first base. YOU’RE MARRIED. THAT SHIT DOESN’T NEED TO STAY.
#7 Soundtrack – THE KARATE KID, Part III. “Wax on, wax off.” The case and book for this CD do not meet the demanding criteria that LeBrain enforces on his collection, but neither does the track list. (I don’t know who most of these people are, but I have heard of the Pointer Sisters.)
#6WOODSTOCK 99 – Various. Look at the first six tracks from crap bands, and try not to laugh (a challenging task). The second CD is just as bad.
#5 Soundtrack – SON IN LAW. The Pauly Shore franchise was known for making really bad movies. The soundtracks are not much better and this shouldn’t be taking up valuable shelf space.
#4 ELMOPALOOZA – Various. If LeBrain were a daddy, this CD might make sense (Steven Tyler has a song about trash). But LeBrain is childless, and Tickle-Me-Elmo is pretty pointless here!
#3 ZZ TOP: A Tribute From Friends – Various. Three words:
MIKE OWNS NICKELBACK!
#2 AVRIL LAVIGNE – The Lavigne Collection (see below). In Part 314, LeBrain threw me under the bus for wanting to marry Joey Mac from New Kids on the Block, 25 years ago. Payback time! Just because he wanted to be her “Sk8tr Boi” doesn’t mean he needed to buy her entire repertoire.
And #1! HIT ZONE 4– Various. LeBrain’s messiest musical moments have been in his “Various” section, but this one takes the cake. My husband owns tracks by NSync, the Backstreet Boys and Boyz II Men? And to top it off this boy band festival, here’s Hanson! Regardless, I think the most disturbing thing about this CD is cover. Look at the scratches and scrapes on the case. This tells me the CD has been well enjoyed.
LeBrain, with all the mess on YOUR shelves, you really can’t make fun of me. But no matter what crap you listen to, you’re still mine.
RECORD STORE TALES Part 164: “You scratch my back…”
In the past, (Part 120, in fact) I talked about how T-Rev would keep his eyes peeled for discs that he knew I wanted. It worked out to be a mutually advantageous arrangement; a large chunk of my collection came to me simply because T-Rev knew I wanted something. I’m sure the reverse was also true. But this referred just to discs that showed up in our respective stores.
I had a different arrangement with “QUO”, who worked with me at my own store. In this case, we’d actually buy each other stuff while we were out on our own record shopping excursions. I found the following entries in my journal, illustrating exactly the kind of “you scratch my back…” arrangements that we had. It was pretty awesome.
Date: 2005/10/25 16:26
Today I picked up a Bright Eyes 45, an Arcade Fire 45 for QUO, and the new Motley DVD since I didn’t see the tour. I hope the documentary footage kicks ass! The last Motley DVD (given to me by an ex) really sucked. Maybe Vince actually sings on this one instead of letting the fans do it all!
I actually picked up the Bright Eyes 7″ for QUO as well, but he already had it, so I just kept it for myself. I don’t know which Arcade Fire I bought for him (it was probably “Rebellion”), but the Bright Eyes was “Gold Mine Gutted”. (The Motley DVD I am referring to was Carnival of Sins.)
This was in return of a favour QUO did for me, one week prior!
Date: 2005/10/18 10:00
QUO picked up three CDs for me in Toronto last night:
1. Bon Jovi “Have A Nice Day” single (has two live tracks first released on the box set, but in studio versions). 2. Bruce Dickinson Tyranny Of Souls Japanese import with bonus track. 3. Iron Maiden “The Trooper” CD single.
I remember giving QUO a wishlist. This was back when HMV Toronto still carried Japanese imports (which they no longer do, see rant here). I remember putting Avril Lavigne CD singles on that wishlist too!
This is what obsessive Record Store Guys do. We help each other out. It’s in our blood, the blood of the collector!