Cee Lo Green

TV REVIEW: American Dad (featuring Cee-Lo Green) – “Hot Water”

AMERICAN DAD! – “Hot Water” (Episode 1, season 8)

Musical episodes and American Dad go together like blue suits and Stars n’ Stripes lapel pins.  Cee-Lo Green wasn’t the first musician to appear on the show, but he was the first to appear both animated, and live action!*  Cee-Lo hosted the opening episode for Season 8, “Hot Water”.  “My name?  Not important,” he begins.  What matters is this “cautionary tale” that “may affect your next hot tub purchase.”

Hot tubs?  Indeed, Cee-Lo also voices an evil, murderous hot tub.  It sings songs of temptation to Stan Smith, who is becoming obsessed with “soaking” in it.  The tub lulls Stan in with “Dip A Toe”, a light sexy Cee-Lo song urging him in.  A talking hot tub?  “Ain’t nobody got to know…just dip a toe!”  Echoes of the classic Stephen King stories Christine and The Shining are obvious, as the hot tub wants more and more time with Stan.  Even if it means Stan’s family has got to go.  Cee-Lo continues to woo Stan on “Hot Tub of Love” and “Do Whatever You Like”.  Stan begins skipping work, neglecting his family, and throwing hot tub stripper parties.  He sings, “I feel so conflicted, but this is up to me.  On one hand there’s the hot tub, the other’s family.”  Guess what he chooses?

cee-lo-green-2

Scott Grimes, who voices the character of Steve Smith, is quite a talented singer himself.  Steve has songs in countless episodes.  In “Hot Water” he duets with Roger the alien in a Boyz II Men-esque song called “Daddy’s Gone”.  Francine is forced to leave Stan and the family is broken!  The man who sold Stan the hot tub, Marguerite, becomes suspicious and begins doing research on the tub, to the tune of a song called (obviously) “Hot Tub Research”.  Marguerite discovers the truth:  The tub’s original owner put a stripper pole in there that got hit by lightning.  The tub came alive!  It killed its owners when they stopped using it.  It then escaped from a mental institution and was forgotten until Stan bought it.  Can Marguerite stop the hot tub before it kills Stan’s entire family?  The answer may surprise you.

“Hot Water” was only an average American Dad episode for laughs-per-minute.  It is top notch when it comes to music and unorthodox storytelling.  As a premier episode for the 8th season, it had star cameo power and was completely different from any other episode.  That’s a win/win.  Except I don’t feel like hot tubbing any time soon.

3.5/5 stars

*Actress Gabourey Sidibe also appeared live action as herself in the episode “Stanny Tendergrass”.  In this episode, she voices one of the hot tub girls.  And Patrick Stewart, who voices CIA director Avery Bullock, appeared live action as himself in season 9’s “Blood Crieth Unto Heaven”.

Part 275: Catharis (Second Anniversary special)

MIKELADANOMikeladano.com celebrates its second anniversary today!  It started with Record Store Tales Part 1, and here we are at Part 275!  (That’s one tale every 2.65 days for the numbers-oriented out there.)  A huge THANK-YOU to everyone who’ve read my stuff; as David Lee Roth says, “It ain’t no fuckin’ good without an audience.”  I also need to thank those friends that read this stuff years ago and told me to keep writing — they know who they are.   And my family, but especially the lovely Mrs. LeBrain who lets me rock and roll all nite and part of every day.  I love you sweety.

Enjoy this Record Store Tale!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 275:  Catharsis

Sometimes when I hit these milestones, I like to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m headed.  Two years ago when I began publishing the Record Store Tales I didn’t know if anyone would read it.  I was pleased to find that enough people enjoyed reading these stories that it was worth continuing.

I knew when I started posting these that eventually, inevitably, somebody from the old record store would find them.  I made the decision to write under my real name, not a pseudonym.  I anticipated that while some of my old friends would be entertained by these stories, some would not.  I took efforts to protect the identities of the characters in the story that are not portrayed in a positive light.

I did a “soft” launch of the site.  That is, I began publishing the stories one chapter at a time, but I kept it to myself and a close circle of friends.  The response was very positive and constructive.  While some friends urged me to “keep it short”, one of the most popular earlier stories was one of the longest.  Part 16: Traveling Man was the story of a long misadventure in Oakville Ontario, climaxed by an encounter with an unpleasant lawyer customer.  One friend told me the story was “fucking hilarious” and that he anticipated from the start that the guy in the story was a lawyer.   This feedback encouraged me to keep going for it.  I was fired up.

Then once I had enough content up to give people something substantial to read, I did my “official” launch via Facebook, Twitter and email.  It didn’t take long for the rain to hit my parade.  As I anticipated some people from the store didn’t like my stories, but Spoogecakes was the only one to publicly voice her disgust, way back in Part 35.5.  The funny thing about this was that I hadn’t planned on even mentioning Spoogecakes in my story, but then she went and wrote herself in.  Oh well.

I never could have done a white-washed version of the Record Store Tales.  I tried.  Seven or eight years ago I tried something called “Record Store-ies” (lame title, I know).  Some of the “Record Store-ies” got recycled into the old Klassic Kwotes, but it wasn’t the satisfying, cathartic experience that my soul had been craving.  After the Spoogecakes shit-storm, I approached a mentor of mine about the situation.  I asked him if I had been too negative in the past, if I should have toned it down.  His response to me was something I have taken to heart ever since.

“If you compromise your art in order to please a small minority of people no matter how vocal, you will ultimately end up with a piece of art that you don’t like.”

That was great advice.  My bottom line is always, “Do I like it?”  I’ve tried to maintain a balance.  There are stories about people with whom I conflicted, but there are also stories about things like me shitting my pants in the store.   And I didn’t give myself an alias for these stories!

This isn’t just storytelling to me.  This is catharsis.  While I was experiencing everything I experienced in the record store, good or bad, I held tight to one thought.  That thought was, “When this is all over, at least I will have a bunch of great stories to share.  If I can entertain just a few people with these stories then it’s all been worth it.”   Spoogecakes commented that there are “two sides to every story”.

That’s right.  And this is mine.