I love getting a musical education from Todd in the Shadows! He’s musically educated and far more knowledgeable about pop and hip-hop than I’ll ever be.
Run DMC are not my thing, and I was largely ignorant of their influence and their unique style. Todd demonstrates their beats and importance with plenty of video clips. But his main focus this time was their “comeback” album Crown Royal. An album that took years to make and release, due to legal wranglings over guest appearances and DMC’s lack of involvement. Todd conjectures that a disapproving D didn’t record a single note for this album. He could be right. A trainwreckord indeed, Crown Royal sounds like a desperate attempt to meet Y2k head on, and failing. No amount of Fred Dursts or Third Eyes Blind could save this record commercially and artistically.
This was a 30 minute viewing that flew right by. Entertaining and educational.
I admit, I am one of the many who wrote off White Town back when he occupied the bargain bin at the Record Store. I figured he ripped off John Williams’ “Imperial March” and faded away into deserved 90s obscurity.
I was wrong.
As usual, Todd in the Shadows does impeccable research and this was an enlightening episode about an artist that I knew only a little about before.
Todd in the Shadows has finally tackled one of the 1990s greatest turds: Motley Crue’s Generation Swine. Though “hair metal” isn’t his genre, Todd gets most of the facts right and touches on many of the factors that made this album such a trainwreck. He uses interviews with Nikki Sixx, John Corabi and others to illustrate the history, and also throws in some clips from Pam & Tommy. Simply stated, Motley were lost at sea with a much-hyped Vince Neil reunion that never lived up to expectations. In fact Motley purposely veered away from expectations. The biggest problem was that they had no idea where they were going.
This no-disqualification episode was brought to you by Coffee!
First of all — Thank you to all the participants this time out, including Kevin (Buried on Mars) and Deke (Arena Rock). While these two gentleman did appear, they did not do the traditional Nigel Tufnel Top Ten lists and so they are not among the songs below. To access their “bonus tracks” you are going to have to watch the video!
Second — The MVP this week was Sarca Sim from Caught Me Gaming. Not to belittle the effort that anyone put into their lists (as you’ll see), but Sarca utilized an additional caveat: her list was 100% CanCon. A difficult, impressive and rewarding feat.
Third — You can decide for yourself if anyone deserved to be disqualified this week. Have Stavesacre or Wesley Willis ever had a legitimate hit? Is Toto a one hit wonder band? You decide.
Finally — Really, everyone was MVP this week. It was a marathon session. The feedback I have received so far has been excellent.
“I was howling for a lot of it. Michelle kept saying ‘what are you laughing about'” – Chris S
“It was like watching an SNL skit” – also Chris S
“Max is a one hit wonder on this stream lol” – also Chris S
“Love it!!!!!!!!” –My mom
Any songs that were repeated are highlighted below. There are not many. Enjoy these tracks!
Mike – LeBrain
11. Blue Cheer – “Summertime Blues”
10. Spacehog – “In the Meantime”
9. Kik Tracee – “You’re So Strange”
8. Wesley Willis – “Alanis Morissette”
7. Marvelous 3 – “Freak of the Week”
6. Tal Bachman – “She’s So High”
5. The Kings – “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide”
4. Blotto – “Metal Head”
3. sandbox. – “Curious”
2. E-Z-O – “Flashback Heart Attack”
1. Loudness – “Crazy Night”
11. Alien Ant Farm – “Smooth Criminal”
10. Arlo Guthrie – “City of New Orleans”
9. Frank Stallone – “Far From Over”
8. Prelude – “After the Gold Rush”
7. J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers – “Last Kiss”
6. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – “Fire”
5. Zager and Evans – “In the Year 2525”
4. Paul Hardcastle – “Nineteen”
3. Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)”
2. Yello – “Oh Yeah”
1. MECO – “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band”
11. Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe”
10. Modern English – “I Melt With You”
9. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Come On Eileen”
8. Aldo Nova – “Fantasy”
7. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Relax”
6. Cutting Crew – “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight”
5. Kix – “Don’t Close Your Eyes”
4. Saigon Kick – “Love is on the Way”
3. The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
2. Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”
1. Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”
Eric – Uncle Meat
11. Bobby Pickett – “Monster Mash”
10. Nick Gilder – “Hot Child in the City”
9. Neneh Cherry – “Buffalo Stance”
8. Deee-Lite – “Groove is in the Heart”
7. Ace – “How Long Has This Been Going On”
6. Haircut 100 – “Love Plus One”
5. Tracy Bonham – “Mother Mother”
4. Donnie Iris – “Ah Leah”
3. Modern English – “I Melt With You”
2. Martha and the Muffins – “Echo Beach”
1. Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”
Max the Axe – kind of a big deal
11. Donnie Iris – “Ah Leah”
10. Toto – “Hold the Line”
9. Atlanta Rhythm Section – “Imaginary Love”
8. Holly McNarland – “Elmo”
7. Moist – “Push”
6. Youth Gone Mad – “Crime Rate ’88”
5. Stavesacre – “Shiv”
4. Demon – “Liar”
3. The Trojan Ponies – “Deny”
2. Cheech and Chong – “Earache My Eye”
1. Eddie Murphy – “Party All the Time”
11. Alta Moda – “Julian”
10. Cats Can Fly – “Flippin to the A Side”
9. The Kings – “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide”
8. Eight Seconds – “Kiss You (When It’s Dangerous)”
7. Idle Eyes – “Tokyo Rose”
6. Len – “Steal My Sunshine”
5. Neo A4 – “Say This To Me”
4. Daniel Lanois – “Lotta Love to Give”
3. John Bottomley – “You Lose and You Gain”
2. Maestro Fresh Wes – “Let Your Backbone Slide”
1. The Northern Lights – “Tears Are Not Enough”
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 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!