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!