Friday, July 30, 2010
A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job teaching at our old High School: Lake Highlands. He'll be the Speech Teacher / Asst. Wrestling Coach. This, of course, got me thinking about all things High School. More specifically, songs about High School. From The Police's epic - "Don't Stand So Close to Me", to Hall & Oates' cautionary tale "Adult Education", artists of the 80s loved singing about school.
This week we focus on Timbuk 3's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades".
The first time I heard this song was when I watched a little movie I like to call "Kuffs". The buddy cop movie features a potentially peaking Christian Slater as George Kuffs. In a Risky Business moment, Slater is jamming this song while dawning the alleged shades in the song. I immediately needed to wear shades, as I thought Christian Slater was the coolest thing since Original NES.
I often find myself asking: what the F happened to Christian Slater? He was such an important component of my early film identity. Case and point: "The Wizard". When they debuted Super Mario Bros. 3 in the movie, I nearly lost it. How genius of Nintendo to capitalize on Christian Slater in such a subtle way. I was too young to watch "Pump Up the Volume" and "Heathers", but my sister wasn't, so I watched em. After watching "Heathers" I had a dream that I was playing croquet with my sister's head at the end of one of the goals. I was 10.
The video for "I Gotta Wear Shades" is pretty underwhelming. I think I filmed something of superior quality in 7th grade when me and Ryan Miller filmed ourselves rapping about Tom Sawyer to the tune of Sabotage. "Listen all Y'all it's a Tom Sawyer!".
Although it became an early 90s graduation anthem, "Shades" is actually a critique about Nuclear Holocaust. Thanks for nothin' Timbuk 3.
Shout out to my boy T-Y. Baby boy is all groweds up.
Hope you Dig,
Friday, July 23, 2010
Led Zeppelin is one my favorite bands. Lately I have neglected to lavish upon them the appropriate attention that a group of such stature deserves. I blame this on my multi-year infatuation with the following musicians:
· The Band
But no more will I forsake thee, Led Zeppelin! For I declare this: THE SUMMER OF LED ZEPPELIN!!!
“Why”, might you ask, “Are you devoting an entire summer to Led Zeppelin?” Because they are that damn good…Need proof? Led Zeppelin has sold 200 million albums to date. They also dominated the 1970’s from start to finish. Reputable academic research performed at TABC and the Loon has proven that the top five most important influences in the U.S. during the 1970’s were:
· Led Zeppelin
· Tom Landry
· Warren Beatty
· Richard Nixon
· Harvey and Stephanie Zimmermann
Led Zeppelin members’ roles within the band also became the template for all aspiring rawkers. A quick breakdown:
· Robert Plant: lead singer who’s provocative dance poses, anguished banshee vocals and golden tresses caused women’s clothing to spontaneously disintegrate
· Jimmy Page: mysterious guitar virtuoso who dabbled in sorcery (no joke). Jimmy also developed innovative musical techniques that still provoke impassioned monologues from drunken guitar nerds…
· John Bonham (“Bonzo”): animalistic, alcoholic drummer. In full musical fury, Bonzo hammered the drums so fast that he appeared to grow extra arms and thus resembled a hairy octopus.
· John Paul Jones: played bass. And all bassists are boring – except for that new gun slinger in Parachute Addams!
Led Zeppelin’s catalogue of music is vast, thus choosing just one “Song of the Week” is daunting. At gunpoint, I’m going to select “Ramble On”. Admittedly, “Ramble On” is not Led Zeppelin’s best song, but it is their most stereotypical song, and thus a good starting point for any Led Zeppelin neophyte. Allow me to explain:
· The melody consists of Led Zeppelin’s patented blend of chillin’ & rawkin’. The song begins with a mellow, acoustic tone similar to a hipster Renaissance Fair band. But then, “Boom goes the dynamite!” and the electric guitar and drums kick in.
· The lyrics are also classic Zeppelin’ian: the song is about a protagonist who “rambles on” from girl to girl, absolutely crushing it with ladies all over the globe. But secretly he feels melancholy because he hasn’t found “the queen of all his dreams”. Single tear drop…
· Plot twist! At the end of the song, Led Zeppelin transports the narrative to the “Lord of the Rings” universe. (Whhaaaatttt?!) Turns out that long ago the protagonist was hanging around the darkest depth of Mordor, “when he met a girl so fair, but Gollum and the evil warg crept up and slipped away with her”. Translation: Robert Plant’s true-love ditched him for a handicapped hobbit and a werewolf creature. Harsh! Guess that explains his fear of commitment…
Here’s the link. Hope you Dig©.
PS: Shout out to my boy Turner who will be rambling through the GMAT tomorrow.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Let’s face it…there is a time in every Man’s life where he faces a situation so messed up, that he has no other choice but to REGULATE...
But what exactly is Regulating? Regulating is what you have to do when a Busta steps to you, typically when you’re minding your own business just shootin’ dice or chillin’ in general. Make sure that immediately after you lay them Bustas down you switch back into “freak mode”, because if there is one thing a Regulator does…it’s helping out some Skirts in distress. Look…they are obviously in need of desperate help…if you don’t help ‘em…what, are you gonna let some Bustas help ‘em? Then you’ll have to Regulate again! Because they’re obviously gonna step to you. That’s what Bustas do. They step to you…and then you have to Regulate. Two full-on Regulations in one night?! Crazy talk!
In all seriousness, Bustas stepping to you are just one of many situations in which a Man must Regulate. Here are a list of situations that call for swift Regulation:
1) Bustas stepping to you (OK, you already got this one, but I can’t stress this enough)
2) Doing Work (doing work and regulating go hand in hand…also a given)
3) Dancefloors (these are typically filled with Bustas sporting whack dance moves…you gotta regulate…unless, of course, yo @ss is a Busta)
4) Shakedowns courtesy of the SEC (the SEC is full of Bustas...and the worst part is...they think they're Regulators...tisk tisk)
3 of my favorite lyrics of all time:
1) If I had wings I would fly…let me contemplate (these are things Regulators say…because Regulators are Deep)
2) The Rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble (self-explanatory)
3) And if yo @ss is a Busta…213 will Regulate (harsh…but fair warning)
Hope you Dig,
Friday, July 9, 2010
oOoOO, pronounced: oOoOO is an up and coming band in the genre defined as "Witch House" or "Drag" if you're German (which I am). The video isn't what's important here, although it's pretty interesting. The song isn't really even my fave, but this band is like aural crack. I seriously just put this on, and my productivity skyrockets at work. I know it's weird.
You might say: "JZ...WTF...this music is so depressing." I would say to you: "suck it up punk. this band is the f'ing bombtrack. Why don't you give Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason a listen and tell me this isn't in the ballpark?" For likers of HEALTH, Salem, the Chronicles of Narnia, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Muppet Babies, Faxandu, and Teddy Ruxpin, you're probably gonna dig it.
Best listened to:
1) At work (with headphones, you don't want your bosses thinking you practice witchcraft / wizardry...unless your name is Square-a Smith)
2) When it's raining outside
3) When you are partying with wickens
4) When you are playing Zelda II on NES
5) After you discover that the party you just walked into is not what you signed up for...in fact it totally sucks
6) Before you watch this next video
On a lighter note:
If you guys are interested, I got tapped to play bass with one of these bands at the House of Blues a week from this Friday (7/16). The band is called Parachute Addams (they're on myspace), and I assume we will be the opener (going on around 8ish).
I'm just filling in for their bassist. I’ve seen the band a few times and they’re pretty dece. It should be interesting.
Hope you Dig,