we're your private dancers
With the increasing popularity of satellite radio, podcasts, and easy-to-access digital music, it’s becoming more and more apparent that FM radio is a dying medium. I’m ashamed to say that I still listen to the radio on occasion in my car, and usually the radio is on in the background in my office all day every day. So there must still be people that listen to it. But just because it’s dying doesn’t mean the DJ’s should be so ignorant and ill-informed. Call me old-fashioned, but a professional DJ should be at least a little familiar with the topics that they’re broadcasting about. I am no professional DJ, but sometimes I feel like I know about a million times more than they do about the most simple pop culture topics.
My disdain for DJ’s started about 10 years ago when I called in and won free passes to an advance screening of Meet the Parents. Dan and Kim from the 93.1 morning show were at the screening and played a little trivia game with the crowd before the movie. This is a pop music station, and not once, but TWICE, Dan said, “George Michaels”. He wasn’t saying it in the possessive form, he just thought that was his name. Most people know his name is George Michael, singular. Most people also know he’s a sketchy driver and enjoys the occasional men’s restroom rendezvous, but that’s neither here nor there. Dan and Kim have been on the radio for what seems like forever, you should know the names of the artists that are played heavily on your playlist.
My disdain grew by leaps and bounds recently when two separate DJ’s on two different radio stations (on the same day!) made ridiculous statements that prove they have no point being on the air.
The first was Leslie on Lazer 99.3. Diamond Eyes by Shinedown played, and when the song finished, Leslie started talking about the video. She talked about how it featured scenes from Rambo with all kinds of explosions, etc., etc. I thought it was random to have scenes from such an old movie, but whatever. But upon further inspection, it’s actually a song from The Expendables soundtrack, featuring scenes from THAT movie interspersed with the band performing in concert. It may have been a simple slip of the tongue, but seriously, Leslie, get your head out of your ass. Here’s the video, for those interested:
The second was courtesy of Rachel Marisay on mix 93.1. She was talking about the Black Eyed Peas halftime show during the Super Bowl the night before. First of all, she’s so oblivious, she thought they did a good job. Second of all, she then introduced I Gotta Feeling as the song “that started it all”. Really, Rachel? You’re sure they didn’t have any hits before that? Or an entire album of hits? Or artists within the group that have released solo albums since the first Black Eyed Peas album? For Christ’s sake…the station plays Let’s Get it Started on a regular basis, and that song is from YEARS ago. Song that started it all my ass. And as far as their halftime show goes, let’s see what ESPN’s online poll showed:
Looks like you’re right on the money there, too, Rachel.
God, DJ’s are the worst.
Tags: 00s music, 10s music, 80s music, black eyed peas, dan and kim, diamond eyes, DJ, dying medium, espn, FM radio, george michael, halftime show, i gotta feeling, lazer 99.3, leslie, leslie in the morning, let's get it started, meet the parents, mix 93.1, morning show, podcasts, rachel marisay, satellite radio, shinedown, super bowl, sylvester stallone, the expendables
My fellow blogger Matt Larsen had a New Year’s Eve shindig in his domicile last week. Food was eaten, games were played, and a fantastic time was had by all. Lots of music was listened to…some good, some bad. An impromptu dance party broke out. It was your standard NYE shenanigans. For some reason, an inordinate amount of Michael Jackson was played. I’m not sure why so many people like to glorify a pedophile, but I digress. When Beat It was playing, Matt pointed out that he used to think the lyrics were “No one wants to beat it beat it” when, in fact, MJ sings, “No one wants to be defeated”. This caused me to think of other lyrics you could put in its place, and for some reason the first thing I thought of was “no one wants to eat a fetus”. I think we can all agree that there was no reason to think of any more, as there is clearly nothing that could be better.
I left work promptly at 5pm and made it to Mohegan Sun in an hour and 40 minutes. Not too shabby. My friend arrived shortly thereafter and we went to the ticket window to get the tickets about a half hour before the start of the show. No offense to the first opener, Angel Taylor, but our first priority was getting dinner rather than catching the opening act. Luckily, we were able to get an immediate seat at Big Bubba’s BBQ and had a nice meal (I opted for the chicken and ribs combo, and she had meatloaf. Because two out of three ain’t bad.).
After dinner, we headed into the arena in the middle of Ben Kweller’s set. He was pretty darn good. I especially enjoyed Sawdust Man. After Ben Kweller, though, it was the moment of truth. Barenaked Ladies were going to take the stage and this was my first time seeing them without Steven Page.
And you know what? I didn’t miss him at all. They opened their set with Who Needs Sleep? (an always odd choice, in my opinion), and then broke into The Old Apartment. It was as it always is with them. They rocked the house. It wasn’t long before Ed Robertson was freestyle-rapping about playing at Mohegan Sun, and then him and the band started talking about how he’d gotten schooled at poker that day. It appears he played a $200 buy-in tournament and learned a couple lessons along the way. Lesson 1: Trip 9′s aren’t worth a damn (“I was outkicked!”), and lesson 2: Queens full of 10′s? Fold ‘em! (“He slowplayed me!”). All was right with the world. I’m not familiar with much of the new stuff, but Angel Taylor did come out to sing with Ed on one of the songs I DO know, Every Subway Car, and it sounded really good. They even played a song called Eraser from their kid’s CD Snack Time, which was great fun. The other band members (mainly Kevin Hearn) took over a lot of Steven Page’s vocals, and his absence was barely felt. In fact, the only time I really thought about him was when they played You Run Away, off their new All in Good Time album, which is clearly about him.
And as always, as I was hoping, they did their famous medley finale. It started with Kevin Hearn playing the piano and singing Magic by Pilot. This led into the band doing a song and dance routine that included Empire State of Mind by Jay Z, I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas (who were coincidentally playing the XL Center in Hartford the very same night), Baby by Justin Bieber, and California Gurls by Katy Perry, topped off by “Mohegan Sun, won’t you come” at the very end to the tune of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (which they’ve done at their previous Mohegan Sun shows). The crowd, of course, clamored for an encore, and BNL gladly obliged. They played 3 songs for their encore, and for the first, Ed Robertson played drums while Tyler Stewart stumbled across the stage belting out Alcohol (that song was made for him to perform), and they finished the night with Brian Wilson (the song, not the Beach Boys singer).
We left thoroughly satisfied with the show, and continued to do a little gambling on the penny slots. And even though it only took me an hour and twenty minutes to get home, it was still 2:15am. But who needs sleep, right?
Tags: 10s music, 70s music, 80s music, 90s music, alcohol, all in good time, angel taylor, baby, barenaked ladies, beach boys, ben kweller, big bubba's bbq, black eyed peas, black hole sun, bnl, brian wilson, california gurls, ed robertson, empire state of mind, eraser, every subway car, hartford, i gotta feeling, jay z, jim creegan, justin bieber, katy perry, kevin hearn, life in a nutshell, meat loaf, mohegan sun, pilot, poker, sawdust man, snack time, soundgarden, steven page, the old apartment, two out of three ain't bad, tyler stewart, who needs sleep, xl center, you run away
There was a pretty awesome songspeak on the Soup Awards this past weekend. Jeffrey Osborne’s classic 80′s ballad On the Wings of Love was nominated for his perfomance of the song on the season finale of ABC’s The Bachelor. Although Heidi Montag’s abominable performance from the Miss Universe Pageant won the award, Jeffrey Osborne made a surprise appearance and announced to Joel McHale and the rest of the world the existence of his new wing restaurant, Jeffrey Osborne’s Wings of Love. It appears to be along the lines of the Toasted Owl that we here at songspeak like to frequent, and Jeffrey sang a great new version of his famous hit that promoted the restaurant. You can see the performance here (warning – it will make you hungry for wings):
Thanks to Bill for sending me this link earlier today. It seems that the soundtrack for Iron Man 2 will consist of solely AC/DC songs, and the soundtrack, available April 19, 2010, will be called AC/DC: Iron Man 2. One would think that AC/DC recorded a new track or two for the soundtrack, like Big Gun from Last Action Hero or Who Made Who for Maximum Overdrive, but nope, no new songs…just old stuff. So really, it’s kind of a “greatest hits” package of sorts. Which is fine, I’m sure the music in the movie will be rockin’, but would it have killed them to record a new song for the movie? (As I mentioned to Bill earlier, given their age, it just might). And didn’t Black Sabbath have a song titled Iron Man? Maybe it was in the first movie, who knows…I still haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. It appears as though Jon Favreau is a big AC/DC fan, and that was one of the factors that contributed to this whole scenario. Very reminiscent of how Stephen King wanted AC/DC exclusively for the soundtrack of Maximum Overdrive (based on his short story Trucks) because he’s a fan. Oh, Maximum Overdrive. Emilio Estevez. And remember when that other dude got clobbered by that truck that came to life? That was awesome. Anyway, enough reminiscing.
It looks like the soundtrack does a good job encompassing AC/DC’s whole career with some classic old Bon Scott songs right up to a song off their most recent CD Black Ice. You can see the track listing at the link above, but here it is anyway:
1. Shoot to Thrill
2. Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation
3. Guns for Hire
4. Cold Hearted Man
5. Back in Black
7. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
8. Evil Walks
10. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
11. Have a Drink on Me
12. The Razor’s Edge
13. Let There Be Rock
14. War Machine
15. Highway to Hell
And here’s the first video for Shoot to Thrill from the movie:
Keep your eyes on Brian Johnson. There’s something about a 62 year old grinding his hips that isn’t disturbing at all.
Tags: 00s music, 10s movies, 70s music, 80s music, 90s music, ac/dc, AC/DC: Iron Man 2, angus young, back in black, big gun, bill, black ice, black sabbath, bon scott, brian johnson, cold hearted man, emilio estevez, evil walks, greatest hits, guns for hire, have a drink on me, hell ain't a bad place to be, if you want blood (you've got it), iron man, iron man 2, jon favreau, last action hero, let there be rock, maximum overdrive, rock 'n' roll damnation, shoot to thrill, stephen king, t.n.t., that was awesome, the razor's edge, thunderstruck, trucks, who made who
John Mellencamp (John Cougar? John Cougar Mellencamp?) is a mainstay on mix 93.1, which I listen to daily in my office. Jack and Diane is one of his more popular hits, and I hear it at least a couple times a week. One of the lines from the song is, “change comes around real soon, makes us women and men”, but if I’m not paying attention, it sounds like he says, “makes us swimmin’ in men”. I know those aren’t the real lyrics, but if you listen, it really sounds like that’s what he’s saying. Listen for yourself! (As an aside, how oss are the handclaps at the beginning?):
The second season of Parks and Recreation premiered last night, and they took no time getting right into the songspeak. The cold open of the episode is classic songspeak, with Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope breaking into a dope rendition of The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s hit, Parents Just Don’t Understand. This whole scene actually reminded me of something that Matt or I might have done when we shared an office:
But it didn’t stop there. In this episode, Leslie Knope staged a penguin wedding at the local zoo, only to find out they were both male. This created a political firestorm in which the gay community embraced Leslie as a champion for their cause. So they invited her to a party in her honor at Pawnee’s gay nightclub, The Bulge. She goes with the intention of setting the record straight (no pun intended) that the wedding wasn’t a political statement, but is soon won over after a few drinks and hearing all the gay guys chant her name. She dances with them, and then does a stirring rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, only to have it incessantly stuck in her head the next morning. I can relate, as the song was stuck in my head as I was trying to fall asleep last night after watching the episode:
Two splendid examples of songspeak in the first episode. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Parks and Recreation.
Tags: 00s music, 00s tv, 80s music, amy poehler, dj jazzy jeff, gay marriage, gay nightclub, lady gaga, leslie knope, parents just don't understand, parks & recreation, pawnee, poker face, the bulge, the fresh prince
Last night, my wife and I went to see Colin Hay (former lead singer of Men at Work) perform at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun (or, as he called it, “the den of the wolf”). He’s touring in support of his new CD, American Sunshine. This is my fourth time seeing him perform (the first being at the Wolf Den a few years ago, and then twice at the Iron Horse in Northampton), and he put on a great show once again. One of the highlights was his wife, Cecilia Noel’s crazy interpretive dance to most of his songs (my wife referred to her as “whimsical”, but I’ll stick with “crazy”), and, of course, her air flute and redick flute-sounds when they played Down Under. Thankfully, they played Overkill (I remember when I emailed my friend Brian awhile back that I was going to see Colin Hay at Mohegan Sun, his email reply was simply “ghosts appear and faaaaaade awaaaaaaaay”), but missing from the set was one of my favorites to hear him play live, Be Good Johnny. Regardless, it was no mistake going to see him again. Below is a dramatization of the event:
Tags: 00s music, 80s music, 90s music, air flute, american sunshine, be good johnny, brian, cecilia noel, colin hay, crazy, den of the wolf, down under, iron horse, it's a mistake, men at work, mohegan sun, northampton, overkill, whimsical, wolf den
Who doesn’t like Bryan Adams?
Well, everyone, as far as I can tell. But that doesn’t stop them from playing his songs on the radio. It’s one of those unfortunate facts of life. The song that I tend to hear the most by him on mix 93.1 during the workday is Heaven.
When I hear it, I recall a songspeak moment from Matt’s and my past when we shared an office. We were diligently working, as usual, and Heaven came on the radio. And the chorus begins:
Baby you’re all that I want
When you’re lyin’ here in my arms
I’m findin’ it hard to believe
We’re in heaven
But as the song was playing, I sang along, “I’m findin’ it hard to believe, you’re just seven”. I was amused by the thought of Bryan Adams having a torrid affair with a child and writing a song about it. I mean, after all, he’s Canadian. It wouldn’t be that surprising.
I still think of that whenever I hear the song. And the next time you hear it, just replace the words “we’re in heaven” with “you’re just seven”, and every other instance of the word “heaven” with “seven”. The song will take on a whole new meaning, I promise you.
Screw you Bryan Adams, you pedophile.