Sunday, July 12, 2009

Musicians Jumping the Shark

“Jumping the Shark” is a term originally used for failing TV shows, where ratings are down and the show does something absurd to try to get viewers back. Specifically, it points directly to the Fonz jumping his motorcycle over a shark near the bitter end of the TV series Happy Days. However, while driving around town and listening to my iPod on beloved shuffle play, my wife and I recognized a few rock bands' shark jumping tunes. So, I decided to put together a list of said songs in no particular order (OK, sort of alphabetical after a few). As always, I'd love to see comments and welcome any songs I may have missed as most of this comes from my personal collection:

Mr. Roboto – Styx. Seriously! If there ever was a band that took things in a horrendous direction, it was Styx with this craptastic song. It was cheesy from day one.

Jump – Van Halen. Even with Diamond Dave at the mic, this song made them look like a bunch of wussies. Although the rest of the album 1984 was pretty decent, Jump was certainly not a typical VH tune, thus leading to the departure of David Lee Roth and Van Hagar was (gack) born! Anyone remember the Gary Cherone months?

The Unforgiven – Metallica. Just as Metallica was hitting their underground, speed metal peak, the Black Album came out. The true Metallica fans (myself included) went to the midnight release, all pumped up to hear what we've been waiting for since ...And Justice For All. The songs on this album were short and sweet – not a typical Metallica album at all, and then there was this, um, ballad. Metallica is not a ballad band! Or, at least they weren't until they decided the Black Album needed to be commercially successful, and it was, which disappointed the majority of their fans, but made the band HUGE. They put out a few more albums afterward including Load and Reload (AKA, the crap that wasn't good enough to go on Load, but they were feeling lazy). Next thing you know, they were playing with a symphony and bassist Jason Newsted had enough and left. The band attempted to go back to their garage roots with St. Anger, which was pretty good, but their producer Bob Rock filled in on bass, which hurt. Better than the album is the documentary Some Kind of Monster, the story of the band recording St. Anger. Metallica is now trying to please all with Death Magnet. The jury is still out.

You're the Inspiration – Chicago. These guys were pretty cool for a while, and even had some rocking tunes (25 or 6 to 4 is still one of my favies, and it pissed me off that Green Day stole the riff for Brain Stew), but this ballad made the band, well, lame as crap. Why is it always the ballads that kill the bands? Speaking of which...

I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner. Because the album 4 was so awesome, they were forgiven for Waiting for a Girl Like You. However, the next album Agent Provocateur, produced this awful ballad with the cheese-ball gospel choir singing and clapping in the background during the video. It was all downhill after that.

We Built This City – Starship. In a desperate attempt to go from psychedelic 60's to trendy 80's, Starship (formerly Jefferson Starship, formerly Jefferson Airplane) went for the pastel colors and a just plain awful song that we all could have lived without.

Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band. Known mostly as one of the best (OK, one of my favorite) classic rock bands, the 80's yet again destroyed a good band. Why try to blend when you already stand out?

A Tout Le Monde – Megadeth. No idea what Dave Mustaine was thinking here, but the album Youthanasia produced this painful “ballad” where Dave sings the chorus in French. The band's real downfall was the “alternative” album Risk, which lead to the firing of Marty Freidman – the best guitarist Dave ever worked with and a HUGE overreaction on his part (later, he would make a bigger mistake by dumping bassist Dave Ellefson) and the band has never been the same. Not willing to let this horrible single die like it should, Megadeth released the song yet again on an album called United Abominations (appropriate) as a duet with Cristina Scabbia of the band Lacuna Coil. It didn't help.

Cryin' – Aerosmith. This classic rock band somehow adapted into the 80's (Permanent Vacation is still one of my all-time favorite records) and 90's, but the ballad did in yet another great artist. Not even a video with jail-baitress Alicia Silverstone could help this lame track!

Kokomo – the Beach Boys. Making vacationers vomit across the globe.

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel. OK, Billy, we get it. Yer nailing the hottest girl on the planet (at the time). But did you have to write her the cheesiest song on the planet? I'm surprised she didn't divorce him right then and there. Why wait?

Amanda – Boston. The album Third Stage was relatively weak to begin with, and this (yet another) ballad didn't help. Although I did play it on my guitar for my German class in 11th grade for some reason...

Drive – the Cars. Do you see a theme here? Yep – another ballad kills a band. Ric Ocasek left after this album and the rest of the band currently greet people at Wal-Mart's all over Boston.

Don't Be Cruel – Cheap Trick. Here's a new trend – trying to re-establish the band with a quirky cover tune. And it never works.

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day. Didn't these guys used to be a punk band that sang with fake British accents? When did they turn into a bunch of acoustic guitar strumming pansies? Oh, right here!

Love Bites – Def Leppard. And so does this song! I know they've overcome a ton of tragedies, but that's no excuse for exposing us to this rotten ballad.

Are You Experienced – Devo. Even my heroes tried to make themselves relevant again with a crappy cover. Fortunately, after disappearing for a long time, they are making an ultra-cool comeback, with some classics and NEW songs featured in ads (don't mention the Swifer commercial), a few tours this decade, and even a new album this fall!

Layla – Eric Clapton. The only artist I can think of that took his OWN awesome, classic song, remade it and ruined it completely!

Hold Me – Fleetwood Mac. Christine McVie is the Devil with bangs and should have stayed quietly hidden behind the piano.

Land of Confusion – Genesis. Yes, I love me some puppets. However, this song (and video) may have been cool for about 5 minutes. This was a sign that Phil Collins was destroying this avant garde band systematically, only so he could write songs for Disney movies that are complete rubbish. Not that Sussudio wasn't painful enough...

Vacation – the Go-Go's. Didn't they LITERALLY jump a shark in this video? I just remember the matching outfits as they water skied around. They had some great songs (Head Over Heels is one of my favorites), but this wasn't one of them!

Jeopardy – Greg Kihn. Sometimes when Weird Al parodies your song it's a compliment. Sometimes.

November Rain – Guns N' Roses. GnR was on top of the world when they released their much anticipated Use Your Illusion albums. OK, so they thought their poop was ice cream. Axl was so conceded that he thought he could write a power ballad, so he shat out this gem of a painful tune. It wasn't ice cream and it took him almost 20 years to get his poop together and put out another album.

What About Love? - Heart. What about you stick to your old rockin' selves and give us another Barracuda?

Come Dancing – the Kinks. Because when I think You Really Got Me, Lola and All Day and All of the Night, I think of ballroom dancing.

Lick it Up – Kiss. I'm just going to say this once: never should have taken the makeup off! Especially when your guitarist looks like Vinnie Vincent. Not that Ace Frehley was better looking, but still. It's not so much that the SONG destroyed the band here, but the whole concept of letting people see the band without makeup on this album pretty much destroyed the entire image they had built and they were never the same.

When It's Over – Loverboy. ...And it was.

The Impression That I Get – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. One of the coolest underground ska/punk bands IMO went commercial. Bad idea, even though the public bought it. See, the issue (yet again) is that when a band does this, their true fans get pissed and kind of disown them for selling out. Sure they get some success, but it's always short-lived. So, now they've alienated their fan base and the people that got into them for their commercial success are on to the next new thing. Say goodnight.

Hello, I Love You – Missing Persons. Goodbye, we miss you. Another bad cover helps the band commit suicide.

Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue. Why God WHY? Vince Neil “playing” piano? Somehow the metal heads ate up this horrible ballad with a piano riff written by a 4-year-old. I think the original lyrics were, “I'm on my way / home sweet home / but I'm really drunk / I think I just ran over a guy / on my way / home sweet home!”

Sister Christian – Night Ranger. Unfortunately, this great hard rock band is known for this song. They had SO much more to offer! Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis were two of the best dueling guitarists at the time. Songs like (You Can) Still Rock in America, Eddie's Coming Out Tonight and Touch of Madness were AWESOME. In addition, Don't Tell Me You Love Me has always been one of my favorite songs ever! The guitar solo still gives me goose bumps! Yet, everyone knows them for this lame ballad.

Stand – REM. Quite possibly the dumbest and most annoying song ever written.

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Again, a punk band goes commercial. Flea's talent was totally wasted on a song like this – dude is one of the greatest bass players of his time.

Wind of Change – Scorpions. These winds changed this rock band, who actually did some cool ballads before this, into just another wimpy has-been metal band trying to gain commercial success with yet another bad ballad. Which was pretty depressing to me, because I had to buy World Wide Live 3 times on cassette in high school as I kept wearing it out in my car!

With or Without You – U2. I was into these guys early, when they had one-word album titles (War, Boy, October) and a very original sound. Then they went downhill and became a huge success. Maybe it's me?

Is This Love – Whitesnake. No, it's just a crappy ballad!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Keep it COMING!

...That's what she said...

No, I mean GO NUGGETS! Yeah! That's what I meant.

Something about the pained look on Kobe's face made me very happy. How does it feel, Kobe? Like someone took something from you without your permission? Possibly forced you to give it up? Huh???

Like a nerd, I'm on Twitter. However, it helps me keep up with a brilliant columnist I kinda forgot about. He hates the Lakers too.

I don't get the whole Lady Gaga thing. Is she a model or a musician? Are we supposed to admire her for her freakish fashion sense, or because she recorded a typical dance track? I'm lost.

Ooooohhhh! Lost season finale was AWESOME! Jacob - dead? How many Locke's are there? Did the bomb stop the plane from crashing? How could a bomb set off in 1977 stop a plane from crashing in 2004? Ah, what a show! JJ Abrams is a freakin GOD! Fringe is awesome as well - perfectly fills the hole left years ago by the X Files. And, for our 11th wedding anniversary, KT and I are off to see the new Star Trek - by Abrams! After all, what would our anniversary be without a sci-fi movie date?

McG is behind the new Terminator film. I wasn't too interested in it until I realized that. Dude rocked the Charlie's Angels films!

It's OK to love yer pets... A man in WY sucked snake venom out of his dog's nose after the dog was bitten by a rattler. Almost killed both of them, and cost the owner $3500 in antivenin. I'd say something about spending that much on a dog, but my bionic dog has 2 titanium knees that cost us over $4000.

Remember that teacher who had an affair with her 6th grade student? Yes, a woman and a 12-year-old. Her name is Mary Kay Letourneau and, in keeping with her white-trash mentality, she hosted a "Hot for Teacher" night at a bar in Seattle. That's class! If yer not creeped out enough yet, she met her future husband when he was in 2nd grade. Who threw up in their mouth right there?

Is that a banana in your... A man dressed in an ape suit tried to steal a banana display in Wisconsin. And I thought seeing a guy in a chicken suit sing Karaoke Sinatra was weird.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Well, Well, Well...

I know - a new post. Shocking.

Shuddap!

I'm on vacation.

Unpaid.

Stuck around as Katy is working.

So...

Of the 27 NFL headlines on Yahoo today, 10 were about Michael Vick. I don't care. Seriously. Did he pay his debt, does he owe society more, should he be reinstated, blah, blah, blah... Was it a coincidence that there was a rerun of CSI on today with a story about dog fighting? Maybe!

Speaking of the NFL, do you remember that Super Bowl thing back in February? Remember James Harrison of the Steelers? The guy who returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown? Well, he refused the invitation to visit the White House with the rest of the team. The reason? "If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, (President Barack Obama) would've invited Arizona if they had won." It's true - it's called a tradition. The President invites the Super Bowl winner, the World Series winner, NBA Championship... Dude is a moron.

Did I say moron? Ocho Cinco. Seriously.

Yes, it's May and I'm talking football.

I need this!

I'm talking football because the Rockies suck harder than, well, the Avs did last season. But wait...

The Nuggets can beat the Lakers. They CAN beat the Lakers. I'm a little nervous about JR Smith's injury at the end of the game, but if he's a go, we'll take it in 6.

I can't sleep at night because I get songs to kids TV shows stuck in my head. Help!

Luc will say anything you ask him to say. Or sometimes DON'T ask him to say. With that said, watch yer language if you visit our home.

People in SLC have weird hobbies. An 11-year-old kid wanted to break the world record for most live snails on his face at once. His 3 moms, 7 brothers and 13 sisters cheered him on. What would Joseph Smith do?

Kids these days! A woman in Dallas gave birth to twins with different fathers. On the next Maury!

I also need this!

A new way to haggle! Don't like the price? Beat the crap out of the seller! A man in Germany beat up a woman because her asking price for WHITE ASPARAGUS was too high for his liking. So glad I don't sell cars anymore!

Justin Timberlake might be the greatest SNL host of all time. Don't believe me? Try THIS! Still need convincing? How about THIS? Really? More? Fine - HERE!

OWIE! Further proof that soccer players are a bunch of puddies. Disciplinary action for hair pulling? Stop - really, it's embarrassing.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wrong For Children...

For those of you NOT on Facebook, here is my latest Freak Train performance. It's a story about a purple duck named Paul. Although it sounds like it's for children, it most certainly is not!



As always, thanks to the lovely and talented Dejo for recording and uploading!

Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Um, Who is That Again?



And the Denver Broncos have a new coach! YAY - it's some young kid I never really heard of! So I'm not jumping for joy!!!

OK, I'll give Josh McDaniels credit for running a record-setting offense on a NEARLY perfect team, and coaching a nobody quarterback to an 11-5 record, and learning from a dynastic franchise with some killer co-worker coaches... However, the last 3 coaches to leave the Pats have not exactly been awesome. 2 were just fired, and one is on thin ice. Is McJuvenile different? I mean, we (collectively, Colorado) all knew we needed help on defense. Dude is an offensive stud. Why not Leslie Frazier, the former Chicago Bear and current defensive coordinator of the Vikings? Or defensive coordinator for the Giants that EVERYONE is after, Steve Spagnuolo?

Apparently, I don't know nearly as much about this team as their billionaire owner. Plus, I didn't interview these guys myself, so I can't say dinky-doo...Until he fails. Will he though? I guess the Broncos' defense can give up an average of 28 points per game next year as long as the offense consistently scores 40. That can happen, right?

Hopefully the new whiz kid can attract some defensive stud coaches, because ANOTHER defensive coordinator is exactly what we need - the last 4 in 4 years sucked.

There is hope, and there could be a future, but I'm not exactly sitting here shouting, "YES! That's EXACTLY who I was hoping for!!'
Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!