Amuse Bouche: Pop Pandering

This little vid is so right on about how I feel about how Spirit in the Sky and that “I got a friend in Jesus” and other crap stuck in a pop song. Hardly spiritual like Beethoven or Eno or Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor which don’t even have lyrics.

But, even more than reflecting Spirit in the Sky, this clip says so how we are as a stupid culture of sheep.

Bad Music: “The Bottom Ten”

My Frankie Avalon post sparked some responses and ideas, and I thought, “shit, maybe a list of the worst songs ever is kind of fun.” I realize Dave Berry set the precedent, but times change and we all have our likes and dislikes, so I am suggesting we assemble a “Bottom 10.”

That is, if the best ten songs ever are the Top 10, then logically the worst are going to be the Bottom 10 by default, right?

In his response, Steve asked if we did this, if there should be criteria, and while at first I dismissed that to myself, I did reconsider. As in does Macarena belong on the same list as The Last Kiss (J. Frank Wilson, not Pearl Jam) and does that belong on the same list as You Light Up My Life (brilliantly suggested by my wife Diane as I was listing mine) which is just flat out bad?

As in, do cheesey maudlin, wildly stupid and popular in the “pet rock” sense, and fucking awful deserve to be lumped together, or does each own its own genre? And, are there more, I wonder?

My idea is to get some simple parms, and publish lists and maybe even keep a spreadsheet to determine an actual readers worst.

It not only would be fun, but we might see some funny stuff tumble our of our collective.

Thoughts readers? Comment below, or hit me up at lawr@creativesports.com with thoughts under the subject “Remnants Bottom 10.” (Note that this is not new territory for the Renmants, who forged to the awful three years ago.)

And, to show my heart is in the wrong place, I leave you with this:

Bad Songs: Frankie Avalon, “Bobby Sox to Stockings”

My Spotify does a cool thing: gives little subset genre playlists of my main giant playlist so if I just want to sample some new wave and no Motown, both of which are on the bigger collection, I can hear just that.

The other day I felt nostalgic, so I put on list that includes Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent and Del Shannon. I am not sure how Spotify associated this horrible Frankie Avalon song with those great artists, but it did, and the song I had forgotten came back to haunt.

This “music” represents the absolute worst of what people imagine of those wonderful nostalgic 50’s, when mainstream radio sucked, racism was rote, and despite the separation of church and state, we were forced to eat fucking fishsticks at the school cafeteria every Friday.

Aside from being a joke, though, the intro to this song from American Bandstand is cool because you can see the Top 10 at the time behind Frankie and Dick Clark. Other than that, the only thing worse than those Friday fishsticks is this song.

Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed

Belated concert review from Monday, 6/27:

Everything started out well enough. I love Underground Arts. But I knew the Turbonegro set list had changed. You see, one of the greatest regrets of my life is having never seen the real Turbonegro with Hank Von Helvete. The last time I saw them (and the first time I saw them) a few years ago in New York, it was their comeback tour, with new singer Tony “The Duke Of Nothing” Sylvester. For that tour, they were more or less a Hank tribute band, playing all the household name Turbonegro hits. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good.

Since then, Turbonegro has changed. Their new sound is way, way too poppy. The set list two Mondays ago was dominated by new stuff and Party Animals, my personal choice as the worst Hank Turbonegro album. And only one song from Ass Cobra, arguably the best hardcore album ever. That’s a toughie.

But nothing could prepare me for the very long encore. Each member of the band was introduced to an extended mostly-awful cover song. I remember Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting (the best), Van Halen’s Jump, and The Heat Is On (the worst – forget who does that and I’m not gonna go look either).

It was like a nightmare.

Finally, the band took a bow and left the stage to. . .I couldn’t make this up. . .We Built This City.

Typing this out, it seems like they were simply playing some over-the-top “let’s offend the audience as best we can” routine. If it was that, I’m really glad, but I don’t think so.

In any case, I’m completely through with Turbonegro until I have conclusive evidence things have gone back to semi-normal.

Here’s a video, of their latest crappy song that I posted a few weeks ago. You can see my fuzzy head in the bottom right corner, starting at about the 45 second mark.

Take The Coachella Challenge

Look at the 2016 Coachella lineup and tell me who you’d be interested in seeing. Feel free to tell others about bands they should be interested in seeing.

Here’s my list:

1) Guns ‘N’ Roses – I’m slightly curious.

2) The Damned – Not sure what The Damned is anymore, what kind of music they’re playing or what they represent.

There you have it. I’d happily pay $20 to see GnR in a Philly club if a friend asked me to go along. $15 for the same scenario with The Damned.

P.S. – I didn’t post any links or a nice Coachella picture because I don’t give a shit.

Afternoon Snack: Cher/Nancy Sinatra, “Bang Bang”

OK, so I am kind of into letting the Spotify do its thing. Mostly, on the 35-minute ride to the links, I have picked an artist and let the streaming rip, but this morning I was feeling nostalgic, so I dug around and found a 60’s hits stream.

There was a bunch of Dylan and Doors, and the Turtles along with the Isley Brothers and ultimately Stevie Wonder when Bang Bang, by Nancy Sinatra came on.

Let’s be clear. I hated These Boots Were Made for Walking (save the cool bass walkdown at the end) from the first time I heard it, as a 13-year old in 1966. I did not think Nancy Sinatra talented. Her singing wasn’t chanteuse-like a la Marlene Dietrich, nor was it pretty, a la Connie Francis (sorry, I had a mad crush on Connie as an eight-year old).

There was nothing that seemed remotely real about Sinatra the daughter (or son, who did redeem himself with a guest shot on Family Guy). And, for extra fun, remember that Frank Jr. was kidnapped out of Harrah’s in 1963, and that Dean Torrance–the Dean of Jan and Dean–was involved in that caper.

Nancy just seemed the epitome of plastic to me: worse, she was a moderate talent at best who was able to cash in on her father’s name and fame, for had she been Jane Doe from Everytown, Iowa, Nancy would never have had a hit record.

There is this quasi Django Rheinhardt gypsy-ish guitar in the background of Nancy’s version, but basically it just blows. I was happy for I Was Made to Love Her to kick on after Bang Bang was shot.

As a means of comparison, I did go out an find the Cher version, which is far more orchestrated than I remember. I do like Cher’s voice: at least I did back then and to a degree for Cher was like Neil Diamond in that I liked her early stuff, but as she got bigger and mainstream, her songs seemed cornier, and I was disinterested.

The thing I like about the Cher version is the clear Phil Spector/Sonny Bono influence. Also, at the time, I knew she was a shitload hotter than Nancy could ever hope to be. I mean, Nancy could only hope to attract the likes of Gene Simmons, Gregg Allman, or Richie Sambora.

 

Bad Songs: The Wailers, “It’s You Alone”

Steve’s Sonics posting brought back the other, not very good Wailers, who I guess were known as “The Fabulous Wailers” because I guess we were supposed to think they were terrific musicians or something.

Aside from the fact that these guys could not hold a candle to Marley et al (I doubt they could execute a decent cover of a Marley tune, either), neither of the bands hit’s–Tall Cool One and It’s You Alone–have stood much of a test of time, although I did not realize just how awful both songs were till Steve’s post tripped the wires and I went in search of YouTube.

To prove the point, here are the Wailers a few years back “performing” It’s You Alone and it only makes me think of one thing.

And, that thing is when I started gigging regularly in bands, I made my friends and loved ones promise me that if I ever looked or acted like any of these guys in these Wailers, to either shoot me in the head, or tell me to stop: whichever came first.

What’s with the barefoot sax player, and how about the guy standing stage right? Yeah, standing. Value added. And the “featured guy” makes Bill Murray’s lounge singer act really seem seriously good, and not just funny ironic.

How pathetic is that?