Friday, May 22, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 5/22/15

1.  "Down On Me" by Jackyl


2.  "Yesterdays" by Guns N' Roses


3.  "Love of a Lifetime" by Firehouse


4.  "The Final Countdown" by Europe


5.  "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Kix


6.  "Mama, I'm Coming Home" by Ozzy Osbourne


7.  "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" by AC/DC


8.  "Lady Red Light" by Great White


9.  "I Want Action" by Poison


10.  "On Through The Night" by Def Leppard

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Du Hast" by Rammstein

GMYH has had an inordinately high number of hits this week.  Blogger keeps some pretty cool stats, including the number of hits from various countries.  While the vast majority of the hits (over 2,000) have come from the U.S., a surprising runner-up is Malta, with a solid 129 hits.  To my Maltese friends, let me say "hello."  (Pretend that is in your native language.)  I was going to use a Maltese band or artist for the Retro Video of the Week, but it turns out, there are none that fit my parameters.  Thus, I went with third place, which was Germany with 127 hits.  Here's some Rammstein, in case you weren't creeped out by anything you've heard today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: 27 Times Tumblr Perfectly Summed Up Nature

As I do every May 19, in honor of the anniversary of Road House's release, I rented a monster truck and spent most of the day terrorizing local car dealerships.  Otherwise, how would they know who's the boss?  

The only downside is that I didn't have time to write my own Tuesday Top Ten today.  Thankfully, my friend Gregeson sent me a link to a Buzzfeed article called "27 Times Tumblr Perfectly Summed Up Nature."  These are pretty damn funny.  I especially enjoyed #5, #12, #16, #18, #24, #25, and #26.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Was It All a (Hakeem the) Dream?

Now that Mad Men is over, and -- spoiler alert -- we know that Don Draper didn't die in 1970, we need something else to talk about.  In comes the NBA to fill that void.  And yes, I realize Mad Men and the NBA have nothing to do with each other, but on the night of the finale of that great TV series, the Rockets and Clippers ended their series in the Western Conference semis, finalizing the teams in this year's conference finals.

I rarely write about the NBA, but this year's conference finals are pretty unique.  In the West, top-seed Golden State will take on 2-seed Houston.  The Warriors have not won an NBA title since 1975, and the Rockets haven't won a title since 1995.  In the East, top-seed Atlanta will take on 2-seed Cleveland.  The Hawks haven't won a title since 1958 (ten years before moving to Atlanta, when they were located in St. Louis), and, of course, the Cavaliers have never won anything.

So, this year's conference finals will feature two 1-2 matchups.  Since the league expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1984, this is only the fifth time that the top two seeds in both conferences are meeting in the conference finals in the same year (1986, 2001, 2005, and 2014 are the other years in that span).

But the more interesting stat, in my mind, is that it has been at least 20 years since any of the four teams in the conference finals has won a championship.  I took a look at all four major sports, and this is only the 7th time it has happened across all sports.  Including this year, it has happened twice in the NBA, twice in the NHL, three times in the NFL, and never in MLB.  Of course, the NFL is limited to the Super Bowl era because neither the NFL nor AFL had semifinals prior to the Super Bowl, although I am including pre-Super Bowl AFL and NFL championships in the calculation of years since the last championship.  Also, for MLB, 1969 was the first year of the LCS in each league, so 1969 is the earliest it could have happened (though it never has).

Here is a list of the years in which all four teams in the conference finals have had championship droughts of at least 20 years, with the then-most recent championship year in parentheses: 
2014-2015 NBA:  Houston (1995), Golden State (1975), Atlanta (1958), Cleveland (never)
1999-2000 NFL:  St. Louis (1951), Tennessee (1961), Tampa Bay (never), Jacksonville (never)
1996-1997 NFL:  Green Bay (1968), New England (never), Carolina (never), Jacksonville (never)
1994-1995 NHL:  New Jersey (never), Detroit (1955), Philadelphia (1975), Chicago (1961)
1993-1994 NBA:  Houston (never), New York (1973), Utah (never), Indiana (never)
1993-1994 NHL:  New York Rangers (1940), Vancouver (never), Toronto (1967), New Jersey (never)
1973-1974 NFL:  Pittsburgh (never), Minnesota (never), L.A. Rams (1951), Oakland (never)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 5/15/15

1.  "City to City" by Ratt


2.  "Take a Walk" by Mr. Big


3.  "Strange Wings" by Savatage


4.  "Gypsy Road" by Cinderella


5.  "Walkin' Away" by Kix


6.  "Modern Day Cowboy" by Tesla


7.  "Tooth and Nail" by Dokken


8.  "No Mercy" by L.A. Guns


9.  "Give Me More Time" by Whitesnake


10.  "Wait" by White Lion

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Joan Jett & The Blackhearts open up for The Who.  Both bands kicked what I would call major ass.  Jett is as hardcore and feisty as ever, and her set definitely ramped up the crowd.  In honor of her continuing ability to rock, here is her video to "Bad Reputation," a punkish, ballsy rocker off of Jett's debut solo album.  This was the first of her solo songs to make any chart, as it hit #48 on the Billboard US Rock Albums and Top Tracks charts.  VH1 named "Bad Reputation" the 29th best hard rock song of all-time several years ago.  

While the song was originally released in 1980, the video must have been made at some point after March 20, 1982, since it references "I Love Rock and Roll" being #1 on the Billboard charts (which occurred March 20-May 1, 1982).  The video references how Jett's debut album was rejected by 23 record labels, causing her to form her own label, Blackheart Records, and release it herself. Because she's a total badass.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Rolling Stones Songs

Fifty years ago today, the Rolling Stones recorded "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," one of top five most iconic songs in rock and roll history.  To honor this blessed occasion, I am giving you my top ten favorite Rolling Stones songs.  I know what you're thinking:  "GMYH, didn't you already post your Top Ten Favorite Rolling Stones Songs on October 1, 2008?  And wasn't it a day late, on a Wednesday?"  You have an excellent memory, fair reader.

But it's six and a half years later.  Since then, I've had three kids (who I've tried to teach that you can't always get what you want), gone to at least five concerts, and my top ten favorite Rolling Stones songs have changed somewhat.  But mostly they've stayed the same.  Anyway, here are my ten favorite Rolling Stones songs, with YouTube clips for each, so you, too, can hear what I hear when I hear these songs that I hear.

Honorable mention:  "19th Nervous Breakdown" (single, 1966); "Paint It, Black" (Aftermath, 1966); "Salt of the Earth" (Beggars Banquet, 1968); "Let It Loose" (Exile on Main St., 1972); "Rocks Off" (Exile on Main St., 1972); "Before They Make Me Run" (Some Girls, 1978); "Waiting On a Friend" (Tattoo You, 1981).

10.  "I'm All Right" (Out of Our Heads, 1965)
This is a fantastic early Stones song that bridges that gap from the electric blues of Chicago to the bopping mod beats of mid-'60s Britain -- which is essentially what the band was all about.


9. "Moonlight Mile" (Sticky Fingers, 1971)
This is such a mellow song, but there's something about it that draws me in.  The song just kind of washes over you.  It reminds me of walking home (probably from a bar) alone in the middle of a street full of snow before the plow has gotten to it, on a quiet winter night, and the light from the streetlights illuminates everything as it bounces off the snow.  It's not too cold, and I'm probably a little drunk, but it's a peaceful intoxication because it's one of those rare times that I have completely to myself, even if it's only for a few minutes, so I walk a little slower than I usually would.  Anyway, that's what I think of when I hear the song.  Stop looking at me like that.


8. "The Last Time" (Out of Our Heads, 1965)
This is the first Stones song written by Jagger & Richards to hit #1, but it wouldn't be the . . . last . . . time. Ah-thank you!  But seriously, folks, it's a catchy song with that swirling guitar riff and a powerful message:  listen to to Mick Jagger's advice, or else you'll be sorry.


7. "Little T&A" (Tattoo You, 1981)
Sung by Keith Richards, I think the following line -- describing the woman who is the subject of the song -- sums it up: "My tits and ass with soul, baby."


6.  "Honky Tonk Women" (single, 1969)
From the cowbell intro to the twangy guitars to the lyrics about banging chicks, this song as a lot to offer.  It's also a pretty solid karaoke choice for you guys out there who want to sing the line "'Cause I just can't seem to drink you off my mind."


5. "Some Girls" (Some Girls, 1978)
This is a raunchy, bluesy ditty, with a fuzzed-out harmonica intro that oozes lust, which make sense, since the song is about the ins and outs of courting and banging women of different races and national origins.  The bluesy, cocksure sound and attitude of this song stands in contrast to their disco-rock hit "Miss You," from the same album.


4. "Get Off of My Cloud" (December's Children (And Everybody's), 1965)
One of the great drum intros of all time, and one of the best early Stones songs, in my opinion (although I suppose that is obvious, given its position on this list).


3. "Midnight Rambler" (Let It Bleed, 1969)
It should come as no surprise to you that I enjoy a driving blues song with a badass harmonica and lyrics allegedly based on quotes from the Boston Strangler's confession.


2. "Dead Flowers" (Sticky Fingers, 1971)
I still say this is the best song in rock and roll history about doing heroin in a basement with some chick as a way to get back at your girlfriend while she's at the Kentucky Derby.  It has become my second-favorite Rolling Stones song.


1. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" (Sticky Fingers, 1971)
This is still my favorite Stones song.  The fucking balls on this riff.  I think it's the best opening riff in rock and roll history.  As I've said before, I have listened to that riff over and over again, just hitting the "back" button after about 25 seconds into the song.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 5/8/15

As if the news of Grooveshark's demise wasn't bad enough, my iPod -- which houses my catalog of over 1,000 hair band songs -- broke.  It won't reset.  It won't go into disk mode.  It won't do a damn thing except tell me to go to the Apple support website, which tells me to reset it or put it into disk mode.  The reason is relevant to Hair Band Friday is that, usually, I would post a playlist of the first 10 hair band songs to which I listened on a Friday on my iPod, without any repeated bands or songs that I had previously posted.  I would only rate the songs on my iPod that I included on HBF playlists.  Thus, I knew a song hadn't been on a playlist if it didn't have a rating, which ensured you would not hear duplicates.  Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Until I get my iPod fixed, I will just be using my Pandora Hair Band Friday station to come up with the ten songs for the HBF playlist.  I have no idea if the songs I post will have already been posted on a previous playlist.  For this, I sincerely apologize, although any song I post is awesome, so I suppose it doesn't matter if it was on a playlist two years ago.

Also, until I find a site that lets me post embedded playlists, I will have to just post YouTube videos of each song.  Obviously, to the extent there is an actual music video to a particular song, I will use that.  Otherwise, it will just be a sound recording that has been posted on YouTube, and you can make up your own video in your mind.  So, without further ado, here is the first list in this hopefully temporary format.

1.  "Rhythm of Love" by The Scorpions


2.  "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake


3.  "Best of Both Worlds" by Van Halen


4.  "Bop City" by Shotgun Messiah


5.  "Living the Hard Way" by Racer X


6.  "Mr. Scary" by Dokken


7.  "Speak" by Queensr├┐che


8.  "18 and Life" by Skid Row


9.  "Everybody Loves Eileen" by Steelheart


10.  "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips

For two years in the early '90s, three children of legendary '60s rockers took the world by storm.  In 1990, Carney and Wendy Wilson -- daughters of Beach Boys wunderkind Brian Wilson -- and Chynna Phillips -- whose mama and papa were Mamas and Papas members Michelle and John Phillips -- teamed up to capture the hearts of everyone in the world.  And then by 1992, poof!  Their reign was as short as Phillips's weird, early '90s choir-boy haircut.

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Wilson Phillips's wildly successful self-titled debut album, which spawned three Billboard #1s ("Hold On," "Release Me," and "You're In Love,"), another Top 5 song ("Impulsive," which hit #4), and another Top 20 song ("The Dream Is Still Alive," which hit #12).  

The Wilson Phillips song everyone remembers best is, of course, "Hold On," which not only reached #1 on the Billboard charts in June 1990, but was also ranked as the #1 song of that whole year by Billboard.  I supposed you could say it has stood the test of time, as evidenced by the show-stopping cameo rendition at the end of Bridesmaids and the fact that, if you have been in a bar on karaoke night since 1990 and there have been more than two women in the bar, you have undoubtedly heard this song.  It's annoyingly catchy, and nearly impossible to hear and not sing along to, no matter how hardcore you think you are.  Then again, what did you expect from the children of the people who wrote "Don't Worry Baby," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Monday Monday," and "I Saw Her Again"?

Tuesday Top Ten: Death Row Prisoners' Famous Last Words

I was too busy yesterday to write my own Tuesday Top Ten.  Thankfully, Kazda sent me a link to a delightfully dark article entitled "14 Death Row Prisoner's Famous Last Words."  And yes, the misplaced apostrophe is in the title of the article.  My favorite has to be Carl Panzram.  You'll see why when you get to him.  On a related note, did you know that Ted Bundy's first dog, a collie, was named Lassie?