Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Big Me" by Foo Fighters

Saturday marks America's 239th birthday and the 20th birthday of the Foo Fighters' self-titled debut album.  It was, of course, Dave Grohl's first post-Nirvana album, and he played nearly all of the instruments on the album.  All in all, it's a pretty fantastic album, and a harbinger of things to come, as Foo Fighters has essentially established itself as the best hard rock band of the last twenty years.

My favorite video from the album, and possibly my favorite Foo Fighters video period, is the video for "Big Me."  It's a parody of the mid-'90s Mentos commercials, and it's spot on.  Happy birthday, America.

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Clerk in federal courtroom calling cases by litigant's name: "Mary Christmas."
(Lawyer steps up and tells judge status of case, then heads back to seat.)
Judge, shaking her head: "Why would any parent do that to their child?"
--Chicago, 219 S. Dearborn
Eavesdropper:  GMYH

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: Whiskeys for Your Money

I like whiskey.  All whiskeys.  Be it bourbon, scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian whiskey, or rye, I will drink it.  That said, I'm not someone who is going to spend $100 on a bottle of whiskey more than once in a blue moon (or at least not on myself).  That's why I was happy to be sent a Thrillist article entitled "The 14 Absolute Best Whiskeys for Your Money" (thanks to Gregerson for the link).  The list has bourbons, scotches, ryes, and a quinoa whiskey.  Yes, a quinoa whiskey.  I was a little disappointed that the price range goes from $23.99 to $109.99, since I was expecting a list like this to top out at maybe $50.  I was also disappointed that Old Crow didn't make the list.  After all, it is aged for 36 months and is supercheap.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Decline of Western OCivilization

Two amazing new items crossed the wire today, and it had nothing to do with what lethal injection chemical the conservative justices on the Supreme Court think is constitutionally cool.  

First, I found out that the Decline of Western Civilization documentary trilogy will be released tomorrow on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time ever.  I have been waiting for the Decline of Western Civilization II to be released on a non-VHS format for some time now.  That's the one that focuses on the Sunset Strip in the mid to late '80s, with the infamous interview of W.A.S.P. bassist Chris Holmes sitting in a pool, wearing leather pants and a leather vest, chugging and bathing himself in vodka while his mother looked on (a portion of that clip is embedded in the article linked above).  As a hair band fan, the documentary is both awesome and bittersweet all at once.  Nonetheless, I look forward to finally owning it, as well as the other two installments, the first of which focused on the L.A. punk scene in the late '70s/early '80s and the third of which focused on L.A.'s homeless teens in the late '90s.

Speaking of Southern California, perhaps more amazing than the news of the Decline trilogy's release, I received word, via a friend via the internet, that there is going to be a musical about The OC -- which many consider to be the single greatest television drama set in Newport Beach of all-time.  It is apparently going to be a one-night only affair in L.A. on August 30.  I would have picked the auditorium at Harbor, or at least Newport Union, but L.A. is close enough.  Regardless, the article leaves us with the following questions:

1.  Are Josh Schwartz and McG going to be involved?  If so, I will start sailing to L.A. right now in my makeshift version of The Summer Breeze.

2.  Will there be original musical numbers or some of the memorable songs from the show, like Phantom Planet's "California" (the theme song), "Hallelujah," or the "Mmm Watcha Say" song featured when Marissa shot Trey (not that she needed to because Ryan Atwood cedes to no man, and he was just waiting to make his move, but then again, he didn't want to kill his own brother, so everything worked out in that respect)?

3.  How much of the musical will be devoted to Ryan's cage fighting phase?  Anything less than two hours would be a disappointment.

4.  Will that saucy little tart Taylor Townsend make an appearance with candle wax, tube socks, and the new Fiona Apple CD?

5.  Will we finally find out what happened to the child Ryan implanted in Teresa?

6.  How much of the musical will be devoted to Marissa and Alex's lesbian affair?  Anything less than three hours would be a disappointment.

7.  Will Volchok's vampire roots be explored?

8.  How much of the musical will be devoted to that floppy-haired surfer Johnny?  Anything more than nothing would be a disappointment.

9.  Will Marissa eat on stage at any point?  If so, the musical can be cast aside as a complete fabrication.

10.  Sweet Jesus, how much are tickets?!

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Three-year-old at the dinner table: "I don't like this macaroni."
Mother: "That's cauliflower."
--Chicago
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Friday, June 26, 2015

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Five-year-old girl upon hearing a common phrase: "That's funny. Monkeys don't even have businesses."
--Chicago
Eavesdropper:  GMYH

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Retro Videos of the Week: "Smokin' in the Boys Room" by Mötley Crüe and "I Wish" by Skee-Lo

Apologies for failing to post a Tuesday Top Ten yesterday.  I completely forgot.  Thanks for nothing, mescaline, you rascal!  And I'll be out of pocket tomorrow and Friday, so this will most likely be my only post of the week.  To make up for this relative dearth of posts, I will give you two Retro Videos of the Week.  

First is Mötley Crüe's cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room."  This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Mötley Crüe's third studio album, Theatre of Pain.  Most fans would probably consider this the worst of the classic Crüe albums (i.e., their first five albums), but it was the album that catapulted them into superstardom.  It was their first Top 10 album (hitting #6), and "Smokin' in the Boys Room" was the band's first Top 40 hit, topping out at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The video is a classic, featuring a dog actually eating a high school kid's homework and horror film veteran Michael Berryman as the principal.  Predictably, Mötley Crüe pulls the kid into an alternate reality through a mirror in the boys room.  Surprisingly, however, there is no smoking anywhere in the video.  Make sure to watch until the end, when Berryman wiggles his ears.


Second is "I Wish" by Skee-Lo, whose debut album, also called I Wish, was released 20 years ago this week.  As a man of average stature, "I Wish" -- well, the first line and the verse about being picked last for basketball, anyway -- was a bit of an anthem for me.  Catchy as hell, the song rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Top 20 in nine other countries.  Unfortunately, for Skee-Lo, he should have wished for a follow-up single, as this was his only hit.  But I think we can all agree that it's better to be a one hit wonder than a no hit wonder.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 6/19/15

1.  "Overture" by Def Leppard


2.  "Slave To The Grind" by Skid Row


3.  "The Final Countdown" by Europe


4.  "Just Got Lucky" by Dokken


5.  "Dry County" by Bon Jovi


6.  "In The Sticks" by Warrant


7.  "Our Father" by Extreme


8.  "Once Around The Ride" by Cinderella


9.  "Everybody Wants Some" by Van Halen


10.  "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister

New Book: The Shining by Stephen King

Several weeks ago, I finished Walk This Way:  The Autobiography of Aerosmith by Aerosmith with Stephen Davis, which was a good read, especially if you like Aerosmith.  It was a first-person oral narrative by multiple people, with various band members, friends, managers, and family members chipping in his or her own words.  The book was originally written in 1997, so it obviously only goes up to that point.  That is probably for the best, since I don't need to hear about Steven Tyler's experiences as an American Idol judge.  I learned a few things. One, Aerosmith did more drugs in the '70s than anyone in the world, except maybe Keith Richards.  Two, Joe Perry's first wife, Elyssa, may have been the devil.  Three, the fact that Aerosmith came back in the mid-'80s and had as much success as they did is amazing.  In the blink of an eye, you finally see the light.

Since then, I have started (and finished most of) The Shining by Stephen King.  The Shining is my favorite horror movie, and I read the book 20+ years ago, when I was in junior high.  I had seen the movie multiple times before then, and I've seen it many times since, so it's hard not to picture Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, Shelley Duvall as Wendy (even though she is blond in the book), Danny Lloyd as Danny, and Scatman Crothers as Dick Hallorann.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Like a Surgeon" by Weird Al Yankovic

Thirty years ago this week, Weird Al released his seminal third album, Dare to Be Stupid.  The album has gone on to achieve platinum status, and it spawned the enduring parody of Madonna's "Like a Virgin":  "Like a Surgeon."  The parody nearly cracked the Top 40 in 1985, topping out at #47, making it Weird Al's second-most successful single up to that point.