Tuesday, August 13, 2019

MTVZ (August 2019)

Back to school is just around the corner. Where's MTVZ? Here it is.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

We Watched The Woodstock '99 PPV: Day 2 (07.24.99)



Check out that well-paced East Stage line-up:

Block 1, The party starters: Tragically Hip, Kid Rock, Wyclef
Block 2, The VH1-friendly frat party: Counting Crows, DMB, Alanis
Block 3, Time to tear this MF down: Limp Bizkit, Rage, Metallica

It looks very smart on paper. What could go wrong?

The Stage Mural Of Doom

Between 3:50:00 and 4:00:00, the PPV experiences one of its many lulls when not much is happening. The show kills time with random live shots of naked 20-somethings meditating and pre-recorded montages of retired town locals: "How are we gonna get to the golf course? They're gonna terrorize everything! It's gonna be a blood bath!" How's that for prophetic?

Contracted boomer sound guys supply the muffled set-break music. We had to Shazam this, but one of these idiots chose "Two Wrongs" from Joe Cocker's 1987 Unchain My Heart LP.

While awaiting Counting Crows around the 4-hour mark, the PA plays "Magical Mystery Tour." We initially thought this was yet another boring boomer sound guy selection. But then Counting Crows finally takes the stage right at the "climax" part (when the song slows down at the end). Did the band personally select this as their Woodstock 99 walk-on music? If so, they highlighted a point that horrified us quite deeply: The East Stage's clownish decor may have been intended as a football-field sized tribute to one of the scariest album covers of all time. The logo across the top of the stage looks identical to the font used on the cover of Magical Mystery Tour with similar stars and rainbow patterns filling up other areas.

We're interested in knowing what persons were responsible for choosing this as the theme of Woodstock 99's backdrop. This mural of doom confronted 400,000 sensory-immersed, dehydrated, malnourished, acid-dropping 20-somethings for three days and drove them all to the point of insanity. Considering this chilling context, the festival's aftermath feels even more disturbing. Who knows what Lord-Of-The-Flies / mass-suicide types of horrors might have ensued had the festival continued even longer?

#1 The Death Count (R.I.P.)

- Joe C was forced to leave Kid Rock's "Devil Without a Cause" tour by November '99 due to health concerns but was present for the rapid, meteoric ascent of "Bawitdaba" and their iconic Woodstock performance.
- Verne Troyer -- then known as Mini-Me -- introduced Limp Bizkit's set with "You wanted the worst? You GOT the worst!"
- The original '90s line-up of Dave Matthews Band performed the East Stage, including sax and woodwind player LeRoi Moore who passed away in 2008.
- The Tragically Hip opened the East Stage on Day Two. The band split up in 2017 after the death of their vocalist and lyricist Gord Downie.

#2 Highlights

2.1 "Killing In The Name"

Our crowning Day Two highlight goes to the flag draped over Tim Commerford's bass amp.

Rage allegedly agreed to a lower-than-normal stage volume after festival staff briefed them that all hell had just broken loose. They also obliged with less frequent banter than than almost any other Day Two artist from either stage (aside from Zack quickly dedicating "Freedom" to Leonard Peltier). No bullshit; just ass kicking, intensity heightening further with every song. The tension hits an apex with the final minute of their closer "Killing In The Name," culminating with the flag burning throughout the mantra in its coda: "Fuck You / I won't do what you tell me" hasn't sounded this exciting since 1993.


2.2 The Plastic Bottle Barrage

We had so much fun watching Kid Rock's set that we almost completely forgot how much we hate his terrible music. This easily wins for "Best Set / Worst Songs." His grand entrance was a 10 out of 10. The build in the intro of "Bawitdaba" was a 10. Joe C's "I'm Not A Fucking Midgit" t-shirt gets a 10. He dedicates "Balls In Your Mouth" to Howard Stern. He brings his platinum award for Devil Without A Cause on stage. His cover of "Fortunate Son" might be the weekend's most tasteful (albeit possibly unintentional) Woodstock '69 tribute. (Creedence initially released the song as a b-side a month after Woodstock. Barely missing the cut off.)

And finally, the grand finale: The plastic bottle barrage. A few recent Woodstock '99 retrospectives have attempted to call out this moment as problematic (assuming it resulted in crowd injuries), but it's honestly incredible. Joe C accurately yells "Holy shit!" into the mic as the stage quickly fills with a sea of plastic for over two minutes. The ground was already a trash heap -- might as well make something beautiful out of it.

2.3 James Hetfield's Best Look

Homie needs to bring back "the road warrior."

Metallica's set has bonus tracks (cut from the YouTube edit): Wasted and having the time of his life, Kid Rock staggers onto the drum riser before "Battery" and splits a Corona with Lars Ulrich.



2.4 Best Limp Bizkit Cameo

For some reason, Puff Daddy made it his business to be there for Limp Bizkit, taking a helicopter into Woodstock just for this one set and then peacing out right after they were done. In the biz, it's all about who you know, and Durst knew literally everyone.

2.5 Best Song: Counting Crows

We're not huge Counting Crows fans, but we are HUGE fans of "A Long December" -- still one of the greatest songs of all time and the hottest jam of Day Two. It looks like they lugged out the grand piano just for this one song. Completely worth it.

2.6 Best Non-Cover Attributions: Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby's set was not shown in full until about 3AM. It's not really all that notable, but we want to talk about it at length anyway because we think it's funny to talk about Bruce Hornsby for a long time.

John Scher -- Woodstock 99's co-organizer -- had made it a point to personally introduce Hornsby's shockingly half-dope set, sounding way better than it had any right to be. He does not perform with his '80s band Bruce Hornsby and The Range, so most of his AOR '80s hits are absent. No "Mandolin Rain," or "Every Little Kiss," or "The Valley Road." (We had to look up those song titles. "Mandolin Rain" is kind of a jam btw.)

They play a 12-minute version of his most well-known song, "The Way It Is," boldly introduced as a Tupac Shakur cover. They follow this with a bluegrass version of a song we hadn't heard in years: "Step by step / One by one / Higher and higher..." It's "Jacob's Labber," a song Huey Lewis not only covered but took to #1 in 1987. Hornsby's non-Range band is tight as fuck, despite the guitar player's wack faux-Anastasio tone. (Later on the same stage, Mickey Hart and Planet Drum's guitarist predictably achieves the exact same sound. Bummer.) The stage mix and sound-quality rest among the day's fullest, effectively outing Everclear who took the stage immediately afterwards and sounded like absolute shit.

In the uninterrupted re-airing, a panning camera catches a kid who is likely amid a very intense acid trip, hiding from the 100 degree heat with a white blanket. [See photo.]

#3 Other Notes

3.1 Most Compelling Disaster: Wyclef Jean

Considering the festival's aftermath, it's not especially strange that Wyclef's painfully awkward set hasn't placed on multiple "worst of all time" lists. He repeatedly emphasizes "This is Pay-Per-View" to the massive crowd, but appears entirely unrehearsed, shouting impulsive instructions to The Refugee All-Stars. The only preparedness we detect come from moments blatantly plagiarized from bands who had already played that weekend.

Stolen from James Brown and Kid Rock: The Refugee Allstars' lackluster solos kill time for the first 10 minutes before he takes center stage.

Stolen from 3rd Bass: Wyclef has his DJ play "Jump Around," likely unaware that both Everlast and DJ Lethal from House Of Pain separately performed later that weekend. (By the end of Woodstock 99, "Jump Around" was played at least three times.)

Stolen from Lit: After botching yet another cliched "Star Spangled" Hendrix-tribute solo (missing several notes), Wyclef fails at igniting his stratocaster with lighter fluid, and he again fails miserably at a meaningless, unearned guitar-smashing attempt. With a pricetag still hanging from its headstock, the axe stays 100% intact despite Wyclef's physical exertion.

Stolen from Kid Rock: Less than one hour after The Plastic Bottle Barage, he does the exact same thing.

Stolen from James Brown (Again): Wyclef asks a random audience member (only referred as "Diana") to wrap his final 3 minutes with an impromptu karaoke version of "Piece Of My Heart." Halfway through, Diana yells "STOP THE MUSIC!" and effectively calls out The Refugee All-Stars on playing the song incorrectly -- on live TV, in front of 300,000 people.

There's so much more, but we need to move on with our lives eventually.

3.2 The Point Of No Return: Limp Bizkit

There's a lot to unpack here. A few underlining points:

#1 Durst's vocals pretty much suck, but otherwise their set is actually not bad at all -- way better than their reputation would indicate. The interesting parts of their aesthetic derive almost entirely from bassist Sam Rivers keeping up with guitarist Wes Borland's peculiar inventiveness. Together, they're the secret glue holding it all together, meshing the funk and dissonance within most of the best '90s hiphop.

#2 With 20 years of hindsight, Durst's "provocation" feels unfairly overstated. Perhaps the lore made us anticipate something more extreme, but he's clearly seizing the day, feeding off the crowd without flinching. Otherwise, their set arrived precisely calculated to fuck shit up.

Unfortunately, YouTube has edited out most of Durst's controversial stage banter. "The Point Of No Return" and its aftermath can only be found in full on the PPV version. Here's a breakdown of the timeline:

08:46:00: Recalling the Korn set from one night earlier, the crowd density is not nearly as packed, but they're twice as exhausted, dehydreated, and hungover. Now four songs deep, the rowdiness reaches a new peak.

Durst responds to a note from production: "Hey, they wanna ask us to ask you to mellow out a little bit. They say too many people are gettin' hurt! Don't let nobody get hurt, but I don't think you should mellow out? Mellowing out? That's what Alanis Morissette just had you motherfuckers do. "Birkenstock Rock," y'all. This is 1999, motherfucker. Take your birkenstocks and stick 'em up your fuckin' ass! Now I'm gonna do somethin' to see if I can't get this whole fuckin' place from front to back to get the fuck up!"

The repeated phrase "mellow out" had us thinking they might go into "Sour" from Three Dollar Bill Y'all, which would have been appropriately chill, but instead...

08:47:05: We definitely did not expect the turning point of Woodstock 99 to happen during a Ministry cover (nor did we realize Limp Bizkit ever covered Ministry, let alone during their Woodstock 99 set).

The entire second-half of "Thieves" removes Ministry's lyrics and switches to a breakdown, slowly and slowly building up to that final "GET THE FUCK UP!" He might be a terrible singer, but he's a natural hype man.

08:52:27: "If somebody falls down, pick 'em up!" - Durst sneaks in hardcore ethics.

"One thing I'm not seeing here--- Ohhkay, I'm not saying that." - Durst finally acknowledges they've taken Woodstock 99 to the point of no return -- attempting to unfire the gun, but it's far too late.

08:55:00: Durst gives the crowd a genuine glance of surprise for a quick moment. Seconds later, cameras show the first plywood surfers.

09:00:00: Sam Rivers kicks off "Re-Arranged," their only moment remotely approaching "mellow." Impressive guitar tapping from Wes Borland.

09:08:45: During the breakdown of "Break Stuff," he encourages to crowd to let out "all of that negative energy." Aerial cameras zoom to an ant colony of humans pulling plywood from "The Alamo," also known as Woodstock 99's sound booth tower, exposing the left side and back end. Many shirtless humans have entered. Others pass around 20 boards of plywood. Within moments, dangerously large amounts of people begin crowd surfing them.

09:09:45: DJ Lethal's intro to "Nookie" might not be audible through the PA. TV viewers can still hear everything, including Fred Durst realizing his mic got cut. A chant begins: "BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!" A piece of plywood caves in, unable to hold the weight of the five dudes standing on top, knocking over about 15 other people. Durst thanks someone in the crowd for hitting him with a bottle of orange juice.

09:11:45: PA's back on.

09:16:05: After the 2nd chorus of "Nookie," three porto-potties behind the sound booth are knocked over. About 40 determined shirtless dudes are ripping the entire thing apart. Garbage is flying everywhere.

09:17:45: The outro "Nookie" dies down. The sun has set.

09:23:45 It takes six minutes, but Durst is finally on his very own plywood at the edge of the crowd, and he dedicates "Faith" to all the ladies. Podcast 99 recently claimed that "Durst singing "Faith" while surfing plywood" was the triumphant defining "Star Spangled Banner" moment of Woodstock 99.

3.3 Future Hits

Fun Fact: Rage did not play "Guerilla Radio" at Woodstock, even though The Mandella Effect had previously assured us that this actually did happpen. Same goes for Ice Cube's "You Can Do It."

This was probably the weakest of the 3 days for songs that would later go on to become hits in some capacity, but there were a few...

Kid Rock "Cowboy"
Issued to radio in early August, peaked #5 on Billboard Modern Rock, debuted on TRL August 3rd and retired from TRL on November 2nd after placing in 65 episodes.

Limp Bizkit "Re-Arranged"
Issued to radio in mid-September, peaked #1 on Billboard Modern Rock.

The Chemical Brothers "Out Of Control"
The single charted #21 in the UK. Its video (featuring Rosario Dawson) debuted on 120 Minutes in October.

Counting Crows "Hanginaround"
Released in mid-October, peaked #17 on Billboard Modern Rock, hit #28 on Billboard Hot 100.

Limp Bizkit "Break Stuff"
Issued to radio in March 2000, peaked #14 on Billboard Alternative, debuted on TRL at #6 and appeared at least 30 times throughout March and April.

Moby Play singles
No record exists of Moby's Woodstock setlist, and he does not appear on the PPV. But his summer '99 shows frequently included many of the future hits from Play including "South Side," "Porcelain," "Natural Blues," and "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad."

3.4 WTF Moments

- "Sometimes there's an abundance of things, and sometimes there's a lack. Today, there's an abundance of titties." Dave Matthews' now infamous observation embarrassed so many people that it killed the on-stage objectifying for the rest of Day Two on both stages. We have no memory of his "making weird noises between songs" schtick. DMB's setlist included the most nostalgia bombs of any band so far. The last time we heard "#41" or "Two Step" or "Too Much" or "Tripping Billies" was probably 1998.

- Art Alexakis from Everclear wins the "angriest angry dad of the day" award for his "angry dad" set. "Fuck you to anyone who wants to make this into a commercial venture." Nice try, dad. Their drummer is the poor man's Tre Cool. In a TRL reminiscent moment of slight redemption, they pull over 100 mostly half-naked fans on stage for the last song. One girl with a "thousand mile stare" is visibly peaking on some very intense acid.

- After the Rage set, the show sneaks in a montage of Danny Masterson and Wilmer Valderrama's mundane adventures at The 6th Element aka the all-night rave. Nothing happens.

- The most gigantic WTF of the day goes to Wyclef's "Oldstock Rock." Congratulations.


3.5 Miscellaneous

- Day Two of the PPV kicks off backstage with some long-winded exhausted riffing from Kennedy, host of MTV's Alternative Nation and current Fox News contributor. Sadly, Kennedy may have been the most prepared and musically informed out of the 3 or 4 embarrassingly douchey bargain-bin nobodys selected to provide announcements or interview artists between sets. One clip from YouTube that we haven't been able to locate in the PPV shows a backstage VJ -- or DJ or whatever he was -- interviewing Los Lobos for 8 minutes worth of insultingly racist questions. The band did not seem happy about this.

- Frequent interruptions from the ColumbiaHouse.Com giveaway.

- With regards to their recent history, we would prefer to speak positively about The Tragically Hip. The singer rolled around on the ground a lot, and we like when bands do that.

- Los Lobos and Mickey Hart and Planet Drum both covered "Not Fade Away" as the 2nd-to-last song in their set. Some might say they both chose it as their penultimate song, but not us. We would not say that.

Some good setlist choices:
- Alanis Morrisette played "Uninvited" which we never realized was a non-album track.
- Ice Cube did all three of his hits from The Predator!
- Los Lobos covered "Are You Experienced?" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy." (They did not play "La Bamba.")
- Mickey Hart and Planet Drum's highlight was a drum & vocal song called "Tall Grass."
- The Chemical Brothers did lots of stuff from Surrender, their best record, released about a month prior.

Overall, the majority of the music was very good. We're ready to rescind our "worst concert of all time" award. Sorry Woodstock 99. We had no idea that you didn't completely suck.

Monday, July 22, 2019

We Watched The Woodstock '99 PPV: Day 1 (07.23.99)



By 2000-2001, we had already made up our minds about labeling Woodstock '99 as The Worst Concert of All Time -- an assessment we've been strongly reconsidering in hindsight. With the 20-year anniversary looming and all the big music blogs preparing their various takes, July 2019 seems like a good opportunity for renewed analysis.

Today we're posting the first of a 3-part series examining the Pay-Per-View of Woodstock '99 shown live on July 23, 24, and 25, 1999. Within the past month, we were lucky enough to find a very large video file including all 62 hours of this TV event. Upon digging into Day One, we soon realized this adventure would prove more tedious than our revisits of the VMAs, with far more elaborate context and lore to consider.

Unlike the VMAS, most of Woodstock '99 is still on Youtube which eases the burden of wordy contextual descriptions. However, the PPV arguably does a better job of maintaining the festival's rawness. Many of the sets and off-stage activities are shown in real time. Frequent live split screens show bands playing on the left side of the screen; meanwhile, the right half shows skaters on a halfpipe, or massage booth patrons, or an old crusty dude with a sock on his dick, or boobs getting painted.

Additional context was provided from a re-familiarization with the coverage from SPIN, Rolling Stone, and MTV, as well as the recently launched and aptly titled Podcast 99 -- an often frustrating but surprisingly informative dissection of the festival's proceedings. (Another related podcast titled "Break Stuff" launched within the past week, but we haven't heard it yet.)

Background

In July 1999, those interested in checking out Woodstock were provided several options, depending on desired level of attendance:

- Full investment: If you wanted to physically attend the festival, 3-day passes cost $150 plus Ticketmaster's service charges. The round trip from Rome, NY may have cost many people a few days worth of travel investment, plus food, water, lodging, drugs (because it's Woodstock), a change of clothes that will almost certainly get destroyed, physical and mental exertion, existing uncomfortably within the organism of the festival itself surrounded mostly by jocks and bullies.

- Casual investment: For the marginally curious, Westwood One provided a heavily edited (not live) simulcast which could be heard for free on stations like 92.3 K-Rock in NYC. MTV News aired frequent on-location updates, interviews, song fragments, and incomplete performances.

- Pay-Per-View: An option was provided for those who simply couldn't fuck with the idea of getting confronted by a potential living hell, but whose fear-of-missing-out on history was just enough to desire consumption of everything.

Providing far beyond what Westwood One and MTV were legally allowed to air, cable companies would gladly unscramble PPV for one day's worth of Woodstock '99 for $29.95 (the same price as that year's Wrestlemania PPV) while $59.95 would provide a 3-day package (about $10-20 more than most UFC or boxing PPVs).

Illegal cable boxes could access the PPV in its entirety for free. But for those without illegal cable boxes or $59.95, the limits of 1999's cable box technology still allowed audio to continue while only video stayed scrambled, providing access to the PPV's uncensored audio for those who just wanted to hear the music and didn't care what it looked like.

The PPV primarily focused on performances from two of Woodstock's stages -- The "East Stage" (the main stage) and the "West Stage" (the largest side stage). Other performance areas of the fest encompassed less than 1% of the coverage: This includes the "AMP3.Com Emerging Artists Stage," a film festival hosted by IFC, and a rave called The 6th Element lasting every night from midnight to 6AM with artists like Moby, Perry Farrell, and Fatboy Slim.

#1 The Death Count

As of Day One, the Woodstock '99 death count remains surprisingly low, although we don't know the back stories of everyone who performed.

- Bernie Worrell played a set at the Thursday party on July 22nd and performed again with George Clinton and The P-Funk Allstars on Day One.
- James Brown's unannounced surprise set opened the East Stage on Day One.
- The OG line-up of Lit performed on the West Stage mid-afternoon along with drummer Allen Shellenberger who passed away in 2009.

#2 Highlights

Working through the entirety of Day One is hell, but the highlights are worth locating. They take a minute to find, but moments of magic are definitely buried in there.

2.1 "Medley: Somethin' Stank / Booty / Jam"

Our top pick for the crowning highlight of Day One goes to a gentleman named Louie "Babbling" Kabbabie -- a stocky, balding dude in his mid-to-late '50s who kinda looks like Paul Heyman, described in P-Funk's Thursday night 7/22/99 pre-show set as "the hardest working man in show business." Louie arrives center-stage without introduction halfway through George Clinton's set to rap on a rare non-album cut titled "Booty." The song was part of a medley featuring George Clinton's teenage granddaughter Shonda rapping about weed on the song "Somethin' Stank (And I Want Some)" and an extended jam surpassing the 10-minute mark.

Bernie Worrell's 20 minute set (incorrectly labelled on the PPV as George Clinton) was performed in what appears to be a glamorous blue pope's outfit.

We had no idea that Shock G continued the "Humpty" persona as late as 1999, nor did we realize he was ever a hype man for George Clinton. Yes, P-Funk absolutely should have performed "The Humpty Dance," but we'll take what we can get.


2.2 "ARRRE YOUUU READAAYY?"

The sea of chaos immediately after Jonathan Davis screams "ARRRE YOUUU READAAYY?" in the intro of "Blind" might exemplify the utter fucking insanity of the monstrous crowd-size better than any other moment from Day One. The bodies somehow create actual waves resembling the Atlantic Ocean during hurricane season. We've never seen anything else quite like it in any other concert footage.

We recently spoke to at least one firsthand account who specifically notes the intro of "Blind" as Day One's apex of absurdity. Friends standing beside each other were suddenly pulled 15 feet apart. Those lucky enough to stay afloat still trampled over heads and arms against their best efforts. In that moment, a fraction of the crowd all at once decides "fuck this" and wisely trudges further out, slightly loosening the East Stage's crowd density for the remainder of the night.

Incidentally, Korn were in absolute top form. In one part, they tease Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss." (!!!!) Jonathan Davis and Fieldy would later acknowledge their hour set as the high point in their career.

2.3 DMX's Prayer

The earnest, impassioned prayer closing out DMX's set gave nothing if not the aura of a genuine sermon of worship. The day's most intense and frequent cult-like call-and-response crowd participation began with fans loudly chanting "D!M!X!" the instant the previous set had ended. The backstage Q&A found here indicates DMX only saw the crowd size for the first time the moment he started his first song while stepping onto the stage alone. Just one MC and one DJ. The day's best 3-in-a-row: "Get At Me Dog" -> "Ruff Ryders Anthem" -> "Slippin." Special awards for Best Overalls and Best Underwear.

2.4 Best Song: Sheryl Crow

"My Favorite Mistake" -- the jam that might or might not be about Eric Clapton -- is probably the best song played all day by anyone (with regards to "Swallowed," "Glycerine," and "Miserable"). Sheryl Crow unexpectedly plays bass for about half of the set (!!!!) and wins a special award for Best Pants.

2.5 Best Wrestling: Insane Clown Posse

ICP arguably played Day One's most visually engaging set. Midway through, some "heel" cops rushed the stage, grabbed the mics, and announced "We're just been informed that this show is over! Everybody go home!" The kayfabe policing predictably set off 100,000 rounds of boos. But moments later, Violent J saved the day, crushing the pigs after descending from the top of a ladder. A piledriver from Shaggy 2 Dope sent another cop through a table.

Podcast 99 noted the one lone Juggalo who claimed a spot for ICP two hours early, seeming awkwardly out of place front-and-center for The Roots.

Rome, NY falls well outside Faygo country, so we're guessing ICP had to transport their 300+ bottles all the way from Michigan. We feel very bad for George Clinton and P-Funk, who had to perform moments after the stage was covered in a sticky pool of 100 degree soda, although the floor was likely cleared off by stage hands between sets. And maybe they ended up enjoying the soda grime since George Clinton and P-Funk would go on to play Gathering Of The Juggalos in 2011.

2.6 Best Drugs: Buckcherry

We ultimately decided to award Buckcherry a spot within the highlights. Special award for Outstanding Achievement In Blackout Wasted Stage Banter. There is no way this dude remembers a single thing about Woodstock. Any random moment in this 45 minute set is a 10 out of 10, but here's our 3 favorites:
- 9:49, "Hyaaahh. Drankin? Smoauh? Fuckin!"
- 27:18, "Talkin' about some fuckin TENT FUCKIN, you know what I mean?"
- 30:10 "COE. CANE. COE. CANE."

2.7 Best Inflatable Dick

- Best Crowd Decoration goes out to the person at the West Stage who remembered to bring their 10-foot inflatable dick.

#3 Other Notes

3.1 The First 2 Hours

- The Woodstock '99 PPV kicks off with a 25-second bumper prominently displaying the words "Inked, Pierced, and Ready to Rock" as a horribly shitty "TV ad" version of Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" introduces the festivities. The 2nd thing shown in the PPV is an aerial shot of Griffiss Technology Park (a former toxic waste dump repurposed as an Air Force base) while a stage announcer introduces "a guy here from the health department who wants to tell you something about drugs," which is met with cheers from the crowd.

Reports from our firsthand source tell us the crowd expected Sugar Ray to kick off Day One. At 12PM Noon time, the East Stage's unidentified MC arrives to tell everyone that Mark McGrath reportedly became too sick to play. Instead, James Brown kicked off the show with an unannounced surprise set, and the crowd loses their shit in disbelief. However, it takes JB almost 30 minutes before he appears on stage at all. And so the first song performed on Day One of Woodstock '99 is instead sung by a literal Janis Joplin impersonator from Las Vegas named Tomi Rae Hynie (who James ended up marrying and divorcing within subsequent years). Tomi also sings the 2nd and 3rd songs played at Woodstock '99. The crowd is so stoked with Positive "Day One" Energy that they love every minute of this. Finally, James Brown arrives to sing on "Get Up Offa That Thing" and all of his other biggest hits. When he's not in front of the mic, he frequently hangs out in the back playing keyboards (!!!!) while other members of his band take solos. We didn't know he ever played keys on stage this late into his career.

By the way, none of the excitement from that last paragraph is shown on the PPV until well after midnight. Instead, the PPV's first 90 minutes include banal and nondescript rock music from Oleander, G. Love and Special Sauce, and moe. An Australian sketch comedy group called The Umbillical Brothers are responsible for the most cringeworthy moment of the first 2 hours. Met with bewilderment, a resounding stream of boos, and at least one guy screaming "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT," The Umbillical Brothers' brief segment might be the only non-music performance to appear on the PPV.

3.2 Depraved Behavior

Jamiroquai is the PPV's first band who does not completely suck, but this also marks the beginning of a series of patterns related to Woodstock '99's excessively depraved debauchery, all shown uncensored:

- About 2 hours in: Jay Kay's stage banter marks the earliest on-stage acknowledgement of the crowd's half-naked women. "Repeat after me: American breasts are the best breasts." The speech awkwardly continues for a little too long. Much raunchier takes on the same observation arrive later from Lit, Buckcherry, and ICP, who invite many crowdsurfing topless women on stage during their set.

- About 3 hours in: The crowd during Live may have included the first instances of unwarranted gropes caught on camera.

- Around the start of Hour 4: Andy Dick becomes the first to pull out his dick on stage midway through a song called "I'll Fuck Anything That Moves" - a strong candidate for the worst song performed on Day One (and that's really saying something).

- Halfway through Hour 4: Correctly assuming she would get harassed by the crowd to show her tits, Sheryl Crow arrived on stage prepared, casually remarking "It's a take your top off kind of day -- Sike!" between her first 2 songs and alleviating the awkwardness.

- Midway through Hour 5: Rosie Perez briefly appears on stage to introduce DMX, and gracefully dodges the blatant crowd harassment. "Yo, for real, you wanna see 'em? $3.99 at Blockbuster: Do The Right Thing. Go and order it baby!"

- Around the start of Hour 7: At long last, The Offspring are the one and only band from the entirety of Day One discouraging the crowd from groping crowdsurfing females. "Just because a girl wants to go crowdsurfing or whatever, that doesn't give the guys the right to molest them, you know what I'm sayin? So if you're a guy and you see a girl passing overhead, give her a break, you know what I'm sayin?"

There's literally hundreds more (especially during ICP), but these are some "firsts" that we noticed.

3.3 Future Hits

At the time of Woodstock '99, "Scar Tissue" was in the middle of a 16-week run topping Billboard's Alternative Singles chart, which overtook an 11-week run for "My Own Worst Enemy."

Many "buzz" acts were booked for Woodstock '99, partially to keep the festival seeming edgy, partially to align with the freshness of the 1969 and 1994 line-ups, but mostly because new bands with one minor hit are cheaper to book. This contributed to a phenomenon where a lot of Woodstock 99's music later went on to become hits in some capacity.

The Offspring "The Kids Aren't Alright"
We're counting this since the video premiered on 120 Minutes 4 days prior and debuted at #10 on TRL 1 day before the festival started. The single had been steadily climbing Billboard's Alternative Singles since mid-June. For whatever reason, it's remained Offspring's most-scrobbled song every week since many years ago.

Buckcherry "For The Movies"
Issued to radio August '99, peaked #25 on Billboard Modern Rock.

Lit "Zip-Lock"
Issued to radio in August, peaked #11 on Billboard Modern Rock. Its video (featuring Dee Snider) hit #9 on the August 20th edition of TRL, and placed at #37 on TRL's "End of Summer Countdown" on August 28th.

Live "The Dolphins Cry"
Released in late August, peaked #3 on Billboard Modern Rock, #78 on Hot 100.

Bush "The Chemicals Between Us"
Released on September 14th. Peaked #1 on Billboard Alternative, #67 on Hot 100.

Korn "Falling Away From Me"
Released in late October, prominently featured in a Halloween episode of South Park, peaked #7 on Billboard Alternative, hit #1 on TRL multiple times throughout November and December.

Vertical Horizon "Everything You Want" (from the 7.22.99 pre-Woodstock "party")
Issued to radio in January 2000, hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 2000.

Lit "Miserable"
Issued to radio in February 2000, peaked #3 on Billboard Modern Rock. Its video (featuring Pamela Anderson) debuted on TRL at #6 and placed 5 more times on TRL throughout February.

Vertical Horizon "You're A God" (from the 7.22.99 pre-Woodstock "party")
Issued to radio in July 2000, peaked at #23 on the Hot 100.

3.4 WTF Moments

- Again, Andy Dick singing "I'll Fuck Anything That Moves" and pulling out his dick on stage has to be the weirdest and most disturbing moment of the day.

- For some reason, Stephen Baldwin (from the movie Bio-Dome) appears on stage multiple times to introduce bands.

- Lit's "workin' on my hot rod" aesthetic helped them easily win "worst dressed" for the day. During their last song, the guitar player uses a vibrating dildo as a slide (which sounds shockingly awesome but looks horrendously douchey). A few moments later, he lights his guitar on fire with lighter fluid, raises it above his head, and smashes it to pieces. The crowd approves.

- As much as we appreciate their anti-groping speech, The Offspring's set was probably the most grating out of all the big-name acts. Dexter Holland sounds like he either genuinely can't sing, or can't hear the monitors, or some combination of both. Also in one part, they use baseball bats to decapitate mannequins bearing likeness to The Backstreet Boys.

- The character Buffalo Bill from Silence Of The Lambs is actually based on the life of Ed Kowalczyk from Live who also locks humans in cages in his basement. They play "Shit Towne" from Throwing Copper, and Ed ad libs "God bless America" into the lyrics. Before playing the godawful ballad "Turn My Head," he encourages the crowd to grab someone's skin "if the romance moves you."

3.5 Miscellaneous

- Overall, Day One was surprisingly good aside from the overbearing masculinity. They couldn't have asked Garbage or Missy Elliott or The Cardigans or Fiona Apple to play this thing?

- The surprise cameo from Erykah Badu highlighted The Roots' set. It's too bad she couldn't have been booked to perform on her own.

- Two acts cancelled their Day One slots: Sugar Ray and Aerosmith were scheduled to open and close the East Stage respectively.

- Unpopular opinion: Bush's first 7 or 8 radio hits are entirely unoffensive, and they simply weren't worth the rockist vitriol they received. They were never "alternative" in the literal sense but rather "pop with distortion pedals," wisely allowing their management to package them as a heartthrob-focused Nirvana clone. The remixed version of "Mouth" from An American Werewolf In Paris was a bad management decision, however, and it was this song that set off our own disdain of Bush between '97 and '99. But that turned back to positive after we heard the PJ Harvey influenced "Greedy Fly" on K-Rock's Woodstock simulcast. It's a much weirder song than it gets credit for. Their set was fine, aside from the speech before "The Chemicals Between Us" -- "I am a black man / I am a white man / I am an Englishman / I am an American" -- appropriately labelled on the Podcast 99 show as pretentiously Bono-esq.

- This has nothing to do with the PPV, but MTV's "Live From Woodstock '99" edition of TRL took place on this day sometime between 3PM and 5PM. The top 10 looked like this:
10) Eminem / Dr. Dre "Guilty Conscience"
09) Orgy "Stitches"
08) The Offspring "The Kids Aren't Alright"
07) Joey McIntyre "I Love You Came To Late"
06) Blink 182 "What's My Age Again?"
05) Christina Aguilera "Genie in a Bottle"
04) Britney Spears "Sometimes"
03) 98 Degrees "I Do (Cherish You)"
02) Limp Bizkit "Nookie"
01) Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

MTVZ June 2019 Is Hotter Than July

We've been slacking on the most obvious shit, which is content that is already good and ready to post here, like the most recent MTVZ which we've heard a lot of people raving as "not as good as the last one but still good."

We've noticed that the most recent YouTube update (for Chromecast or FireStick or other streaming devices) has fixed the flow of the videos so that it actually kinda looks like you're watching real TV now. We feel like most people just want to cherry pick the stuff they like from the playlist, which is also fine. But in case you just want some dope background noise while vacuuming, or if you need something to leave on while no one else is in the house to repel prowlers, MTVZ June 2019 is a better choice than Netflix or Hulu because there's no algorithm determining the next thing to play after another video is finished. Instead, the next video was determined by us. And it will not eventually lead to Gangnam Style. MTVZ is "the hottest jam out there." It's a fact.



Let's find out how Stevie Wonder feels about MTVZ.

Oh nice, Stevie Wonder says it's Hotter Than July. We are officially Stevie approved, even though he doesn't want to actually watch it because he is blind.

The Mysterious Case of Outlaw Order


If you scroll down a bit to our "best albums of 2009" feature, you'll see Outlaw Order's physical release of Dragging Down The Enforcer resting comfortably around the #16 position. Intrigued by the lyrical subject matter, we did some very quick digging and located a factoid at Metal-Archives:

The band is named Outlaw Order because at the time of the band's formation all 5 of the members were on probation. They have consistently been in trouble with the law. Their concepts and lyrics focus on crime themes as well.

Mark Schultz had to leave the band to serve a prison sentence and was replaced by Justin Grisoli, then by Pat Bruders.


This helps provide some context for their song titles and helps explain why Legalize Crime was the title of their debut EP and helps explain why it took them 5 years to record a follow up.

However, upon 5 more seconds of digging, we found their promo photo and assumed it must be a joke. "Wait a sec, this is just a photo of Eyehategod. What's going on here?"

Well, that's sort of true. Mike is the vocalist, and Brian is the guitarist, who are def both in this photo. And the drummer who sadly passed away is also in that photo. The one member of Outlaw Order who was never in Eyehategod is a dude who used to be in the fellow New Orleans band Crowbar. It's cool that their probation officers were down to accommodate. Mystery solved.


What's the deal with Spice Boys?


Their album is called Speed 2 and they're from Sweden. They have a single called "Dream Vendor."

Very mysterious.

Letterboxd

Do you like movies?

Follow us on Letterboxd at https://letterboxd.com/babymamadrama/.
We forgot that was what our name was.

Here are some recent movie ratings:

Knock Down The House - 4 stars
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile - 1 and a half stars
Summer of 84 - 3 stars
Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 3 and a half stars
Who Let The Dogs Out - 2 and a half stars
Leaving Neverland - 4 and a half stars
Bio-Dome - half star
Gremlins 2: The New Batch - 5 stars
Lords Of Chaos - 3 and a half stars
Fyre - 3 and a half stars
The Lodge - 2 and a half stars
The Inventor - 3 stars
David Crosby: Remember My Name - 3 and a half stars
Greener Grass - 3 and a half stars
Fighting With My Family - 3 and a half stars
The Beach Bum - 4 stars
The Dirt - 3 stars

The Return of Glass Popcorn

Keep a look out for the July or August edition of MTVZ for all the Glass Popcorn content you could ever imagine.

Here's a preview:


Extreme Rules was Bad Except for Kevin Owens who was only on for 5 minutes

With the road to SummerSlam just around the corner, mid-July is probably around the time it makes sense to start watching again, even though it's probably all going to suck just as much as everything since Wrestlemania has sucked.

They need more KO.

Fresh Out Of Content


This blog is probably going to end soon.

We have been watching Woodstock '99 videos and will probably write about that soon.

We have a Thicc As Fuck Mix of 2018 songs that never got posted that we still need to post here.

Hey, how about this idea? We're just gonna choose 10 random things right now and post about them right now. Just like random shit.

The blog is still going to die soon though but at least we will die while losing our minds.

Monday, July 15, 2019

THE MOST CRAY-CRAY ALBUMS OF 2009

[Edit: This was a draft from like a year ago that never got posted.]

We're assembling materials for our 10-year-anniversary retrospective. And 2009/2010/2011 have no "Best albums" lists, so here's one of them. [Edit: There is actually no planned 10-year retrospective but that would be cool.]

Overstuffed with more great mixtapes, EPs, and cassette-only releases than what followed, 2009 sparked the modern era. Many new artists. A jump in quality from what preceded.

(The title refers to a recent Bojack episode in which Mr. Peanut-Butter predicts that a Halloween 2009 party will be "cray-cray" although we're still not sure "cray-cray" was a thing prior to 2012.)

60. Clipse Til The Casket Drops



59. The Savage Young Taterbug River Mortis

No YOURE Fucked. And Fuck Toy Story. You now what else? Fuck Toy Story 2. Fuck Toy Story 3. Fuck Toy Story 4 through 19. and Fuck Tim Allen. (EUEEUUHH????)


58. Turboslut & Pygmy Lush [split]




57. Broken Water [cassette]




56. Rihanna Rated R

R&B end product is about as brutal as you'd.


55. UGK UGK 4 Life

R.I.P. Pimp C


54. Cult Ritual Live at Side Two



53. Milk Music [cassette]



52. Yo La Tengo Popular Songs

Maryann with the shaky hand


51. A Place To Bury Strangers Exploding Head



50. Jeff The Brotherhood Heavy Days




49. Jay Reatard Blood Visions




48. Merchandise Terminal Jagger Jane’s Addiction Boxset

Green

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGtkMm5CJzw

47. Paramore Brand New Eyes



46. P.S. Eliot Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds



45. Plies Da REAList



44. Atlas Sound Logos




43. Agoraphobic Nosebleed Agorapocalypse




42. Pearl Jam Backspacer



41. Pill 4075: The Refill

I think I hear somebody comin....


40. Jason Lytle Yours Truly, The Commuter

"Sounds like Grandaddy"


39. Hush Arbors Yankee Reality


https://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/hush-arbors-yankee-reality-cd/E.100L.html

38. Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap

baws


37. Flaming Lips Embryonic



36. Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II



35. Animal Collective Fall Be Kind

Hot new Starbucks item: "What Would I Want? Chai"


34. Gnaw Their Tongues ‎All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity


http://www.devotionalhymns.com/gnawtheirtongues/2009.html

33. The xx xx



32. Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix



31. Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis



30. Lil B 6 Kiss

Thank you Kiss God


29. Absu Absu

I'm pretty smart, if I say so myself. This afternoon, we walked into a fruit store, and the clerk thinks I'm some out-of-town hick. "Those apples will be two bucks each," he tells me. That's where I outsmarted him. I pass over a five. And as he's about to give me a dollar change, I say, "Keep it, we're even. On the way in, I stepped on a grape.



28. Drake So Far Gone

Thank you 6 God


27. FNU Ronnies Meat




26. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart The Pains of Being Pure At Heart




25. Wolves In The Throne Room Black Cascade




24. Pissed Jeans King of Jeans




23. The Antlers Hospice

Fun Fact: The album art for King of Jeans and Hospice are taken from the same photo.


22. Dinosaur Jr Farm




21. No Age Losing Feeling




20. Death ...For The Whole World To See



19. Polvo In Prism



18. Neon Indian Psychic Chasms



17. Lady Gaga The Fame Monster



16. Outlaw Order Dragging Down The Enforcer

Legalize crime



15. DJ Quik & Kurupt BlaQkout

9 times outta 10


14. Black Dice Repo



13. Beak> Beak>




12. The-Dream Love vs Money



11. Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion

It's moving but it's not moving man


10. Nicki Minaj Beam Me Up Scotty

best album.


09. Japandroids Post-Nothing




08. Merchandise EP



07. Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz



06. SUNN O))) Monoliths & Dimensions




05. Ovlov Crazy Motorcycle Jump

We don't know anyone in this band so it's fair game.



04. Silversun Pickups Swoon




03. Pill 4180: The Prescription

BURN ONE

https://www.datpiff.com/Pill-4180-The-Prescription-mixtape.53735.html

02. Ringo Deathstarr Sparkler

Trick candles!



01. Ovens Ovens

a.k.a. "Triple LP"