Wednesday, November 30, 2011

80's Guilt #11: L’Trimm “Cars With The Boom” (1988)

Whoa. L'Trimm is hot. We had no idea. If anyone knows of girls who dress like L'Trimm please leave comments with their phone numbers and what kind of flowers they like. Thank you.

P.S. Watch out ladies: Hunky luscious mullet dude at 1:30.

80's Guilt #12: Mike + The Mechanics “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)” (1985)

  • Paul Carrack on lead vocals, who also sang Squeeze's "Tempted," Ace's "How Long," and another really awful Mike + The Mechanics song called "The Living Years," although he didn't sing on their other hit "All I Need Is A Miracle."
  • "Mike" is one of the members of Genesis who isn't Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel.
  • This video is really fucking weird... Turns out that it's associated with a movie soundtrack.
  • Say what you want about "Silent Running," but to us, it sounds way better and more sincere than 99% of those 80's-nostalgia VHS-obsessed chillwave artists that have been embraced by Pitchfork and Altered Zones for the past 2 years.
  • We posted "Shattered Dreams" by Johnny Hates Jazz in an earlier entry, and we've found it very easy to get these two songs accidentally mashed together as they play in your head. (The lines "Can you hear me" & "and now you're giving me, giving me..." are the exact same notes and played in the same key.)
  • 80's Guilt #13: Huey Lewis & The News “The Power Of Love” (1985)

    Our requisite Huey Lewis entry could have gone in a number of directions. We initially chose "Walking On A Thin Line" due to the sick bassline in the intro. We also considered the album track "Finally Found A Home," which we remembered being a much better song than it turned out to be when we located it on Spotify just now.

    Patrick Bateman is a huge fan of "Hip To Be Square," which never hurts. And plus we heard Huey Lewis on TV a few years ago saying the deadpan lyrics were supposed to be sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, and he resented that it was embraced by '80s douchebags, which gave the song a hint of depth we hadn't expected.

    But we've come to realize their biggest song, "The Power Of Love," was their best. We don't know why. It just is. We like when he says "credit card."

    Now watching the video. We're remembering that every Huey Lewis video had a fucking 9-minute introduction. At least this one is ok because it has Christopher Lloyd, but if it were anything else, we'd recommended skipping ahead. If we had to choose a favorite member of The News, we'd have to go with the bass player chillin' in the back wearing sunglasses & smoking cigs.

    80's Guilt #14: Teena Marie “Lovergirl” (1984)

    We've heard "Lovergirl" used in a few movies. But when Teena Marie's death was reported a few months ago (followed by sad RIP tweets from Tyler The Creator), we didn't realize she was the same singer. Throwing together this 80's Guilt Mix has helped us with officially falling in love with her for the first time, making her death seem all the more depressing and tragic.

    We were also initially confused as to whether or not she was one of Prince's proteges. She was definitely talented and pretty enough where that would have made sense. Towards the end of "Lovergirl," there's an amazing little section with some off-beat/dissonant vocal harmonies that could have been pulled straight from "1999." We also recall seeing posts on Wendy & Lisa's twitter where they expressed bereavement, so a Prince/Teena Marie affiliation wouldn't surprise us... (Edit: Wikipedia says she was actually discovered by Rick James.)

    80's Guilt #15: Dokken “In My Dreams” (1985)

    One of our favorite videos ever... So many amazing slow motion shots, more than a few including simulated rainfall and hair flying all over the place... Also watch out for the bass player's genius lipsynching at 1:02, George Lynch's solo, Don Dokken's hat.. We don't wanna give away too much...

    80's Guilt #16: Foreigner “Urgent” (1981)

    80's Guilt #17: Lindsey Buckingham “Trouble” (1982)

    Damn, "Trouble" rules, although the intro of the video still makes us very uncomfortable. In fact, the shittiness of the video is probably a big reason why the song was considered for the 80's Guilt Mix.

    In case anyone cares, we prefer Tango In The Night to Rumors or Tusk, which we understand is not a popular opinion. However, we recall seeing "Big Love," "Everywhere" and "Little Lies" on Nick Rocks (the video request show on Nickelodeon) which could probably be enough to push any album into our zone of favoritism.

    "Big Love" is essentially a Lindsey Buckingham song. (The "female" vocals in the song are actually his voice sped-up.) And so we considered that song and "Everywhere" to be included with this entry, except both songs are far too good for true "80's Guilt." And "Little Lies" was already included in "80 Jams From The 80's." But we'll link to the videos anyway...

    See also: Fleetwood Mac "Everywhere"
    See also: Fleetwood Mac "Little Lies"

    80's Guilt #18: Bryan Adams “One Night Love Affair” (1984)

    On VH1 a few nights ago they played a special about Steve Barron's music videos... He's the guy who directed "Money For Nothing," "Billie Jean" and "Take On Me," as well as "Summer of '69." He was pretty much the Spike Jonze of the early 80's. And they showed Bryan Adams stating that his song wasn't supposed to be about a specific summer, and that he chose "69" purposely as a reference to the sexual position, which we had assumed for years, and now finally have confirmation. Thank you Bryan Adams.

    However, throughout the years, I've always liked "One Night Love Affair," "Somebody" and "Run To You" better than "69," never able to understand why "69" was the big huge hit from Reckless.

    This next part isn't that important, but anyway.. At work they used to let us watch TV, and a few years ago, Spike TV was doing one of those "Movies That Don't Suck" things and they played that 80's movie where Val Kilmer is a genius... Fuck, what's it called...

    IMDB says it's called Real Genius. Fair enough. So about 20 minutes into it they start playing "One Night Love Affair" and that was the first and only time Bryan Adams made me nostalgic for anything. I owned the 45 of this song when I was 4 years old. Actually I feel like digging it out real quick, because I attempted to make my own picture sleeve for it...

    It looks like I considered the song title to be too long, and so I put the words "Love Affair" in parenthesis. There's also a "2" written over the A&M logo in blue ink, which I did one evening when I went through about 20 records because I was planning on making a mixtape (that never got taped) and I wanted them to be in a specific order.

    Bryan Adams' Reckless was also the first CD my Dad bought (along with Steve Winwood's Back In The High Life and The Beatles Past Masters Volume 2) after we bought our first CD player in 1988. I was very excited.

    80's Guilt #19: Swing Out Sister “Breakout” (1987)

    Sunshine! Wow, this band is having so much fun. We were surprised to learn Swing Out Sister derived from the UK, which doesn't really help to explain why she's singing as if English is her second language, but whatever... She's so adorable that it makes up for it. This actually got us thinking if there are any current female singers who project this much fun...

  • Ke$ha is too drunk or hungover to be fun.
  • Nicki Minaj is too busy making stupid faces and wearing awful clothes to be fun.
  • Gaga takes herself too seriously and is too involved in making a fashion statement to be fun.
  • Katy Perry is too busy trying to be all things to all people. And it's painful to watch her try to make jokes. That's not fun.
  • A lot of people would probably claim Beyonce's "Countdown" is fun, but when a song is so involved in trying to be artistic that it confuses you to the point where you can't tell whether or not it has a chorus, that's not fun at all.
  • Britney is too burnt out.
  • Adele is depressed as fuck.
  • Rihanna's too busy battling her demons.
  • There's also that weird UK dummy Jessie J, but nobody cares about her.

  • So that pretty much leaves us with our new best friend Azealia Banks and her amazing new video that we posted yesterday, which is probably the only example from the past two years of a chick singer who isn't afraid to have as much fun as Swing Out Sister.

    Well thankfully we were able to think of ONE video, or else we would've gotten pretty upset...

    The moral of the story: When people claim pop culture in the '80s was always smiling, this video would be some good evidence.

    See also: Katrina & The Waves "Walking On Sunshine"

    80's Guilt #20: Spandau Ballet “True” (1983) / Johnny Hates Jazz “Shattered Dreams” (1987)

    I bought a ticket to the world / But now I've come back again
    Why do I find it hard to write the next line? / Oh, I want the truth to be said.

    The third line may have been a cop-out after the writer was unable to think of anything else to say. Or maybe this is just what Spandau Ballet wanted us to think, as a way to distract the world of homophobes from noticing how outstandingly gay they appear in the video. Partially through androgyny and sexual ambiguity (which was fashionable throughout '80s MTV), they look like men who are specifically targeting grown ass men.

    Johnny Hates Jazz was included for similar reasons. While "True" is one of the most recognizable one-hit-wonders of the 80's***, "Shattered Dreams" is the better song. We appreciate the repeated lines from the verses and bridge during the fade out ("So much for your promises..") and obviously the lack of an obnoxious saxophone solo. (And P.S. what's up with saxophone solos making a [hopefully brief] comeback in 2011? We're with Johnny on this one... referring to Smooth Jazz anyway...)

    ***Real quick... We take issue with people who are anal enough to dispute obvious one-hit-wonders simply because the band's record company made an effort to create some career artists... After the relatively huge success of these two songs, an unremembered follow-up single which charted at #31 for one week is considered a FLOP, not a hit! In the case of both "True" and "Shattered Dreams," this is exactly what happened. (In the United States anyway... Both bands were considered career acts overseas.)

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    80's Guilt #21: Paul Davis “Cool Night” (1982)

    "Cool Night" peaked at #11 on Billboard. We get confused when hearing songs like this, compared to those that chart in 2011. Clear obvious songcraft is involved within the music of guys like Paul Davis, whereas today, if the same amount of craftsmanship is involved, do these writers and producers put effort into removing any evidence that actual time went into their songs? Take "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO for instance: Awesome chorus, and then that's pretty much the entire song. Had Paul Davis thought of that chorus, he probably would have included a clearly defined verse and pre-chorus with the option of adding key modulations, so that the various sections of the song can sound refreshing to the ear. Is refreshment dead? It seems we're currently at a point when huge songs contain one solid hook instead of several hooks. We wouldn't be surprised if bands like LMFAO are doing this on purpose, similar to how Rivers Cuomo is obviously capable of writing another Pinkerton if he really wanted to, but never will, because of "what sells" vs "what doesn't."

    Yeah anyway... "Cool Night" is another hot grocery store jam. We wouldn't be surprised if Ariel Pink was a huge fan of this dude. We had no idea this is what Paul Davis looked like... We assumed he looked more like Don Henley or Phil Collins, and less like a white Rastafarian member of the Allman Brothers.

    80's Guilt #22: The Jacksons “Torture” (1984)

    When Beavis & Butthead watched this video, for some reason they got really excited when Tito came on the screen, shouting "TITOOOOO!!" We're not sure how they recognized him. This video kinda rules because they got a Michael Jackson impersonator to play his part. And this is also the song that Jermaine used to defend himself after Michael said "shut up, you suck Jermaine!" which actually didn't really happen, but we love Planet Jackson so much that we like to pretend it's true...

    80's Guilt #23: Heart “These Dreams” (1986)

    Nancy Wilson (the singer of this song) is married to Cameron Crowe, the director of Jerry MacGuire, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky, a dude who we've sort of had a vendetta against for quite some time. For some reason, the idea that he's "special" enough to get Led Zeppelin into his movies has bothered us, since his movies are just kinda ok, usually filled with an overabundance of awesome ideas that are poorly executed, not typically the type of movies that deserve special treatment just because he happens to be friends with The Eagles and Lynard Skynard. And we normally take advantage of most opportunities to make sure this gets mentioned.

    From our perspective, the chick-vocals from Ann & Nancy Wilson were too pleasant-sounding to fit for the gritty guitar rock in "Barracuda" and "Crazy On You." They seem much better suited for adult-contemporary, which is why "These Dreams" worked so well. Regarding how they look in the video, we saw 5 minutes of Heart's Behind The Music the other night, and apparently the 80's metal hair was totally not their idea.. or at least that's what they claimed...

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    "212" & "The Chill$"

    omg FINALLY

    this chick's smile is pretty awesome and she says the c-word a lot.
    we're pretty sure we love her.

    80's Guilt #24: Debbie Gibson “Shake Your Love” (1987) / Rick Astley “It Would Take A Strong Strong Man” (1988)

    In August 2011, over the course of 3 or 4 days, VH1 Classic aired an amazing 12-hour programming loop called "MTV30" in celebration of MTV's 30th birthday, a series of old MTV clips which succeeded in giving us boners for an entire weekend. Two of these clips were pulled from Club MTV, both lipsynching performances complete with interviews by Downtown Julie Brown. (This helped us become curious about their clip selection process since neither of these are among their respective singer's most popular songs.) So just FYI, Rick Astley's inclusion has nothing to do with the Rickrolling phenomenon and everything to do with how we shockingly enjoyed hearing both songs for the first time in over 20 years.

    It would've been nice if Viacom had left the MTV performances on Youtube, which we'd have preferred for this post...

    80's Guilt #25: The Outfield “Your Love” (1986)

    This somehow became another case of "Don't Stop Believing," an 80's jam that magically received an enormous push in popularity since the mid-2000's, partially evident by a decently-sized list of covers in its wikipedia entry, the earliest dating only as far back as The Decemberists in 2005. It's hard to say why it didn't transcended as heavily during the 90's (GTA: Vice City?) since that main hook is so universally beloved, embraced across multiple generations of music fans, from metalheads to hipsters to pop fanatics. (Fuck, that bridge section deserves more credit.)

    We haven't heard The Outfield's 1st album Play Deep just yet, but from what we've read, every song (supposedly) sounds a lot like "Your Love" and includes similarly huge hooks.

    So then, if this song is so awesome, then where's the guilt?... It could be attributed to the polished-sounding production, but we're really not sure. It just somehow feels like it SHOULD be a guilty pleasure...

    80's Guilt #26: Billy Joel "Laura" (1982)

    Before getting into the nerdy stuff, we'd like to state that "Laura" is (musically speaking) possibly the best homage to The Beatles by any artist during the 1980's. The production and piano intro specifically are straight-up McCartney/Wings, with the vocal melody sounding as if it was pulled from one of Lennon's Revolver-era demos, and a guitar-solo that's surprisingly NOT a guest-feature from George Harrison himself.

    We might have completely forgotten about "Laura" had it not been for Chuck Klosterman... Between Chapter 4 of Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and a 10-page Billy Joel interview/profile in Chuck Klosterman IV (link), he managed to shed light on Joel's catalog of deep album cuts that we hadn't imagined would sound interesting ever again. We don't ever listen to Billy Joel. But prior to turning 11, we indulged in a few Billy Joel's LP's. This simple familiarization seemed embarrassing at first, but the Klosterman essay was so good that it helped us gain an odd sense of pride and helped to define the two types of people who appreciate Billy Joel:

    #1 There's the vast majority who know every word on Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2 by heart. While we very badly would like to associate this album with only frat-boys and soccer moms, the stats don't lie: It's the 3rd biggest album of all time, a slow burner with most of its copies sold between the early-90's and the present.

    We fall into category #2, those who accidentally enjoyed his album tracks during a naive period in our lives and have nostalgia for songs like "Rosalinda's Eyes" and "C'├ętait Toi (You Were the One)," two songs chosen for a 1999 episode of Freaks and Geeks as opposed to his bigger hits, an accurate reflection of what people were really listening to in the early 80's.

    Chuck Klosterman helped us realize that Billy Joel deserves a compilation of his strongest album tracks, particularly those released between 1978 and 1982 on 52nd Street, Glass Houses, The Nylon Curtain, and among the re-recordings found on the the live LP Songs In The Attic. (Honestly, not much outside of this 5-year span is of interest to us.)

    The two profiles also helped us to realize that The Nylon Curtain is his strongest LP, and the album's first two songs, "Allentown" and "Laura," are the two best Billy Joel songs. We took this into account when choosing songs for the 80's Guilt Mix. It's somehow infinitely nerdier and more embarrassing to defend Billy Joel by praising his deep album cuts, which is why "Laura" had to be here. (And the lyrics are also depressing as shit. When you hear him sing "Here I am, feeling like a fucking fool" and it sounds so sincere that you can't help feeling it in your gut... It's so sincere that we're uncomfortable posting about it...)

    P.S. Also LOL:

    80's Guilt #27: Ready For The World "Oh Sheila" (1985) / Sheila E "The Glamorous Life" (1984)

    This entry was originally intended for "Oh Sheila" on its own, but it's difficult to ignore how closely the song resembles "The Glamorous Life," specifically the 3-chord cadence used in every other bar. It's definitely reminiscent of Prince's "Minneapolis" sound as well, which is noteworthy as Sheila E was yet another of Prince's protege's around the time of Purple Rain, an album released within the same year as both singles.

    Prince's female protege prior to Sheila E was Apollonia 6, but Prince realized that Apollonia didn't have the singing chops to pull her own weight, and so the project was abandoned. The songs intended for their album included "17 Days" (the b-side of "When Doves Cry"), "Manic Monday" (later released as a single by The Bangles), "Take Me With U" (originally not intended for Purple Rain) and "The Glamorous Life." If Apollonia had the talent, we're guessing this would've been one hell of a record.

    Ultra-suckness week part deux

    The past week totally could have sucked way worse... It still sucked, but it's possible the anticipated ultra-suck has been postponed until the current week as a result of daylight savings time or some shit...

    And if it sucked that badly we would have finished the 80's Guilt Mix by now. We'll add a few more jams to the mix before bed...

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    80's Guilt #28: Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire" (1984)

    Fun fact: On each of his albums, The Boss makes sure to sing at least 7 songs about driving around New Jersey in a Buick, comprising about 60% of his catalog, with "I'm On Fire" being the best one of them all. It was also used during live sets as one of the big moments when The E Street Band would quietly play the intro for 8-9 minutes while Bruce tells rite-of-passage stories to all of his adoring Bruce-heads: "My dad kicked me out, and I remember I used to use a payphone to call my girl. Then one day, I came back. And my dad asked me, what happened? I thought you joined the army. And I said, well, they didn't take me. And my dad looked at me. And he said, that's good son." *CHEERS/APPLAUSE*

    We love the howls at the end. It's too bad the song fades so quickly.

    The video includes some shockingly decent acting from The Boss himself:

    Also, from when Ben Stiller was funny:

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    80's Guilt #29: Wang Chung “Dance Hall Days” (1984)

  • Most people are unaware this song and the abysmal "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" are by the same band. There was a good Thomas The Dancing Bug comic about 10 years ago which had some history on the catchphrase Everybody Wang Chung Tonight which we assumed was a joke and not a genuine catchphrase.
  • Apparently this is included in GTA: Vice City, and thank god for videogames or else half of the world's 80's music would never have been embraced by nearly as many young people (for better or worse).
  • This song has not one, but two horrible videos, and so we chose one at random.
  • Good mullet juice for the kids.

  • 80's Guilt #30: Timex Social Club “Rumors” (1986)

    Hear the one about Michael / some say he must be gay
    I try to argue, but they said / if he was straight he wouldn't move that way

    We're watching the video, and it looks like they're not singing about Michael Jackson, which we had assumed for some reason... forgetting that this was 1986 and Michael Jackson was still beloved by women. Unfortunately, the video does not include the entire song, and so to make up for this, we've also included two Cameo videos.

    80's Guilt #31: Tracey Ullman "They Don't Know" (1983)

    Damn, this song is way better than we had remembered... Time for bullet-points:

  • '60s nostalgia was a profitable commodity in 1983, the same year The Kinks unexpectedly scored their highest charting single, and The Beatles appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time in 12 years. "They Don't Know" made sense as an obvious hit, sounding like a perfect combination of Dusty Springfield and The Temptations. As a result, it's currently heard often on Sirius 25, Little Steven's garage-rock channel.
  • Written by Kirsty MacColl who's most famous for singing on The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." If you wanna read a heartbreakingly fucked up Wikipedia entry, head in this direction...
  • Vivid memories of the first time we heard Bart Simpson yell "What the hell?!" on The Tracey Ullman Show and thinking it was the most groundbreaking and hilarious thing that had ever been on TV. We were also confused about whether she was the same Tracey Ullman who sang "They Don't Know."
  • Weak video, but in 1983, most of them were. The single was on a punk label, so it's likely the budget was limited, although for some reason Paul McCartney makes a cameo at the end.
  • Thursday, November 24, 2011

    80's Guilt #32: Richard Marx “Should’ve Known Better” (1987)

    Richard Marx's mullet is probably within our top 5 mullets. He's certainly up there with Uncle Jessie and that biker/leather-jacket teacher dude on Boy Meets World. Wikipedia reveals that as a songwriter, "Should've Known Better" was one of the songs he wanted to save for himself to sing instead of giving it away, which was probably a smart decision. Production-wise, it's reminiscent of "Danger Zone" from Top Gun, which does wonders to increase the lulz-factor.

    We also recall John Mayer playing a prank around 2004 where he convinced a few of his fans that Richard Marx wrote all of his songs. This got us wondering, what other hits had he actually written (besides his own)? After checking Wikipedia, the only ones we recognize are Vixen's "Edge Of A Broken Heart" and N'Sync's "This I Promise You," amongst dozens of unheard album tracks, making it seem like he gets most of his work as a result of name-recognition, to assist with album filler as opposed to scoring huge hits.

    80's Guilt #33: Pink Floyd "Learning To Fly" (1987)

    We considered heading in a wackier direction for Thanksgiving morning, but since no one will be reading today, we decided instead to talk about '80s Pink Floyd since they're already so boringly overdiscussed that we really have nothing original to say anyway.

    Taste My Kids presents: A brief history of Pink Floyd

  • Syd Barrett-era (1965-1968): Their best era. | "Lucifer Sam." | "See Emily Play." | This shit RULES. Album one is their best.
  • Everyone contributes-era (1968-1972): Their 2nd-best era. | "The Nile Song." | "Echoes." | Syd started going crazy and eventually leaves the group. They brought in David Gilmour, and for their next few albums almost every band member had a significant hand in their songwriting. There's a lot of weird rewarding shit and odd experiments.
  • Mostly Roger Waters-era (1973-1985): Their 3rd-best era. Waters took control of their focus for 5 albums and as a result they sold like 100 billion records. Many of the most exhausted and overplayed songs on classic rock radio are released during this time, although radio still ignores their 2nd best album, 1977's Animals.
  • David Gilmour-era (1985-1996): Their weakest era. Waters attempts to end the group, but everyone else wants to keep it going. Gilmour takes over the focus and they released two extremely boring records in 1987 and 1994.

  • So the best song from their weakest era was probably "Learning To Fly." (Either that or "What Do You Want From Me.")

    Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies / Tongue-tied and twisted Just an earth-bound misfit, I

    Misfit? Tongue-tied? What do any of these things have to do with flying? Why can't he keep his eyes from the skies? And why are they circling? Ending a statement with "I"? So fucking awkward...

    It's quite a drop in quality from Gilmour's contributions on The Wall and Animals. But as a pop single, it gets the job done. Just catchy enough that the lyrical imperfections don't really matter all that much.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    80's Guilt #34: REO Speedwagon “Keep On Loving You” (1980)

    We regret to inform any readers that REO's fellow arena cohorts Styx and Journey will not be appearing in the "80's Guilt" mix. Styx is simply too gay (and if you don't think "Come Sail Away" is gay, you're not paying attention). And while Journey's musicianship is admirable, their songs don't especially transcend to us in the same way as REO.

    (The only possible exception would be "Lights," and NOT "Don't Stop Believing," which we appreciated far more before half of America attempted to adopt it as the new working-man's national anthem... We want to make sure our stance on this is clear before continuing... "Don't Stop Believing" is ok - not especially bad or great - with admirable musicianship and song structure. But like most of Journey's output, it's fucking LAME, and it's been so overplayed since the mid-2000's that we would prefer to not hear it again until at least 2016. It's the #1 iTunes download of alltime. It was played in the final 2 minutes of the last episode of The Sopranos. And it's the only shitty 80's corporate rock bumout that was included in The Pitchfork 500, their perceived canon of the modern era's 500 best songs, a list that would not have included the song had it been published 5 years earlier or 5 years later, but rather because it just happened to be considered trendy at the time.)

    What sets apart REO Speedwagon is really nothing extraordinary. Their Hi Infidelity LP from 1980 has been cited by Scott Lucas as an influence on Local H's album sequencing, what he called "10 songs, 10 singles." Others have labelled this concept as "All killer, no filler." And they bring up a good point... Six of the album's ten songs were played on the radio and charted in Billboard. For us, side A specifically stands out as "all killer":

    Side 1
    1. "Don't Let Him Go" (3:47)
    2. "Keep On Loving You" (3:22)
    3. "Follow My Heart" (3:50)
    4. "In Your Letter" (3:18)
    5. "Take It On The Run" (3:59)

    Before settling on its biggest hit, we strongly considered "In Your Letter" and "Take It On The Run," and so we might as well post those below as well... "Keep On Loving You" is the most perfectly structured, and it doesn't get all sappy and lame like "Can't Fight This Feeling." We'd rather not detail and masturbate over its structural elements any further, even though it's hugely tempting, but this is already our douchiest post in months, so we should probably move on at this point...


    80's Guilt #35: Mr. Mister “Broken Wings” (1985)

    We tried our best to locate video of this song in MacGruber, but no dice. It's prolly been yanked from Youtube. In either case, the major yuks associated with "Broken Wings" only increases with time, encapsulating a dead-on caricature of sleek corporate-minded 1980s. White blazers and tinted aviators... That whole thing. By the time the early 2000's arrived, we were laughing so hard that it was easy to overlook the badass bass hook until it was posthumously borrowed by Tupac 5 years after his death.

    more new shit

    Ultra-suckness week 2011 still sucks pretty hard. However, more 80's Guilt is on the way, and we actually have access to a few computers that don't crash every 10 minutes, so we were able to locate a few awesome new rock bands from our friends at Exploding In Sound, possibly the best treasure trove of undiscovered new rock bands that currently exists...

    This is our favorite one we found today:

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    80's Guilt #36: New Edition “Candy Girl” (1983)

    A year before he formed NKOTB, Maurice Starr wrote and produced "Candy Girl" as a obvious intentional ripoff of Jackson Five's "ABC." We were saddened to learn that the pre-pubescent MJ-wannabe lead vox belong to Ralph Tresvant, the most boring and least famous member of New Edition, instead of a young Bobby Brown or Johnny Gill, or one of the members of Bel Biv Devoe.

    NKOTB turned into Starr's major focus from 1984-onward, which worked out much better, since New Edition probably wouldn't have been remembered as fondly had they been associated with "Hangin' Tough" and "Please Don't Go Girl."

    80's Guilt #37: Cheap Trick “Tonight It’s You” (1985)

    Cheap Trick's "The Flame" seems fairly equivalent of Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," power ballads that weren't written by the band themselves, released years after they had established themselves as badass rock dudes, and both became their only #1 singles. They're also far from the group's best, and not typically fan favorites. Especially in Cheap Trick's case, it ultimately seems to have turned into a curse on their live sets, as they've since felt an obligation to perform a song that they don't want to play, nor do their fans want to hear.

    While "The Flame" isn't a horrible song, it simply doesn't present as many paradoxes and odd complexities as "Tonight It's You" from a few years earlier, which is why we've opted for its inclusion as a true guilty pleasure. (It's also probably their least popular song that made the cut for Cheap Trick's The Greatest Hits.)

    "Tonight It's You" is noteworthy for its enormous pre-chorus and chorus sections, a HUGE payoff after drudging through a murky and completely forgettable intro and verse. In fact, the intro and verses are shitty enough (compared to the chorus) that if you haven't heard it in a few years, you might be convinced you're listening to the wrong song. (At least that's what happened to us.)

    80's Guilt #38: Tommy Tutone “867-5309/Jenny” (1982)

    Wikipedia reveals there is no actual dude in the band named Tommy Tutone. In this respect, they were the Hootie of the early 80's. As easy as it is to remember the melody in the chorus, the numerous hooks throughout the rest of the song never receive the credit they deserve (including one of the most underrated "handclaps" moments), although without the phone number gimmick the song may have been just as easily forgotten as dozens of other brilliant late-70s/early-80s power pop singles.

    80's Guilt #39: The Alan Parsons Project “Eye In The Sky” (1982)

    "Eye In The Sky" might have placed higher than #39 in a different time, as the late 90's perspective of 80's nostalgia assisted with its charm, some of which has been lost over the past 10-15 years. The "eye in the sky" itself, a vague literary reference to 1984 and The Great Gatsby, seemed to make more sense around the time everyone was going apeshit over OK Computer and Kid A, or when Y2K-era tension was at its peak.

    As another grocery store jam, we also used to often get "Eye In The Sky" confused with 10CC's similarly dreamy and keyboard-driven AOR classic "I'm Not In Love" (which is unfortunately from the 70's, or else it surely would have placed here).

    80's Guilt #40: Janet Jackson “When I Think Of You” (1986)

    In the past year or so, Janet Jackson has been featured here more often than we had anticipated... As for this feature, we've been somewhat torn choosing between this song and "Miss You Much." So apparently, we love Janet Jackson. Who knew...

    The original video (directed by Julien Temple, who also did Sex Pistols' The Great Rock N' Roll Swindle) is kind of obnoxious, and so we've opted for a sweet live clip...

    See also: Janet Jackson "Miss You Much"

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    80's Guilt #41: Kajagoogoo “Too Shy” (1983)

    Fun fact: The singer from Kajagoogoo was the same guy who explained superhero origins on South Park a few months back... (to avoid spoilers do not click on the image)

    By the way, is it just us, or was the Coon & Friends trilogy the best thing on TV in the past two years? (At least since John Lithgow was on Dexter?) Moving on...

    People dislike this song for some reason, but we've always been into it... Awesome production and way fucking catchy.

    80's Guilt #42: Toto “Africa” (1982)

    "Fuck man.. this was back when bands could actually play n shit. Fuck. Remember those days?"

    Thanks Dad. Your words are too profound.

    For some lulz, we tailgated in the parking lot prior to the Guns N' Roses show 2 nights ago and "Africa" was one of the songs we made sure to blast out of our car, making extra sure to turn it WAY up right before the flute solo, and loudly singing along to the line "As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti..." The fat fuck in the van parked to the left stuck his ass out the window, and when we returned after the show there was a hotdog placed between our wiper blades.

    80's Guilt #43: Benny Mardones "Into The Night" (1980)

    Ultra-suckness week continues... I felt like shit at least once last night, and I wasn't able to drink any beer. It sucked.

    Speaking of suck, Benny Mardones takes the #43 position with a pretty amazing karaoke song. The sick scream-singing at the end is one of the defining AM Gold moments, in our opinion. Also, I recall my parents telling me they didn't remember this song ever receiving radio spins in the early 80's. They claimed to have never heard it before its confusing comeback in 1989, when it was added once again to Top 40 and Adult Contemporary playlists for no discernible reason.

    When this happened with "Unchained Melody," it was because of Ghost, obviously. When this happened with "Bohemian Rhapsody," it was clearly because of Wayne's World. But "Into The Night" wasn't in any movies, and wasn't associated with a fad of any type.. It somehow just exhumed itself, climbing right back into the Top 20 nine years later.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    80's Guilt #44: Climie Fisher “Love Changes (Everything)” (1988)

    We'd like to thank Dad for exposing us to Climie Fisher's 1987 LP Everything, an album which did not chart especially well stateside (peaking at #120), although about half of its songs somehow ended up getting covered on various episodes of KIDS Incorporated. (If memory serves correctly, the deep album cut "Room To Move" was almost certainly sung by Jennifer Love Hewitt). Under normal circumstances, Climie Fisher was not a typical LP in the Dad-rock canon, unless of course either of your parents were an aspiring producer/songwriter in the late 80's, in which case they were probably rocking the fuck out to this and the self-titled Robbie Neville album with "Wot's It To Ya." Seeing as how the songs on KIDS Incorporated were likely chosen by keyboard-geek dads in their late-30's, the Climie Fisher preference makes sense.

    Thank you Wikipedia.. We almost forgot this group was formed from the ashes of Naked Eyes, now famous for their two hits "There's Always Something There To Remind Me" and "Promises, Promises."

    P.S. Oh fudge, turns out we were incorrect about "Room To Move." Lead vox were provided by Fergie and some kid with a badass hi-top fade... Damn, these kids LOVED the running man...

    80's Guilt #45: The Jets “You Got It All” (1987)

    Without consulting Wikipedia, we recall The Jets as a mormon family rock band who were played often on "Nick Rocks" (the video-request show on Nickelodeon), although we thought a different artist sang "You Got It All" up until 20 minutes ago.

    Fun wikipedia tidbit: Britney Spears covered this song in 1997, and it was included as a bonus track on Oops I Did It Again a few years later. Too bad her voice is the fucking worst:

    80's Guilt #46: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson” (1989)

    In case anyone hasn't yet noticed, this list has so far been enormously heavy on the summer of 1989. We have no idea whether this will continue throughout the entire list, but the magic of this particular year can not be underestimated. When people think of amazingly corny and awesome 80's nostalgia, the last two years of the 80's (and 1990) should really be the focus, in our opinion...

    So once again, for those who remember 1989, Mike Tyson was a huge fucking deal, and all the kids were like "holy shit, Mike Tyson." So it made sense for Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff to try cashing in on the hype with some more of their made-for-children novelty rap. At the time, Will was clearly a huge fan of Rakim, which helps to guide his rap flow tremendously. If you watch closely, Carlton from Fresh Prince and Don King make some friendly cameos in the video...

    Also, look out for an unexpected moment of genius when Will Smith ends a line with the word "thing," and then instead of rhyming the next line with "ring" there's the sound of a bell from a boxing ring.

    80's Guilt #47: Alice Cooper “Poison” (1989)

    When Alice appeared in Wayne's World, some had only remembered him for his 70's output. However, he managed to hit the Top 10 not too long beforehand, with one of the most oddly structured hit songs we've ever heard... For example, THERE ARE FOUR KEY CHANGES IN THE CHORUS OF THIS SONG. And somehow it's still insanely catchy!? How the FUCK does this happen?!

    Also, amazing video...

    80's Guilt #48: Bobby Brown “On Our Own” (1989)

    For those who have trouble remembering the summer of 1989, we can assure you that when the trailer for Ghostbusters 2 was first shown on TV, it was a HUGE fucking deal. Kids went nuts over it, and they ended up having the biggest opening weekend in box office history, although according to Wikipedia this record was broken one week later by Tim Burton's Batman. Both of these movies were associated with two of the strangest summer jams ever, Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" and Prince's "Batdance." (Both of these were also spun on the radio constantly.. In fact, "Batdance" actually hit #1, which is the type of song someone might expect to hit #1 in the UK...)

    We had considered "My Prerogative" for this list, but the "Ghostbusters rap" section pushes "On Our Own" into certain-guilt territory, while a string of awesome hooks secures the pleasure. ("Batdance" is barely a song and not an official guilty pleasure, but it's been included below as a result of the video's WTF nature...)

    80's Guilt #49: The Pursuit of Happiness “She’s So Young” (1989) / Utopia “Crybaby” (1984)

    Both appear on Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the 80's (one of the best 80's comps you will ever hear in your life). Todd R produced both as well; in fact, Utopia was his band throughout most of the 80's. While we completely love these, we could understand how some listeners could hear this as kinda lame-sounding based on the sparkling 80's production and super-bittersweet songcraft normally associated with the best power-pop bands.

    P.S. The Pursuit of Happiness's image did not at all match what we had imagined...

    See also:
    Split Enz "I Got You"

    80's Guilt #50: Def Leppard "Armageddon It" (1988)

    Between this placement and "Love Bites" appearing in our "80's Jams" list, it's safe to say that Led Leppard's Hysteria LP is a solid lock for our favorite 80's albums. With the exception of Hysteria's outstanding production, "Armageddon It" specifically stands out for 3 key elements:

    #1 The verse is the part that song will probably turn off casual listeners, although those who know better will recognize this as a straight-up homage to Marc Bolan and T.Rex.

    #2 That majestic-as-fuck chorus, complete with what must have been quadruple-tracked 3-part vocal harmonies.

    #3 The somehow brilliantly un-awkward juxtaposition between elements #1 and #2. We hear this album as including many sonic parallels to Space Shuttle launches and space exploration; in the case of "Armageddon It," the verse is the countdown to the chorus's launch.

    80's Guilty Pleasure Jams

    Welcome to Thanksgiving Week 2011. There is no question as to whether or not this week will horribly suck.. It's just a matter of how badly it will horribly suck. We're guessing "super fucking horrible suckage," with a suckage magnitude of the highest caliber.

    We needed to give ourselves something to look forward to for the next seven days, and so "80's Guilt" came to mind... For the past few weeks, we've been feelin' shitty 80's music quite a bit. (Hard to believe, but we actually do enjoy music other than guitar-based indie rock and 90's hiphop.)

    As we compiled our list, we noticed a decent emphasis on uncharacteristically awesome (or catchy) singles from bands/artists who are normally associated with ultra-vomit. You'll see what we mean as we unveil our Top 50 over the next seven days (complete with stream-of-consciousness ramblings). Thank you, and please kill me.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    rad blog alert: "One Week // One Band"

    If you're a fan of those "33 1/3" books where a rock writer goes on and on about one album for 130 pages, then you're in for something special with One Week // One Band which is a pretty similar concept.. One specific writer is chosen to post about one band for an entire week. The impressive list of profiled artists currently includes TMK favorites The Replacements, Husker Du, Spoon, No Age, Of Montreal, Ted Leo, Queens Of The Stone Age, DFA79 and Fugazi, while also including less obvious and completely welcome features on Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, as well as a bunch of singers we've never heard of (who could be amazing for all we know)..

    Hell yeah:

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Youtube removes "Earl"

    Some twitter posts from @fucktyler seemed to suggest that Odd Future's breakthrough video "Earl" may have been removed from Youtube due to "inappropriate" something or other... We just checked ourselves, and sure enough, it's been yanked with no real explanation, which can only mean that some dumb white suburban moms caught their 12-year-olds watching and complained.

    (EDIT 11/18/11: As of this afternoon, "Earl" was placed back on Youtube. This absolutely was a result of dumb moms.)

    We always associated this video far more with Vimeo, but we're still sad to see it go from the Youtubes. "Earl" came in 2nd place in our "Hey, Nice Vids! 2010" list (best videos of last year) and along with El Guincho's "Bombay" it seemed to be setting some new standards on what to expect from music videos.

    In about three months, Earl will be turning 18... Our (admittedly completely unrealistic) expectations are that he will take over the world of hiphop within the next year.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    weezer "alone 3" release date announced

    In Summer 2010, we announced our excitement regarding Weezer's dual-release-date between the Pinkerton reissue and Death To False Metal, two releases which unearthed four previously unheard 90's tracks, as well as superior studio versions of 90's songs which had previously only been available as demos, such as "I Swear It's True" and "You Won't Get With Me Tonight."

    Around that time, we erroneously claimed that it would signal the depletion of the vaults. However, it seems that Rivers has been enjoying the positive feedback from the 90's fans, as Rivers posted the tracklisting of Alone 3 earlier this weekend, which appears to include eight previously unheard tracks intended for inclusion on Pinkerton.

    2011 has certainly issued its share of disappointments, so we wouldn't be surprised if Alone 3 includes nothing worthy of our forthcoming "2011's Greatest Hits," but we'll surely remain hopeful...

    There's also a note regarding the lyrics of "Susanne":
    The line "even Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose" was later changed to "even Izzy Slash and Axl Rose" after Kurt Cobain's tragic death in April 1994. Of late, the lyric has been restored in concert to its original, more satisfying version.

    Psh... no way. "Izzy Slash and Axl Rose" sounds fucking awesome in comparison... (And plus we saw Weezer a few months ago and didn't notice any lyric changes, although this may be partially attributed to being so floored by the song choice...)

    Also, that fucking incredible live clip of "Lullaby For Wayne" is STILL missing from Youtube. Can someone get on this already?

    And here's our quick impromptu 10 favorite Weezer songs of the moment...
    10. The World We Love So Much
    9. Susanne
    8. Let's Sew Our Pants Together
    7. The World Has Turned And Left Me Here
    6. Jamie
    5. I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams
    4. Falling For You
    3. Lullaby For Wayne
    2. I Swear It's True
    1. Thief You've Taken All That Was Me

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    "Ritual Knife"

    The new record from Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats is probably the most overhyped current rock album that hasn't yet been embraced by Pitchfork. Overall, it's not bad at all, and the standout tracks are all like "song of the year" type shit...

    Witch did something very similar on their 2006 debut, except that album had a lot more Black Sabbath influence.. (Witch is the band with the singer from Happy Birthday on lead vox with Sabbath-obsessive J Mascis behind the drums.) Uncle Acid's record is in the same category as Witch, except with more badass Tony Iommi riffs, and the vocals sound like a perfect combination of Lennon/McCartney and Ozzy. In fact, "Helter Skelter," "Cold Turkey" and "N.I.B." are probably the three most obvious reference points. We were skeptical at first, but after 3-4 listens, we're loving it more and more.

    P.S. Don't bother searching for it on Spotify. Their CD-R recently went on sale for something like $800 each, and the vinyl is limited pressing. It's the kind of album you need to download, and totally worth 112MB's of your hard-drive space.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    RIP Katy Perry's career

    Unless something can be worked out:

    Dr Luke signed some deal with Sony so that he's no longer allowed to produce or write for artists outside of their label, which would include EMI artist Katy Perry, who scored five number one singles with Dr Luke, including "I Kissed A Girl," "Teenage Dream," "California Gurls," and "Last Friday Night" as well as the top 10 single "Hot n Cold." AKA pretty much every last one of Katy's signature songs.

    Just for some comparison, Katy's singles without Dr Luke include "Ur So Gay," "Thinking of You," "Waking Up In Vegas," and "Firework." All of these songs suck, by the way.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    "Kill The Light"

    new Merchandise shit is on the way, according to a Halloween post on their wordpress blog

    In case anyone wants to get SUPER pumped over Merchandise, we highly recommend this demo recently posted by Fat Cat Records...
    Merchandise - Kill The Light by Fat Cat Records