Monday, December 31, 2018

Wiz Vids 2018 #8: 2 Chainz f/ YG & Offset “Proud”

At 49, YG may be the eldest of any current prominent trap artist. 2 Chainz might be in 2nd place at age 41. When we first saw this video claiming that these were really the moms of the three rappers, we were skeptical at first. But the age range seems appropriate. We believe it.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Wiz Vids 2018 #9: Ariana Grande "breathin"

In the UK, you can't walk 10 feet out of your house without running into Peppa Pig, usually in an ad on the back of the bus or something. Peppa made a special celebrity cameo for Ariana's "Breathin." She shakes like a little doggy in one part somewhere in the middle. Why isn't this #1?

Wiz Vids 2018 #10: Stefflon Don “Lil Bitch”

Sometimes the dentist's chair can feel the way it's described in this video. We're guessing the human in the trunk of the car covered in money is a dentist. Their profession is in danger. Beware all dentists.

Wiz Vids 2018 (HM): Famous Dex "Ridin Thru"

Murderous aesthetics. There's a story buried in here somewhere. Is it his house? Or does it belong to the lady in the shower with the butt? Maybe both? Maybe neither? So many questions...

Wiz Vids 2018 (HM): Broods "Peach"

Good costume design in this one. Music "performance" shows in the '70s often had people lipsynch while blankly staring into the camera, and we're surprised it's taken until now for this to show up in a modern video.

Wiz Vids 2018: Shown Us The Bonus

If there's one thing we know, it's that bonus videos happen every year. They are what make videos happen.

Crack Cloud "Uncanny Valley"
Part 3 of their trilogy that included 2016's "Image Craft" and 2017's "Swish Swash."

Not only does Lil B have both a sixpack and a belly at the same time, but he includes an entire extra minute of bonus footage after the song ends. And it's not because the video editor misjudged the song length. No, not at all.

Little Big “Skibidi”
We Googled "weird 2018 music videos" and several blogs wrote about this, possibly because a press release described the video that way. We did lol twice though so that's something. A similar video from 2006 has been posted below it.

Sting & Shaggy “Gotta Get Back My Baby”
For people like us, the Sting & Shaggy album was on our mind constantly. But most people probably didn't know this album or video existed or that either artist released music in 2018. This is an exceptional video of the highest quality.

"Wiz Vids 2018" Starts Now

Music video quality didn't necessarily drop in 2018; rap videos were as good as ever, but true milestones were tough to find.

In 2018, the creators of this blog posted 6 more editions of MTVZ, our approximately bi-monthly magazine collecting as many compellingly strange YouTube clips and (mostly new) music videos as we can find. We like to pass it off and consume it as its own separate cable channel, since there are currently no quality music video resources as good as the MTV of 1981-1999 or the MTV2 of 1996-2002.

The curation presents a unique challenge to create a playlist that feels like old MTV. What were the Buzz Clips of 2018? What older videos should be included? How many weird cartoons can we find to throw in between?

Old MTV typically labelled the best videos of any given year as Breakthrough Videos, which are the types of videos we tried to locate for Wiz Vids 2018.

Before we get into those, check these out:

DJ Burn "He's My President"
Punk as fuck.

Candy “Good To Feel”
You know what Jesus's big mistake was? He didn't offer up a sacrifice in his stead. The cruciform is a constant reminder of that.

Three Knee Deep (Full Set) at FYA Fest 2018
Did watch many times this year.

Peste Noire "Aristocrasse"
We would not normally include lyric videos but--

Melody’s Echo Chamber “Breathe In, Breathe Out”
Happened to us this morning, so we had to include here.

Connan Mockasin "Charlotte's Thong"
Alejandro Taruth's best since a few years ago.

Time To Spit Hot Fire 2018 Style

By New Years Eve, TMK will be the most fire spitting it's ever been.

It begins now with Retro 2018.

Last year around this time, we reported that rock and metal had improved in 2017. But nothing could have prepped us for the dopeness of loud rock in 2018 --

which is ironic since we've never seen so many blog headlines featuring old men (guys like Flea, Bono, Slash - usually people who go by one name) in interviews complaining about the state of modern rock. (God bless Tad, the only one-named rock god to publicly complain about the complainers.)

It was also a pretty great year for pop singles, which oddly suffered the same fate as rock music: Radio stays away from the best stuff, opting to flood the airwaves with songs written and recorded by people who hate music.

Hiphop & R&B could use some improvement, but they were fine overall.

The worst genre of 2018 was Pitchfork-friendly soft indie-rock. Goodbye Father John Misty. Farewell Sun Kil Moon. It was tough admitting that we actively enjoyed the Beach House album. But overall, the bands who were critical favorites between 2008 and 2011 are simply not what the world needs right now. The world needs loud and often angry rock music.

As always, our first EOY feature lists the year's finest and most noteworthy music videos. Stick with us.....

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday Content and the new MTVZ

Hi there. If you're looking for some holiday content while driving or washing the dishes, why not try the Dime Store Hegemon Radio Hour's 2-part Holiday extravaganza? Over the past two Wednesdays, the show has been kicking ass in Anckorage, Alaska pumping out the wintery jams and bringing you what you need.

We all heard a very good Hanukkah (sp?) song by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings on the "Part 1" episode the other day. Did not hear the "Part 2" yet but it's probably somehow even better than the 1st one. Also, the Late Night Noise holiday show (the one more closely affiliated with this website) was not posted yet, so just listen to Dave's show because it was better. The shows are posted below.

Also posted below is the most recent edition of MTVZ which somehow has been viewed over 150 times and we're not sure how that happened. It also includes lots of holiday content.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

SNL "Weezer" Sketch Was Good

LOL. How embarrassing (and completely in character) that THIS is what got us back here again after a month of absence.

Weezer will not be appearing anywhere in Hot Mix 2018, so this seems like a good opportunity to fulfill our required bi-annual Weezer shit post.

SNL did a Weezer sketch this past weekend. And there was no way we weren’t going to watch this, our lone SNL compulsion for 2018. What does this say about us?

(Fact check: This is actually not true. In the Spring, we also watched a sketch highly recommended by A/V Club about deciding whether to order the lobster at a diner - a fresh-sounding premise surprisingly unrelated to pop culture that felt genuinely funny throughout the sketch’s first 60 seconds. Sadly, the remaining 75% of the sketch gets overtaken by awkward Les Miserables parody songs. LAME.)

We also did LOL at the Weezer sketch about 10x more than any other SNL-related thing we’ve seen over the past half-decade. (And yes, we’re aware that 10 x 0 = 0 but you know what we mean.) Again, what does this say about us?

So many thoughts...

#1 Upon hearing this sketch existed, we imagined they got four unfunny SNL dumbasses to dress up like Weezer. But this was not the case. Sweet relief.

#2 If this had this been cast differently, we probably wouldn’t have laughed once. We had no idea that Leslie Jones was still around at SNL. As long as she is there, the show will always have one (and probably only one) genuinely funny cast member. Matt Damon with hipster glasses was the perfect choice for Leslie’s opponent. (Keenan is occasionally ok, but we’re happy he wasn’t one of the focus characters. We have no idea who the other 3 people are.)

#3 “Is this a thing people care about?” “I'm gathering that Rivers might be a guy in Weezer?” We’re guessing this dialogue speaks on behalf of most people who were watching on Saturday. It feels super niche compared to most sketches that make it to air, even though they apparently also had a Sheck Wes parody video a few weeks ago. Perhaps, it’s not all up to 74-year-old Lorne Michaels anymore. He must have some “pop culture consultants” on deck, because how the hell else would this sketch have gotten approved?

#4 Matt Damon’s character has helped us become aware of a sector of Weezer fandom far outside of our inner circle. There are people who apparently really say things like this:
- “You haven’t heard this? This is Weezer’s cover of ‘Africa.’ It’s good, right?”
- “I mean, come on. They’re playing New Years Rockin’ Eve!”
- “’Pork and Beans’ is better than ‘Buddy Holly!’”
- “Weezer didn't start until Scott Shriner got there.” (This can't be a real thing that people really think, can it?)

We couldn’t help noticing (and this is definitely 100% coincidence) that Matt Damon’s character does not defend his take citing any music released between 2013-2016, the recent shockingly ok era that begat surprisingly tasteful songs like “King of the World,” “Everybody Needs Salvation,” and “I’ve Had It Up to Here.” Even that awkward “L.A. Girlz” song wasn’t bad in context. (It reminds us of the Green Album b-sides.) We got excited enough at this ok-ness that we placed The White Album at #60 on our top albums of 2016, which still seems accurate in retrospect.

#5 This past summer marks a full decade since the “Pork and Beans” video premiered on YouTube. It placed very well (somewhere around #3) in Pitchfork’s “Best Musc Videos of the '00s” list, and it won the Grammy Award for “Best Music Video.” People have tried to convince us multiple times that it’s anything other than a gigantic pile of horse shit.

"Pork and Beans" is a video full of keywords, and it launched Weezer’s “keyword” era which inevitably spawned their unfortunate “Africa” cover - a song that sadly will follow them for a very long time and will get performed at every Weezer show for the next 7-10 years no matter how 2018-specific it gets. Keywords are anti-creativity. Coincidentally, SNL is a show that relies on keywords in order to continue existing, occasionally dabbling in tastefulness but ultimately growing worse with every passing year - just like Weezer.

Rivers now wonders, “Why don’t people take us seriously like they do with Pearl Jam?” My dude. Pearl Jam are not a keywords-band. There’s no memes in their songs. They just do their thing and drink wine straight from the bottle and hang out with Liz Phair at baseball games.

We’ve seen Weezer play “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly,” “Suzanne,” and “Across The Sea” as recently as 2011. But now check out their setlist from 2018’s Riot Fest: “Take On Me?” “Happy Together??” “All The Small Things??” SIX cover songs??? What the fuck is honestly happening here? Are they really THAT desperate for keywords? (And again, nothing from 2013-2016 era.)

2016 was not that long ago. Just like we all thought, they can turn it on and off anytime they want. They know exactly what they're doing. SNL took the bait. Weezer loved it. The frustration continues.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

They Shoulda Called It "The Why Album" Reissue

Every fanatic of every long dead band would always rather have a fresh album of unreleased songs than 70 bonus demos. This is a scientifically proven fact.

The Anthology series already fulfilled the "demo" requisite, but despite that, it wasn't hard to predict that The White Album reissue would fall short of expectations. The world does not need more demos, especially when there is an entire album worth of interesting shit that could have easily filled up a single 55-60 minute disc of music.

But what's worse: If they must insist on filling this collection with endless bullshit, couldn't they at least include the holy grail of White Album outtakes?

The greatest White Album outtake that exists is the 10-minute version of "Revolution" that acts as the official conduit between the radio version (from the b-side of "Hey Jude") and "Revolution 9." This version mysteriously arrived on Soundcloud in 2009 and was yanked from Youtube in 2013 after appearing in a Rolling Stone headline. Many would assumed that if "Apple Corps" wanted this song kept off the internet, they must have considered it valuable enough to include on a "definitive" collection of outtakes. But sadly, this was not the case.

And why was the 17-minute "Carnival of Light" excluded from the Sgt Pepper reissue?

And why haven't any of their weirdo fanclub-only Christmas collages been released?

Why are they so afraid to get weird? Beatles fans are willing to spend money on literally any official product. It doesn't matter what the fuck it is. So one would think they might as well try to make it a little more interesting than this. Instead, we get another clone of the Anthology series. It's been 50 years. This will never happen within our lifetime. The dream is over.

A year or 2 ago, we attempted a hypothetical "What If" album titled EMI India. The record could have feasibly existed if the songs from late 1967 hadn't been spread across Side 2 of Magical Mystery Tour and the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, and if they had chosen to package The White Album as a single LP instead of a double.

This imaginary album is their most psychedelic, as it includes a half dozen songs that stretch past the 6-minute mark: "It's All Too Much," "What's The New Mary Jane," "Revolution 9," "Hey Jude," and the only inclusion from the recent White Album reissue, the 13-minute version of "Helter Skelter." And if the option were available, it would have certainly included the 10-minute "Revolution."

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Lost Album "Surface II Air Missive" Gets Released

Surface II Air Missive by Surface to Air Missive - the band's lost 2nd album, intended for release between their 2013 self-titled debut and 2015's Third Missive - was finally posted on the band's recently launched Bandcamp page this past Monday.

An EP of 2016-era leftovers called the "I Fell In" EP was posted on the same day.

The lost 2nd album arrived with a disclaimer: "This album was rejected by a lot of labels."

How is there any hope left for any rock bands or rock fans when a record this amazing can't get released on an independent label? How many more terrible bands are going to get signed between now and the end of this decade? How much longer must we be forced to hear old people complain about the state of rock music? All the while, amazing bands like Surface To Air Missive keep getting ignored.

"People just don't like rock music anymore." Bullshit they don't.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Nardwuar vs Blur

This was already posted in the most recent MTVZ, but we had to re-post here again. Why was every musician from the '90s such a fucking piece of shit? "Well, it was the '90s" is the typical response. That's just how musicians with radio hits acted in those days. (Ironically, bands are way too nice in 2018. We need to find a happy medium. Cooler heads prevail.)

There was already a first Nardwuar vs Blur interview back in 1996, so it's not like the members of Blur weren't already familiar with the way Nardwuar conducts himself. So why in the world would Dave Rowntree want to be such a blatant piece of shit to him? Who the fuck steals Nardwuar's hat? Even fucking Wu-Tang and Odd Future didn't steal Nardwuar's hat. WHO DOES THAT???

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Van Halen's "Me Wise Magic" Turns 22

First was the Roth era; then Van Hagar. Their still ongoing third era is not as easy to quickly define, and it started with VH's reunion apperance at the 1996 VMAs. Since this moment, the story of Van Halen felt no longer fun or cool, but full of anger and complexity. If "Humans Being" was the swan song of the Hagar era, it might be as fair to call "Me Wise Magic" the long overdue swan song of the '77-'84 Roth era. But we hear it as the song that musically launched the frustrating current era, released to radio 22 years ago today on October 22, 1996.

Apparently both of the Roth-reunion songs from late '96 were pushed to active rock radio, but we only remember "Me Wise Magic." It charted at #1 for 6 weeks. We had all but forgotten about it until around Fall 2014. We're not even sure what jogged our memory, but we haven't stopped coming back to it ever since.

"Me Wise Magic" is the sound of Eddie, Alex and Michael distancing themselves from the initial Roth era and planning to kick off an all new, more mature, more musically complex "'90s Roth" era. Eddie is proceeding with caution. "How much longer will it take until he annoys the shit out of me again?" They wanted to tame him, but Diamond Dave cannot be contained.

Infinite timelines. They had already called off any reunion prospects by the time this song was released. "Me Wise Magic" definitely feels like it shouldn't exist, or that we just happen to live in the version of Earth where this really happened.

Despite the circumstances, they sound oddly unified with not a lot of push and pull. A very musically dense and expensive-sounding rock single with genuine hooks, it approaches "labored" without actually sounding that way. Are they having fun? Probably not. But two decades later, it became fun to listen to anyway.

Dave opts to really "go for it" with the classic "Roth screams," but his "low" vocals in the verses are the true Roth highlight. Plus, the first lyric "I know what you're thiknin'" feels lifted from Fred Gwynne in Pet Semetary.

Much of the appeal is definitely contextual, but also largely accidental. "Me Wise Magic" grows bigger than they were able to control and gloriously implodes before our eyes. It wouldn't be right to call it "outsider," but Van Halen built a huge, alluringly unnatural mini-monster.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Earthbound / Aphex Twin Connection

June 2017: We recieved an email from Walmart telling us that an item on our wishlist was finally available for pre-order. That item was the SNES Classic Mini.

September 2017: We were among the thousands who received yet another email from Walmart telling us they were cancelling all pre-orders because they accidentally announced too early or something.

We had never owned a SNES. By 1993, our family wasn't rich enough to splurge on every Nintendo consul, and so we continued playing regular-ass borrowed or used NES games throughout the mid-90s, eventually graduating from NES straight to N64 around 1998.

Obviously the SNES Classic Mini was intended as a nostalgia purchase for us, but we're the odd types who get nostlagic for content we missed the first time around.

June 2018: Our 2nd attempt at a purchase finally arrives. Our first instinct was to search around for games that felt unfamiliar.

We had never heard about Earthbound, and so we blindly started playing out of curiousity. After 2-3 hours, it seemed like a cute little adventure-based RPG with kids exploring around their neighborhood. Its warped, innocent universe felt so alluring, enhanced by an unusual soundtrack. We immediately fell in love with it and wanted to continue revisiting, but we weren't exactly sure why.

Some internet digging ensued a few hours later. It seems like lots of other people also accidentally stumbled upon Earthbound or revisited it over the past year since it was probably the SNES Classic package's most coveted rarity (with cartridges in the original packaging regularly sold on eBay for upwards of $800).

The game took 5 years to create, and it includes what might have been that era's record holder for the largest amount of coding to fit onto a single Nintendo cartridge.

Finally released a year behind schedule in summer 1995 (only a year before N64 arrived) with a $69.99 price tag, Earthbound had an oddly off-putting TV ad campaign that failed to generate initial excitement. Nintendo did not earn a profit from Earthbound, but the game built a strong enough cult following in subsequent years to make the cut for the "Classic Mini" canon. Ness, the game's chief protagonist, is one of the few who later were in every version of Smash Brothers.

After this discovery, we made the mistake of watching the Angry Videogame Nerd's ultra-spoily Earthbound review. We kinda forgot that AVN existed and hadn't watched much of his reviews since 2009ish. We're guessing it popped up because it was coincidentally posted only a few weeks prior. Approaching 40 minutes, his Earthbound review is 2 or 3 times longer than his other videos and has surprisingly large production value. (It states in the description that the review had been in production from October 2017 until April 2018.)

We did not check out the review to have the game spoiled for us. Rather, we were hoping to casually check out a few hints of what might happen later in the game since we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We did not expect AVN's video to be one of the most engaging game reviews we've ever seen, more or less consuming our attention by the 5 minute mark. So we kept watching as he explained basically every unexpected plot twist. The experience of quickly absorbing that much left-field content honestly made us feeling like we might have been dreaming. This couldn't really be what happens in this cute little RPG for children, could it?

Should we even get into it? *SPOILER WARNING??* Heavy drug references (with intent to sell), crazy religious cults, time travel via suicide pact, fighting a boss after travelling through a woman's uterus. There's more, but these premises stand out the most. *END OF SPOILER??*

So now we've been on tour for the past 2 months. When we last left off (late August), we were (probably) about 40% of the way through the game. It feels like an eternity ago. Time has been standing still out here.

In true masochistic fashion, we also decided to spend three months' paycheck out of pocket on the cost for an unrelated Masters class that will eventually complete the MLIS program's remaining requirements. The process of writing a research paper while traveling around the world needs the type of focus that requires sensory exclusion, pushing out the clutter, removing oneself from the Twitter clickbait relays. We don't have time for news-feed outrage or celeb gossip right now. Without earbuds and stoner metal, we would have stabbed our eyeballs weeks ago. We finally got to revisit Les Rallizes Denudes for the first time in years. That new Bongripper album works wonders for productivity.

October 2018: On a Sunday afternoon, we eventually made our way to listening through Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works: Volume 2 for the first time ever. We consider Aphex Twin to be the most helpful "study music" we've ever heard. Upon first listen, something felt familiar.

We couldn't help noticing SAWv2 was released 6 months before Earthbound in Japan and 15 months before it came to the states.

Earthbound had effectively prepped us for SAWv2. The untitled track on Disc 1 Track 7 (they're all untitled, although fans refer to this one as "Curtains") could have easily been played as Ness traveled through underground tunnels. In an alternate timeline, Disc 2 Track 10 (titled "#22" on Spotify but also known as "Tassels") might have built tension as Ness approaches some bosses later in the game.

Despite our suspicions, a simple Google search does not reveal any crossover between Aphex Twin and Earthbound.

With that speculation aside, "#23" (also creepily known as "White Blur 2") struck us as especially eerie. It begins with a loop that could have accompanied one of Ness's trips through any given underground lair in his extended neighborhood. Otherwise, we picture an outsider's adult perspective of 3rd or 4th graders playing on the swings at recess.

A child's laugh loops ad nauseam. It expressively translates in any language, resembling the reaction a young person would have to an older person's (possibly back-handed or creepy) compliment. Sounding innocent at first, it starts to sound more and more like a nervous reaction as the loop continues (occasionally pitchshifted). This isn't a LOL at a hilarious joke, but a natural subconscious attempt at deflection. The darkness seems to grow as the song progresses, building in intensity only slightly and removing layers just as frequently as they're added. Like Earthbound, the atmosphere surrounds and consumes. This generates a weightiness that may not be realized until physically looking down at the CD player's display and realizing that this is an 11 minute song - one of RDJ's most unheralded epics.

MTVZ (Summer 2018)

And we're back!!!

We just wanted to make sure everyone who checks out the TMK blog is aware that TWO new editions of MTVZ were posted this past summer. That should be enough to keep everyone up to date with a generous fill of MTVZ. A new fresh edition will be arriving in late November or early December.

Here is the most recent MTVZ from September...

And here is an earlier one from July...

Monday, June 25, 2018

We Watched The '91 VMAs

We were less familiar with the 1991 VMAs than any other year from the '90s, so it seemed like a good one to revisit for this series. With many nominatations from 1990 throughout the event and "it's the '90s" still among that year's popular catchphrases, we were reminded that it was the first VMAs comprised entirely of '90s music and pop culture.

#1 The Death Count

It gets tougher to determine every dead person who appears as you go further into the past, but it's crazy to think all these people were once in the same building together at the same time...

- Prince closed the show with his controversial "Gett Off" performance.
- George Michael (with Cindy Crawford) presented Video Of The Year to R.E.M.
- James Brown (with MC Hammer) presented the Viewers' Choice Award to Queensryche.
- Dennis Hopper presented Best Direction to R.E.M.
- Easy-E, alongside the rest of N.W.A. (minus Ice Cube), announced the winner as N.W.A. but a moment later presented Best Rap Video to LL Cool J.
- Bruce Nazarian performed in Was Not Was (an unusual choice for that evening's "house band").
- Layne Staley or anyone else in Alice In Chains were almost definitely not present, but "Man In The Box" was nominated for a pre-grunge era Best Metal Video.
- Bob Stinson or anyone else in The Replacements were more than likely not present, but their video for "When It Began" received two nominations (Best Special Effects & Best Alternative).

#2 Highlights

We're relatively obsessed with 1991-era pop culture and music, so this might be a biased claim. But we're happy to say the show was packed with generous highlights! This was an extremely fun awards show! Why can't they all be this good??

- Pee-wee's 90-second opening monologue might be one of the defining moments of MTV history. During the rehearsals, a different celebrity was originally planned to emerge from behind the curtain. (We forgot who, but does it really matter?) According to the lore, only 2 or 3 people who worked at MTV knew that Pee-wee was about to make his first public appearance since getting arrested for indecent exposure at an adult theater 41 days earlier. The crowd completely lost their shit and chanted "Pee-wee! Pee-wee!" BOOM. This amazing kick off unfairly raised the bar for future surprise VMA moments.

- We can't recall the last time we saw four outstanding TV performances all in one awards show. Almost every band or singer had an extravagant, lavish stage set-up, frequently with 20 or 30 additional musicians or dancers.

Van Hagar blasted through "Poundcake," which just happens to be their greatest song. Alex's enormous gong sat behind him unused for no apparent reason. Eddie kept a drill on the drum riser that he would pick up and use to zap his guitar multiple times while soloing.

Mariah Carey had a 6-year-old dancer join her ensemble 2/3's of the way through "Emotions." Whatever happened to little kid dancers at the VMAs?

Metallica was the one band who did NOT have an extravagant stage plot. The Black Album was still charting at #1, and its singles had not yet been beaten to an oblivion. "Enter Sandman" hasn't sounded this fresh in a very long time.

Save the ass for last. Prince unsurprisingly stole the show, showing the world his uncovered, unblurred, naked ass several times. His ass would be blurred during subsequent edited rebroadcasts and influenced our decision to tape future live editions of the VMAs in their initial least-cut embodiment.

- Aside from Pee-wee, the evening's most noteworthy celebrity might be C.C. Deville from Poison debuting a giant hot pink dye job which may or may not have indicated an intense coke binge occupying his headspace. A 2013 Rolling Stone listicle incorrectly states that C.C. was too mindless to remember Poison's plan to play "Unskinny Bop" during the telecast; however, Bret Michaels is clearly heard asking the crowd if they want to hear "Talk Dirty To Me." The crowd reaction during the song's first half was among the night's most enthusiastic, including a loud chant of "Talk dirty to me!" as Bret points the mic to the audience during the first chorus.

The embarrassing moments suddenly sneak up on them in the song's second half when C.C.'s instrument cable falls out of his guitar. His tone sounded horrible enough to mask a series of wrong notes, and he botched his somewhat rudimentary solo. ("C.C. pick up that guitar and talk to me!" *clunk*) As the other three band members scramble to say in control, the world visibly observed the reign of '80s pop-metal starting to crumble before their eyes. It's the night's most fascinating moment.

About 90 minutes later, Bon Jovi are accepting the Video Vanguard Award, and Jon Bon Jovi begins his acceptance speech with "Hey C.C.! Nice hair!" A moment later, C.C. is shown in front of the podium, back on TV again (probably even more coked up than during "Talk Dirty To Me") assisting "Downtown Julie" Brown with plugging the 1-900 number where viewers could vote for the Viewers' Choice Award. It's hard to say whether this was before or after C.C. was fired from Poison or engaged in an infamous backstage fistfight with Bret Michaels. It's equally unclear whether he was asked to join "Downtown Julie" Brown or if he just unexpectedly stumbled nearby where cameras just happened to be pointing, although he is very clearly pulling Julie close to him by the waist throughout the entire segment. (Poor "Downtown Julie" was also subjected to an upskirt shot during an earlier 1-900 segment. It seemed like she was a good sport about the whole thing, gracefully sneaking in subtle comments on the greediness of TV contests.)

#3 Other Notes

- The night's abundant David Lynch references included Chris Isaak joined by Kyle MacLachlan during his pre-taped "Wicked Game" acceptance speeches (on the set of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me). Sherilyn Fenn (a.k.a. Audrey) stars in one of the "Books: Feed Your Head" PSAs that may or may not have premiered on this night, while Dennis Hopper briefly reprised his role from Blue Velvet at the podium. (He points at an audience member and says "Don't you ____ look at me!")

- MC Hammer starred in two of the night's best commercials: The extremely classic Pepsi ad (where he sings "Feelings") was shown at least twice. In a Taco Bell ad, Hammer's parachute pants save him after alluding fans by jumping off the side of a skyscraper.

- Paula Abdul sings her contribution to the "shittiest songs of all time" canon, the obvious "Vogue" rip-off "Vibeology." It's quite possibly the worst VMAs performance of the '90s and certainly the worst of the evening.

- Steven Tyler walks up to the podium to present an award WITH A GUN. (To be fair, he was presenting alongside Linda Hamilton and was purposely in Terminator 2 cosplay mode.)

- Props to Was (Not Was) for their lounge version of "Big Bottom" as Spinal Tap took the podium.

- None of Arsenio's jokes are objectively funny. For example, he makes an obvious and kinda boring Rick James joke within the first 5 minutes. But he seems extremely comfortable throughout the entirety of the show and handles every quirk and unplanned moment with a very chill demeanor. At one point, the show returns from commercial, and he's standing next to one of LL Cool J's backup dancers asking her about life and how things have been going. He probably sits down more than most other awards show hosts. He wasn't the funniest or most outrageous, but we're tempted to say that he was ultimately the best "master of ceremonies" the VMAs ever had. And we're tempted to speculate that Arsenio ruled the VMAs during their best era, although we have not yet reviewed the '88, '89 or '90 shows that he also hosted.

Arsenio also twice used the term "ignorant" as an odd synonym for "ridiculously dope." We don't recall this usage reaching the suburbs beyond the VMAs.

At one point, Arsenio introduces Billy Idol as "a renowned nonconformist."

- We don't recall "Losing My Religion" winning as much as it did. Alt-rock heartthrob Michael Stipe did the thing where he wore 12 t-shirts with different social and political messages on each one.

- A "Wayne's World" bit (6 months before its movie premiere) was met with lukewarm applause. Wayne and Garth announced the winners of the technical awards, which included Faith No More's "Falling To Pieces." (A year later, Dana Carvey hosted the '92 VMAs.)

- Jane's Addiction surprisingly took home an award for "Been Caught Stealing." Dave Navarro was unrecognizable and was accompanied only by the video director who immediately announced that she was wasted and had just arrived.

- A good night for Queensryche: "Silent Lucidity" was performed with a 30 piece orchestra, and The 'Ryche surprisingly took home the Viewers' Choice Award.

- On December 31st, "You Could Be Mine" was named MTV's #1 on their top 100 videos of 1991, but it failed to win any awards despite multiple nominations. (Guns 'N' Roses premiered the "Live And Let Die" cover during their "via satellite" performance. Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 were released two weeks later.) "Groove Is In The Heart" was also nominated 5 or 6 times (including Video Of The Year) but failed to win anything. And for some reason, Gerardo's embarrassing "Rico Suave" video was nominated at least 3 times.

- In the international awards, we couldn't help noticing Sepultura winning Video Of The Year in Brazil.

- Pauly Shore's dreadful segment with Cindy Crawford creeped us out pretty badly.

- We were almost ready to get mildly excited for pre-grunge-beard Don Henley performing "Heart Of The Matter" (one of our '80s guilty pleasure tracks) but sadly he opted for a boring acoustic version.

- EMF should have changed the song title to "Unremarkable." (lmao.) We closely associate this band with Jesus Jones, another surprise winner for the night.

- Ads for some forthcoming unremembered MTV News series include shows called MTV Generation, Fade To Black and a show called Soapbox starring real kids complaining about MTV's redundancy.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


Well would you look at that. Another year another dollar.

2017: A year full of hope, jobs AND cash for all. And what's more, we finally made it to the big one-eight unscathed.

No one has died yet in 2018. Great job everyone! Give yourself a pat on the back!

When we look back on our stack of essential 2017 records, a few thoughts come to mind.

Thought #1: Wow! Those are some sharp record albums!

Thought #2: Nothing tops these. They are the best overall. Take a listen to all of these in full today:

60. Andy Kindler State of the Industry Address: Just for Laughs 1996

You know, he brings up a good point; Caroline In The City is giant turd of a show.

59. The Toadies The Lower Side of Uptown

The long awaited return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Toadies. The stars at night are big and bright. (Our exclusive interview with Toadies: "Who's Tyler?" "The question should be 'Where's Tyler?' because it's a town." "Oh weird. I figured it was the guy's name." "Okay, well it's not.") Behind the boathouse, they'll show you dark secrets. The secret is a 281 calorie taco with jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapeños, mango, sour cream & cilantro with diablo Sauce on a flour tortilla but try to remember to ask for the corn tortilla instead because it really does taste that much better.

58. Priests Nothing Feels Natural

Priests is that trip.

57. Chicago Afrobeat Project feat. Tony Allen What Goes Up

Tony, where you at?

56. Pissed Jeans Why Love Now

Matt Korvette has still never heard Dopesmoker.
He never lets his kids eat sugar except for at the sweet dessert party.
Matt Korvette is the former announcer of a local underground Philly wrestling company.
At least two members of Pissed Jeans are former wrestlers.

55. Various Artists Follow The Sun

I think the '60s were really neat times.

54. Headroom Head in the Clouds

We didn't even know this was a CT band until after this album was in the list. Crushing droney weirdo noise.

53. Reese McHenry w/ Spider Bags Bad Girl

"Nothin's gonna stop us now." - Diane Warren, 1987 (Mannequin Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

52. Wolves In The Throne Room Thrice Woven


51. XETAS The Tower

Don't mess with a frosty Lone Star. Your ass will get thrown out the window so fast.

50. DiCaprio I Went to the Mall Yesterday and I Got Sick

All original thoughts.

49. Snoop Dogg Make America Crip Again

Snoop Dogg: The new "Weird Al." Snoop Dogg is responsible for both the "cheeburger cheeburger" skit and the samurai chef skit. A comedy legend, some might say.

48. Midnight Sweet Death and Ecstacy

'Cause we are the ones that wanna play / Always wanna go but you never wanna stay / And we are the ones that wanna choose / Always wanna play but you never wanna lose

47. Miguel War & Leisure

Little known fact about Miguel: The dude really enjoys boning.

46. Two Inch Astronaut Can You Please Not Help

Give em a ninch, they'll take a yard. Give em two inches, they'll hit #1 with some crossover adult contempo crooners. This album has the most cello out of all of their albums so far.

45. Migos Culture

The rolling tongue thing was ok for like a day. Tbh it was cool when Lil Pump did it, even though it wasn't original at all when he did it. If Nicki Minaj thought it was so cool to roll her tongue in her raps then why didn't she do it like 7 years ago? You can't just pick up on a trend and then be like "ok I own this now." That's not how it works.

44. Poppy Poppy.Computer

"Hi, I'm Poppy! I have a birdcage on my head! I hope you like my album of songs! Microphones are interesting!" - Poppy, a controversial artist from 2018

43. Quicksand Interiors

We wish we had other shirts like Quicksand. It would rule to have another shirt.

42. Syd Fin

Syd isn't done. It's a joke title. Did lol.

41. Big Heet On A Wire

The internet manifests into a rabid robot rabbit who will kill you in your sleep tonight. Then it will go outside and slash your tires. And then for the grand finale it will give everyone in the world $99 cash (tax free) to use for whatever they like. The internet can't be bad since it gave me and my beautiful wife $99.

40. Tyler, The Creator Scum Fuck Flower Boy

Some of Tyler The Creator's favorite things: Smokin', Snortin', Suckin', Tokin', Poppin', Droppin'

39. Weaves Wide Open

One of those blockbuster albums like Hysteria or Faith that had 7 or 8 hit singles.

38. Big Walnuts Yonder Big Walnuts Yonder

Nels, what's the drams?

37. Helium Ends With And

After hydrogen, helium is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the observable universe, being present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Its abundance is similar to this figure in the Sun and in Jupiter. This is due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4 with respect to the next three elements after helium. This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and radioactive decay. Most helium in the universe is helium-4, the vast majority of which was formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are being created by nuclear fusion of hydrogen in stars.

36. Mount Eerie A Crow Looked at Me

A crow left of the burr. (That frosty cold burr.)

35. Melkbelly Nothing Valley

We possibly took someone in Melkbelly's hoodie by accident. Whoops.

34. Aimee Mann Mental Illness

Hush hush. Keep it down now. Voices carry.

33. Grandaddy Last Place

Instead of participation trophys, they should make individual placement trophys for everyone including whoever gets last place, so that way everyone gets to feel special because they placed.

32. Tony Allen The Source


31. Palehound A Place I’ll Always Go

Since 1894, there have been observed irregularities in the orbits of Sirius A and B with an apparent periodicity of 6–6.4 years. A 1995 study found such a companion to likely exist, with a mass of roughly 0.05 solar masses- a small red dwarf or large brown dwarf, with an apparent magnitude of >15, and less than 3 arcseconds from Sirius A.

30. Palberta Bye Bye Berta

Bye Felicia.

29. Pile A Hairshirt of Purpose

The best Pile since Dripping imo.

28. Freddie Gibbs You Only Live 2wice

Imma do what I want / Smoke weed on a plane if I want / Take a bump on the plane if I want / I get high off my own supply / I'm sellin' drugs 'til the day I die / I run the streets, I run the sky

27. Sheer Mag Need To Feel Your Love

"Too much shred for one album" said no one ever.

26. Power Trip Nightmare Logic

Fun Fact: A very famous trio can be spotted at every Power Trip show. Here is a candid photo of that very exclusive clique.

25. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya DROOL

Some people with drooling problems are at increased risk of inhaling saliva, food, or fluids into the lungs, especially if drooling is secondary to a neurological problem. However, if the body's normal reflex mechanisms (such as gagging and coughing) are not impaired, this is not life-threatening.

24. Lil Pump Lil Pump

Scott Rogowsky fucks with Lil Pump. Streets are watching.


The definitive version. DUH.

22. Hüsker Dü Savage Young Dü

Savage Young BOOM.

21. Lil Yachty Teenage Emotions

A good album:
1. "Dirty Mouth"
2. "Harley"
3. "All Around Me"
4. "Better"
5. "Lady In Yellow"
6. "Moments In Time"
7. "Otha Shit"
8. "Bring It Back"
9. "FYI (Know Now)"
10. "Priorities"
11. "No More"
Just pretend that's the whole album.

20. Cloakroom Time Well

I give.

19. Maneka Is You Is

Julie Winters did not like the Iz's. The Iz's natural defense against everything is the extra teeth that it will use for looking insane. Each tooth is actually 5 teeth.

18. Aye Nako Silver Haze

Silver heeeyyyyy.

17. N.E.R.D. No_one Ever Really Dies

No you.

16. Jason Loewenstein Spooky Action

Punching ourselves in the face repeatedly publicly.

15. Leikeli47 Wash & Set

We all wear masks metaphorically speaking.

14. Alex G Rocket

Hey Alex, what's up?

13. Code Orange Forever

Electic word, forever, and that's a mighty long time. But we're here to tell you there's something else: The afterworld. You can always see the orange sun day or night.

12. Electric Wizard Wizard Bloody Wizard

Winner of the coveted "Best Album With Worst Album Art" Award.

11. Charli XCX Pop 2

Just in time for America 2 and Earth 2.

10. Gnarwhal Crucial

Eggplant xerxes crybaby overbite Gnarwhal.

09. David Nance Negative Boogie

David Nance has entered the building. ARC is that building. Several days or weeks later, he will leave with a tracked and mixed album. Negative Boogie is that album.

08. Nelly Furtado The Ride

Drop down and get your eagle on.

07. Elder Reflections Of A Floating World

Bloodshot and lucid.

06. Homeshake Fresh Air

It's a new day. Have another hit.

05. Maren Morris Hero (Deluxe Edition)

Drunk girls don't cry. You must be out of your damn mind. "Deluxe edition" means this counts as a 2017 album. (Had we been hip to this in 2016, Hero would have been a solid lock for #2. If you'd like, just push everything else down by 1.)

04. Charly Bliss Guppy

Coming soon: Charly Bliss featuring Charli XCX and Charlie Murphy and a mouth-harp solo from Mr. Charlie McCoy "Too Many Charlies." We smell a BNM in the oven.

03. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice

Francis Bean's real parents together at last.

02. Lil B Black Ken

The murse is lifted. BasedGod has spoken.

01. The Rubs Impossible Dream

Non-album tracks include "Aubrey," "Assy," "Grizzly," "Jimminy," "Biology," "Knuckly," "Stickly" and "Daddy."