Saturday, July 30, 2011

IHOP Ad - 1969

I love chain breakfast places. On my totem pole of diners that I go to when hungover, fucked up, or after a concert, IHOP comes in 3rd (behind Perkins and Denny's). After seeing this very unsettling ad from the late 60's, I may have to drop the HOP off my list (NOTE: Watch at your own risk).

Whoa. Not only is the creepy balloon family scary enough for Wes Carpenter to make a series of lackluster films around, they have to go and add THAT SONG! It's like Alvin and those Chipmunks hit the nitrous and recorded this bad boy while channeling Alister Crowley.

And the food! That salad looks like something my mom made on one of her heath food kicks in the 80s. The meatballs look plastic. Strangely though, the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity looks almost as you get it in the restaurant. And what the fuck is with that weird chicken dish the little girl gets?

After forays into the ad game like this, it boggles the mind that the International House of Pancakes is still around today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old School Video of the Day "Hands To Heaven" by Breathe

I have a confession to make: I love this song. I bump this fucking song in my car and sing the words like I just broke up with the love of my life. Sometimes, I do very non heterosexual hand motions to the part where the lead singer sings "Toniiiiiigh I need your sweet caress". For some reason, this song reaffirms my will to live on really shitty days. Shit, I think this may be the SECOND time I have written a blog about this song in the last five years.

There was an article I read years ago that said this was Simon Cowell's favorite song. I remember the overall tone of the quote made it seem like Simon Cowell was a total douche for loving "Hands To Heaven", but I can totally see why he does. The song is nearly perfect, from the swooning vocals/sax combo to the vague ass lyrics that describe having to leave in the morning but wanting to play buck-buck that night. And (probably most important to Cowell) it moved an assload of singles in 1988, reaching #2 on the Hot 100.

So I'm gonna scream it from the rooftops. "Hands To Heaven" may be emotional pap, but it's WONDERFUL emotional pap.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Old School Video of the Day "Freak Like Me" by Adina Howard

Oh man, did I hate this song when it was originally out. I'm not sure why, I think it was the "boom boom" part. Just say it Adina, say "fuck". Even a 13 year old white boy in the burbs knew what you were talking about.

Strangely, the other day this came on at work (the production crew bumps a lot of the Billboard Top 100 year end lists) and I sort of liked it. It sounds about 100 times better than most of the shit that's out on Top 40, and it cracked me up that my co-worker felt the need to talk about Adina Howard's ass being "mad on point".

So throw on your flannel or your Girbauds, maybe crack a Zima, and cool out to the booty jam of the summer of 1995. Shit, this song is now legal to drive...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Give Me a Leonard Cohen Afterworld So I Can Sigh Eternally

The new issue of Spin arrived today. Kurt Cobain was on the cover, which didn't strike me as odd (due to Spin putting Old Saint Kurdt on the cover what seems like annually). Odd didn't describe the feeling that struck me. The feeling felt more like a creeping sadness. You see, the mag was pimping the 20th anniversary of Nevermind. And that made me feel really old, and as an extension of this oldness, it made me feel irrelevant.

Nevermind dropped on September 24th, 1991. I was almost 9. The album didn't enter my conscious mind until sometime in the next Spring, when the local top 40 station KDWB started playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" sandwiched in between Michael Bolton and Arrested Development joints. I liked it, but I also liked "Warm It Up" by Kris Kross and "The First Time" by Surface. There was no filter, it was just another pop song.

Nirvana didn't really resonate for me until right before the release of In Utero in the Fall of 1993. By then, I had started qualifying genres and realized I liked the rock music first, the rap second, and all the other shitty pop third. The Friday before the release of In Utero, MTV ran a special episode of 120 Minutes where they played all the videos Nirvana ever did in chronological order (and, for some reason, "It's The End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M). When I saw the "In Bloom" video air after the two songs I knew off Nevermind (SLTS and "Come As You Are") I was fucking hooked.

The video appealed to my nostalgia (yes, even at 11 I was nostalgic)with it's faux Ed Sullivan setting, and my sense of weird (holy shit, those dudes are wearing dresses and breaking shit!). Oh, and it rocked. I knew that I would have to buy Nevermind when I actually got some money of my own.

I didn't actually buy the CD until after Kurt Cobain died. It was, however, amongst the first four CDs I bought with my own money from the BMG Music Service (also Aerosmith Pump and Permanent Vacation, and August and Everything After by The Counting Crows). Nevermind didn't disappoint. It was the first CD I actually listened to the whole way though (usually I listened once, picked the singles and songs I liked, and skipped the filler) and it was the first CD where I studied the liner notes intently. It was also taken away from me by my dad for a while, due to my brothers reporting me for the picture of Kurt flicking off the camera on the inner sleeve.

To say that Nevermind was one of the moments that changed my view of popular culture is not an understatement. It was the first piece of entertainment that I loved that was both sort of outsider AND mainstream. It taught me to give the whole album a chance, goddammit, because a "Drain You" might be lurking amidst all that filler. And it conditioned my ears to the kind of verse, chorus, verse soft loud shit that would blow my mind later on (The Pixies Doolittle was a big influence on the group).

Sadly, Nevermind belongs to my generation, and our grip on pop culture is slipping away. There are probably 10 year old kids out there right now hearing the new Foo Fighters album who have no clue Dave Grohl was in another band. It seems a lot of the shit that blew my mind back in the day has lost it's punch. Clerks was the first movie I ever saw that had my sense of humor, and with every shitty movie Kevin Smith makes, Clerks dies a little. Same goes for the rebels of my era. Ice Cube was a scary, scary motherfucker (who y'all loved to hate) and now he makes family films. Charles Barkley was the most bad ass dude on the court not named Michael Jordan, and now he's a joke machine (who still entertains, but he HAS been a role model to up and coming announcers).

The older I get, the more out of touch I seem to be with whatever the fuck is it. I don't get Affliction and Ed Hardy and shit (well, I GET it being ridiculous) and I probably never will. Same goes for things like Twilight...I mean, really? Sparkly werewolves or whatever? I try to get it, but I just don't. There was a time where I would actually understand why people liked something, now it escapes me. And this makes me feel like, to quote a sort of modern artist, I'm Losing My Edge.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guess Who's Back? Back Again...

Hey there. Did you miss me?

Sorry about the lack of execution on my part. I have had a hellacious last month and a half. I got promoted at work into a Project Manager role, which requires a lot of work both on and off the clock, and I didn't want to cut into my precious drinking time. So I cut back on the blogging.

What ELSE have I done on my summer vacay, you ask? Well, I have played a lot of softball. I bought some vinyl, and I saw some movies. Yes, I actually watched some films (The Box with Cameron Diaz was by far the worst, the new X-Men was kick ass, and Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore in sort of cute mode was surprisingly decent).

Overall, this has been a weird ass summer. It IS summer (my sexy ass tanned hide and the full blast AC can attest to that) but it doesn't FEEL like summer. The All Star game sucked ass. There hasn't been an epic summer song yet (LMFAO can kiss my ass with that "Party Rockers in the house" shit). The Twinkies are partying like it's 1999 (really, where is Pat Meares?). And Will Smith hasn't dropped some visual comfort food on our movie going laps. 2K11 is fucking off, man.

Fortunately, there are some cabin getaways planned in the next couple of weeks. I am going to use the Southhaven City drunken street dance as my summer coming out party, with any times in Indian Country later in the season as proof of my reign. So rejoice, because the summer needs to start soon. And even if it doesn't, I'm back like MJ in the 45.