King-Of Sucky Music Artists: Part One

Hello internet audience! As you may (or may not, pending whether or not you took my advice) have heard recently on our podcast a rather lively game of King-Of, during which we ended up naming 75 music artists that at least 2/3 of us agree you should probably steer clear of. The topic was “music artists that suck,” and being that it’s all pretty vague, you can assume for the following, that if the artists is on the list, we don’t stand by them. In any fashion.

Remember, at least 2/3 of us agreed on all of the following artists, it’s just sorted by who brought them up. Anyway, don’t buy these artists music for the holidays, or ever:

Chris:
98 degrees
Maroon 5
Nickelback
Third Eye Blind
Jewel
Evanescence
Justin Bieber
Celine Deon
Keith Urban
Rascal Flatts
Kenny Rogers
Kris Kross
U2
Chumbawumba
Godsmack
Ke$ha
Buck Cherry
Journey
Alanis Morissette
Mariah Carey
Linkin Park
Dave Matthews Band
Sting
Seal
Skrillex

Robert:
Backstreet Boys
Mudvayne
Staind
Smashmouth
Dave Koz
Rebecca Black
Stone Sour
Brittney Spears
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Christina Aguilera
Plain White Tees
Scorpion
Twisted Sister
Sugar Ray
Damn Yankees
Limp Bizkit
Barry Manilow
Animal Collective
Nick Cannon
Nicki Minaj
Drake
John Phillips Souza
Savage Garden
Phil Collins

John:
The Fray
Creed
3 Doors Down
Michael Bolton
Switchfoot
Lady Gaga
Amy Grant
Mandy Moore
Toby Keith
Luke Brian
Jessica Simpson
Striper
White Snake
Seven Mary Three
Fastball
Eagle Eye Cherry
KoRn
Neil Diamond
Ace of Base
Lil Bow Wow
Sum 41
Avril Lavigne
Duncan Sheik
Imagine Dragons

 

We will eventually continue this list in an upcoming Part Two. Until then, your music tastes are dangerously on their own.

Not Just For The Kids

I watch A LOT of kids shows & movies.

One thing I have noticed lately is the quality of the soundtracks. Generally, recording artists are contracted to write/perform a specific song for the movie and that is it. However, a new trend I am seeing is the adaptation of an artist’s existing catalog into an animated feature.

The first time I noticed this was at the end of Disney’s “The Pirate Fairy” (from their Disney Fairies franchise). I am rarely a fan of “Direct To DVD” releases, but I have to admit I am smitten with these fairy movies.

The song at the end of the movie is called “Weightless” by Natasha Bedingfield and after pulling it up in Spotify, it was immediately evident that this song was not written expressly for “The Pirate Fairy” once I heard these lyrics:

“They told me ‘Girl to get your way, you’ve got to be a bitch’
They say a guy won’t get the girl if he’s not filthy rich.”

Only 1 verse and the chorus are used in the movie (for obvious reasons).

I think the song is great, and it seems that people are finally starting to realize that you don’t have to go all cutesy and saccharin with kids music. I find that most kid music is catchy, yet insufferable and it’s a nice change to hear something that isn’t just syrupy sweet, rainbows & unicorn farts.

Regardless of whether or not the songs are created just for the movie, I hold a special place in my heart for kid movie songs because I am basically a 12 year old at heart.

Jenn’s Top 10 Kid Movie Songs

10. Down In New Orleans – Dr. John (The Princess and the Frog)

9. Just A Cloud Away – Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2)

8. The Great Divide – McClain Sisters (Disney Fairies “Secret of the Wings”)

7. Let It Go – Idina Menzel (Frozen)

6. Le Festin – Camille (Ratatouille)

5. La Da Dee – Cody Simpson (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2)

4. When Can I See You Again – Owl City (Wreck-It Ralph)

3. When She Loved Me – Sarah McLachlan (Toy Story 2)

2. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Mark Keali’l Ho’omalu & Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus (Lilo & Stitch)

1. Weightless (Less is More version) – Natasha Bedingfield (The Pirate Fairy)

No Words.

By: Jenn

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for about a month. From the first time I heard it, I was captivated.

I listen to it several times a day because there is something in the music and lyrics that just wraps me up.

After hearing it a few times, I made the assumption that the song was a knock to organized religion.

You know what I didn’t think it was about? Human atrocities.

As I was doing my virtual leg work for this blog post tonight, I pulled up the video on YouTube and sat in stunned silence for 3:58 as I watched the lyrics tell a story that was much different than the one I had developed in my mind.

I sit here sobbing because what I had interpreted as a relatively simple song was so much more. This music video unfolded a reality to me that I knew, but didn’t KNOW.

I don’t know why I am so overwhelmed with emotions about this. Is it guilt? Maybe I didn’t know what I thought I did and that makes me feel ignorant?

I have no experience with what it’s like to be an LGBT person, let alone an LGBT youth in a country that condemns you and condones hate crimes against you.

I am not stupid. I know that horrible things happen every day to millions of people all over the world and that’s an extremely sad reality.

I don’t judge the lives of others and my belief is that everyone is entitled to love without persecution. However, I will often discount my feelings and opinions on things because they “don’t relate to me”.

What I am forgetting is that it does relate to me. It relates to all of us. It’s humanity.

I’m not telling you to forego your belief system, just remember that we are all human. Made of flesh and blood and millions of electrical impulses.

Our differences are skin deep, but our sames go down to the bone.

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? YouTube People

you know what really grinds my gears

By: John

You know what really grinds my gears*? When people put songs on YouTube with a photo or collage of photos of an artist and then put a disclaimer like this:

“I do not own this music!! All credit goes to the artist!!”

No kidding, “ilovejohnmayer2006.” We totally get that John Mayer’s music doesn’t belong to you, no matter how much you liked him in 2006.

No copyright lawyer from a record label has ever trolled YouTube, saw your comment and said “Oh, cool. See, this guy gets it. He KNOWS he doesn’t own the music” and just passes on by.

No, that copyright lawyer from the record label only makes complaints about the guys who think they own the rights to the music.

Just stop it. Now.

The end.


 

*I do not own the catchphrase “You Know What Really Grinds My Gears” or the image of Peter Griffin from Family Guy. All credits go to the artist.

Five for Friday aka A Wonderful World

By-Robert

Hi.  My name is Robert, I’m 30 years old, and I am, unabashedly, a Walt Disney World fan.

And let me clarify: Yes, I enjoy the movies.  And yes, I like the characters.  But I LOVE the Walt Disney World theme parks.

Growing up in Miami that’s what we came to know, and to do when possible.  Have a long weekend? Go to Disney.  Family or friends visiting from another state? Go to Disney.  You’re a senior in high school?  We had grad night for Florida high schoolers when I was younger (this has since been cancelled because of the youths).  Any occasion was good enough to go there.  So growing up spending as much time there you would think a lot of people come to hate it.  Nope.  Most in Florida either are indifferent to it or love it.  As I mentioned earlier, I love it. I went to work there.  I met my wife there. I go there at least once a year.

As for WHY I love it?  It has to do with the immersion of your soundings, the story and atmosphere they build, their attention to detail in every little thing they do, and of course their music.  From the music in the movies to the music in the parks (which is what I’m going to list today),  they have this long history of crafting instant classics, ear worms that dig into your brain and you find yourself humming them at the oddest times.  And yes, most everyone knows the songs from the movies, but with my history of visiting the parks and the time I spent there, I’m posting five of my favorite songs from Walt Disney World attractions.  See ya’ real soon Mickey.

Little Orange Bird

Space Mountain queue music

Tomorrow’s Child (from Spaceship Earth)

Soarin’ attraction music

Grim Grinning Ghosts (from The Haunted Mansion)

Remote Access: The Curious Incident of Comedy in the Night-Time

By: CJ

mulaney

You all know the story. With Jerry and the gang still rotting in Latham, Ross and Rachel presumably up to their necks in Shawn Mendes posters, and Brad Garrett finally throwing in the towel (wait, somehow, he actually hasn’t thrown in the towel yet), it’s abundantly clear that the network comedy has officially expired. Dead. Buried. Kaput. Sent to the bottom of the East River thanks to the likes of David Chase and David Simon and the War on Terror and our American life that is too fractured and lazy and worried about a rising China to sit around thirty minutes at a time to watch a three-camera riff on a society that never existed . The pink slips don’t lie. After a surprisingly quiet first month and a half of the 2014 fall TV season, Manhattan Love Story, A to Z, Bad Judge, Selfie, and Mulaney have all been canceled.

In retrospect, the first three were comedy corpses from the start. Of course hope springs eternal and schedules need to be filled, but buzz was bad early on; those cancellations were just a matter of time. Selfie and Mulaney were different though. John Mulaney was doing everything by the book to succeed. A well-known comic in his own right (like CK and Romano and Seinfeld and Barr and Cosby before him), he honed his act in clubs and bars across the country before moving onto Comedy Central specials, the SNL writing room, and developing his eponymous show. Suuuuuure, perennially last-placed NBC passed on it even though the show was produced by their resident money-printer Lorne Michaels. But what do they know about comedy? Hell, what do they know about anything (other than getting corporate parent Comcast to throw billions—with a capital B—at the IOC for a ratings bump every two years)? Fox would swoop in to pick up the show, even breaking apart their long-running Animation Domination cartoon block to give a plum platform to Mulaney and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The edgy and smart network which brought The Simpsons, Arrested Development, and Married with Children to TV would now be the home of the new Seinfeld.

(WARNING: skip the next paragraph if you don’t like reading about dumpster fires. Or if your name is John Mulaney. Watch this instead).

We all believed in Mulaney. Then the ratings came in. And the hatchets came out. Taking pains to point out how much everyone loves the stand-up side of John Mulaney, critics, the Internet, and probably even your grandma dismissed the show as painfully unfunny drivel. This past Sunday, Mulaney actually lost 35% of its Family Guy lead-in. And no one watches Family Guy anymore.  It’s really hard to lose 40% of no one* (*Actually 3.6 million viewers according to Nielsen). And the news just got worse today. According to Deadline, Fox has banished Mulaney from that cushy post-Family Guy 9:30 slot to the wastelands of 7:30. Prepare to never knowing when you’re actually going to air thanks to King Football overruns John Mulaney (this is what killed Futurama on Fox by the way).

Now that the awful stuff is out of the way, can we judiciously assign blame? Like many shows in their first season, Mulaney seemed to still be finding its footing. Was it a show about the comic’s wry life? Or his relationship with Martin Short’s venal game show host? Did the laugh track made the show seem more stuffy and old-fashioned than it was? Or the fact that the set-up and punchlines were delivered in what can only be described as super slow motion? Motif (Seaton Smith) brought some much needed kinetic energy to the proceedings, but the rest of the strong-on-paper supporting cast appeared strained with their one-note characters.  Probably a little bit of everything. But you know what else had stilted, awkward pacing in its first few seasons? Our good friend The Seinfeld Chronicles, of course.

Could the acting be any more act-y in that scene?  But as oral history has it, NBC stuck with the low rated first season (oh, it was only the 14th most-watched SUMMER show of 1989, two spots behind Totally Hidden Video) and let it grow into the #3 show on television by 1993. Four years of steady growth, people. What did Mulaney get before his show was all but canceled? 4 weeks. That’s why there is no broad comedy hit on television. Talent is not given time to find their voice on television nowadays, only brands are (Chuck Lorre on CBS, Shonda Rimes on ABC). Would it have taken Mulaney a full two or three years to settle into consistent hilarity?  When it comes to comedy, we as viewers never get the chance to find out anymore.

Which brings up the curious case of Selfie. Like Mulaney, the show was left for dead at the start of this season. Terrible title. Unneeded update of Pygmalion. Another strained attempt by a broadcast network to manufacture zeitgeist. Easy cancellation, right? Well, although the sitcom has been canceled true to form, wistful elegies are starting to pour in. Sure, Selfie looked very pre-Higgins Eliza Doolittle on the outside, but dig deep and people were finding a show they wanted to see find its footing and actually develop beyond 4 episodes. It’s not all bad news, thankfully. Freshman comedies from ABC’s (Black*ish) and NBC’s (Marry Me) have thus far avoided the comedy bloodbath and look good for a second season. Those two are the lucky ones who are getting a chance to solidify what they are all about. And that is a luxury less and less projects are getting in this instant SUCCESS Or DEATH reality. It’s a shame. We don’t expect our babies to pop out solving differential equations and deadlifting 200 pounds. We give them until at least 12 to do that. Maybe one of these days we’ll give our comedians more than a handful of scripts to nurture some laughs.

Five for Friday aka Random Dump

By: Robert

There’s no rhyme or reason to today’s post.  Just five random songs I’ve been listening to quite a lot recently.  I hope you enjoy them.

Rustie- Attak feat. Danny Brown

Portico Quartet- Ruins

CHON-Fluffy

Donnie & Joe Emerson- Baby

Father John Misty- Bored in the USA