Hall and Oates, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

Posted in Hall and Oates, Youtube Favs on December 20th, 2011 by Willie

Oh the hits keep rolling for Hall and Oates.  “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” was a #1 for Daryl and John in 1981, and another track that set the tone for 80s pop.  Their embarrassing cover art for the single also help set trends of decadent ugliness for the 80s as well.  Pop music from the 1980s had many uniting broad themes from futurism, celebration, dark sexuality, and paranoia.  “I Can’t Go For That” has those trademarks in spades.  It also holds the distinction for being the first song by a non-African American group to top the R&B charts.  Daryl Hall, the songs primary writer, was most pleased with this achievement, stating, “I’m the head soul brother in the U.S.  Where to now?”  Good question.  One direction led to an even bigger hit, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”  Michael admitted to Daryl that he copped the bass line from “I Can’t Go For That” for his own ultra-smash hit, to which Daryl replied, ‘I took that bass line from someone else to begin with, and that it’s “something we all do.”‘  That reminds me of another theme in 80s pop, superstar collaboration.  It’s as if their was one continuous party of mega rich famous rock stars, who all inflated each others egos, and played on each others records.  Heady times, heady coke fueled times indeed…

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Hall and Oates, You Make My Dreams Come True, FTW

Posted in Hall and Oates, Youtube Favs on December 17th, 2011 by Willie

I never thought I’d be adding a “Hall and Oates” section to my website, but on December 17th, 2011, it apparently has happened.  Actually, I’ve been slowly enjoying Hall and Oates a bit over the last few years, getting hooked on the single “I Can’t Go For That,” and hearing a fantastic sounding Daryl Hall on the Howard Stern show a few weeks ago.  The song in the cross-hairs today is “You Make My Dreams Come True,” a top ten hit from 1980.  It has popped up irrepressibly in a bunch of modern Hollywood movies and TV shows including “500 Days of Summer,” “Step Brothers,” and “King of the Hill.”  The song just makes people happy and want to dance, and I’m tired of denying its power.  I’ve come to have embrace its gorgeous keyboard/electric guitar attack rhythm section and blue eyed soul vocal delivery.  That addictive and high pitched guitar stutter reminds me of the Beatles’ “Getting Better,” possibly the happiest song of all time, and its doo-wop heavily processed backing vocals make it a total 80s classic, paving the way for the general sound of 80s pop.  So, in conclusion, my advice is this; turn this song up to 11, pour some lemonade, and play this song 4 times in a row.  Hall and Oates, FTW.

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Ben Stiller and Bruce Springsteen, SNL and the Ben Stiller Show

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Fun and Crazy, SNL, Youtube Favs on October 10th, 2011 by Willie

Saturday Night Live is really hit or miss this days, mostly miss, but sometimes, when they get a guy in there who knows sketch comedy, like Ben Stiller, they can hit a few home runs.  That was case the other night when Ben revived his classic impression of Bruce Springsteen from his cult hit “The Ben Stiller Show.”  The bit was a clever, almost throwback comedy parody that reminded me of the golden age of sketch comedy found in the 90s.  In the sketch, Ben is Bruce selling you nothing but the stories he tells in between songs, and it’s pretty damned funny.  It was nothing revolutionary, but it really evoked that spirit of classic grunge era sketch comedy.  The next clip is a collection of all the Ben as Bruce bits from the “Ben Stiller Show.”  You get to see Bruce teaching kids how to count, delivering a baby, fighting in a bar, and warding off aliens.  You even get to see Bruce travel through time and help out old Abe Lincoln, (awesomely played by Stiller Show alum Bob Odenkirk.)  Speaking of Bob, if you catch a hint of Mr. Show whilst watching the Springsteen compilation, you’re not smellings things because both Bob and David were head writers there, and went on to make their own masterpiece of sketch comedy shortly following the Stiller Show’s brief run.  So get ready to laugh in UHN, TWO, HEE, HOOR!


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Dire Straits, Money For Nothing

Posted in Dire Straits, Youtube Favs on September 30th, 2011 by Willie

Brothers in Arms was one of my favorite albums growing up.  I remember when my dad bought a CD Stereo system in 1989 (a huge awesome piece of audio tech in those days), he bought a boatload of CDs, and this Dire Straits classic was one of them.  It was also right around the time we got cable TV, and of course I was obsessed with the song and video of “Money For Nothing.”  Co-written with Police legend Sting, Mark Knopfler crafted one of the 80s greatest anthems, and delivered Dire Straits first #1 hit in the US.  It features the decade’s sleekest guitar riffs, a heavily processed digital blues line that still blows my mind.  The song is a clever commentary on the excessive 80s consumer culture, vapid 80s pop music, and MTV, the Mount Olympus of cool in that era.  As a bonus, I found an awesome video of present day Knopfler explaining the origins of the song, both the riff, and the lyrics, and how he created the sounds.  It’s completely rad, so enjoy both the original ground breaking video and Knopfler’s precious behind the scenes story on the songs creation.

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The Beastie Boys, Triple Trouble, 3 Times

Posted in The Beastie Boys, Youtube Favs on August 27th, 2011 by Willie

After I saw that Bored to Death trailer that featured the boys going crazy on Coney Island to the Beastie Boys song Triple Trouble, I myself, have gone crazy, seeking this song out in all its forms.  So, that’s what I’ve done, finding three killer performances of the song on youtube.  The song, which samples heavily from rap’s first song, “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, is just one of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard.  I love the sped up version the best, performed on MTV in 2004.  They absolutely kill it.  The second performance is from AOL’s live sessions, and is just a perfect display of their rap mastery.  The third performance is the music video itself.  I really like it, but the song doesn’t start until about a minute and a half into it.  It features some bizarre story about the Beasties making a fashion statement at an awards show, before Big Foot comes to fight and dance with them.  I hope you enjoy this incredibly funky and fresh cut.  And just in case you like it as much as I do, don’t forget to vote for me in the CBS’s Best NYC Blogger Contest, in which I am a finalist.  Just click these words!  Thanks!

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They Might Be Giants, The Four Lads, Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Posted in Fun and Crazy, They Might Be Giants, Youtube Favs on August 11th, 2011 by Willie

I had no idea that They Might Be Giants didn’t write this song!  It turns out that the Four Lads, in 1953, came up with this incredibly catchy and insane song.  It was a top ten hit and a certified gold record.  Imagine that!  I learned all this from hearing a tape of Bob Dylan’s satellite radio show “Theme Time Radio Hour,” where he spun the original record.  Thanks for the heads up Bob because like most kids who grew up in the 90s, I first learned about the song from Tiny Tunes.  I remember being absolutely mesmerized by the song, and relished every time a repeat of that episode would come on.  The song, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” speaks for itself.  It’s one of those rare tunes where the lyrics communicate 100% of the songs idea without a trace of ambiguity.  I love songs like that.  The more modern incarnation comes from They Might Be Giants’ 1990 record Flood which I thoroughly recommend picking up.  As a bonus I’m also including a live performance of the song TMBG did in 1990 for MTV Europe. It’s equally spellbinding and hilarious, especially when the host asks them if the Four Lads had any other good songs, and John Linnell replies in a complete deadpan that “No, that was their only good song.” Too funny.

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Ween, Mutilated Lips

Posted in Ween, Youtube Favs on May 1st, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 51 of my ever expanding youtube countdown.  For this spanking new edition, I bring you more Ween playing on TV shows that no longer exist.  I have no idea what this show is.  I think it’s from Canadian MTV, but I don’t know, the internet isn’t telling me.  Anyway, they are playing their nautical psychedelic acoustic jam, “Mutilated Lips,” from their 1997 masterpiece album The Mollusk. Ween gives a beautiful performance while a large dancing monkey trades moves with awkward 90s hipsters and a fat shirtless dude.  It’s pretty much par for the course for Ween, and as such, its fantastic.  The Mollusk is one of the greatest albums of the 90s.  A pastiche of psychedelic sea shanties mixed with transcendent pop all adorned with the best studio production Ween ever achieved.  If you don’t have it, I suggest making it one of your records of the coming summer so you can bask in its sun baked glory.  Enjoy.

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A Review of "Angles," by The Strokes

Posted in Record Reviews, The Strokes on March 17th, 2011 by Willie

I was an 18 year old senior in high school when The Strokes burst onto the scene in the fall of 2001.  I immediately liked them, for all the cliched reasons.  I loved their style.  5 skinny guys in cool vintage clothes wearing converse.  When you’re 18 years old in 2001, you pay attention to the trends on MTV, and for what seemed like the previous formative ten years of my childhood, every musician on TV was either a snotty group of California skater punks, a slicked back collection of glittering boy band douches, or macho jewel encrusted rappers.  Even all the nerdier groups were obnoxious and “in your face.”  No one was standing up for something truly cool, that is, until the likes of The Strokes and The White Stripes came along.  At last, here were young people who understood what made rock and roll fun, and who were not massive sell outs in any obvious away.  But of course, overnight, a massive backlash was unleashed.  The Strokes became objects of ridicule and scorn.  And it was easy to see why.  Here’s a list of the top 3…

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