Friday, August 30, 2013

10 Other Bands Who Should Reunite at the VMAs

The other night, MTV hosted their annual VMA's, and it was kind of a disaster.  I could go on and on about how hypocritical MTV is hosting an awards ceremony for the music videos that they no longer show anymore, or how Billy Ray Cyrus had a worse night than anyone on this planet, or how bored Rihanna looked when the attention wasn't on her.  I am here to discuss the reunion of *NSYNC, which was a very hyped 30 seconds during a 15 minute Justin Timberlake set.  I'm indifferent about *NSYNC.  They annoyed me when I was in the 3rd grade because girls (they had cooties back then) wouldn't shut the hell up about those guys and the Backstreet Boys.  As time marched on, I gained respect for Justin Timberlake.  Mostly from his appearance on Saturday Night Live, but also his music isn't that bad.  Good for that guy.  Anyways, I started thinking what other bands/acts should have reunited at the VMA's instead of *NSYNC's 30 second cameo that was about 11 years in the making.  Before I start, I'm clarifying that I'm only doing possible reunions, so no Nirvana, Doors, etc. Also, I'm not counting groups who came back or broke up recently.  I mean, I'd love to include No Doubt on this list but they kinda came back last year with an album that supposedly came out, so I'm sorry Gwen but you won't make the cut. Without further rambling, I give you my top 10 bands who should also have reunited at the VMA's.

10. Limp Bizkit- I kind of miss Fred Durst.  I wonder what that guy is up to.  At one point, he was famous for wearing a backwards red baseball cap and got Ben Stiller to make appearances in Limp Bizkit's music videos.  What the hell happened?  These guys were angry and managed to make a few good albums songs in the late 90's early 00's.  I learned a lot of colorful language from Fred Durst and co. as a youngin' and always kind of found them entertaining.  This being said, even as a semi-closeted fan, I would never go to a Limp Bizkit out of fear of my health/safety and fear of my reputation being forever tarnished.  This being said, when it comes to a trash heap of an awards show who likes controversial appearances, give me Limp Bizkit any day.  Maybe that feud between Carson Daly and Fred Durst concerning Christina Aguilera can come back into play.  Keep on rollin'.

9. O-Town- There is no possible way that time has been kind to these guys.  I hated these guys mostly because the blonde dude's name was like Ashley Angel or something.  What a dweeb.  This guy should have been beat up in high school, not being a pop-star making money (probably all of which is gone now).  I have absolutely no idea if these guys were talented or not, because all I remember was looking at them and thinking they were pansies.  I can't name you a single song by these idiots but they would certainly represent MTV as former TRL darlings that really capitalized on their momentum.
a turtleneck?  C'mon man.

8. Gorillaz- Real wildcard here.  The Gorillaz are on a hiatus and such, and have hits to draw attention and make people miss them.  The VMA's might be the perfect chance to showcase a cartoon band on national television.  Basically it's like watching cartoons while listening to good music, which is a lot of people kinda do today unfortunately.  It's like an awesome version of Josie and the Pussycats at an awards show.  I'll take a cartoon concert over Katy Perry boxing/singing on a bridge to close out the VMA's any day.

7. Weezer- I know, I know.  They technically can't reunite because they're not broken up, but let's face it, they basically should have instead of the the garbage they have put out the past 8 years.  Seriously.  Their album 'Make Believe' (you know, the one with 'Beverly Hills' and 'Perfect Situation') came out in 2005.  They put out 4 albums since that, in a span from 2008-2010, and even as a Weezer fan, I cannot name you one song from any of those albums besides that annoying 'Pork and Beans' song and that song called something like 'if you're wondering about him wondering if you want me to or if you want me to' GOD I'M CONFUSED.  Anyways, the point is, Weezer has been pretty awful in the past 7ish years, and this is coming from a guy who really likes Weezer.  It's been a long time since Island in the Sun and even longer since the days of Buddy Holly and The Sweater Song came out.  Weezer is a band with a bunch of hits, but the time off is much needed, and they can comeback at the VMA's, play some of their greatest hits, and everyone will be happy.

6. Vanessa Carlton- Who doesn't love Vanessa Carlton?  Honestly I have no idea, for all I know she could be still touring and releasing new music, but I'm not googling it.  I felt foolish enough having 'White Houses' and 'Thousand Miles' show up on my Spotify for all 14 of my followers to see.  I like Vanessa Carlton.  She always had that look where she looked wholesome but kind of miserable.  It was very I-hate-this-shit-but-I-have-to-look-adorable.  I also want to point out that both 'White Houses' and 'Thousand Miles' are songs that most guys know and love.  You can really tell a guys comfort level with himself as a man if he admits to liking Vanessa Carlton.  Show me a man who claims to not like Vanessa Carlton and I will show you a liar.  What better place for Vanessa Carlton to make her triumphant return to the lime light than the VMA's.  I bet she wouldn't even have to twerk on her piano to wow the crowd.
I'd walk a thousand miles for you, bb.

5. Rage Against The Machine-  Speaking of Vanessa Carlton, another similar act who should get their shit together and just play music at the VMA's is Rage Against the Machine.  It doesn't make sense why these guys are still on a break/split.  You have a band who people would kill to see live or get new music from, and they just can't get their act together.  When people bring up the whole Rap Rock genre of the late 90's and 00's, it usually gets a lot of head shaking and eye rolls, but there was one band who stood out and was legit, and is still favorable today, and that is Rage.  If the VMA's ever want a head banging performance that will get people talking, as long as they keep it a secret until it happens, Rage Against the Machine would be perfect.  I know that I'd personally be pumped to see Bulls On Parade or Guerilla Radio live on TV.  I'm really pulling for this to happen.  This would help me forgive MTV for sucking the past 13 years.  By the way, for anyone who loved the game Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 you might wanna watch the video below. Kinda intense.

4. Guns N Roses- This may be a no chance in hell sort of thing, but it would have people talking.  Axl Rose and Slash playing together again for the first time in around 20 years, putting the hatred and lawsuits and history aside, all for Music Television.  Sigh.  I realize that Guns N Roses are technically touring still, but that's only Axl Rose and a bunch of random dudes he picked up off the street- it's just not the same.  It's like Diet Guns N Roses.  They should be called Bullet N Petals at this point if you ask me.  I'm taking the original lineup any day.  Their first album, Appetite for Destruction gave us 'Paradise City', 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine', which are all favorites on today's karaoke scene.  On a side note: it makes no sense how none of these guys are dead yet.  This is seriously one band that should have like 3 out of the 5 dead from drugs or alcohol or something, but somehow they have made it this far.  This gives even better reason to celebrate by letting bygones be bygones and performing at the VMA's! I'll tell you, there would be plenty of cougars out there who would start getting hot flashes while watching the VMA's with their kids if GNR came out and shocked the world.  The problem here is that Guns N Roses getting back together has an unlikelier chance of happening than Khloe Kardashian looking good in a bikini.  It ain't gonna happen.  Let's put it this way: if Guns N Roses couldn't reunite at their own Rock N Roll hall of fame induction, then they probably won't reunite for the VMA's which, let's face it, really aren't as important as they used to be.  This would be great to see, but we gotta believe it won't happen.
The 80's were weird.
3. The Smiths- Hospitals across the world would be slammed by an influx of hipsters having heart palpitations if The Smiths were to reunite at the VMA's. The Smiths had everything going for them 25+ years ago and just quit during their prime.  They are one of those "what if....?" bands where it is truly a shame that they couldn't put their differences aside for the sake of good music.  Morrissey has gone on to have a successful solo career, but it's jut not the same.  Of course, if this were to take place, there would be millions of random people who never heard of The Smiths and then hop on the bandwagon real quick, which would annoy the masses of Smiths fans already in existence.  All the possible fake fans aside, it would be amazing to have it happen, although the chances of it are slim to none.  Proof?  Morrissey is quoted as saying "I would rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that's saying something for a vegetarian".  Kinda graphic, kinda concerning, but really sums up the odds of The Smiths coming back.  Also, they were rumored to be offered $75 million to do one tour and turned it down, so playing the VMA's might be unlikely if they were to miraculously reunite.  NOTE: watch this video below.  I think the two guys dancing in the crowd throughout the video were the creators of Molly.

2. Outkast- Hey ya!  Out of all of these, it may be the most realistic to happen.  I'm not the biggest fan of hip hop, I will certainly admit, but I always liked and admired Outkast.  These guys were good.  I still remember being awkward in the 6th grade, wearing some Marc Ecko shirt and listening to Ms. Jackson a couple of times a day to help build some cred with my new urbanized classmates.  MTV loved Outkast, and rightly so.  Outkast was another group who went out while in their primes.  Hey Ya! and Roses came out and lasted a long time, only to have Outkast kind of fade off into the sunset with that being their last album.  They have had their time off now and did their respective solo work, and it may be time to have a comeback.   Another interesting thing to see would be Andre 3000's wardrobe for the VMA's.  That's a man who knows how to dress.  Outkast would be a homerun for surprise performances.  You don't meet too many people who don't like Outkast.  Everyone wins.  They should play this years Super Bowl in my opinion.  Beats the hell out of the Black Eyed Peas.

1. Creed- Just kidding.  Although it would we be painful to watch these guys reunite, we could all still agree that although they are bad, Nickelback still sucks more than they do.
this is the worst picture I have/will ever put on my blog

1.  The White Stripes-  This was one breakup that made me lose faith in humanity for a short period of time.  It really was amazing that this band, consisting of two people, who claimed to be brother and sister but turned out to actually be married and divorced, made such great music in their time.  Every album they put out was awesome, and they kinda shocked the world when they announced they were calling it quits.  I have the utmost respect for Jack White, who over the years has become one of the best musicians on the planet, and always stood up for Meg verbally, like shooting down critics of her drumming, or physically, like when he punched the lead singer of the Von Bondies in the face for making some negative comment about her.  The White Stripes were sort of weird, but definitely brilliant.  7 Nation Army is going to be one of those songs that will still be played at sports arenas 50 years from now, and it would be tremendous to have them get back together at the VMA's.  Who knows the possibility of this happening.  I guess will have to just wait and see.  And maybe pray.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Bachelorwhat?

Monday night was the season finale of The Bachelorette.  I had never watched a single episode of this because it isn't exactly my cup of tea.  That being said, I'm always one for becoming a more cultured person during this crazy little journey called life, so I gave it a shot Monday night.  Like my mother, a journalist, I had my handy dandy notebook ready and my hands ready at will to jot down as many notes as I could while watching this.  I'm gonna start this blog off with said notes and added comments, and then proceed to share my own thoughts on how I could make this show so much better if I were lucky enough to be named The Bachelor.

Just as a slight background for anyone knew to this, Desiree was very, very upset because on the prior episode, the would-be winner Brooks told her that he wanted to leave because he didn't love her (gasp).  Visibly upset, Desiree had the unique problem of having two more contestants left who were vying for her love, who she clearly didn't like as much as this dude Brooks who left her high and dry.  This leads us to Drew and Chris to have the chance to become the future ex-husband of Desiree.  Now that we are all caught up in this love triangle that no one should be jealous of, on to the rapid-fire notes!

  • First thing is first, this rambunctious crowd of desperate housewives that make up the audience of this finale are frightening.  I bet 100% of these women are huge fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.  It looked like a giant PTA meeting with the intensity of a Jerry Springer-meets-Oprah crowd.  It was a good night for babysitters in whatever area this thing was filmed in.  
  • Lots of violins.  Seriously, what is with the violin music?  Setting the mood?  These people are on a television show in Antigua, how much sadness can there really be besides one guy getting dumped, and by dumped I mean probably saved from a huge fucking mistake.  I haven't heard violins playing this much on a television screen since the end of Titanic right before the ship goes down.
  • At the beginning of this episode, I realize that these two remaining guys are basically fighting for second place, which is crazy because right now second place means marrying this girl.  
  • Seems like a good show for Kleenex to spend some marketing dollars on.
  • At first, I was thinking Desiree was the poor man's Rachel Bilson, but I'm now leaning towards the poor man's Katie Holmes.  
Seriously, Katie Holmes or Rachel Bilson?

  • The audience questions was awesomely awkward.  Kinda scared me to see some of these women take a stranger's narrowing down of 20 bachelors so seriously. The questions were so serious and these women were like the female version of ESPN analysts giving their predictions on NFL games.  Somewhat unsettling.
  • Hearing these women say if they were "Team Chris" or "Team Drew" makes me long for the simpler times of "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob"
  • Drew looks like a modern day Patrick Bateman.  I can't stop thinking he's going to pull out an axe and kill this girl.  Kinda concerning. 
Has a bit of Cooper Anderson in him doesn't he?
  • "I really need to talk to you" is probably the best line that can be said on a show like this.  This is a phrase that is never a good sign in real life or reality TV.  Poor Drew.  This doesn't seem good for him.  Get the axe ready!
  • Kinda felt bad for this Drew guy but c'mon did he really think he was going to win her heart by showing up to this final date in those purple shorts?  He brought this upon himself. 
  • I really can't think of a worse send off than being picked up by a creepy gray rape van off of the beach you just got your heart broken on.  This show is ruthless!
  • Onto the final date with Chris: Real awesome cameo from that skipping fish in the ocean.  Not so awesome was Chris and Desiree asking what it was.  It was a fish.  
  • Chris just gave Desiree a journal.  A journal with prewritten poetry and quotes.  Sweet mother of pearl.  What a classless human being.  Poetry is dead, and there is already writing in her journal.  First of all, bro, girls write in diaries.  Journals are for Doug Funnie.  If he had any idea on how to woo a girl, he would have started a blog.  
"Hey, wanna get married for a couple hundred days?"
  • This Brooks fella still seems to have a hold on poor, confused Desiree.  This guy must be quite the catch! I really can't blame him for testing other waters.  It's amazing to think right now that with only Chris remaining on the show (unbeknownst to him of course) that there is still some actual doubt that he might not get chosen.  I am now starting to hate Desiree.
  • Chris is meeting Desiree's family which won't be awkward or anything.  Instant reaction: holy shit Desiree's brother definitely has a few felonies under his belt.  That guy is frightening.  I don't know how I'd feel meeting a girl's brother if he was like this guy.  I'd be intimidated by his tattoos all while trying not to laugh at his wardrobe from Hollister.  Nothing is ever easy these days.  
  • "Do you feel 100% confident she will choose you?" asks Desiree's brother.  Since he is the only guy left, I will say that I kinda like his chances, but hey you never know!
  • Really on the edge of my seat for the ending.  Looks like it'll come down to Chris or becoming a Nun.  All the Nuns watching must be praying Desiree doesn't pick Chris.  
  • Chris looks like a big Dave Matthews fan.  Hope she turns him down for the Nunnery.  
  • Dammit, she picked Chris.  Big letdown here.  I'll give them a year and a half of marriage, tops.   
What a show, right guys?  Just breathtaking stuff.  I will admit it was somewhat entertaining but I found myself laughing out loud much more than I thought I would.  This show was just so cheesy that it was kinda good.  This was an absolute train wreck.  This got me thinking: if I were The Bachelor and got to choose between 20 women, how could I make the show more awesome?  I feel like this show needs a twist.  I want to be the hero to poor guys who have to watch this show with their controlling wives/girlfriends.  How can I do this?  I have a few ideas:

  • Gotta spice things up right off the bat.  There is power in numbers.  Therefore I'm going to have someone steal some girls money or prized possessions while all 20 girls are in the house and try to frame as many people as possible to cause utter chaos.  Obviously whatever was stolen would be "found" and returned, but the seed would be planted into the heads of these poor girls vying for my attention.  Let the games begin.  
  • Next up is to blow up someone's car.  Think about it: why was Transformers an entertaining movie?  It wasn't the chemistry between Shia Labeouf or Megan Fox, it was the explosions.  Explosions make awesome TV.  I'm thinking we get some sweet American made car, cash a check for product placement, blow it to smithereens and just watch the ratings go up week by week.  Why would we blow up the car?  I don't know but we can probably frame someone for it.  Really add to the drama.  
  • I guess we need to start getting into actual contests to try to woo me.  Let's go with an emo karaoke challenge.  Emo songs are awesome to sing along to.  Anyone who has really let themselves get into some song like Seventy Times 7 or Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team) can attest to this.  Therefore, what better way to make things awkward than to have a number of ladies start singing miserable, depressing tunes to win my approval?  I'm kinda seeing this take place at a really shitty dive bar in whatever town this show would take place in on a Tuesday night so we are guaranteed some locals present.  
  • Who makes the best macaroni and cheese contest.  This contest would be taken very seriously.  If there is one way to my heart, it is via macaroni and cheese.  No breadcrumbs.  Never was a fan of breadcrumbs.  Is this a simple contest?  I guess so, yeah, but let's face it, the importance here is at an all-time high.
  • Maybe I want some keepsakes from this show.  I like art, so I'm thinking a portrait or sculpture contest.  Who doesn't want a statue of themselves?  I have a had a plan that if I ever become filthy rich I would offer my alma mater Providence College millions of dollars in return for a statue of me on the quad.  It's the ultimate power move.  Since that won't ever happen, I have to turn my thoughts to more realistic possibilities: me going on The Bachelor and hosting a contest where girls make a statue of me.  Winner of this contest gets to learn my middle name and take my dog Oso on a walk with me.  Really looking forward to this contest. 
  • I'm thinking a mix tape contest would be great.  Each girl makes a cd with 10 songs on it.  Automatic elimination if a Dave Matthews, Beatles, or country song makes it on to the mix tape. This will really weed out the competition.  
  • Drinking contest: I don't want to condone heavy drinking, but in this situation I will be in the entertainment business, and this would be pure gold.  Who can shotgun the most Keystone Lights in an hour, the winner gets to go on a date with me to moderately priced Hibachi restaurant.
  • My buddy Tyler always gives me crap and claims that I'm a terrible friend to him, which I'm not. At one point I even wrote a blog for him on Valentine's Day trying to get some ladies to go after him, and he was so ungrateful.  I'm sick of being called a bad friend.  Therefore, I propose a "Who can punch Tyler the hardest" contest.  Everyone likes a girl who can hold her own.  Grit and strength go a long way here people.  Basically, everyone wins: viewers, me, the girls, everyone who Tyler has double-crossed over the past 23 years.  Nothing can go wrong here.  
  • Finally, at some point I'm going to fake my own death during the show.  Turn this quest for love into a quest for finding my supposed murderer.  This would be an interesting challenge as I can see who grieves my loss the most. True sadness over a fake murder can really show a man that they care, and it could give them or lose them major points in the quest for my love.  Of course, in the shocking finale, I'd show up at my own funeral Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer style and surprise everyone with a sweet catchphrase and make my decision of who I choose, if anyone.  
This has the chance to really boost ratings for The Bachelor.  I hear some guy named Juan Pablo was just chosen to be next season's bachelor, so let me officially toss my hat into the ring for following Bachelor show contest thingy.  I can promise you chaos, explosions, and probably not true love because let's be real, you're not gonna seriously fall in love with someone on a TV contest.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pop Culture Smorgasbord II: Featuring Annik

Sometimes, things don't make sense.  Nirvana's Nevermind wasn't named Spin Magazine's Album of the Year in 1991.  Sharknado is somehow a popular movie.  The newborn Prince wasn't named Ferris.  In a world where things don't often make sense, sometimes we need to slow down and have a reality check with pop-culture in today's world.  Pop-culture on it's own stands at times for what little sense it has, and sometimes it can be confusing.  Every now and then it can be nice to have some structure and talk about pop-culture with some added common sense.  For this, I hit my lovely and dear friend Annik, who has common sense (for the most part) and good taste in music, with 20 questions about today's pop-culture world.  Simple idea?  Maybe.  Entertaining?  Yes.  Enjoy this 20 question survey, and special thanks to Annik Spencer for taking the time out of her hectic, diva-like schedule to answer these.  I can promise you it is better than Spin's Album of the Year in 1991: Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque.  Well done, Neexster.

1. Who is the Bob Dylan of our generation?


2. Mean Girls turns 10 next year.  Looking back on it, how did a Linsday Lohan movie become such a classic?

To start off, I believe that LiLo is truly a great actress who wasn't given the right opportunities to be remembered besides The Parent Trap and Mean Girls.  That being said, Mean Girls has become a classic piece of cinema because it's so relatable.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't recite a Mean Girls quote.  Girls like Mean Girls.  The LGBT community likes Mean Girls.  Straight guys like Mean Girls.  Parents like Mean Girls.  Even my Pop-Pop, who is 86 years old, likes Mean Girls.  I think you catch my drift...

You can go shave your back now.  Bye Jim.

3. Speaking of Lindsay Lohan, which celebrity do you think will kick the bucket next?

After Amanda Bynes, which will probably happen in the next 24 hours: J. Biebs.  And I can't wait.
You can attempt to hide your face, but not the hatred.

4. Is EDM here to stay or is it just a fad that won't go away (LOL THAT RHYMED)

Not here to stay.  The day it ends will be a very sad day for PLUR-ers everywhere.

5. Give me a band/artist that more people should know about.

I'm afraid that I have to shamelessly plug my good friend Sarah Borrello because she is THAT GOOD.  I have no idea why she isn't ridiculously famous and inviting me backstage at her shows already.  Go buy her music on iTunes right this second.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

I'm sorry I had to do that.  I'm a public relations major.

(ed. note: I have seen Sarah sing in person and Annik ain't kidding, she's very, very talented.  Check her out people)

6. Have any good jokes?

Why do you always ask me this?  No I don't have any good jokes.  All of my humor comes from being sarcastic.  Plus, this is a blog post about pop culture.

7. What was the best 90's toy?

Tamagotchis!  But can we talk about how needy they were?  Why was I tending to every need and want of a little electronic alien-looking pet?  I was five!  I could barely take care of myself.  Although, I really think they could make a comeback in high school health classes to teach girls about teen pregnancy.

All of that aside, I downloaded the Tamagotchi app on my phone last week.

8. What is the best show on TV right now?

Parks and Rec

9. Will there ever be a better wrestler than Stone Cold Steve Austin?

I have no idea who that is and I don't care.  They were playing wrestling on the TVs at a bar I was at the other night and I made them change the channel because EW.  Who wants to watch people hit each other until they bleed?  Isn't that the type of behavior you're supposed to run away from and call the cops?

(ed. note: I disagree with everything Annik said in response to this question.  Enjoy this video.)

10. I'm going to London in like 2 days.  What should I do there?

When I went to London seven years ago I went on an amazing Beatles tour!  I can definitely give you the name and number of our tour guide if you'd like.

11. What baseball team has the stupidest mascot and why?

My dad would probably take me out of his will for saying this but the Phillie Phanatic.  I'm sorry but what is that giant creepy, green monster supposed to be?  And don't even get me started on its mouth.  I think it uses its mouth to suck out people's souls like a dementor.

So much nonsense.

12. What're your thoughts on the comeback of vinyl records?

They're great if you drink all of your beverages out of Mason jars while riding your classic Razor scooter to Sunday brunch in Brooklyn.

13. What comes to mind when you think of Beyonce?

See question 1.

14. Did you have a Razor scooter?  If so, what color did you have and do you think they will come back as the new hipster craze?

It's funny that you bring that up.  Mine was green and I was so obsessed with it that my mom insisted that we bring it on our month-long vacation to Scotland.  She literally brought it in a carry-on on our flight.  Talk about dedication.  As for the hipster thing, see question 12.

Ol' Faithful.

15. Do you think Oasis was overrated?  Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova were good songs but when I think of British rock bands today I think that both Radiohead and Blur surpass Oasis.

Seems like you answered your own question.  I'll just add this:  Beatles > all other British rock bands ever.  Sorry, it's true.

16. Speaking of bands with fighting brothers, should Kings of Leon just stop making music?

I actually just had to Google Kings of Leon to find out what they're up to so I guess that answers your question...
These guys stink.

17. What is your go-to funny youtube video to show people?

The video of the baby laughing at her dad ripping paper.  I really have no idea why I think it is so funny.

18. Why do you people still keep up with the Kardashians?

Because Rob's fat now, Kim named her child after a direction and both Kylie and Kendall are finally at an age where guys can fantasize about them without feeling creepy.

19. What do you think the Prince should have been named?

Vince.  For obvious reasons.

20.  You get to go to a dinner party with any 5 people in the world, living or dead.  Who are they?

Beyonce, Adam Levine (his fiancee WOULD NOT be invited), Jennifer Lawrence, Atticus Finch, and the guy who decided that iPhone chargers should be three inches long so I could yell at him and ask him to leave.