Concept4Banner1024 The Plural of Apocalypse: All Star Jams

 Monday, May 01, 2006

All Star Jams

ALTERNATE TITLE: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving Richard Butler.

Richard Butler, being British-ish, and frakking adorable circa the 1980's


Sundays are generally the one day of the week that any thought of ‘work’ or ‘getting my ass off the couch’ is quickly eradicated by my own brain. This last Sunday was no exception.
I woke up too damn early, like 9 am on Sunday early. I curse my internal clock due to my early work schedule. But waking up this early afforded me one luxury: remembering that The Alternative was on VH1 Classic at 10am.

I love The Alternative. It is the only show on any music television (that I can tell) which revels in all the weird ass music I love. It ranges from gothy-synth-laden pop to ska to hard core punk and industrial. Generally the first hour covers the basics: Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus, New Order, Erasure, etc… The second hour usually is a bit harder and ranges up through the mid 90’s with bands like Nirvana, the Sex Pistols, Nine Inch Nails, Skankin’ Pickle, No Doubt (before they were popular), Garbage, and a whole range of “College Radio” bands (anyone my age knows what I mean by this, bands like The Ghosts of American Airmen, Love Spit Love, Letters to Cleo, Dada, Paul Westerberg, Dramarama, The Judy Bats, etc…).

But when I first woke up I watched Animal Planet. Breed All About it was on, and it featured Doberman Pinschers. My only issue with this show was that there was a Dobie named Rommel. Who in the hell names their dog after the Nazi military leader who was in charge of the North African campaign in WWII? Honest to god, you might as well name it Mengele or Goebels or just go for it and call him little Hitler (although Hitler preferred German Shepards). I also witnessed a woman dancing with her Dobie, which apparently was some sort of Animal Planet morning theme as the next show also featured some freak dancing with her dog. I next watched a show called Dogs on the Job or some shit like that where I watched Nougat, a golden Lab, hunt for truffles in the South of France. This made me wonder why our good-for-nothing Lab only does things like get stung on the eyebrow by a bee or run into a stick so it protrudes out of her chest cavity, I almost forgot the time she got her ass literally chewed on by a wild dog, and got the porcupine quills in the face. Yeah, Casey’s a regular doggie genius. Then they started talking about Doggie Scouts. This was when I decided to tune in VH1 Classic so as to avoid having to watch this sort of crap.

This was when what may be the finest 20 minutes of late 80’s early 90’s music has ever occurred on the VH1 Classic. All Star Jams was on. They played the following in order:

Bobbie Brown – My Perogative
TLC – Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
Monie Love & Queen Latifah – Ladies First

I need to qualify my former statement of greatness about this 20 minutes of grainy videos featuring corny songs. This was the music that was all the rage when I was just old enough to find music that I liked (not the crap mom and dad listened to, although my mother's taste in music is exceptional). It all came out around 5th grade and spawned through the remainder of my grade school years (I went to a K-8th, no I was not tortured with that whole Middle School thing). So it was kinda awesome to find a 20 minute steak that made me realize my childhood was riddled with some of the foulest music masked as hip-hop-pop. For instance: “Two inches or a yard, rock hard or with it saggin’, I ain’t too proud to beg” Shit. I had no clue when I was screaming “I ain’t too proud to beg” out of school bus windows what this meant. I mean I had an idea, but now at the wise old age of 27 I am a little shocked that someone didn’t slap my scrawy little ass. It’s one thing to know all the words to Baby’s Got Back (no, I will never be ashamed of my gift), it is wholly another to be 11 years old or so and singing about cock size. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to Monie Love, cos I completely forgot she existed until seeing her and Queen rap on about ladies coming first (again with the sexual imagery!).

Finally, The Alternative begins. I get myself ready for two hours of bizarre rock goodness. What do I get? Richard fucking Butler.

Richard Butler, as he appears today, less adorable, still very very British.

Now I need to do a small aside: Richard Butler was the lead singer of the group The Psychedelic Furs, which is a band I fucking love. Secondly he fronted the 90’s alternative group Love Spit Love, which was also an amazing band. Apparently he has a solo album out, and the bitch on The Alternative felt the need to tell us all about it. Don't get me wrong. I love me some Richard Butler, but shit, Did I need to see 8 Psychedelic Furs and 3 Love Spit Love videos in 1 hour? Honest to Christ! I didn't know Love Spit Love had any songs that could be video worthy besides their cover of The Smiths "How Soon is Now" which was used both in the movie The Craft but which is also the theme song for the WB show Charmed and "Am I Wrong" from their first album, I didn't realize there was more than one album. I don't even mind that he was on, and was being very British and didn't really say much, what bothered me was that the hostess was so busy jerking him off with praise and compliments that I wanted her to just give up and let him wank alone! (an aside within my aside: I came to realize today that the shit she was reading was right off of the Psychedelic Furs website and was his bio information. Talk about doing her research, where's condescending Amir when we need his journalistic integrity?)

Other than that I was fulfilled by my The Alternative experience. I got my fill of the Mode and the Cure and Erasure and all the bands of yore. Afterwards I stayed with VH1 Classic for basically the rest of the day (mostly cos I was on the phone all afternoon, every so often commenting about my VH1 Classic Experience, eventually coercing my phone partner into turning it on herself). Here are my thoughts on my afternoon date with VH1:

Why does Randy Newman have a music video for anything? I don't care how much he loves LA, he's never getting hot bitches like the ones in the video. The range of possibly getting hot bitches from most unlikely to maybe likely is as follows: #1 Randy Newman, #2 Michael Moore, #3 Matt Pinfield (who only gets babes cos they think he can hook them up with bands and shit).

Sade's "Smooth Operator" is a song we can all agree, doesn't suck at all, and never did.

All videos from the 1970's are not in fact from the 70's, cos there were no music videos then, they were edited together later, and then intercut with strobe lights and trippy visuals.

Someone needs to call Chaka Kahn about her hair and tell her to fire her stylist. Although the video was from the 80's she should find said stylist and fire them again if she hasn't already.

Johnny Rotten was fucking adorable as a young Anti-Christ, and Henry Rollins is still one fine motherfucker.

Isaac Hayes new version of "Shaft" was exactly the same as the old version, only now he could get a real video with Samuel L. Jackson getting bleeped saying motherfucker. Also did anyone else realize Christian "Hottie Batman, Scary Bateman" Bale was in Shaft? Hush yo' mouth.

Khrysten's AOL Music On Demand channels have an entire channel dedicated to Depeche Mode. The only problem is whenever she tries to watch it, it appears that everything has gone to cubes. I determined that they must have fired Anton Corbijn and instead dug Picasso out of his grave and demanded he rework all their videos. Go Mode.

When Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say, I Love You" is on the VH1 Classic and you are on the phone, you can actually recreate the whole video by doing what we have deemed "The Stevie" which is a gentle swaying to and fro with a slight feeling of not knowing what's around you/ It's even better if both you and the person on the other end of the phone are doing this.

The Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants may have some of the most low-budget minimalist videos from the late 80's but by god they are great bands.

I love VH1 Classic, but not as much as Battlestar Galactica.

BTW: You may notice a new name in my Daily Reads. The newest member is Kellen, who just happens to be my cousin, and who just happens to prove that being smart as hell and funny to boot may be genetic. Sarcasm can be inherited! Go memes!

Votes Of Sympathy:3

Comments Blogger IvoryValentine said...

'The Stevie' caught me by complete surprise! Suddenly I was just doing it without even knowing it at first and then it was unstoppable!

9:48 AM  
Comments Blogger Ginamonster said...

Oh my god. That's what I did too.

12:31 PM  
Comments Anonymous BDD said...

"Richard Butler, as he appears today, less adorable, still very very British."

Actually, that photo is about 15 years old. This is Richard now.

12:56 PM  

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