Friday, July 1, 2011

From My Green Crushed Velvet Rocker

Here are some random thoughts, on a Thursday afternoon, from my green crushed velvet 360* rocker. First thought, damn I wish I had some grape Nehi, but I didn’t so I decided to flip through the channels on the ol’ boob tube. Recently, I came across this music video channel called Cool TV on Jacksonville Comcast 216, so I stopped there to see what was playing.

The first video was from David Bowie called “Boys Keep Swinging”. It’s the first time I’d ever heard the song or seen the video. As with most things Bowie did, the video was odd to say the least. His three “female” back up singers, you could tell that they were drag queens, turn out to be Bowie himself. By the end of the video, each of the Bowie queens walks down a runway, two of them stop, rip off their wig and then smear their lipstick across their face and the third blows a kiss to the camera. It was pure Bowie. So for all of you “shock artists” out there, it’s already been done. You aren’t innovators, you’re imitators.

Next was a live version of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”. I loved this song when I was a kid (I wasn’t born when it was released, but about 10 or 11 when I started listening to it). I can still remember lying on my bedroom floor, stereo headphones plugged in, cranking my dad’s Aqualung album, (now in my possession, thanks dad), as I stared at the creepy cover art of a disheveled looking man. Today, as I look at it, the man kinda looks like lead singer Ian Anderson. On a side note, the War Child album cover art is creepy as well, especially the back cover. I can’t put it into words, but if you look at the collection of strange looking people, then maybe it will affect you the same way. Some insight, there’s a little girl in a dress, beret and combat boots holding a machine gun. Anyways to the video. As I said, it was a live version and there were no less than six band members on stage jamming out with the crazy eyed, thick bearded Ian Anderson singing, “sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent.” To this day, I love that creepy song.

The classic rock videos continued, with a Jimi Hendrix video for the song, “In From the Storm”. I’m not big into guitar solos, but that dude could shred. It got me thinking, why aren’t there more black rock and roll guitarists? Yes I know Slash is half black, but whom else of importance? Of course, there is B.B King, Chuck Berry, Rick James, Muddy Waters, Lenny Kravitz, Living Color and the likes, but I’m talking rock/metal. I guess Tom Morello (famous for Rage Against the Machine) and Lajon Witherspoon (the lead singer of Sevendust) come to mind. Help me out readers.

Finally a commercial and it was a great one for a “revolutionary” product called Half Time ™ . A drill driver that holds two bits, so you can drill and drive without changing in the middle of a job. If I didn’t break my power drill, I probably would’ve ordered it because it was only $19.99. But wait! If I would’ve ordered right then, I would’ve gotten a second Half Time ™ drill driver for free. I just would’ve had to pay a separate processing and shipping fee. Now back to the videos.

“Amber” from 311 was next. I’ll be honest I don’t like these guys. I loved their breakout hits, “Down” and “All Mixed Up”, but the laid back, semi-reggae vibe quickly lost its appeal with me. Also, I did some research about the song and Tiffany you lied, it isn’t about you.

John Popper is not dead. I’ll discuss that later, but now to the video. “Run Around” from the Blues Traveler album Four was on the screen. From behind the curtains a rotund Popper sings, “But you, why you wanna give me the run around.” Also, there is a cameo by Ken Ober. You know the host from the MTV game show Remote Control.

By the way, Ober is dead; he died in 2009, which brings me back to Popper still being alive. The story goes; about five years ago some friends and I were discussing music and one guy said, “Isn’t the lead singer from Blues Traveler dead?” He wasn’t and as far as I know he’s still kicking today. Regardless of proof, that friend still chooses to believe Popper is no longer with us.

Then an awful video/song, “What Ya Gonna Do” that made my ears bleed. Sorry Hinder fans, I know that there is a large following for bands like Hinder, Buckcherry, Nickelback and Saving Abel, but as Mike Tyson so eloquently put it, “I wish you would just fade into Bolivian.”

Next up, a commercial for the Slice O Matic ™. It looked badass and so easy to use that I could even use it blindfolded. Let’s say I didn’t need potatoes, I would still go out and buy in bulk just to have something to slice. Now back to the videos.

The misery continued with a band called Down With Webster and their video, “Rich Girl$.” No they didn’t! This p.o.s. band raped the great Hall and Oates classic “Rich Girl” and shame on Hall, Oates’ mustache and their music label for allowing it to happen. D.W.W., I’d never heard of you before, but now I have to thank you for contributing, in three minutes and fifty-four seconds no less, to the continued decline of America’s youth. Come on Canada you can give us better!

And just before I reached for the remote, Cool TV redeemed itself. First, with a video off of The Decemberists’ album The King is Dead, called “This is Why We Fight.” I love Colin Meloy’s voice and dig many of The Decemberists’ songs. This video kinda had a Lord of the Flies, meets Mad Max, feel to it. The video’s climax shows us the oppressed group of kids storming the fort of the kids in control. The final scene of the video has the kids in control running towards the dissenters, but just before they reach them, the song ends and the screen fades to black. Second, I was blessed with the “Ghost Inside” video by Broken Bells. Not gonna go deep into details because all I have to say is Christina Hendricks, enough said.

I didn't fuck around and get a triple-double, but Cool TV did give me some oldies but goodies, made me think of a funny time with friends, subjected me to Down With Webster (for that I will always hold a grudge), let me lay my eyes on a red-headed beauty, introduced me to a two in one drill bit and tempted me with a badass slicer. All in all, I can say that it was an enjoyable forty-five minutes of TV. I urge you to check out Cool TV. The picture quality of the videos is not that great, but as they promise, “we only play videos.”

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