Friday, August 27, 2010

Top 10 Deliciously 80's Rock and Metal Songs

Hey all, rather than let the Cynic have all the fun, here comes a brand new top 10 list for you. Before we start, I have a confession. I LOVE the 80's. I love the music, I love the hair, the clothes (in the rock/metal side of things lol), I love it all. I have no problem admitting that. So that being said, I have compiled a list of the most wonderfully, outrageously, deliciously 80's rock and metal videos. Now I know there are about a half a million other songs out there that could have or should have made this list, but I am going with songs/artists I know and personally am a fan of, so yeah it might be biased, but it's what I know. Also, I'm looking at videos, so that limits me right there. I'm not like those teeny-tween types that wears a Guns N' Roses or a Beatles shirt just cause it's cool but have no idea who the hell the band is. And trust me, this could have been a top 50 or 100 list, narrowing it down to 10 was not easy. But, without further ado, here it is:

10. Lovin' Every Minute of It- Loverboy, 1985 (Lovin' Every Minute of It)

Okay, I probably could have put "Working for the Weekend" on here, but that would be too easy :D. And to be honest, I really like this song. I've been listening to Loverboy for a long time, both on the radio and from the albums my mum had when I was growing up. Also they are the only Canadian band that is on this list (sorry to Triumph, Heart, BTO, Rush, and the other awesome Canadian acts I didn't get on here). The video is straightforward and fun, moving from a house party to eventually the band getting on stage, a video-story one can see in tons of other music videos. The cutting back and forth to the band on stage, the piano and candles, so many awesome 80's style bits while maintaining a video overall that could pass off as more recent, especially in the parts on the stage and the house party. Still, awesome stuff.

9. Close My Eyes Forever- Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford, 1988 (Lita)

Ah, what would the 80's be without the power ballad? And what would this list be without at least one? This song is a combined effort from two of metal's greats, Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford. It is also a great example of the power ballad, in both the song itself and the video. The side shots, the fading from one to the other, the guitar solo, the shadows and otherwise dark/muted colors, showing them in with the microphones as in the studio; all quintessential (see Def Leppard's Love Bites as another example). This video shows the idea of the power ballad video at it's finest, and is essentially a perfect example. You can't really say more than that.

8. Turbo Lover- Judas Priest, 1986 (Turbo)

Okay, it's no secret I'm a huge Judas Priest fan. Turbo Lover is also one of my favorite songs. In this video, we see the band in a more "stereotypical 80's" way than with any other album. While still in their usual style of all leather and studs, we see a more colorful Judas Priest, as well as the fringes, and even Rob Halford's hair (which except for this part of the 80's and the early 70's, is always short/shaved). This album was also more "mainstream", as it were, featuring the band's first use of guitar synthesizers. A great song from one of my favorite bands, but you can certainly tell what decade it's from based on the video alone.

7. Nobody's Fool- Cinderella, 1986 (Night Songs)

Now this is a great song. The first time I heard it, I was sold. The guitars, the vocals, awesome, and very different from what was popular at the time that I first heard it in the early 2000's (I generally dislike my generation's music, with only a few exceptions). Again, we have the band on stage/filming a video, with the side story of the "girlfriend" and the groupies. Watching it, everything just smacks of the 80's, right down to Tom Keifer's "darker version of Steven Tyler" look, which I think is cool. A darker glam, can't go wrong there.

6. Flesh For Fantasy- Billy Idol, 1983 (Rebel Yell)

Clicky (boo, the embedding won't work)

I got into Billy Idol's music in a big way when I was sixteen. This was during my punk/goth/what-have-you days (proper punk, not that Avril Lavigne crap that was so popular at the time). I even saw the guy live in 2008 (the same year as Judas Priest and the same concert as Def Leppard lol). And really, does it get more 80's than this? The triangles (which show up in other vids from the time- see Def Leppard's Foolin'), the synthesizers, that kickass opening riff, and... could it be, the dancers are actually dancing instead of grinding and basically using each other for stripper poles? Well, I'll be damned! Real artistic dancing? Put a "ring" on that shit, Beyonce. :P
I don't think I need to further elaborate on the awesome 80's-ness of Billy Idol.

5. Tie: Rock of Ages & Rocket- Def Leppard, 1983 & 1987 (Pyromania & Hysteria)

It might surprise you, considering they are at number five on the list, but Def Leppard is my absolute favorite band, and have been for a long time. I had a hard time deciding on what video to include here, since the band had several during the 80's that would fit this list well. I had to settle for a tie, Rock of Ages from the Pyromania album, and Rocket from the Hysteria album. It also shows a change in style from the early 80's to late 80's, which is a nice comparison. Rock of Ages contains the ever-present band-on stage set-up, contrasted with images of hooded figures, a damsel in distress, vocalist Joe Elliott with a sword, and guitarist Phil Collen's bum. Rocket is a song that is nostalgic of the band's own influences and childhoods. The video is very 80's in a warehouse-type setting with TVs and equipment everywhere, showing images talked about in the song. Also notice the style changes from the two videos, in terms of both fashion and imagery. It's more noticeable if you watch all of the other videos from Pyromania (Foolin', Photograph -not the craptastic Nickelback song, Too Late for Love, Rock Rock Till You Drop) and Hysteria (Women, Animal, Love Bites, Pour Some Sugar On Me- there's two videos, Armageddon It, Hysteria- also with non-hyper-sexualized dancing) as well.

4. Holy Diver- Dio, 1983 (Holy Diver)

Does this need any introduction? Does it? This is fucking HOLY DIVER by DIO. This video is so hardcore awesomely metal and Viking and win. And yes, Killswitch Engage did a cover of this for the re-release, special edition of their album When Daylight Dies. I like the cover too, but you can't really ever beat the original, especially not when it comes to when of metal's greats. This was the first single from the band, and has become a classic (and well deserved). As a side note, Dio's guitarist on this album is none other than Vivian Campbell, who has been part of Def Leppard since the untimely passing of Steve Clark in 1991. Also featured in this video is the group's mascot, the demon Murray. This video is downright awesome. Raise your horns to the late, great Ronnie James Dio.

3. Here I Go Again- Whitesnake, 1987 (re-recorded single)

Think of iconic 80's rock video moments. Chances are, you'll think of this video, purely for the image of actress Tawny Kitaen dancing on the hood of lead singer David Coverdale's Jaguar XJ. It was even referenced in Bowling for Soup's 2004 song 1985 (which I think sucks, but whatever). In addition to the car dancing, the images of the band consist of the stage set-up prevalent in so many videos, with a very 80's vibe. This is also the third band on this list that has counted Vivian Campbell as a member, although he was not with Whitesnake for long (as with most of Whitesnake's members, it seems). However, he is seen in this video. The song itself was originally released in 1982, but was re-recorded and a new video made, which has become the more well-known version. Really, there isn't much else to say here, anyone who knows 80's rock videos should be familiar with Here I Go Again.

2. Bon Jovi's Videos from the Album Slippery When Wet- 1986

Love 'em or hate 'em, 1986 was huge year for Bon Jovi. Their album, Slippery When Wet, made them hugely famous and spawned three videos, as above. Now, regardless of how I am not a fan of Bon Jovi's sound post-Crush (hearing them on a local country station with Who Says You Can't Go Home was a very sad day indeed), I grew up on the Bon Jovi of the 80's, this album specifically. This is big, mainstream, anthemic, 80's hair rock/metal at it's finest. Even still, any person who knows Bon Jovi, apart from their newest stuff, knows these songs. They know the big hair, the wild outfits, and the words to these still very popular songs. Truly, few rock acts could claim to be so outrageously 80's (and outrageously popular) as Bon Jovi in 1986. So what band, you might ask, can top the sheer deliciously 80's-ness of those bands that come before?

The answer:

1. David Lee Roth era Van Halen, 1978-1985 (especially the album1984)

While putting together this list, I initially thought it was going to be really hard to order this list from ten to one. However, when I came to number one, I had to go with Van Halen, simply because I couldn't pick one single video (or album) to showcase the 80's-ness of Van Halen. This is the Van Halen I'm most familiar with. I know about three songs tops of Van Hagar, and it never really did it for me the same way. When I think of this band, I think of Eddie Van Halen's amazing guitar work, David Lee Roth's flamboyant antics and distinctive voice, and a look and style so distinctively 80's. I really don't need to explain it, the videos say it all. Now I chose three videos, all from the album 1984, mainly because they are some of the most popular Van Halen songs, and for some reason you can't find the video for Runnin' With the Devil on YouTube (boo). Roth-era Van Halen is truly in a class of it's own when it comes to delicious 80's goodness.

Well thanks for joining me here on this exploration on one of my favorite decades and it's music. Join me next time when I look at more delicious 80's fun, or something else equally awesome and nostalgic. Cheers all.

~the P.M.S

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Top 7 Godzilla: The Series Episodes

In 1998, director Roland Emmerich & producer Dean Devlin wanted to continue the success of reliving old film concepts that they had with Independence Day with their vision of the classic Japanese monster, Godzilla. The marketing for this film was brilliant with signs on buses and billboards talking about the size of various parts of his body (My personal favorite being "His spleen is the size of Mickey Rooney") and wicked teaser trailers (forgive the poor quality). May 20th rolls around and many hardcore Godzilla fans walked away disappointed, if not enraged. A lot of fans would consider Godzilla 98 "Ferris Beuhler's Day Off in Jurassic Park" but this movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. Is the acting bad? Yes. Does the military do an absolutely horrible job in trying to contain and kill the creature? Absolutely. Does Audrey the reporter come off as an annoying whiner and in some scenes warrants a punch in the face? Indeed, but I still like this movie. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a movie about a giant mutated lizard running around in New York City while breeding asexually in Madison Square Garden should hardly be taken seriously. Despite being mostly panned in its theatrical run, this movie did what it was supposed to do in the end: have a theatrical run, make its budget back with a few bucks to spare and entertain some of the audience. I was a part of that some. This movie did also spawn an animated TV series that premiered on Fox Kids on September 12, 1998. Godzilla: The Series picked up where the final scene in the film left off with one of Godzilla's eggs hatching, only this time, Nick Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick's character, voiced by Ian Zierring) is there when it does and the hatchling imprints on him as its mother. This series also carried over elements from some of the old Japanese movies where Godzilla this time was the hero as opposed to the villain, he breathes atomic fire and fights other mutations.

The new Godzilla throwing down against a pair of giant squids.

There were a lot of good episodes to this series and in the end, the animated series received more praise than the film it followed. Sure, some episodes were better than others but this was a good show. Most of the episodes followed the same structure: new mutant attacks, H.E.A.T. (Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team) goes in to investigate, gets attacked by mutant, Godzilla shows up to protect Nick and either a) scares off new mutation or b) gets his ass kicked by new mutation and runs off, H.E.A.T. spouts off scientific jargon and then translates it into simple English, confront new mutation with new plan and with Godzilla's help, defeats it. There were a few exceptions to this formula, but it was pretty standard throughout the show's two season run but didn't hinder the series any. This was one of my favorite cartoon shows as a young boy and it pains me that the complete series has not been released on DVD yet. In the meantime, you can YouTube many of the episodes and there are three sample DVDs out there that feature three episodes each. Today, we are counting down The Cynic's Top 7 Godzilla: The Series Episodes! NOTE: It has been a long time since I've seen the series so I apologize profusely if I fuck anything up here.

Honorable Mention: S1xE11 - Deadloch

Godzilla with an infant Loch Ness Monster

As a kid, I loved cryptozoology, the study of hidden animals. Of all of the cryptids out there, The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, is arguably the most popular, other than perhaps Bigfoot. The first sighting being reported back in the 7th century. The first photograph however was not taken until 1933. Since then, hundreds of sightings have been reported and photographed. The most common theory (other than "It's all a hoax") is Nessie is a Plesiosaur, an aquatic reptile from the Mesozoic era that believed to have died out 65 million years ago with the dinosaurs, yet somehow managed to survive until current times. In GTS, Nessie is actually a Mosasaur, a creature that also lived during the Mesozoic era but looked more like a crocodile with flippers instead of the usual Nessie archetype. In GTS, it looked more like a giant snake with tiny flippers. It attacks a research facility on the shores of the loch and H.E.A.T. goes in to investigate. While Godzilla is chasing Nessie around the loch, it turns out that the head scientist kidnapped Nessie's offspring to sell on the black market, but Nessie and Godzilla actually work together to free her child. As both a cryptid & Godzilla fan, this episode tickled me pink.

#7: S2xE17 - Vision

How'd you like this one coming to your feeder?

This one was a pretty cool episode because the villain was a pack of mutated hummingbirds. When you first hear it, it sounds absolutely ludicrous, but then again, look at the title character of the series. It turns out the hummingbirds have fed on plants that have been contaminated by a local nuclear facility and caused them to grow to enormous size, developing a taste for aircraft fuel. This is a very enjoyable episode because not only do you get some great action scenes with Godzilla facing off against these blurs in the air but there's an interesting side plot where Randy Hernandes (a new character for the series, voiced by Rino Romano) hacks into Dr. Mendel Craven's (Malcolm Danare reprising his role from the film) email account and sees an email that makes Randy believe that Craven is dying. Since they usually pick on each other a lot, it's kind of nice to see how well they work together as a team without the bantering and they create a giant set of goggles to help Godzilla see the birds clearly so he knows where to strike.

#6: S1xE7 - What Dreams May Come

Anger Management exists for a reason, people!

This was a bizarre episode. A creature with an electricity based anatomy begins attacking random places and disappears just as quickly. The attacks appear to be random until it turns out that they are connected to a man named Sydney Walker, who is currently comatose in a sleep experiment, but somehow the electric currents running through his brain combine with his suppressed rage create this creature that Mendel dubs "The Crackler," and it begins tearing up New York. Godzilla tries breathing his radioactive breath on it to destroy it, but the power in his flames makes The Crackler stronger. Randy and Elsie Chapman (another character from the film, voiced by Charity James) confront Walker in his room and make him snap and unleash his anger, weakening The Crackler enough for Godzilla to overload its system with his radioactive fire.

#5: S1xE19 - An Early Frost

Godzilla facing off against a genetically engineered clone dubbed The Chameleon.

It just seems like New York can't catch a break. One year after the first Godzilla threw havoc at New York City, a new one appears and repeats the rampage. A DNA scan is done on a flesh sample found at the scene and it matches 95% with Godzilla's. Nick isn't fully convinced that their Godzilla is responsible for it and it turns out, he's right. The creature framing Godzilla is The Chameleon, a clone engineered by Cameron Winter, Nick's old college rival who tried to have Godzilla killed in the earlier episode, The Winter Of Our Discontent. This episode also brought back Agent Phillippe Roache from the film, this time voiced by Keith Szarabajka, as he tells Series exclusive character Monique Dupre (voiced by Brigitte Bako) that he believes Nick's experiment has run its course and has her subordinate, she is obligated to take him to Godzilla's lair to kill the creature. The Chameleon proves to be near indestructible by the military's weapons and almost kills Godzilla, but Phillippe realizes that Godzilla was not responsible for the rampage and shoots a weapon at the Chameleon that dissolves its DNA into powder.

#4: S1xE12 to S1xE14- The Monster Wars


This three-part story is GTS' answer to the classic Toho film, Destroy All Monsters. This film continues the story from an earlier episode called Leviathan where an alien ship is discovered and the inhabitants have sinister plans for the Earth. In this episode, the alien technology is salvaged from the bottom of the ocean and the two surviving doctors from the Leviathan episode are possessed by the alien spirits and are using their technology to gain control of the Earth's monsters. They do manage to take control of creatures from previous episodes as well as a giant bat captured from Nigeria. To boot, the aliens have turned the first Godzilla from the film into the cyborg pictured above. That's right, folks. Mecha-Godzilla, one of the best of the classic Toho villains, was in the series. And much like in the film this three-parter was based on, the aliens take control of the current Godzilla and they deploy the monsters all over the world to deplete the military's munitions so that when the alien forces arrive, Earth's overtaking will be so much simpler. The H.E.A.T. team watch the world get decimated but manage to get the alien technology offline, which makes the monsters territorial and attack the alien forces. The episode ends with Godzilla facing off against Mecha-Godzilla and then the aliens are driven back and their island headquarters is turned into Monster Island, a scientific facility that studies Earth's mutations.

#3: S1xe15 - Competition

This may just be fan art, but the King Cobra looked exactly like this.

Okay, I KNOW that someone fucked up with the episode guide on this one, because I remember very clearly that this episode premiered LONG before the Monster Wars trilogy aired. Anyway, this episode took Godzilla back to his roots and is actually referred to by his true name, Gojira. Hikers are disappearing on Mt. Fuji and H.E.A.T. is sent in to investigate. While hunting for clues, they are attacked by a Giant Yeti that Godzilla then combats. Godzilla melts the creature's skin and it turns out to be a Robot. The robot is being controlled by a Japanese monster hunting team that believes Godzilla (or Gojira, whichever name you prefer) is responsible for the missing hikers, but then they are ambushed by the mutant King Cobra. The hikers are found (very few people actually die in this series) to be okay and the episode ends with Godzilla and the Robo-Yeti fighting in the heart of downtown Tokyo. This was an episode that made any old-school Godzilla fan grin. This was what it was all about...

#2: S1xE10 - Bird Of Paradise

Godzilla vs Quetzalcoatl: Science vs Mythology. HOLY SHIT, THIS IS AWESOME!

When an ornithologist named Lawerence Cohen is exploring an old Aztec pyramid, he triggers some mechanism that opens up and unleashes a giant flying reptile upon the skies of Mexico. Villages are being attacked but nobody is being hurt or taken by the creature, so H.E.A.T. is called by Lawerence and Elsie is a little hesitant to work with him because they used to be engaged but he became obsessed with his work. Lawerence believes that the creature flying around is in fact the winged serpent of Aztec mythology, Quetzalcoatl. In an attempt to catch the creature, they ambush it with tranquilizer guns but it's no use. The creature then attacks another village and when Elsie is taken by the creature, Lawerence realizes that Q has been taking material to build a nest and that Elsie will be the hatchling's first meal. The H.E.A.T. team go to the volcano where Q is nesting and it attacks the group, only to be intercepted by Godzilla. Godzilla knocks Q and her offspring into the volcano and uses his breath to seal the rim after Lawerence rescues Elsie. I really liked this episode because Q reminds me a lot of the old Toho monster Rodan and I mean, Godzilla is fighting a GOD! Where can you go wrong?!

And #1: S2xE1 - Future Shock

This is the end of everything you know and love.

This episode is one that I hold in a very high regard because A) I didn't get around to getting this episode on tape because the syndication fucked me over and B) Holy crap, this episode is dark. This is GTS' answer to the Terminator series. While chasing Godzilla who's chasing a mutation, Nick, Randy, Elsie & Monique get caught up in a terrible electrical storm that somehow transports them 23 years into the future (Craven stayed behind in the office because he was too sick to join them). When they return to H.E.A.T. headquarters, everything inside as well as the entire city has been decimated and destroyed. While exploring, they get attacked by the creature you see above, only to be saved by a 12 year old child who leads them to safety through the sewer system. It turns out that in 2002, a scientist bred the perfect killing machine to bring humanity away from the age of technology in an effort to save the Earth, but naturally, as with most evil geniuses, his plan totally backfired and he got eaten for his troubles. So did the vast majority of the human population. The D.R.A.G.M.A., an acronym for Democratic Resurgence Against Global Mechanized Armageddon, have super regenerative abilities with nearly impenetrable skin, they're highly adaptable and took over the world with ease. Where's Godzilla? Dead. D.R.A.G.M.A. food. Any surviving mutation on Monster Island after the Monster Wars Trilogy? Same. Characters from the film are mentioned but are done so in the past tense, so they're dead. H.E.A.T. reunites with Mendel Craven, who has a scar running down the right side of his face and has turned his fat into muscle. After trying to plan what to do while fighting off D.R.A.G.M.A., the rest of the H.E.A.T. team manage to escape back to the present and they stop the scientist from making the D.R.A.G.M.A.s too strong with Godzilla's aid. This episode was pretty screwed up but at the same time was so intriguing to see an episode with a threat that showed that there was actually a threat that Godzilla COULDN'T overcome. It's a very chilling episode and can be watched on YouTube. I suggest that you do so. Right now.

Why hasn't this series been put onto DVD in full seasons yet? Someone at Sony & Columbia/Tristar needs to get off their asses and make this happen. Seriously. This is The Cynic signing off.

-The Cynic

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Top 7 Most Hated Songs

I swear, this will be the last musical Top 7 for awhile. I'm gonna be resorting to my old pessimistic ways for this one because I wouldn't be able to resist that urge for this list. Why? Because everyone likes music to a certain degree but we all know at least a handful of songs that when they come on, we just wanna shoot whatever's playing them. So here is The Cynic's Top 7 Most Hated Songs.

#7 - Lamb Of God's "Black Label"

I don't particularly care for them now, but there was a time where I was quite the Lamb Of God fan. However, I must say that even in those Pro-Lamb Of God days, I couldn't get into this song. I tried and well, the music itself is fine, a little catchy in fact, but OH MY GOD THOSE VOCALS!!! This is more screamo than the roaring that Lamb Of God is known for. I cannot understand what he's saying here, and I could with later Lamb Of God songs. This song gives metal a bad name. A REALLY bad name.

#6 - Hinder's "Lips Of An Angel"

Ah, "Lips Of An Angel," or as I like to call it, "WAAAAAHHHH! I think of you whilst boning my current girlfriend and I imply that I'm going to cheat on her with you! WAAAAAHHHH!" Good luck fitting that on the back of a cd case, so "Lips Of An Angel" it is. It is seriously just four minutes of him crying. Dead fucking serious. If he still has those kinda feelings for his ex, why'd they break up in the first place? Is she looking for a booty call? Is he totally obsessed with her? Is SHE totally obsessed with him? Explain, song! Explain! Let's go with the assumption that she's looking for a booty call. If this is the case, this guy should just grow some nuts and be like, "You had your chance, bitch! I got a new girl now so go whore it up elsewhere!" CLICK!

#5 - Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

Considering how much I hate Lady Gaga, I'm surprised she ranks as low as she does on this list. Sonuvashitstain, I hate Lady Gaga! Everything about her is repulsive and I cannot understand for the life of me how anyone would find her physically or musically attractive. Her music sounds generic, her antics are boring & overdone, she looks like a fucking man and she WROTE THIS GODDAMNED SONG! Perhaps this song was just overplayed and that's why I hate it so much, but I'll state just for the record that I wanted to crash school buses full of children the FIRST time I heard this stupid song, and the fact that this was "The Song" that everyone loved for the longest time makes me want to cunilingus my toilet. Before anyone says it, yes, I know her song Bad Romance has 262 Million views. I immediately gagged when I saw that and almost threw up on my son.

#4 - Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet"

Okay, maybe I should cut this song some slack because it's kind of jazzy, but no. I hate it. Why? Because just like how Airbourne tries too hard to be AC/DC, Buble tries too hard to be a Canadian Frank Sinatra. You're not Frank Sinatra! Shut up! This could very well be another example of a song's popularity backfiring because it's overplayed, but that doesn't matter. As soon as that first piano note hits, I want to swing an axe into the radio and tongue kiss the sparking innards. The only good thing to come out of this Michael Buble craze is Michael Buble Being Stalked By A Velociraptor.

#3 - Kid Rock's "All Summer Long"

Now we're getting into the songs that inspire uncontrollable rage. I think I summed up my feelings on this one nicely with my Song Sampling rant, but allow me to say it again. It takes a special kind of fail to fuck up not one, but two great classic songs in one shot. I honestly cannot even listen to Werewolves Of London without hearing this debacle anymore. Fuck you, Kid Rock. FUCK. YOU. That's all I have to say about this one.

#2 - ...
Oh, man. Oh God. How can I even talk calmly about this one? This isn't even the top of the list and I already wanna quit. *sigh* Well, I guess I came this far, so here goes.
Nickelback's "This Afternoon"

I hate Nickelback now. I really do. The Nickelback that I became a fan of 11 years ago is officially dead and gone, because THAT Nickelback wouldn't have allowed something like "This Afternoon" to come to pass. A band that once listed bands like Metallica, Motley Crue & PanterA as influences NEVER would have allowed themselves to turn into a fucking pop band. While I'll admit I do like the song Burn It To The Ground, everything else I've heard off of the album Dark Horse is terrible. Too poppy and not enough rocky. The only other surefire rock songs on this album are Something In Your Mouth and Shakin' Hands. Both of those songs are ruined for me for different reasons. "Something In Your Mouth" for whatever reason reminds me of a former co-worker of mine that I saw as more of a friend rather than an object of sexual desire, so "Something In Your Mouth" just weirds me out. "Shakin' Hands" probably would've been a good song if it didn't have that stupid "Heyyyyy" chant in the background that's in every fucking rap song out there right now. Everything else just sounds like this pop-rock shlock, and considering how local media is pushing "This Afternoon" down my throat like oral rape, I will never give Nickelback anymore of my money. Never again, guys. Make another album like Silver Side Up or hell, even The Long Road & we'll talk.

And my #1 Most Hated song is...I don't even wanna talk about this one. I don't want to talk about this album, I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS PERSON! Although I guess I have to, k. My most hated song is KeOH GOD I CAN'T EVEN SAY IT! Even the title is absolutely horrible! Guys and gals, do I REALLY have to talk about this song? Do I? Fuck it, let the song speak for itself.

When the song starts with the "Blah Blah Blah," you know you're in for a complete ear massacre. This song makes St. Anger look like Vulgar Display Of Power. This is Kesha (fuck the $ that's supposed to be in her name), a vapid valley girl that looks like a drowning zombie prostitute with the vocal cords of a housecat fighting with a three year old. I absolutely hate Kesha. I don't know the woman personally, thank insert deity of your choice here, but I hate her. Her lyrics make her sound like a total bitchsnob. Kesha is the white Beyonce in this sense, who in turn is like Akon with a vagina. The only difference between the three is that Beyonce is a beautiful woman who can sing with the best of them. Akon is a good singer, but his physical looks don't do it for me. Kesha is none of the above. She can't sing, she can't rap, and she sure as fuck can't carry a good look in a suitcase. She's just like every stuck up "I'm so hot and I'm the shit because Daddy bought me a new Escalade for my birthday" prep shebitch you saw in high school.
Oh, and this song has 3OH3. Yeah, I was so wrapped up in lacing into Kesha that I almost forgot 3OH3 was in this song. These guys are salt on the fucking wound here. They deliver quite possibly the worst line ever written in a song.
"But I Don't Care Who You Are, In This Bar, It Only Matters Who I Is,"
Didn't someone teach these assholes proper grammar? Everything about this song angers me. The music, the performers, the lyrics, the video, the concept, the production assistants, EVERYTHING. I wanna know WHO thought this single was a good idea, so that their limbs can be torn off and stuffed up every possible orifice. Fuck this song, I'm done!

-The Cynic

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Top 7 Guilty Pleasures In Music Vol. 2

So with my last Guilty Pleasures list, I realized that I had picked songs that for the most part, were located within my favorite genre: rock. Anyone who knows me personally could easily see why I like those songs, so for this one, I decided to think outside the box and take another stab at it. Since the radio at work is rarely on the rock stations, I was surprised at how easy this list was to fill. This is Coffee With The Cynic's Top 7 Guilty Pleasures In Music 2.0.

#7 - La Roux's "Bullet Proof"

Upon first hearing this song, I figured, "Eh, it's not bad," but whenever it comes on, I can always sense my foot tapping along. I Googled the song to verify the correct spelling and the YouTube video was right there and I was surprised to see a girl who looks like she's trying to be in Roxette instead of something like The Pussycat Dolls, which is the archetype I had in mind. Just goes to show you that not every pop artist has to look like a fucking stripper in order to get by. Good for La Roux. Does it get overplayed? Yeah, but I'm not completely sick of it yet.

#6 - Karl Wolfe's "Hurting (Radio Remix ft. Sway)"

Now the version that I'm going with is the Radio Remix because I'm most familiar with this version. You know, the one that sounds like it'll bust into some "Dancing Queen" or some shit. It's so disco and seems almost out of place with a lot of today's music, but the disco tempo works better than the original, which sounds more like a Darren Hayes song. Overall, the song is pretty fun and the best part is the end where Karl is harmonizing in the background. Reminds me of the breakdown in Machine Head's "Beautiful Mourning," (at about the 2:34 mark) and I wish bands would do it more often.

#5 - Brad Paisley

No particular song, just Brad Paisley in general. Brad to me is country music's answer to Theory Of A Deadman. Some of his songs can be sappy, but the ones I'm most familiar with are either stupidly catchy
or damn funny. Yet, he can be pretty dark with a song like "Whiskey Lullaby," a chilling tune about drinking yourself into the abyss over a broken heart. You gotta respect the diversity of Brad's repertoire and to boot, he's a country artist that actually SOUNDS country and not country/pop. You know what? If I still played bass, and if it came up, I'd play bass for Brad Paisley. Yeah, fuck it! I'd do it.

#4 - Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls"

My apologies for the slideshow, I couldn't find the official video. I find it astonishing that some rock band hasn't done a cover of this song yet. This song has the perfect atmosphere for it. The acoustic guitar, the stormy background, the way Garth delivers the lyrics, it's fucking awesome. All this song would need is a guitar solo and it's pretty much set. Apparently there's another verse to the song, but it's never played on the radio and the banned music video supposedly sums it up nicely. This is a song from my childhood that seems to have stuck with me for all these years, even when my tastes changed from country to rock. THAT, my friends, takes skill.

#3 - Timbaland's "The Morning After Dark (ft. Soshy & Nelly Furtado)

This song I had only heard at work & they only mentioned Timbaland & Nelly Furtado. It wasn't until I watched the music video that I realized the woman rapping in the middle of the song in fact, WASN'T Nelly but this Soshy girl I'd never even heard of. Anyway, I think I like this song because of the drum beat and oddly enough how the vocals between the three artists flow so nicely. I don't really play the games much anymore, but if this song was available for Guitar Hero or Rock Band, I'd take a stab at it. Easily. If nothing else, I just love the faces Timbaland makes in this video to help him enunciate.

#2 - Florida's "Low (ft. T-Pain)"

I say Florida because I refuse to call him "Flo Rida." Let's face it, this song is absolutely fucking retarded. However, I think that's where they enjoyment is. You can't help but tap along to it, simply because of the absurdity of it. Your foot laughs at the song for you and it leaves you warmhearted afterwards. Travis Barker did a remix of this song that actually sounds pretty good and you can download it for Guitar Hero: World Tour.

And the #1 Guilty Pleasure Is...
Oh, man, I can't believe I'm actually saying this...Black Eyed Peas' "Rock That Body."

This is a new low for me, folks. Like, being caught masturbating in public by your mother low. At one point I even said, and I quote, "The Black Eyed Peas are the worst artist going right now." That was of course until Kesha showed up and made me eat my foot. That said, I still fucking hate The Black Eyed Peas. Yet this song comes on and I'm like, "Okay, this isn't bad."

Wait, what?! There's nothing to like about this song! The lyrics are repetitive, albeit not Imma Be or I Gotta Feeling repetitive. The way Fergie's voice is distorted makes me feel like I'm in Grade 6 listening to Aqua again & thus brings back all kinds of deep psychological issues. The voices of Bill & the other Peas annoy the hell out of me, yet I can't help but air drum along to this song. Maybe I only like the song because of the drum beat. Since I mentioned them in the last two entries, this song might be a challenge in GH or RB, but still, it's the fucking Black Eyed Peas! They suck! Hard! And so should this song! But, it doesn't! A good Black Eyed Peas song? The world doesn't make sense anymore!

-The Cynic

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top 7 Song Covers

Ah, music and movies. I've been having a real one track mind as of late, and here's something else to add to that. In my Song Sampling video, I explained the difference between a cover song and a rip off song. Here, we're going to be talking about covers, though. This is actually going to be a positive list for a change and we're going to go over my PERSONAL Top 7 Favorite Covers.

Honorable Mention: "Turn The Page" by Metallica

Now, I know the public is really half & half on this song, but as a big Metallica fan, I really dug their spin on Bob Segar's classic tune "Turn The Page". It's such an amazing song that you can't help but bob your head to it and that was the reason Metallica covered it. However, even with their enthusiasm and effort, Metallica's version falls a little short when compared to the original Segar version. Either way, they're both amazing songs and when either one comes on, drop what you're doing and crank that shit up!

#7 - "Bad Company" by Five Finger Death Punch

Ordinarily, I don't give bands that debuted past June 2004 much of a chance because most of them sound the same. That said, I'm glad I looked these guys up out of curiosity after a friend saw them opening for Korn. This was the first song I heard from them and I was floored. Much like Metallica's "Turn The Page," FFDP's take at "Bad Company" falls oh so short to the original version from Bad Company, but at the same time, FFDP's version has a lot of OOMF to it and it colored me very impressed, thinking that the future of metal may not be limited to all those "Rah-Rah-Rah" type bands.

#6 - "Balls To The Wall" by Fozzy

Originally done by Accept in 1984, "Balls To The Wall" is classic metal in every sense of the word. Much like Quiet Riot's "Metal Health", this song will get your head thrashing and your fists pumping. However, I gotta be honest, I prefer Fozzy's version. Featuring former members of Faith No More, Stuck Mojo & sporting WWE Superstar & fellow Manitoban Chris Jericho on vocals, Fozzy did a great job on this song and I feel it outdoes the original.

#5 - "Rock On" by Def Leppard

Originally done by David Essex, "Rock On" was the main single on Def Leppard's cover album "Yeah!" I find it superior to the original version because Essex's version is mostly vocals and little music, whereas Def's version actually makes use of the music, including a rocking guitar solo at the end and a neat bass intro at the start. That, and this song sounds awesome live.

#4 - "Pretty Woman" by Van Halen

Now, with all due respect to Roy Orbison's classic, Van Halen's cover appeals to me more as a classic rock fan. With the instrumental "The Intruder" building up to "Pretty Woman," the song takes off with Eddie Van Halen's trademark sound and is soon joined by David Lee Roth's wise ass naughty vocals. What's not to love about this song? It's upbeat, has a bit more crunch to it, but at the same time doesn't distance itself so far from the original. Love it.

#3 - "Holy Diver" by Killswitch Engage

Originally done by the late, great, heavy metal godfather Ronnie James Dio, "Holy Diver" is a rockin' tale of medieval magic and adventure. While Dio's version is great in itself, I find myself leaning towards Killswitch Engage's version simply because it feels like it has more energy behind it with crunchier instrumentals and incredible vocal work from singer Howard Jones. The music video for "Holy Diver" is an entertaining watch as well and it goes to show how much of a disturbingly convincing woman guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz can portray.

#2 - "Land Of Confusion" by Disturbed

This song was originally done by Genesis way back in 1986 and the music video for it was VERY fucked up. Phil Collins as a puppet is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen, but the song is very powerful with its message of greed & uncertainty of the world during The Cold War yet having an optimistic sense of hope for the future. The Disturbed version builds on top of this and expands it by putting it modern scenarios of a more corporate & globalized world. As for the music itself, much like "Holy Diver," Disturbed's version seems more energetic, but it doesn't completely overshadow the amazing original version either.

And my #1 favorite cover song is...well, it's actually a tie! A tie between PanterA's covers of "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Planet Caravan."
"Cat Scratch Fever" by PanterA

Yeah, yeah. You're probably thinking, "Oh, sure. The Cynic's favorite cover songs are from his favorite band. Big woop." Hear me out. I know there's a lot of hate on this band for whatever reason, but holy fuck, I love PanterA. I don't think anything short of Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" or Judas Priest's "Painkiller" gets me going the way PanterA does. Now, as you probably already know, "Cat Scratch Fever" was originally done by the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent. This song is basically singing about getting poon with the use of delightful feline euphemisms. This cover was recorded for the soundtrack of the film "Detroit Rock City" and drummer Vinnie Paul has been quoted saying, "We're all huge Ted fans & we wanted to put our own spin on it. I swear, I hear our version in tittie bars more than Ted's." Even my own mother, who is very neutral on the whole heavy metal subject, finds this version better than the original. This is either really cool or really sad.

Now, as much as I love me some "Cat Scratch Fever," technically speaking, the cover of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" is the better song. "Planet Caravan" was originally on Black Sabbath's epic "Paranoid" album but whenever I listen to it, I can't hear a damn thing, which is a shame. This is one reason why I love PanterA's version. The other is because of how out-of-left-field it is. Seriously, just listen to the song. This song isn't like "Cemetery Gates" or "This Love" where it goes back and forth from melodic to heavy. It stays this mellow the entire time and it's impressive that it does so seeing as how PanterA put this on the same album as such ballbreakers as "5 Minutes Alone," "Becoming," "Use My Third Arm," and "Strength Beyond Strength." I have been known to say "Metal is soothing," but this is a song that is genuinely relaxing and it actually leaves a sense of magic & peace in your heart. It's too bad that things went the way they did in PanterA, because regardless of the haters, PanterA was an amazingly fun band and still a hoot to listen to today. PanterA was one of the greatest metal acts in their time, and of all time.

So tell me, what are some of your favorite song covers? Feel free to comment.
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Top 7 Most Disappointing Movies

In case anyone out there hasn't figured it out yet, I'm a huge movie fan. Movies (much like music) are the ultimate escape, to completely forgo reality and take you away to their own little world for two hours. Movies are a powerful thing and can just as easily destroy lives as they can change them. Then there are some movies that seem like they'd be great for whatever reason and then you sit down to start watching it and as the movie progresses, you think to yourself, "Wow, this wasn't what I was expecting at all. In fact, this kinda sucks." On that note, I give you my personal Top 7 Most Disappointing Movies!

Honorable Mention: Jurassic Park 3

It's no secret that I'm a borderline ravenous Jurassic Park fan, so I included this one on the list to show I'm not playing favorites, even if it is just an honorable mention. When Jurassic Park 3 hit theatres on July 18th, 2001, fans were half & half on it. There were fans that liked The Lost World: Jurassic Park and wanted more, and then there were fans that hated The Lost World and weren't sure if another JP film would fix it. While, to me anyway, Jurassic Park 3 is an enjoyable film, it does have its flaws. Most notably the overall look of the movie, seeing as how it doesn't really LOOK like a Jurassic Park film, much less feel like one. I mean, sure, Alan Grant is the main character and a lot of familiar species of dinosaurs are back, but it just doesn't tie in very well with the first two. It's a fun dinosaur flick, but a mediocre Jurassic Park film. Easily my least favorite of the series.

Now the actual list.

#7: The Alien vs Predator series

Again, these are movies that I enjoyed, but let's face it, they aren't great. In fact, they suck. The first one had an interesting concept similar to that of the original comic books and the movie does attempt to give the characters some depth so that you can sympathize for them when they start dying, but the mostly so-so acting, the strange bulky look for the Predators & the PG-13 rating made this movie fall short of its goal.

The sequel, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, wasn't much better. While it brought back the gore and the original physique of the Predator, it skipped over everything else that was good about the first film. There's no solid story, it's too fucking dark to see what's going on, and the guys in the creature costumes give more convincing performances than the human characters. It's too bad, because this could have been a great sci-fi/horror franchise, but instead we're stuck with these.

#6: War Of The Worlds

Now we're cracking the shit list. This movie had serious potential for me. Seriously, an updated version of a classic novel, featuring half of the production team behind Jurassic Park and Tom Cruise before it was widely known he was fucking insane. Once the credits rolled in the theatre, I figured, "Okay, that wasn't bad." During the ride home, I thought, "It was ok." Once I actually stepped into my apartment, I thought to myself, "Wow, that actually sucked." I don't know what it was about this movie, but I just didn't like it. It wasn't the great thrill ride I was hoping for and the best part of the movie was the scenes with Tim Robbins, and there's only a couple of those. Needless to say, I was bummed out about it.

#5: The Incredibles

This is Pixar's St. Anger as far as I'm concerned. You know you're in trouble when the trailer is funnier than the movie. I went into this one expecting another Toy Story or even a Monsters Inc., just a good story that kept you hooked with plenty of laughs to entertain. I felt The Incredibles had neither. I just couldn't convince myself to get excited about this movie when I was watching it in theatres. Once I left the theatre, I was sure of two things:
1) I was happy I used a movie pass to see it.
2) Pixar had nowhere to go but up from there.

#4: The Matrix Revolutions

Okay, seriously, Wachowski Brothers...well, I guess Wachowski Brother & Sister now, what the hell? The original Matrix film was ground breaking in that "We'll Fuck With Your Mind Until Nothing Makes Sense" kind of way, and the sequel The Matrix Reloaded wasn't bad, but Revolutions felt like a total cop-out. It's like the writers decided to end it in mid-story and although it was pegged as the final film of the series, they still left it open for a sequel. I remember after the movie my friend and I went to his car and we sat there for a minute in silence, then he looks at me and says, "That's it?" All I could do was shake my head, "That's it." Boo Matrix Revolutions.

#3: Men In Black II

I LOVED the first Men In Black film. It had laughs, it had action, the movie didn't drag out, the effects were great, and it went on to be the highest grossing film of 1997 if I remember correctly. Men In Black II was a straight up FAILURE. The laughs weren't there, the story was dumb, Tommy Lee Jones & Will Smith didn't have the same on-screen chemistry that they did the last time and overall the movie was just...plah. I couldn't believe I actually paid good money to see this annoying thing. Hell, even the theme song pissed me off. Men In Black II sucked big time and anyone who hasn't seen it should avoid it.

#2: Zombieland

I know I already reviewed this movie, but I had to include it on this list. It seems like everyone and their cat loves this movie, but I'm going to go ahead and presume you never saw any of the promotional material for it. All of the gags in this film were given away by the trailers. The only gag that was kept under wraps was the Bill Murray cameo and even that couldn't save this movie. It's pegged as a comedy, yet it isn't funny. I know I said in my original review that I thought it was ok, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't like it. I was heartbroken by how let down I was by this movie. I'm gonna flat out say it: Zombieland sucked.

And #1: Hulk

How can a movie about The Incredible Hulk be so fucking BORING?! Seriously, all of the characters just yak & gab about the science of being The Hulk. Nobody cared about the science behind it, they just wanted to see The Hulk go on destructive rampages and smash things. This is also one of the only movies I've seen where Sam Elliot does NOT play a cowboy. I'm beginning to see why he only plays those roles, because he's so good at them! Not here! The rest of the cast isn't overly convincing either, nor are the effects. This sleep inducing disaster is easily the most disappointing movie I've ever seen. FAIL.

-The Cynic