Thursday, January 31, 2013

Most underrated moments in Music Video History, Vol. 1

The magic moment, by Gina Schock.
First things first: The Go-Go’s should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

You wanna talk about paving the way for women in rock? You wanna talk about making great tunes and scoring hits without sexing it up, even though you’re a group of some pretty fine ladies who could have easily done just that to make it big? You wanna talk about staying power? (songs still get plucked for movies, songs still get played at sports arenas, band’s still touring)

That’s Belinda, Jane, Charlotte, Gina and Kathy.

But, to me, what really makes The Go-Go’s true legends are the latter years of their wheelhouse era, particularly the track “Head Over Heels,” off the 1984 album “Talk Show,” and especially the accompanying video. The girls have obviously settled into being ladies. They’re wearing mom jeans and sweats. They’re sporting mom ’dos. They got that sultry '80s makeup on.

The crowning moment comes when drummer Gina Schock enters the pantheon of Great Drummer Video Moments (a la the big Kelly Keagy drum thump in Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian”) with her big roll right after Charlotte Caffey tears it up on the piano in the song’s midsection.

Mom Jeans: The Ladies of "SNL" wore them well.
Right after wearing a ring that inexplicably turns into a bug, Gina, with her short, spiked, '80s-teased hair, plaid shirt and just-right eye shadow, breaks it down with a killer pounding, then a quick switch back into the big beat, all complete with not one but two winks. AY CARAMBA that’s one hot rock video moment.

So, congratulations, Gina, for helping your band, The Go-Go’s, become the inaugural entry into Cleveland Does Not Rock’s Most Underrated Moments in Music Video History.

Next stop, C-town.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eddie Money pisses away any shot at Rock Hall induction

Yeah, he’s gone from looking like Don Johnson’s ugly brother to an extra in “The Room.” And, yeah, he hasn’t had a hit in more than a few decades.

The heyday.
But Eddie Money has some slamming hits, from the smooth “Baby Hold On,” the pseudo-dance-rock “Two Tickets To Paradise” and the comeback smashes “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Walk On Water” and, my personal favorite, “I Wanna Go Back,” which I have on a 45 somewhere in the dark recesses of the closet of my childhood bedroom … along with that awesome poster of the hot chick in the catcher’s outfit …uh, I mean, nevermind.

Anyhoo, according to our scientific measurements and calculations, Mr. Money has an outside shot of one day making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At least in one of those weird "other" categories, like Early Influence or non-performer, guys who no one knows or cares about or remembers, in, say, 2033, when Lady Gaga and Mumford & Sons get in.

What the?
Wait a second, make that HAD an outside shot of one day making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Because if anyone has seen the admittedly humorous but preposterously painful and embarrassing GEICO ad starring Eddie, you know what I’m talking about. His voice is shot. He looks like some kind of rejected Jim Henson puppet. And what the f*ck is up with his mouth?

If Eddie Money wasn’t a joke before this commercial made it on the air, he is now.

Yo, Eddie: You oughta go back … and do it all over. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

For The Record: Jackson Browne

Open your eyes: Jackson Browne stinks on ice.
Of all the crimes ever committed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the 2004 induction of one Jackson Browne has to be way way up high on the list.

Not because Browne has never produced good music. He has some decent hits.

- "Running On Empty," despite being a one-trick, overrated Baby Boomer anthem that loses its appeal half-way through.

- "Lawyers In Love," cheeseball pop song with a awesomely horrid video

- "Tender Is The Night," not bad for corny AM radio slop

- "Somebody's Baby," accidental keeper from the "Fast Times" soundtrack. I'd never turn this off.

But overall this guy is just not Hall material. Or maybe he is based on who gets in year after year after year - lame, White Bread, nothing risky or edgy. He just kind of got the nod way after all the other deserving classic rock radio icons got in, floating in with other garbage like the Millennium Falcon hiding from one of those Imperial Cruisers in "Empire Strikes Back."

Five things really, really, piss me off about this guy:

1) His hair. It makes his head look like a penis. Get a freaking haircut man. It's not 1975 anymore. Even when it was 1975 his parted-down-the-middle mop made him look like a douche.

2) He's in, but yet Bryan Adams, who blows him out of the sky, will never even sniff a fart trapped in the Hall's front door. If you forget that Adams was overly pumped up by MTV as some kind of heart-throb, and pretend that he was really in a band like Big Star or something, then you have to admit Adams had some slammer pop gems. "Heaven" or "Tender Is The Night"? Come on.

3) Allegedly, supposedly he abused actress Daryl Hannah. This is an overblown rumor that is probably not true. But where there's smoke, there's fire, and at the very least Jackson was probably a major-league asshole to her.

4) Aping Bruce Springsteen. The Boss' down-home drawl is already kind of embellished, so ripping off a fake accent has to be one of the most ridiculous rips of all-time. Jackson is not an everyman, not a champion of the people, not a genius chronicler of our times and a voice of a generation. He's the guy who made the music that played when Damone porked Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Fast Times." Now that's Hall material.

5) The chorus in "Boulevard." I heard this kind of OK tune on the radio yesterday, and it is the singular reason why I'm writing this. It chugs along pretty fine in the verse and even pre-chorus - Joe Walsh-ish riffs, typical b.s. Browne lyrics and vocals, etc. Then it gets to that part when, inexplicably, a whole chorus of people come in with that "Nobody, nobody!" refrain. Why? How does that fit the song? This kind of lame shoehorning shows what a hack this guy really is, like you wonder if he hasn't had help all along on his good tunes. Screw you, Jackson Browne. Screw you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rock Hall '13: Justice has been done

911: A Joke; 2013 Rock Hall induction: Not a joke.

Two wrongs were made right by the clueless folks who vote to induct musical acts into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1) Once the Beastie Boys went in last year, Public Enemy HAD to go in next. Because Public Enemy should have already been in before the Beastie Boys. I'm not saying the Beastie Boys couldn't one day get in, but there's just too many other bands - shit, there's too many other rap acts period - who need to get in before them.

2) Rush should have been in years ago, back when they became eligible in 1998. Wait, did I just type that? Rush has been eligible for 15 FREAKING YEARS. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Before their induction this year, their fans would have killed you if you even suggested they shouldn't be in. Anyone who knows a turd about music history would have said they should be in. And anyone who ever picked up a guitar or bass or played the drums can speak to the wizardry that Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart possess.

With these two egregious errors corrected - along with the overdue induction of Heart - we realize it's asking far too much for the Hall to put in the most obvious omission of all - The Replacements. Since they seem to like nice tidy packaging, how about an 80s Brit-pop class led by The Cure and The Smiths? And then, like this year's Donna Summer inclusion, throw in someone else undeserving and random, like, say, Boz Scaggs.

The Gay Elvis. Wait, he's gay, right?