Tag Archives: one hit wonder

Blumes’s Misleading Halloween Party Playlist

By Andrew Blumetti

Was your Columbus Day party as lame as mine?

Sure, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria chili dips burned, and the bowl full of 1,492 olives ended up being a colossal waste of money, but your heart was in the right place, wasn’t it?

And how on the face of great, green Planet Earth you were able to get more suckers guests to give you a second chance only a few weeks later for your Halloween shindig makes you think something’s gotta be in the water supply.

But nonetheless, here’s your chance to make things right.  Dim the lights, toss up some icky cobwebs, a few delightfully horrific decorations, a delicious hors d’oeuvres platter of Halloweenies or Zombielamb-chops, and before you know it, folks on both sides of the Mason Dixon line will be waxing poetic about the triumphant haunted hootenanny you threw that fateful evening of October 31st in the year 2013.

Well, not so fast there chief.  Without some quality rump shakin’ tunes, they ain’t gonna be fawning like rabid Justin Bieber fans just yet.  Those fellas didn’t dress up as rootin’ tootin’ cowboys, and those ladies didn’t starve themselves for two weeks and squeeze themselves into skin-tight slutty cop costumes just to stand there in your living room like lazy lumps on a log.

“This party DOESN’T have the right to remain silent!”

Well, take it from me, if you don’t want your gussied-up guests to go stormin’ out the front door before the steaming hot Pieday the 13ths hit the table, certainly don’t pick your songs based solely on title or artist name alone.  It turns ugly, and it turns ugly fast.  

Case in point:  My 2012 party soundtrack…

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TRACK #1:  THE CRANBERRIES- “Zombie”

This might be of Eminem, I cannot fully be sure.  

Listen to it here.

What you expect:  A decrepit hand breaks the cold cemetery soil, as dozens of flesh-hungry dead cannibals rise to their rotting feet, black-tongued and blood-filled mouths, groaning the words, “do you have to let lingerrrrrrrr…”

What you get:  Not nearly as Walking Dead-ish as the title would suggest, this excellent mid-90’s alt rock staple is a protest song surrounding the violence and unrest in Northern Ireland, inspired by the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington, Cheshire.  Don’t use it at your Halloween party, you’ll look like an insensitive dunce.

Rick and roll!

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TRACK #2:  FRANK SINATRA- “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

frank sinatra

“Hey punk, don’t use my song at your party, or I’ll clean your clock.”

Take a listen here.

What you expect:  Your mind races and your nerves tremble as the padded walls of the nuthouse close in on you faster and faster.  Is your cracking brain playing tricks on you?  Maybe, look at your skin crawl after all– it could be festering bugs laying their eggs, it could be a deadly disease rotting you from the inside out, or it could be a mean prank that wisenhimer Dean Martin played on you when you were using the bathroom.  The line between madness and reality is blurring faster than ‘Ol Blue Eyes’ vision, eight drinks in, at a hotel bar following a Saturday night show.

What you get:  Some feel it’s about the drink, but the popular and direct interpretation of this Sinatra favorite is likely about the all-powerful pull of love and attraction.  That overwhelming feeling when you just can’t get that special person out of your mind and heart.  Just the same way I feel about Pauly Shore.

“I love you too, budddddday.”

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TRACK #3:  FOREIGNER- “Hot Blooded”

[BAND PICTURE]

“DOWN WITH SLEEVES!”

I guess you could listen to it here.  If you really wanna…

What you expect:  Laying in the cold bed in the harshly-lit infirmary, the soundtrack to your horrific stay is riddled with coughing and phlegm-filled hacking from fellow bedridden sickies.  Your poor head is throbbing like the Dickens, and your blood is on the verge of boiling right there in your freakin’ veins.  Your now pale complexion is drained of all discernible color and each agonizing minute of this agonizing pain feels one step closer to grim death.

What you get:  A fever of wait… 103°”?!?  Oh for God’s sake.

True, it’s certainly no walk in the park, but that doesn’t necessarily throw you into the depths of certain doom.  It more than likely throws you into a doctor’s office to get some orders to take a few Advil and chug some more liquids.   But you have to pay full price for your office visit because the Obamacare website IS DOWN!!!!   THE HORROR!!!

“STUPID ERROR 404!!!”

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TRACK #4:  CURTIS MAYFIELD- “Freddie’s Dead”

This is how many times Curtis Mayfield’s estate is going to sue me for using his name in this article.

Get down and check it out here.

What you expect:  “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…” 

You can finally sleep sound as your once-terrorized dreams have become much safer.  Sadistic, striped-sweatered-sleeping slayer, Freddy Krueger, has finally met his maker, as his blood-covered razor-fingers lie next to his putrid, rotting corpse, never to destroy your nightmares again.

He was also mad Curtis Mayfield misspelled his name in the title, but hey, Freddy’s got some anger issues.

What you get:  A song about the death of “Fat Freddie”, a character from 70’s Blaxploitation film, Super Fly (the song appeared on the film’s soundtrack).  That’s what eating at Heart Attack Grill every day will do to ya, Freddie.

“I don’t need you Mayfield, I’ll just make my own song!”

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TRACK #5:  RADIOHEAD- “Creep”

Radiohead is one of my all-time favorites, but this song about the Itsy-Bisty Spider just came off as pretentious.

You don’t belong here, you should be here, listening to this song.

What you expect:  What’s that?   Look outside your window.   Is someone outside?

There’s a full moon out on an icy-cold Halloween eve.  The rustling sounds in the bushes are sending a chill up your spine and making your heart race faster than Miley Cyrus shedding her clothes the second she sees a camera flash.  Is a crazy axe murderer outside?  Maybe a blood-thirsty werewolf?  Terrifying little kids with those orange boxes collecting for UNICEF?!?

What you get:  Oh Thom, you silly goose, you’re not creepy.  We love you, and your lazy-eye, and your weirdo “bacon sizzling in a frying pan” freakout dancing on stage.  False alarm people, false alarm.

Safety tip from Blumes:   Wondering if annoying hipsters have been stalking you from your window?  Look for the empty Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and empty tins of mustache wax littered on the ground. 

“I bought non-perscription glasses with extra-thick frames, just so I could spy on you better.”

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TRACK #6:  CUTTING CREW- “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight”

“When we go to the barber, we just say, ‘Gimme whatever semi-modish 80’s hairdo the rest of the band is wearing'”.

Insomniacs rejoice!  Pretend you’re watching a late night “Best Love Song Hits” CD commercial here.

What you expect:  (The closing minutes of a slasher horror movie)– post serial killer attack, lots coughing up blood, gasping for many last breaths, dramatic music, and a final pleading to make it out alive.  Note:  The black guy died early on in the film.  Way to fall into lazy stereotypes, fictional movie that I just made up.

What you get:   Soft rock-   heavy on the soft, light on the rock.  When you’re 45-minutes into a wait at the eye doctor’s office for your semi-annual checkup, reading a wrinkled, old Entertainment Weekly magazine with Ruben Studdard on the cover, this is the ballad that’s likely being played on the radio.  This is the band even Spandau Ballet bullies around while on tour.

“Hey you Cutting Crew fruits, shut up, give us your lunch money and all the crates of mousse that you have.”

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TRACK #7:  THE FUGEES- “Killing Me Softly”

Apparently the ceiling fan was really interesting to stare at.

What you expect:  Under soft candlelight and the comforting crackles of a cozy fireplace, a bewitching murderer cranks up the charm, wining and dining his ill-fated victims seconds before the tapered knife is revealed and the cozy-bearskin rug is horrifically painted with splashes of crimson.

What you get:  A mid-90’s cover of the Roberta Flack hit that the DJ played at our “Class Night” dinner in senior year of high school.  Aside from making me realize that I’m old enough to remember when Pras actually had a career, it’s not really scary.  

Blumes note:  In searching for a picture of Lauryn Hill, the Google search accidentally brought up, “Lauren, Hills”.  This is not Lauryn Hill. 

lauren conrad

“I am so Lauryn Hill! Heidi Montag stole my Grammys, and hid them in her shirt!”

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(The remaining tracks apply to any song by these deceptively scary-sounding artists with not-so scary music…)

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TRACK #8:  ANY SONG BY 10,000 MANIACS

10000

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”– George Carlin

Go ahead, be 10,001 right here.

What you expect:  In 1964, a splatter film, Two Thousand Maniacs! was released.  A film “gruesomely stained in blood color!” about Yankee tourists humiliated and hacked to bits by murderous rednecks in the Deep South (the film was remade 40 years later by Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund” as 2001 Maniacs).  This band must be FIVE TIMES more insane than that!  Scary math!  

What you get:  Nope.  This band should’ve been called, “10,000 White People Who Shop at Banana Republic”, and even then, the math is still very suspect.  And I shop there too.

mtv news

“Breaking MTV News! Natalie Merchant buys ANOTHER wool jacket!”

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TRACK #9:  ANY SONG BY FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS

fyc

FINE. YOUNG. CANNIBALS. —– I basically can find three things wrong with that name.

Don’t drive yourself crazy, relive the 90’s here.

What you expect:  Hannibal Lecter with a Fender Strat and the most bizarre tour rider ever (when he requests an “Arnold Palmer”, you can be sure he’s not talking about the beverage).

What you get:  Probably the most misleading name on this whole list, these 90’s one-hit-wonders conjure up the image of an opening act for Slayer, constantly headbanging and hair-swirling to legions of fans, with beer in their bellies and their tattooed fists in the air.  How many teenagers were forbid from picking up this CD (no doubt in one of these old-fashioned longbox compact disc packages), due to their frightening-sounding name?

More like “Can’t-ibbals”, AMIRIGHT?!?

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TRACK #10:  ANY SONG BY THE KILLERS

Blumes note: The original name of The Killers was “Hans Solo and Three Disinterested Guys“.

You know the drill.

What you expect:  The prison jug band Charles Manson put together.

What you get:  Incredibly popular 21st Century Las Vegas-based alternative band who took their moniker from a New Order video, which may be the least-terrifying way to name your band.   Take it from me and my new band, Blumes Monday, whose new album will be out in 2016.

manson

“I don’t care what The David Berkowitz Trio says, we’re headlining BOTH prison festivals this year- Co-Cell-a, and Jail-apalooza.  I’m not crazy, I’m God.  YOU’RE crazy.”

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TRACK #11:  ANY SONG BY MURDER BY DEATH

Hip-hip-hooray for ½-priced day at Pocket Watches ‘Я Us!

Take a break from all that candy eatin’ and listen here.

What you expect:  Well, basically, the band who’d be opening for Fine Young Cannibals, who are opening for Slayer.   Murder and death in one band name?  Bloody Halloween metal up yo tuckus!

What you get:  This talented Bloomington, Indiana-based indie act, with a highly-deceiving name taken a 1976 Robert Moore whodunit comedy, summons the uncanny sound of folky alt-country, drenched in a whiskey-soaked marriage of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, all taking place in a haunted 19th-Century saloon.

Actually, maybe this would fit in well, tell me this isn’t the stuff October nightmares are made of…

Johnny Cash says, “Catpy Halloween!

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Halloween, Humor, Music, Pop Culture, Retro

The Pyramid of Regrettable CD’s: The Eighth Wonder of the World

By Andrew Blumetti

 

Just remember, you can’t spell iTunes without “CD”.  Well, technically you can, if you spell either word incorrectly.

Let me rewind.   First off, so I don’t sound like a dinosaur, CD’s (or compact discs) are circular discs that hold music for your listening pleasure… or can be used as mini frisbees to toss to Danny DeVito or your neighborhood fat kid if you so choose.  An advancement on once-commonplace cassette tapes, they were quite popular in the 1990’s to the early oughts until impersonal digital music files took over as the listening medium of choice amongst music listeners and plagues of frogs took over the world.  …or something.

So, now that I do sound like a dinosaur, I still love CD’s, and I still proudly buy them.

The pride of any music owner is their collection.  Actually, collections have always been something I’ve loved since I was a young lad.  From Masters of the Universe figures to baseball cards, and eventually recorded music.  Cassettes to compact discs to vinyl records, music is a natural for a born collector, cause after all, who needs that money anyway?  Albums display perfectly and within those displayed spines is a history book of sorts–  each record is a snapshot to a time in your life:

Perhaps Nirvana’s Nevermind brings back memories of your mushroom-haircut teenage years, maybe Green Day’s Dookie is reminiscent of a summer spent skateboarding with buddies with a slightly less embarrassing mushroom-haircut, or that copy of The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole reminds you of when you bought raver jeans the size of freakin’ Kansas and got caught up in the electronica boom of the late 90’s.

That’s the beauty of music–  Even when you’re not physically listening to it, the sentimental value is still there in spades.  Each album is a smaller picture of something bigger.  I advise anyone reading to take a few minutes to look at your music collection sometime, and watch the memories start flowing like a busted dam.

Although, before you pull a Balki Bartokomous and do the dance of joy like your favorite Eastern European sheep just gave birth, remember, not everything always comes up roses.  One natural growing pain music collectors run into is the purchase that just didn’t go as planned.

Maybe it was the album you anticipated for months, and when you excitedly ran to rip open the plastic and push track one, it just fell flat.  Or maybe it was that gamble record you decided to give a shot based on one radio single, and the music slot machine came up:  LEMON, LEMON, LEMON.

Well, in the musical history book of my life, this is pretty much my Bay of Pigs invasion.   Let’s turn those three lemons into slightly crappy lemonade as it took forever to stack this house of card-clunkers without tumbling.

…here’s my PYRAMID OF REGRETTABLE CD’s:

 

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FROM BOTTOM TO TOP (L to R)

1. CHUMBAWAMBA- Tubthumper (1997)

This doosey was just doomed from the start.  When you’ve got eight people in a band, and they all decided to do this to their hair, the warning sirens in your head should be deafening.

A one-hit wonder who’s one hit was so overplayed on the radio, there was no need to listen to it voluntarily.  There was a follow-up single titled, “Drip, Drip, Drip”, which honestly was about as exciting as a song called “Drip, Drip, Drip” should be.  I give these musical anarchists credit for having a career of longevity, even without any further commercial success.

I also give them credit for taking my money.

Dirty pool Chumbawamaba, dirty pool.

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2. THE NIXONS- Foma (1995)

Technically, this was a gift-certificate (yes, certificate, not card) purchase, but considering I could’ve spent it on anything else that wasn’t a Nixons CD, shame on me.

Two radio singles, “Happy Song” and “Sister” were what I bought it for, but both quickly fell to the “meh” curse over time.  What a bloody shame this band was, because if they had just worn Richard Nixon masks, I’d be a little warmer towards them.   Not really warm, just a little.

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3. LIMP BIZKIT- 3 Dollar Bill, Ya’ll$ (1997)

The giant red-hatted elephant in the room.  Better to get this over with sooner than later cause no list of regrettable music would be complete without Fred Durst and Co.

Let’s face it, when we’re teenagers, we’re more or less freakin’ idiots.  Teens do stupid things during those awkward high school years- some might get detention for smoking in the school bathroom, maybe someone gets grounded for swiping some Schlitz brews from the fridge, or perhaps suspended from school for fighting.

Well, considering I never drank, smoke or was one for fighting, this one right here is my colossal shame.

Sure, I’ll be the first to admit, at the time, the Bizkit boys were shamefully fun.  Dopey nü-metal, chock full of dumbed-down metal riffs and fifth-grade lyrics spouted by a frontman who was permanently on the verge of an adult temper tantrum, it was a turn-your-brain-off good time.  Of course common sense eventually kicks in, and post-“Nookie” hindsight is 20/20, but I’ll just blame all of that on pre-Y2K jitters.

Good luck selling this one back to one of the three music stores left in America.

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4. PRIMUS- Brown Album (1997)

For the record, I really like Primus a lot.

Try as you might, it’s impossible to find a band in the past 20 years that sounds just like the California alterna-funk trio.  Low-end master Les Claypool is one of the most innovative and original bassists of our generation, and they’re responsible for churning out some interestingly fun and quirky records in their heyday.

This wasn’t one of those.

It’s not that I didn’t like Brown Album, the Pri-guys’ fifth full-length, it’s just that it had very little replay value.  Back when CD’s constantly cost $17 and up, the importance of replay value couldn’t be overstated enough.  Although, when the lead single is titled, “Shake Hands with Beef”, it’s really buyer beware, leading me to wish I had payed “Les” for this record.

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5. BLUES TRAVELER- Straight On Till Morning (1997)

Wow, 1997 was not my smoothest year, was it?

There was once a record store in my town called CD Den.  A small store that carried everything a music geek could desire.  Without a doubt, it was my favorite hangout as a teenager.  About a two minute walk from my house and directly on the route of my walk home from school, it was a must-visit at least three times a week.

On July 1, 1997, I went on the day of release to go pick up OK Computer, the highly anticipated third album from alterna-gods Radiohead and electro-smash, The Fat of the Land, by The Prodigy (an album that might have possibly made this article if that stinkin’ pyramid could be built bigger).

The woman who worked at the counter was going on and on about how amazing the freshly-released new Blues Traveler album was.  What could go wrong?  Their tubby singer could wail on the harmonica, and I sure liked that “Run-around” tune from a few years back.

So, I trusted her judgment, plunked down my hard-earned teenage dinero, brought it home, put on the Radiohead album, and of course after that, I didn’t really care about listening to then-zoftig John Popper and his merry jam-band.  I still don’t as this thing collects dust faster than Brett Somers decomposing in her seat on The Match Game.

And if you think I’m being too rough on them…  try and find anyone else who actually owns this album.

6. BUSH- The Science of Things (1999)

I really should’ve known better.

I honestly don’t know why I gave Bush’s flat third album the time of day.  I wasn’t a fan of “The Chemicals Between Us”, the overplayed leadoff single peppered with electro drips and drops, and lyrics that couldn’t have been any less relatable if they were picked out of Fred Durst’s red cap (see: No. 3).

I guess there were follow-up singles, but the impression they left was as non-existent as an episode of The Neighbors.  The money must’ve literally burned a hole in my pocket and I was itching to to buy anything that day.

Note to all the kids out there:  Don’t spend like that.  You’ll end up with a record of a red-haired Gavin Rossdale in your collection.

7. LIVEThe Distance to Here (1999)

Back in the mid-90’s, I couldn’t have been a bigger fan of the York, PA foursome,  Live.

They were my first concert experience ever, the singer had a killer rat-tail, and their sophomore album, Throwing Copper, still remains one of my favorite records of all-time.  Its follow-up, 1997’s Secret Samadhi, was an underrated record with a terrible name, but rest assured, as much as I didn’t want it to, the wheels didn’t hesitate to start falling off the Livemobile soon after that.

The Distance to Here, their fifth album, had some good songs, unfortunately they were few and far between.  Much like Primus’ inclusion on the pyramid, its replay value was short-(live)d especially for the price back then.  For a while, Live continued to release music every couple of years following this before a bitter breakup and I blame Distance for pushing the barrel over the waterfall.

I just blamed a piece of plastic.

8. CANDLEBOX- Lucy (1995)

I take almost a sickening level of pride in the fact that I went out and bought this disc the day it was released.

Candlebox was really an odd band when you think about it.  Musically, they were far from unique, they rode the coattails of the grunge movement all the way to the bank, and their songs contained oddly-placed swears in them that came off like your grandmother dropping the F-bomb during bingo.

Bizarrely enough, all through that, they were honestly quite enjoyable- their 1993 self-titled debut sold four million copies, and spawned some really fun singles.  It’s hard to deny that “Far Behind” or “You” weren’t hugely succesful 90’s alt-rock staples, unless you’re a grouch.

Lightning certainly didn’t strike twice, as Lucy, their second album, was the epitome of a sophomore slump.  It had a kinda stupid cover, a forgettable first single, and a bunch of other songs that were the equivalent of musical Ambien.

They should’ve renamed the band “CandleBLAHx”.  Wokka wokka.

9.  GRAVITY KILLS- Gravity Kills (1996)

Back in math class in 11th grade, amidst a flurry of variables and probables, a buddy of mine offered to sell me his used copy of Gravity Kills self-titled debut for a mere five bucks.

Skepticism hit for a minute- I wondered to myself, “Why?- What’s so wrong with this album that he’d want to sell it for so cheap?”.  I rolled the dice, placed a crisp Abe Lincoln in his hand, waited till the school bell rang, feverishly popped it in my Discman (!) on the walk home, and like a splash of ice-cold water in the face, I soon realized the sobering answer to my question.

This band is a one-hit wonder, and that one hit (the pseudo-industrial “Guilty”) was clearly the highlight of this snoozer.  Unfortunately, my interest in industrial music was incredibly short-lived, (about as long as my walk home from school that day) and this album never stood a chance with me.  That five dollars could’ve bought me five tacos at Taco Bell, and that thought still haunts me to this day.


10. METALLICA- St. Anger (2003)

There’s honestly no excuse on my part for this one, and there was no doubt in my mind that Metallica’s crapfest St. Anger had to occupy the summit in this shameful pyramid of regret.

After hearing the 2003 album’s seven-minute title track first single full of tin-can drumming and missing guitar solos, I scratched my head.  While scratching, I decided to walk.  While walking, I passed by the Sam Goody in the mall.  Wouldn’t you know, Sam Goody was selling it for seven dollars!

A mere bag of shells!

The hamster in my head started spinning its wheel, and I instantly felt a handlebar mustache start to sprout and my inner James Hetfield said “why not?!”  I figured for that price, it could never be that bad… right?   Hop in the car, pop in that disc… bring on the metal… Metallica!

Fast forward one car ride home later:  If this rubbish wasn’t packaged in a cheap cardboard Digipak case, I’d have used it for a coaster years ago… for drinks I didn’t care for.

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Now take a walk down memory lane and look at your music collection-  What are some of your favorite least favorite albums?  What makes up your own pyramid of regrettable CD’s?  Feel free to share in the comments! 

You know James Hetfield wants you to!

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Music, Retro