Sunday, December 20, 2009

REO Speedwagon -- "Can't Fight This Feeling"

Oh YouTube, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1. This video is, I believe, the original video for this song. It's kind of nice ... straightforward shots of the band playing the song, bookended by a montage of Kevin Cronin trying to get the key right, and a part at the end where the entire band collapses into a giggling fit for no apparent reason and Cronin says "That warms the cockles of my cockles!" which is a funny thing to say. The band comes off as pretty likeable, even though the part at the beginning was clearly staged after the fact.

2. Here's the alternate version of the video, which is totally creepy and unintentionally hilarious! Lots of intriguing facial expressions and outdated haircuts to choose from. Also, I totally want the sweatshirt that the teenaged version of the fictional person who ages throughout the video is wearing at around the 1:38 mark.

3. And then there's this, which is also vaguely creepy (mostly because of the Brokeback Mountain images mixed in with all the Disney ones) and oddly hypnotizing.

And, if you really want to dig deep into this song's videography, there are some other funny karaoke-style videos with weird pictures. (What is the deal with the pictures that accompany karaoke songs? They are always just so bizarre. Is it an Asian cultural-divide thing? Who picks these images? I need to know these things.)

I can't fight this feeling any longer / And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow
/ What started out as friendship has grown stronger / I only wish I had the strength to let it show

So yeah, Kevin Cronin knows a girl, and I guess they are friends, and she wants to be more than friends. He was reluctant to embrace this concept but is now coming around.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever / I say there is no reason for my fear

OK, we get the point. You're afraid, you have no strength, you have fear, etc. Are you playing for our sympathy? Mission not accomplished.

Wait a minute ... wait just a cotton-pickin' minute. Take these first three stanzas here and then think about Brokeback Mountain ... maybe that YouTube video had a point. Maybe those Disney images were just meant to throw us off the trail here. Could it be that Kevin Cronin posted that video himself, trying to send a message to the world as a desperate cry for help???

Wait, am I making Brokeback Mountain jokes?

'Cause I feel so secure when we're together / You give my life direction, you make everything so clear

That sounds really nice, Kevin. Why are you trying to fight this feeling? Seriously. Just let it flow, pal. Do what feels right. Take that "fishing trip."

And even as I wander I'm keeping you in sight

Kevin Cronin has somehow acquired a Predator drone.

You're a candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night / And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

This is boring.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore / I've forgotten what I started fighting for

Because you were afraid of being ostracized by a society that is still unwilling to accept a love between two men, no matter how secure you feel or how much your lover reminds you of a candle. Remember?

It's time to bring this ship in to the shore / And throw away the oars forever

I'm fine with bringing the ship in to the shore, but do you really need to throw away the oars? Forever? That just seems rash. Can't you just pretend to throw away the oars as a symbolic gesture, but then, in the dead of night, retrieve them and hide them away someplace safe? Just in case you need them sometime in the future? I mean, the ship is still going to be there. And then someday you will be like, "Hey, there's my old ship! Might be nice to take it for a spin. Now what did I do with those oars? Oh, fuck!"

Of course, the oars in this case are actually Kevin Cronin's testicles.

'Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore / I've forgotten what I've started fighting for

But I just ... told you ...

And if I have to crawl upon the floor / Or come crashing through your door / Baby I can't fight this feeling anymore

I like the two scenarios that Kevin comes up with for how to win this dude's heart. I'm imagining him supplicating himself, but that ends up being a turnoff. So he's all like, "Oh, wait a minute, I have to go get something out of my car," and walks out the door, then turns around and smashes right through it, leaving a Kool Aid guy-style cutout of himself, and bellows with rage and desire: "Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore!" Then he's all, "Oh, sorry about that door. Sometimes I do things rashly without considering the consequences. Like, this one time, I had these oars and ..."

My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you / I've been running round in circles in my mind

In the video (#2 in the list above), this second line is accompanied by a picture of a guy literally running around in circles within another guy's head. (Or, more accurately, within his hat.) Go back and watch that video. It's really very strange.

And it always seems that I'm following you girl / 'Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find

Yeah. Right. "Girl." Oh, Kevin. I thought you'd come so far. Back to square one. But, on the plus side, you still have your oars.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Justin Timberlake -- "Rock Your Body"

Come on now, you now I couldn't do Britney without doing Justin.

Wait a minute, that sounds like a ... oh, never mind.

You know, I think I've said this before, but I really like Justin Timberlake. I find his SNL appearances consistently hilarious, I really unironically enjoy a lot of his music, and I've already spoken of how I appreciated his performance as Pilot Abilene in the movie Southland Tales. So, I guess I was sort of pleased to discover that the lyrics to his songs are not that bad. I mean, certainly it's not Wordsworth or anything, but on the whole they seem simple, heartfelt and inoffensive.

This song, then, is the exception that proves the rule! (Can anyone explain this saying to me? I've always felt that an exception would disprove the rule, not prove it. Is there some basis for saying this, or it just a little bit of nonsense that found its way into the vernacular? Please discuss in the comments section.)

Also, please indulge yourself by viewing the video for this song, in which Justin dances inside the Large Hadron Collider and propounds the theory of parallel universes around the 4-minute mark. This video must've caused quite a stir in the quantum mechanics community.

Not sure if this is the official video because there's a little part in the middle that isn't in the radio version of the song, but if you don't like it, go fuck yourself.

Don't be so quick to walk away / Dance with me / I wanna rock your body / Please stay / Dance with me

This seems sort of desperate, doesn't it? Especially when he cries out "Please stay!" Come on, you're Justin Timberlake. You don't have to beg this girl to stay and dance with you.

You don't have to admit you wanna play / Dance with me / Just let me rock you / 'Til the break of day / Dance with me

I don't get the first line. She doesn't have to admit she wants to have sex with you, she can just dance with you? That doesn't make sense though, given that in the same breath you say you are going to "rock [her] 'til the break of day," which quite clearly means having sex all night.

Also, saying "'til the break of day" is a sweet pop music cliche to indicate the sexual prowess of the singer. Kudos for slipping this in there, Timberlake.

Got time, but I don't mind / Just wanna rock you girl / I'll have whatever you have / Come on, let's give it a whirl

"Got time, but I don't mind"? I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Just making small talk before he gets back to talking about rocking her body, I suppose.

See I've been watching you / And I like the way you move / So go ahead, girl, just do / That ass shaking thing you do

If Lou Gramm sang this shit I'd probably crucify him and leave his putrefying corpse to be pecked at by woodland creatures, but Justin Timberlake is just so cute! You go, Justin! (Swoon)

So you grab your girls / And you grab a couple more / And you all come meet me / In the middle of the floor

If she already grabbed her girls, does she really need to grab a couple more random ones too? Come on. Let's not get greedy now. How many people do we need in this clusterfuck? Britney? Any thoughts?

Said the air is thick, it's smelling right / So you pass to the left and you sail to the right

First line is kind of gross. Second one is about dancing. Justin Timberlake likes dancing. And sex. But not Britney. Right? I haven't read any of the tabloids lately. How's Bennifer doing?

Don't be so quick to walk away / Dance with me / I wanna rock your body / Please stay / Dance with me / You don't have to admit you wanna play / Dance with me / Just let me rock you / Till the break of day / Dance with me

Seriously, though, you've probably seen his SNL skits, but if you haven't, please watch them, here and here. It's OK. I'll be right here.

I don't mean no harm / Just wanna rock you girl / You can move, but be calm / Let's go, let's give it a whirl

"You can move, but be calm"? This sounds like something a bank robber would say to one of his hostages.

See it appears to me / You like the way I move / I'll tell you what I'm gonna do / Pull you close and share my groove

The first two lines are funny if you imagine them being said by an elderly British gentleman, e.g. Ian McKellen or Patrick Stewart. Second two, not so funny. ... OK, I guess they're kind of funny too.

OK, now this song gets kind of complicated with different lyrics and vocalists overlapping and such. I think what I'll do is put any non-Timberlake lyrics in parentheses.

(Talk to me boy) / No disrespect, I don't mean no harm

I love the phrase "no disrespect." Check-plus. But, it should always be said in a New York and New Jersey accent. Check-minus.

(Talk to me boy) / I can't wait to have you in my arms / (Talk to me boy) / Hurry up cause you're takin' too long / (Talk to me boy) / Better have you naked by the end of this song

I've been led to believe that this whole rigamarole has been occurring in a public place, so I suppose that getting her naked by the end of the song would be grounds for arrest. Which mean, of course, that I can break out the "criminal activity" tag! I'm so excited, and I'm sure you are too.

So what did you come for / (I came to dance with you) / And you know that you don't want to hit the floor / (I came to romance with you)

Ah. I'm starting to rethink this song. Justin Timberlake's character may be a member of the mafia. The "no disrespect" line set off alarm bells, and now he appears to be coercing her into stating her affections through threats of physical violence.

You're searching for love forever more / (It's time to take a chance) / If love is here on the floor, girl

"Love is here on the floor?" Ewwwww.

Aaaand this goes on for some time, but without any really discernible alterations in the lyrics. Same words, different patterns. I think this song might actually be a sestina.

Eh, not really, but let's go out on a classy note since we were veering into vulgarity at times. Although, I guess I can't be blamed for being a little vulgar in a post about a guy who sang about sticking his dick in a box and banging his friend's mom.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Britney Spears -- "3"

If you don't mind, I'm going to get a little personal here. My last post on The Outfield sent me into a personal and professional tailspin. Who cares about The Outfield?, I thought to myself. What is the point of this blog? What is the point of anything? Why are strawberries red? Where do rainbows go when the rain stops? And so on. You know, life.

So I went into seclusion in the west wing, so to speak, and had a good think. I thought and thought until I could think no more. Then, just as I was about to give up hope -- an epiphany. If I really want to make a difference, I realized, I can't go around mocking songs from the '80s and thinking anything's going to change. That would be like shipping food back in time to Nigerians who have long since passed away or gone on to profitable careers in online scammery. If I want things to change, I have to mock songs in real time! Take on the chart-toppers of today instead of those from yesteryear.

That was all a lie!

Actually, last weekend I was watching the VH1 Top 20 with my friend Richie and not only had I never heard a single song on the list, but I'd never heard of most of the bands. "Owl City"? "Lady Gaga"? "Lifehouse"? "Bon Jovi"? wtf?? I was particularly captivated by Britney Spears' new video, in which she sings about having a threesome while dancing provocatively with people of both sexes. Then, I heard the song again on the radio while driving home (right after Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter," not sure what exactly that station's target audience was) and I figured it was fate.

So after many long years in the wilderness I present to you "3" by Britney Spears! Enjoy the video, which I find somewhat unsettling.

1, 2, 3 / not only you and me / Got one eighty degrees / And I'm caught in between / Countin'

I am really kind of charmed by how weird these lyrics are. They start out in a very straightforward way. "1, 2, 3" clearly means that there are three people. "Not only you and me" iterates that fact. Then, the third line makes no sense. I guess she looks at one person, then swivels around 180 degrees to see that there is another person? But she says she has "got" 180 degrees, like she is in possession of them. I do not know what it means. Then, she says she is "caught in between" the people. OK, I guess so.

Then the final line, my favorite -- "Countin'!" This song is about counting! Try singing it in Count von Count's voice. Amazing!

1, 2, 3 / Peter, Paul & Mary / Gettin' down with 3p / Everybody loves / Countin'

This part sounds even more like something from Sesame Street. Doesn't it? If instead of being about having sex with two people at the same time, and accompanied by images of nearly naked people bumping and grinding each other all over the place, it was instead about, well, learning how to count, and accompanied by images of playful puppets and clean multiracial children, it would be just like Sesame Street! I like Britney Spears.

Babe, pick a night / To come out and play / If it's alright / What do you say?

Haha, I was actually ready to ditch this whole Sesame Street thing, but .... seriously. Replace "babe" with "friend" or something and we're still right on track.

Merrier the more / Triple fun that way / Twister on the floor / What do you say?

I don't think a threesome would triple the fun. To an outside observer it would multiply the fun by 1.5, and for either participant it would only double the fun. Come on! This is just simple math. Don't these songwriters have copy editors? (I have no idea who actually wrote this song and refuse to look it up. But I do know that it was copy edited by Bill Sanderson of Grand Forks, N.D. For shame, Mr. Sanderson. Take more pride in your craft.)

Also, "merrier the more"? Was the "Twister on the floor" line so indispensable that we had to do these verbal gymnastics? Was it?! SANDERSON!!!!

Are you in? / Livin' like this is the new thing / Are you in? / I am countin'!

This sounds like a creepy hippie pickup line from the '60s. Hey, baby! Are you in for this threesome? Livin' like this is totally the new thing, man! Loosen up! Far out! MAN WALKS ON MOON

And, I remain charmed by how excited Britney is about being able to count. Baby steps.

Three is a charm / Two is not the same / I don't see the harm / So are you game?

At this point the songwriters probably realized there wasn't much to say about having a threesome that wasn't sort of gross and creepy, especially when paired with such a danceable and frivolous beat.

Lets' make a team / Make 'em say my name / Lovin' the extreme / Now are you game?

See? Case in point. "Let's make a team / Make 'em say my name" ... gross and creepy.

What we do is innocent / Just for fun and nothin' meant / If you don't like the company / Let's just do it you and me

I find this part disconcerting because of the change in tempo. I know every pop song in this vein has to have a part where they slow it down and get all emotional and romantic for a minute before going back to the loopy-loop dance-a-ganza with the hey-hey and the flip-flop. But this song is about a threesome, which is really by definition (in my opinion) not at all romantic. I mean, I am not anti-threesome, and I hope all of you go out and have 10 threesomes with 20 different people immediately after reading this post, but I think if you're going to write a song about having threesomes, just go for broke and make it a kind of in-your-face celebration of Bacchanalian pleasure, don't try to write cute sugarcoated lyrics and try to infuse some measure of tenderness and longing in here. Threesomes are not about tenderness and/or love. They are about fucking. Right? Um. Excuse me for a few minutes.


You and me / Or three / Or four / On the floor
Four! Four slutty people on the floor! Ah, ha, ha!
Five! Five venereal diseases! Ah, ha, ha!


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Outfield -- "Your Love"

Holy crap. I was toying with the idea of mentioning that it seemed to me that a disproportionate number of baseball players use this song as their "at bat" music. (Hitters often pick a song to play on the PA system when they come up to the plate.) But, I decided not to, because I'd heard it maybe only like three times, and that's a pretty small sample size.

But, lo and behold, Wikipedia actually mentions this on its page for this song! So, I'm not crazy, and baseball players are weird. The players it mentions are: Gordon Beckham (3B), Kelly Johnson (2B), Frank Catalanotto (OF) and Eric Byrnes (OF). All white guys, and only two of them are actually outfielders, so at least Mr. Beckham and Mr. Johnson really like this song and didn't just think it would be funny to play a song by a band called "The Outfield." Although there are no bands called "The Infield" that I'm aware of, so I don't know if they had much of a choice in the matter. "Second Base" or "Third Base" would be good band names, but I don't think any group has harnessed this particular bit of genius either.

Speaking of baseball, this song has been a topic of discussion on a sports blog that I follow. So thanks to Joe Posnanski, whom I have never met or corresponded with, for the (sort of) recommendation, although he seems to think this song is just bad and not in any way awesome. I respectfully disagree.

Judge for yourself!

Josie's on a vacation far away / Come around and talk it over

I don't know whether to address my comments to lead singer Tony Lewis or songwriter and guitarist John Spinks. I think I will choose the latter, because "Spinks" is kind of a funny name.

OK, here we go.

First of all, poor Josie, whoever she is. This whole song is about her husband/boyfriend/whatever cheating on her, and all she gets is this cursory mention at the beginning of the song. It sounds a little suspicious too.

Q: Hey, John Spinks, where's Josie?
A: Oh ... uh ... she's ... on a vacation ... far away! Yeah, that's the ticket.

You think he killed her? I think he might've killed her.

So many things that I wanna say / You know I like my girls a little bit older

Regardless of what happened to Josie, our old pal Spinksie isn't doing much better by this other woman. "I like my girls a little bit older"? Really? Of all of these myriad things that you're just dying to say, that's the first thing that comes out of your mouth? Sweet mercy.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

And this is the second thing? Christ almighty, Spinkasaurus. You're really quite the charmer, aren't you? I'm starting to think Josie is on a "vacation" about as far away as she can possibly get from you. Or maybe she's imaginary. "Josie" sounds kind of like a fake name.

Really, though, aren't "I just wanna use your love" and "I don't wanna lose your love" two absolutely contradictory statements? Just because two lines rhyme doesn't mean you should write them back to back, Spinkbones.

I ain't got many friends left to talk to / No one's around when I'm in trouble

And why might that be? Let's all just sit around and ponder that one for a while.

You know I'd do anything for you / Stay the night but keep it undercover

I'd do anything for you. Except publicly acknowledge the fact that we have a relationship. Other than that, anything. Come on, baby, you can trust the Spinkmeister.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight


Trying to stop my hands from shakin' / Somethin' in my mind's not makin' sense / It's been a while since we were all alone / I can't hide the way I'm feelin'

Somethin' in your mind's not makin' sense? No fucking shit.

Hey, Tony Lewis really has a nice voice, doesn't he? He sounds a lot like Sting when he sings that last verse. Just wanted to mix a compliment in there.

As you leave me please would you close the door / And don't forget what I told you

Yeah. Good sex there. Now get out and close the door. And don't forget what I told you about keeping this secret. Otherwise you might end up like Josie. Capisce?

Just 'cause you're right - that don't mean I'm wrong

Fundamentally, this is true. But you are wrong, Spinks. Very wrong.

Another shoulder to cry upon


I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

Am I being too harsh on John Spinks? Maybe this song is about a guy who's really conflicted. He doesn't know whether he wants this to be a one-night stand ("use your love") or whether he really has feelings for this woman ("don't wanna lose your love"). Maybe. I still think it's more likely that these lyrics were carelessly slapped together and chosen more for rhyme and meter than for coherence. I think only one person knows the real truth: Josie. And she's not talking.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foreigner -- "Head Games"

Oh Lou Gramm, I have missed you like the cracked dry earth misses the rain.

So the Wikipedia entry for the album "Head Games" is short but yields a couple of delightful tidbits. First, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you the album cover.

Yikes. That definitely is right in the running with the Scorpions' "Virgin Killer" for creepiest cover art featured on this blog. And at least the "Virgin Killer" cover is related to the title of the album ... in this case, it would seem Foreigner just really wanted to use a photo of a young girl squatting in a urinal despite the apparent absence of a connection to the title "Head Games." I guess a bathroom can be called a "head" so there is pun potential there, but whatever she's doing doesn't really look like it's part of a game. And why use the urinal when there's a row of seemingly unoccupied stalls right there? The mind reels.

Also: "In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Head Games is one of the abilities of the Foreigner Belt. This ability allows the wearer to transform their victim's head into a game, possibly limited to Connect Four." Now that's comedy!

Here's the studio version of the song, or if you prefer, watch this rendition that may or may not be performed by a drunken Lou Gramm impersonator.

Daylight, alright

I really am loving the beginning of this song more and more every time I listen to it. The opening guitar riff is awesome and I appreciate how they just jump right into the hook rather than employ any kind of intro. It's cool. And the first line is nothing but "Daylight! Alright!" as if Lou Gramm is just bursting with happiness and ready to leap out of bed, sing with the bluebirds, and celebrate another glorious day of being alive. As we will soon see, though, this is not the case.

I don't know, I don't know if it's real / Been a long night and something ain't right / You won't show, you won't show how you feel

At this point (see previous Foreigner-related posts for details) I am highly -- highly -- distrustful of any claims that Lou Gramm makes about his relationship problems. I am strongly inclined to believe that whatever is wrong is somehow his fault.

No time ever seems right / To talk about the reasons why you and I fight

And yet, he really seems to be making an effort here. He wants to talk it out. Lou Gramm has seen the light! Hey, that rhymes with four other lines in the first two verses, and one line still to come! Alright!!

It's high time to draw the line / Put an end to this game before it's too late

That seems like a pretty good idea. Relationships are built on trust and communication, and it's better for the couple to put their cards on the table and talk through their problems rather than letting them fester. Lou Gramm is perfectly justified in his desire to bring this situation to a head, if you will.

Let's see how this plays out! Just for a change of pace, I'll pretend to be the object of old Lou's psychotic ramblings! Won't that be fun?

Head games, it's you and me baby

Hi, Lou. Yeah. Who else would it be?

Head games, and I can't take it anymore

This is unhelpful. What head games are you talking about? I'm happy to discuss this with you but you'll have to be a little more ...

Head games, I don't wanna play the head games

OK, Little Louie Lou-Pants, I understand you're frustrated and I want to try to talk this through ... if we could just ... are you listening to me? Louis?!

I daydream for hours it seems / I keep thinkin' of you, yeah, thinkin' of you / These daydreams, what do they mean? / They keep haunting me, are they warning me?

I don't know if daydreams really have this effect on people. If he was talking about a regular REM-sleep-type dream, the last line makes perfect sense, but since daydreams are a product of your conscious mind, I don't know how they really haunt you or warn you of anything. Maybe Lou thinks a daydream is just a dream you have when you take a nap during the day?

Daylight turns into night / We try and find the answer but it's nowhere in sight

Phew. That was a long day. A long day of head games.

Let's play analogies! I've got one. Lou Gramm:O.J. Simpson::"the answer":the real killer. Wasn't that fun!?

It's always the same and you know who's to blame / You know what I'm sayin', still we keep on playin'

I guess he's saying that she's to blame. Right? I don't know who else he would be referring to. Unless it's God. Is it God? That would be some dark shit.

Head games, that's all I get from you / Head games, and I can't take it anymore
Head games, don't wanna play the head games

We've been over this already. Have we heard one concrete example of a "head game" yet? I don't think so. I'm very suspicious. As Lou Gramm might say, "something ain't right." Sherlock Holmes might also say that. If he was more like Lou Gramm, that is.

So near, so far away / We pass each other by 'cause we don't know what to say / It's so clear, I'm sorry to say / But if you wanna win you gotta learn how to play

Uggghhhh. More vagueness. I'm about to pass out here.

Hey, what's up with the rhyme schemes in this song? Each verse seems to have a slightly different one. Oh, guess what I just remembered? I don't care.

Head games, always you and me, baby / Head games, 'till I can't take it anymore

There's no chance that the "head" in "head games" refers to Lou Gramm's penis, right? Just asking.

Head games, instead of makin' love

Ah. I think here we are finally getting at the crux of this sordid matter. Head games ... instead of making love.

Lou Gramm: Hey, baby! Welcome home! Let's make love!
Woman: Oh, Lou, can't we just sit down and talk a while first? I'm so tired and I just walked in the door.
Lou Gramm (clutching his head in dismay): Wooooaaaah! What are these head games you're playing with me, man? What a drag! Dullsville!
Lou Gramm: (embarks on a 36-hour spiritual journey fueled by drugs and disillusionment)
Woman: (shrugs shoulders) Here we go again!
(Canned laughter)
(Roll credits)

Head games, in the first degree / Head games, yeah, always you and me / Head games, why do you do it baby?

I like how Lou always saves his most nonsensical lyrics for the outro. (See "Hot Blooded.") It's like he thinks, hey, this song is pretty much over and probably doesn't need any more lyrics, but I have to sing something here at the end, right? Umm ... "Head games! In the first degree!" .... "That's gold!"

If you want to waste five perfectly good minutes playing "Head Games" of your own, try this out! So long, suckers!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Duran Duran -- "Hungry Like the Wolf"

So if, like me, you are a connoisseur of 1960s French erotic science fiction, you probably already know this. But, for the unwashed masses who have missed the boat, the band Duran Duran is named after a character from the 1968 classic "Barbarella," starring Jane Fonda as the title character.

Here's the plot summary from Wikipedia:

"Set in the 40th century, Barbarella follows the adventures of its title character played by Jane Fonda. In the film, Barbarella is assigned by the President of Earth to retrieve Doctor Durand-Durand from the planet SoGo in order to save the earth. Beyond this premise, the plot is very loose, serving mostly as an excuse for Barbarella to end up in erotic situations. On her quest to find Durand Durand, Barbarella is seduced by a human resident of SoGo, who introduces her to penetrative intercourse (civilized people of Barbarella's society find sexual release through pharmaceuticals), seduces an angel named Pygar, and overloads a torture device (called the Excessive Machine) which kills through sexual pleasure."

Coincidentally, the members of Duran Duran went on to introduce all of America to penetrative intercourse with their hit song "Hungry Like the Wolf." Take a look at the music video. Oops, wait, that was the wrong video. Here you go.

Just as an aside, this video was shot in Sri Lanka, where to the best of my knowledge, there are no wolves. Why not shoot in Canada or Siberia or something? It would've been cheaper and more relevant to the whole wolf thing. Oh well.

Dark in the city, night is a wire / Steam in the subway, earth is afire

This is actually some pretty good imagery. "Night is a wire." I like that. Good work, Simon Le Bon.

Woman, you want me, give me a sign / And catch my breathing even closer behind

Starting to get a little creepy.

By the way, I'm not including any of the "do do do do, etc." parts here because they're not really "lyrics" per se, but I would like to point out that the Wikipedia page for this song states that "the repeating of the word 'do' at the end of each verse, is an inspiration from Gordon Lightfoot's song 'If You Could Read My Mind'." [sic] Being naturally curious about bands' musical influences, and being a fan of Mr. Lightfoot myself, I cued up the song, in which he does no "do do do"-ing whatsoever, unless I'm listening to some sort of abbreviated version or something. Is this just completely wrong or am I missing something here?

In touch with the ground / I'm on the hunt, I'm after you


Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd / And I'm hungry like the wolf

"Smell like I sound"? I don't get that line. It could be "smell like a sound," but that doesn't really make much sense either. How can a thing or a person smell like he/she/it sounds? I don't think it's possible for a sound to smell like anything. Um. And the following line, "I'm lost in a crowd," doesn't help much either.

Straddle the line in discord and rhyme / I'm on the hunt I'm after you

I think maybe Simon Le Bon is so hungry that he's become delirious.

Mouth is alive with juices like wine / And I'm hungry like the wolf

Simon Le Bon is drooling. Or, I don't know, maybe eating somebody?

Stalk through the forest, too close to hide / I'll be upon you by the moonlight side

"The moonlight side"? What does that mean? And when did we get into this forest? In the first line we were in a city. Unless we were in the forest the whole time and he just happened to mention that it was dark in the city, as a kind of non sequitur. Is anyone else getting hungry? I'm kind of hungry.

Hey, why didn't Duran Duran turn this song into a whole series? They could've done "Angry Like the Goat," "Sleepy Like the Bear (In Winter)," "Sticky Like the Anteater," "Endangered Like the Panda," "Amphibious Like the Frog" ... the possibilities are endless. Each one could also be adapted as a children's book and an erotic science fiction movie. Synergy!

High blood drumming on your skin it's so tight / You feel my heat I'm just a moment behind

If someone was following you, what would happen first? Would you "catch (his) breathing" or "feel (his) heat"? And would those two things happen like two verses apart?

And, "high blood drumming on your skin it's so tight"? Huh? I think maybe it's actually "High blood / drumming on your skin, it's so tight." In which case, whaaa??? Actually, maybe Mr. Le Bon should be congratulated here, because even though I have no concept of what this line means, I can definitively say that it is creepy. Kind of like if a child gave you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but instead of peanut butter and jelly, he used gravel and mucus. You don't really know exactly what he's trying to tell you, but it's quite clear that he is mentally ill and you should sleep with one eye open.

In touch with the ground / I'm on the hunt, I'm after you / Scent and a sound, I'm lost and I'm found / And I'm hungry like the wolf

OK, we get it.

Straddle the line it's discord and rhyme / I howl and I whine, I'm after you

The unofficial lyrics I found online said this lyric was "strut on a line." I think that makes less sense than "straddle the line," but it does sound more like he says "strut." So I listened hard to the song (he sings this line three times) and each time it sounded like something different. Then I thought, "Does it really matter which it is? This is like two detectives sitting around arguing about how many times the serial killer stabbed his latest victim, while the killer hops in his car and drives away." Then I realized it wasn't like that at all, but it got me thinking about detectives, so I watched 22 consecutive episodes of "Murder, She Wrote." Then I Googled "Angela Lansbury" and "1960s French erotic science fiction" and got no results.

This song is making me type nonsense.

Mouth is alive all running inside / And I'm hungry like the wolf

This song makes me want to eat a big juicy steak and have penetrative intercouse, not necessarily in that order. The intercourse should be the easy part, but where am I going to find a steak at this hour?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aerosmith -- "Sweet Emotion"

Because cheap laughs that make us feel bad about ourselves later is what we're all about here at Awesomely Bad Lyrics, please enjoy this picture!

Ha! This funny-looking celebrity would not fit in in the Real America with us hard-working Joes! All the solid gold toilets in the world won't change the fact that he looks similar to a monkey when he makes a certain facial expression!

Little-known fact, though, and here's where I blow your mind -- this monkey got a songwriting credit for "Sweet Emotion." He was later kicked out of the band because of "creative differences" with Steven Tyler, and because he demanded 100 freshly peeled bananas each day before he would write a single word. Many critics feel that while Aerosmith's later work was more polished and enjoyed great commercial success, it didn't quite have the same spark, much like the recordings of Pink Floyd post-Syd Barrett.

OK, enough monkeying around! Ha ha! (muffled sob)

Before we start with the lyrics, please enjoy this creepy video! I like the part when it appears that Steven Tyler and one of his band-mates (I refuse to learn their names) are on the verge of making out.

Sweet emotion / Sweet emotion

Yeah, emotion sure is sweet. It really doesn't matter what emotion you're feeling -- lust, despair, surprise, angst, contempt, optimism, rage, zest -- it's always pretty sweet. Yup.

You talk about things that nobody cares / You're wearing out things that nobody wears

First line is grammatically incorrect. You don't "care" something. We need a preposition here.

Second line makes little to no sense.

So, what emotion is Steven Tyler feeling here? Contempt? Disgust? Confusion?

You're calling my name but I gotta make clear
/ I can't say, baby, where I'll be in a year

OK, up to this point the song makes at least a modicum of sense. Steven Tyler knows a girl, and the girl likes him, but he's not especially into her and wants to let her know that he doesn't see this becoming a serious relationship. He is feeling some sort of emotion, probably apprehension, I guess, and for some reason this is sweet.

When some sweat hog mama with a face like a gent / Said my get up and go musta got up and went / Well I got good news, she's a real good liar / 'Cause the backstage boogie set your pants on fire

Oh, my. So much to discuss here. First of all, what does this have to do with anything? Secondly, why are you so concerned with this seemingly casual insult from a "sweat hog mama"? You seem kind of insecure. Third, I don't think it's fair to call this woman a liar. She was just probably mistaken about your loss of sexual prowess. Fourth, if the pronoun "you" still has the same unnamed antecedent as it did in Verse 1, why are you responding to this criticism by citing your seduction of a woman that you hold in such seemingly low esteem? And fifth, oh my god, really? "The backstage boogie set your pants on fire"?

Phew. I'm calling a timeout. While you wait, maybe you'd enjoy seeing a disgusting picture of Steven Tyler with his ass hanging out? I know I was thrilled to find it! And hey! Maybe you'd like to buy an Aerosmith lottery ticket? If that article doesn't entice you, maybe this commercial in which a goldfish somehow drives a car will do the trick!

OK now. Deep breaths. Keep it together, man. Just two verses to go.

Sweet emotion / Sweet emotion

What do the words "sweet emotion" have to do with the content of this song? I really want to know. Maybe it's just a filler phrase that Steven Tyler made up, sort of along the lines of "Oh well!" or "What're you gonna do?"

So one could say something like "Hey, there's this girl who is really into me, and we did it a couple times, but I need to tell her that it's not really going to work out. I'm really in a pickle here. Sweet emotion!"

I pulled into town in a police car / Your daddy said I took it just a little too far

This whole third verse is just drunken rambling. I will give anyone who can offer a reasonable explanation of these lyrics an autographed copy of the 1975 Aerosmith album "Toys in the Attic." Or an autographed printout of that disgusting picture of Steven Tyler I linked to above. Whichever you prefer. (These would be autographed by me, not by any members of Aerosmith.)

You're telling her things but your girlfriend lied / You can't catch me 'cause the rabbit done died / Yes it did


You stand in the front just a shakin' your ass / I'll take you backstage, you can drink from my glass

Eww. Gross. Haven't you heard of H1N1, Steven Tyler?

Actually, this album was released just one year before the swine-flu outbreak of 1976. Coincidence? Or perhaps this occurred because everyone was going around drinking from each other's glasses willy-nilly, throwing caution to the wind, after this song came out? I think I might've stumbled onto something important. Is anyone here an epidemiologist? Is anyone even here? Hello?

Hey, what part of the "backstage boogie" do you think that "drink(ing) from (Steven Tyler's) glass" represents? I don't think I want to know.

I'll talk about something you can sure understand / 'Cause a month on the road and I'll be eatin' from your hand

Irritation. Exasperation. Fear. Horror. Torment. Disgust. Rage. Shame. Agitation. Grumpiness. Melancholy. Dejection. Alienation.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Bon Jovi -- "I'll Be There For You"

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there.

Here's today's song, and it's a doozy!

But first, Wikipedia told me the original name for the band Bon Jovi. Do you want to hear it? OK.
It's "Johny [sic] Electric."


I guess this time you're really leaving / I heard your suitcase say goodbye

I'm imagining an anthropomorphic suitcase here, kind of like something from Pee Wee's Playhouse, saying "Goodbye, Jon," in a really mopey voice.

Well, as my broken heart lies bleeding / You say true love it's suicide

This is another one of those songs where the singer is just so broken up about his wife/girlfriend/rhino handler leaving and just can't go on without her, oh my god! And you sort of feel sorry for him until you read the rest of the lyrics where he fucking admits how badly he treated her, and how he really deserves everything that happens to him. Then you go out to the garage and huff some paint, because hey, you like huffing paint, and you're not going to let society tell you how to live your life.

You say you've cried a thousand rivers / And now you're swimming for the shore / You left me drowning in my tears / And you won't save me anymore

That is a goddamn assload of tears being shed in this little stanza. Why are we trying to save this relationship again? Seriously. Just break up. JUST BREAK UP! And stop writing these awful lyrics. They're really awful. I'm telling you this for your own good. Let this poor girl get on with her life and go take a creative-writing class or something. (But, don't stop pumping out the sweet jams. I know it's a fine line to walk. We can all help you through it.)

Now I'm praying to God you'll give me one more chance, girl

And if that doesn't work, I'll pray to Allah or Buddha or LeBron James or whoever it is people pray to these days.

I'll be there for you / These five words I swear to you

Ha, I kind of like this line. Except for the fact that everything else in the song indicates that he has never been there for her at any time. Run! Run far away!

When you breathe I want to be the air for you / I'll be there for you / I'd live and I'd die for you / I'd steal the sun from the sky for you / Words can't say what love can do / I'll be there for you

Yes! Exactly, Jon Bon Jovi. You've really hit the nail on the head. "Words can't say what love can do." And the fact is, you are trying to save this relationship with words when you have failed to show this poor woman love.

Although, if you are in fact able to "steal the sun from the sky" for her, that would be pretty impressive ... for about seven minutes before all of humankind died in agony.

I know you know we've had some good times / Now they have their own hiding place

But do you know that I know that you know ... oh, forget it.

Also, why are you hiding all the good times? That's not really helping your cause.

I can promise you tomorrow / But I can't buy back yesterday

Unless ... (attempts to buy time machine) ... nope, I was right.

And baby you know my hands are dirty / But I wanted to be your Valentine

Are these two lines supposed to be somehow related? His hands are dirty, BUT he wanted to be your Valentine? I'm expecting the next line to be something like "Ooh girl, I made a turkey sandwich / But you joined a marching band." Actually, imagine singing that like Bon Jovi. It's kind of funny. Or maybe it's just funny to imagine him making a turkey sandwich.

I'll be the water when you get thirsty, baby / When you get drunk, I'll be the wine

Uhhh, yeah. A couple things wrong here. First of all, you already established water as a drowning metaphor earlier in the song. Now you're using it as a life-giving metaphor. Are you trying to sell me a bill of goods here, Jon Bon Jovi? Trying to have your turkey sandwich and eat it too, so to speak?

Also, giving her wine when she's already drunk? Creepiness tag.


Now these final lines might be my favorites.

I wasn't there when you were happy / And I wasn't there when you were down

Beautiful. Awesome. You weren't there when she was happy or when she was down. Meaning you were never there for her at all. Or perhaps only there when she was clipping her toenails, or was watching a boring movie, or was sleeping or something. Then as soon as a hint of emotion flickers across her face, boom! Out the door.

Didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby / I wish I'd seen you blow those candles out

Awe. Some. Ly. Bad. Lyrics. (These five words I swear to you.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Flock of Seagulls -- I Ran (So Far Away)

So I guess we'll stick with the bird theme for one more post.

Fun fact! Wikipedia tells us that in 2004, A Flock of Seagulls was part of the "Nike Run Hit Wonder," a series of 5,000- and 10,000-meter road races, featuring popular bands that are frequently classified as one-hit wonders (including Devo, General Public, and Tommy Tutone) who performed along the race course. This sounds like the kind of thing that would make me want to run a road race, something I would normally avoid at all costs.

Also, Wikipedia says lead singer Mike Score told VH1 that he "resents" the success of this song. I suppose he also resents the giant mansion and solid gold toilet and rare species of antelope that he was able to buy with all of his ill-gotten money? With a name like Mike Score, you could've easily supported yourself with a reputable career such as pornography or ... pornography.

Also, isn't this video creepy?


I walk along the avenue / I never thought I'd meet a girl like you / Meet a girl like you

Sure, maybe on a boulevard or a cul-de-sac or even a thoroughfare I would've expected to meet a girl like you, but an avenue? Jesus Christ! Fuck!

With auburn hair and tawny eyes / The kind of eyes that hypnotize me through / Hypnotize me through

"Tawny" means "of a dark yellowish or dull yellowish-brown color," according to So yeah, I would not expect to ever meet a girl with yellow eyes, on any sort of roadway. Is it time to consult our old friend WebMD? A female aged 25-34 with yellow eyes may be suffering from hepatitis A, B, or C, cirrhosis of the liver, syphilis, mononucleosis, or tuberculosis, among other things.

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

Presumably to avoid contracting one of these diseases.

Seriously, though, why is he running away? I really want to know. Maybe listening to some more verses will clear up this mystery!

A cloud appears above your head / A beam of light comes shining down on you / Shining down on you

That sounds like an image of heaven, although usually when we think of heaven, we think of clouds parting and then light coming down, not a cloud moving in. The cloud would tend to block the light, right?

The cloud is moving nearer still / Aurora borealis comes in view / Aurora comes in view

A cloud would also tend to obscure the aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

Still not sure why you make with the running, Mike Score. A beam of light? The aurora borealis? Those are pretty nice things. Things that would make me want to stick around.

Reached out a hand to touch your face / You're slowly disappearing from my view / 'pearing from my view

OK, I was sort of with you on the whole repeating-the-last-part-of-the-previous-lyric thing, but "'pearing from my view"? That's just sloppy songwriting!

And furthermore, aaaaaaagh. I thought you were trying to run away. Now you're reaching out your hand to try to touch this person? You're all over the map on this, Mike Score.

Reached out a hand to try again / I'm floating in a beam of light with you / Beam of light with you

According to, Mike Score was a hairdresser when he joined this band. Not really sure what we're supposed to do with that information.

Allmusic also says that A Flock of Seagulls' lyrics are "forgettable."

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

It's time to play Two Truths and a Lie!

1. This song was the inspiration for the movie "Forrest Gump."
2. These lyrics are really flipping great.
3. I'm having a really easy time wrapping up this blog post, and I think that it's probably my best ever!

OK, that was three lies.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Eagles -- "Take It Easy"

Man, come on, I had a rough night, and I hate the fucking Eagles.

Actually, it seems to me like the Eagles are the kind of band that when they come on the radio, you'll be like, "Oh yeah, this is a good song," and you probably won't change the station. However, you'll never be like "Oh wow, I'd really love to hear an Eagles jam right now!" or "Hey guys, I erected a small shrine to the Eagles in my basement that includes DNA samples from each band member so that once we have the technology, we can clone them all and force the clones to play live shows for us every night!" Not that I've done that for any bands or anything.

So, yeah, I think the Eagles are pretty cool and can be enjoyed by children of all ages, but they've never done anything that really blows me away. So why am I blogging about them? Your guess is as good as mine.

Well, I'm runnin’ down the road tryin' to loosen my load

Uh, OK, not off to a good start here. I get it, you* have worries and troubles and stuff. But I need some clarification on what, specifically, you are doing. "Runnin' down the road" -- are you jogging? That seems like an OK way to take your mind off your problems. But I don't think you're jogging. Are you running away from something or someone? Neither of those things seem like good ways to "take it easy." I think maybe you're actually driving a car, based on subsequent lyrics.

Also, how does one "loosen" one's load, exactly? Did you mean "lighten my load"? I would think loosening your load, especially if you're driving, would be a bad idea.

Or, maybe you're just constipated.

* You = Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, who co-wrote this song, I guess.

I've got seven women on my mind / Four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me, one says she's a friend of mine

It's a love octagon! Seriously, if you really want to take it easy, friend, you might want to simplify your love life a little. Also, two different women want to "stone" you? I'm guessing you mean throw rocks at you, not smoke marijuana, because smoking marijuana might be the quintessential way to take it easy.

Did you know there's a board game called "Take It Easy"? It's true!

That box makes the game look sort of complicated, though, not easy.

Take it easy, take it easy / Don't let the sound of your own wheels / Drive you crazy

Yeah, I mean, if the sound of your *wheels* is driving you crazy, I think you definitely need to take it easy. Like, maybe by checking into a mental institution. Unless you have like a bad axle or something and it's making some sort of clunking sound, in which case it's probably justified. What was I talking about?

Lighten up while you still can / Don't even try to understand / Just find a place to make your stand / And take it easy

"Lighten up" here could easily be "loosen up." Why don't we just agree to swap the words "loosen" and "lighten" in this song? I think it would make the world a better place. If Obama can win the Nobel Peace Prize for shaking hands with some Egyptian dude or whatever, I can probably make a good case based on this, right? Oooohhhh, did I just get political?! Oh, snap!

Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona

I have to say, you know a band has made it when a throwaway line in one of its songs inspires a full-blown tourist attraction. Although I'm not really sure how exciting this could actually be. It's like going to see the Abbey Road street crossing -- you go there and say, "Yup, there it is," and then maybe take a couple pictures and leave, because really in the end, it's just a crosswalk. I would imagine the corner in Winslow would be even less interesting, because the Beatles were actually at the street crossing at one point, and the Beatles are a much more interesting band than the Eagles.

Take that, Arizona Office of Tourism!
This message sponsored by the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Such a fine sight to see / It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me / Come on, baby, don't say maybe / I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me / We may lose and we may win but we will never be here again / So open up, I'm climbin' in, take it easy

Yeah, let's add another woman to the mix. That ought to make your life easier.

Also, "come on, baby, don't say maybe" is a terrible lyric.

Also, does "open up, I'm climbin' in" warrant the "creepiness" tag? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind / Been lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover, she's so hard to find

You're actually a spy? Again, I hate to be a Critical Carl here, but that doesn't seem like a profession conducive to taking it easy.

OK, so the rest of the song is mostly just a lot of "ooh, ooh, ooh"-ing and stuff.

Hey, how many other bands can you think of that are named after birds? There's the Jayhawks, the Dodos (sub-category: extinct birds), Department of Eagles, Doves, and, of course, the Byrds. It seems like there should be a lot more, but I'm not coming up with any off the top of my head ...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Starship -- "We Built This City"

I think Bernie Taupin might be the Rosetta Stone of awesomely bad lyrics. Not only did his collaborations with Elton John produce some of the loopiest lyrics of all time, but he's credited as one of four writers that contributed a little bit of pixie dust to this train wreck of a song.

Also, I encourage you to watch the video (linked above) if you enjoy unnecessary reaction shots, impassioned pleas to statues of Abraham Lincoln (presumably to suspend habeas corpus or something in order to allow Starship to keep on rockin'), statues of Abraham Lincoln that spontaneously come to life in order to rock out, floating emotionless disembodied heads, oversized killer dice that terrorize entire populations, and of course, big hair!

Let's get it on!

We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll / Built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

I like songs that get right to the point. Here. Listen. See this city? We built it. On what? Funny you should ask. Not on bricks or mortar or asphalt or dinosaur bones, but on good old fashioned rock and roll!!! It's a metaphor, you see, because obviously you couldn't ... I mean it would be ridiculous to suggest that ... heh heh. Ahhhh.

OK, now that that pesky chorus is out of the way, let's bust out the first verse.

Say you don’t know me or recognize my face / Say you don’t care who goes to that kind of place / Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight / Too many runaways eating up the night

Clearly this song wants to rebel against something, but I'm not sure what. I'm not sure the four writers of these lyrics really agree on what, either.

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don’t you remember / We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

I was going to make an obscure joke about Guglielmo Marconi here, but after a little research it appears this lyric actually refers to Guglielmo Marconi. My goodness. Marconi's Wikipedia entry reveals that not only was he a Nobel Prize winner and a pioneer in wireless communication, but was, later in life, "an active Italian fascist and an apologist for their ideology and actions such as the attack by Italian forces in Ethiopia." Umm, maybe not the guy to whom you want to hitch your fake-counter-culture wagon here, Starship.

Wikipedia is silent on whether G. Marconi ever actually played the "mamba," which is a kind of snake. Did you mean "mambo"? Maybe "samba"?

Or, maybe we should take this literally and believe that an early 20th-century Italian inventor is attempting to play a deadly reptile like a musical instrument. Makes about as much sense as any other interpretation.

Hold on a second ... Marconi!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!

We built this city, we built this c
ity on rock and roll / Built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

Phew. That was a close one.

Someone always playing corporation games / Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names

Yeah! Take that, CORPORATIONS!!! How dare you establish yourself as a legal entity for the purpose of doing any kind of business! You suck!!!! Except, of course, for RCA Records, the good people that marketed and distributed this song.

We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage / They call us irresponsible, write us off the page

What are you angry about? Seriously. I'm getting sleepy.

It’s just another Sunday, in a tired old street / Police have got the choke hold, oh then we just lost the beat

What? How do these lyrics make any sense together? The first line makes me think everything is boring and people have stopped rocking because of complacency or something, but then you tell me the police have "got the choke hold," which then caused you to "lose the beat."

I think the songwriting process for this tune was like an exquisite corpse-type scenario in which Bernie Taupin and his collaborators would each just contribute one line, then pass it off to the next person, and so on until this #1 hit was complete!

Who counts the money underneath the bar?

Probably the bartender.

Who rides the wrecking ball in two rock guitars?

Ummm .... I don't know. Ronald Reagan? Anthony Michael Hall? Is this a trick question?

Don’t tell us you need us, cause we’re the ship of fools / Looking for America, coming through your schools

The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bryan Adams -- "Heaven"

Firstly, Bryan Adams has a Web site that is in my opinion quite well designed and well maintained. On this Web site are some photographs Bryan Adams has taken of famous people. They are actually very good. Check them out. I like the Morrissey ones.

Also! Bryan Adams wrote some bad lyrics once. Here they are.

Oh - thinking about all our younger years / There was only you and me / We were young and wild and free

You know, when I listen to the opening guitar riffs of this song, I always expect Steve Perry to bust in and sing "Highway run / Into the midnight sun." It never happens, but still.

So, I was more than a little tickled to find this aside on the Wikipedia page for this song: "While writing 'Heaven', Adams and [Jim] Vallance were influenced by Journey's music and lyrical style, particular their song 'Faithfully.'" This proves, unequivocally, once and for all, that I am a genius.

Also, this video is almost like David Lynch-ian, with Bryan Adams alone in a theater with about a thousand TVs. I think it's some kind of commentary on the unique solitude of a rock star, and how it's possible for one to be surrounded by people and yet still completely alone. Of course, this is completely unrelated to the content of the song, which is about a guy who really really likes a girl and everything is totally awesome and nothing can ever tear them apart (not anymore, at least, everything is totally cool now and all that bad stuff is totally in the past) and they will be together forever until the end of time.

Now nothing can take you away from me / We’ve been down that road before / But that’s over now / You keep me coming back for more

You know, Bryan Adams seems like kind of a cool guy. He's Canadian, speaks Portuguese, has a charitable foundation that probably does some pretty good work, took those cool photographs on his Web site ... and yet, and yet, he writes some of the cheesiest songs ever. Why is this? Does the fault lie with his songwriting partner, Jim Vallance? Does Bryan Adams write like some seriously introspective and literate and lyrical shit and then Vallance tears it up and says, "Fuck this, Adams! Give the people what they want! The people want insipid tripe that's been written, recorded, released, chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated by musicians ten million times since the dawn of time when Neanderthal man got his first real six-string at the five and dime!" Then Adams always gives in because Jim Vallance is fourteen feet tall, weighs 525 pounds, and eats the bones of failed songwriters for breakfast.

Anyhow, that's my working theory on how we ended up with these lyrics here.

Baby you’re all that I want / When you’re lying here in my arms / I’m finding it hard to believe / We’re in heaven

I think you are right to be skeptical, Bryan Adams. It sounds like you two have had some tough times in the past, and although things may seem real nice right now, relaxing in bed after you have presumably just had sexual intercourse, this may just be an illusion of happiness.

And love is all that I need / And I found it there in your heart / It isn’t too hard to see / We're in heaven

Or, OK, you're actually in heaven. That's another theory.

"Love is all that I need, and I found it there in your heart?" Come on now, Vallance. Let's be reasonable here. Why don't you let Bryan Adams out of his cage in your basement, where you only let him out to perform the occasional benefit concert in sub-Saharan Africa or snap a few photos of Lindsay Lohan, and give him a crack at some of this songwriting? .... I don't think he can hear me. He's plucking full-grown eagles out of the sky right now and manipulating their vocal cords to make them sing "Cuts Like a Knife."

Oh - once in your life you find someone / Who will turn your world around / Bring you up when you’re feeling down

Oh, buh-rother.

Yeah - nothing could change what you mean to me / Oh there’s lots that I could say / But just hold me now / ‘Cause our love will light the way

I changed my mind. Jim Vallance is actually in fifth grade and Bryan Adams is afraid to tell him that his lyrics are bad because he will start crying.

I've been waiting for so long / For something to arrive / For love to come along / Now our dreams are coming true / Through the good times and the bad / Yeah – I’ll be standing there by you

I changed my mind again. I think this song was a little experiment to see how many power-ballad cliches could be crammed into one radio-length song. Somebody call the Guinness Book of World Records.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Warren G & Nate Dogg -- "Regulate"

This is kind of a long one so let's get right into it. Note: I'm going to italicize Warren G's parts and put Nate Dogg's parts in bold.

(spoken) Regulators / We regulate any stealing of this property / We’re damn good too / But you cant be any geek off the street / Gotta be handy with the steel if you know what I mean, earn your keep!

Regulators!!! Mount up!

I like to think that this monologue, in its entirety, is what Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jackzo says to his employees at 9 a.m. each weekday.

It was a clear black night, a clear white moon

OK, sorry if this is nit-picking, but how can the moon be "clear"? The sky can be clear, thereby revealing the moon (as is pointed out in the first half of this lyric), but the moon itself cannot be clear. Sorry again, Warren Griffin III.

Warren G was on the streets, trying to consume / Some skirts for the eve, so I can get some ?????

Ummm, I always thought this line was "trying to consume some starch for the eve so I can get some funk." This wouldn't be the best lyric of all time or anything, but it makes more sense than the real lyrics, which I am having trouble even deciphering. "Skirts" is definitely right, although "consuming some skirts" doesn't really make sense. The last word seems to be "phones," which really makes no sense at all ... the lyrics I found online say "funk," but he clearly does not say funk.

So, my best guess is that he is trying to consume some skirts for the eve so he can get some phones. Good luck with that, Warren! (I mean, I guess he could be saying he wants to get the phone numbers of some girls, but as will be revealed later, he and his homey Nate definitely are looking for a little more than phone numbers ...)

Just rollin' in my ride, chillin' all alone

Sounds relaxing.

Just hit the east side of the LBC / On a mission trying to find Mr. Warren G

There is much disagreement on about the meaning of LBC. Does it refer to Long Beach Compton? Long Beach, California? Long Beach Crips? I think the last one is definitely out as Nate is clearly referring to some sort of geographical area.

Also, this song was released in 1994, so I guess cell phones hadn't been popularized yet?

Seen a car full of girls ain’t no need to tweak
/ All you skirts know what’s up with 213

I'm fairly sure "213" refers to an area code ... although it's also the name of a musical group that included Nate, Warren, and Snoop Dogg, so I guess that's what he's talking about. Also, I don't really know what he means by "tweak." There's no need to take crystal meth tonight?

So I hooks a left on 2-1 and Lewis / Some brothas shootin' dice so I said let's do this / I jumped out the ride, and said what's up? / Some brothas pulled some gats so I said I'm stuck

Meanwhile, our hero Warren G has -- kind of foolishly, it seems -- gotten himself into quite a situation. How will he get out of this one? Did someone say "deus ex machina"?

Since these girls peepin' me i'm a' glide and swerve / These hookers lookin' so hard they straight hit the curb / On to bigger, better things than some horny tricks / I see my homey and some suckers all in his mix

Nate Dogg is so damn good-looking that a car full of girls, overcome with desire, lose control of their vehicle and crash into a large pile of garbage (see the video).

Also, does getting into a gang fight (or whatever it is) really qualify as a "bigger, better thing" than having some good old-fashioned sex with a bunch of hookers? I think it's debatable.

I'm gettin' jacked, I'm breakin' myself / I can't believe they taking Warren's wealth / They took my rings, they took my Rolex / I looked at the brothas, said damn, whats next?

I have to say, Warren G doesn't really come off very well in this song. So far he's blundered into a large group of unsavory men without any available assistance, of which he could only shrug his shoulders and say "I'm stuck." He then allows the men to steal his valuables, offering only impotent pleas in response. I can only assume that "breakin' myself" means that he has soiled himself in fear.

They got my homey hemmed up and they all around / Ain't none of them seeing if they going straight pound for pound / They wanna come up real quick before they start to clown / I best pull out my strap and lay them busters down

Nate Dogg to the rescue! I'm not really sure what the middle two lines here mean, but I'm sure they don't involve Warren G doing anything interesting.

They got guns to my head / I think I’m going down / I can't believe this happenin' in my own town


If I had wings I would fly / Let me contemplate

Delivering a Shakespearean pre-death soliloquy was not exactly what I had in mind, Warren.

I glance in the cut and I see my homey Nate

Nate "Machine of God" Dogg.

Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole / Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold / Now they droppin' and yellin' / It's a tad bit late / Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate

Not sure I noticed Warren doing much regulating there, but whatevs.

I laid all them busters down / I let my gat explode / Now I'm switching my mind back into freak mode

If I could have any superpower, it would the ability to switch my mind into "freak mode" at a moment's notice.

If you want skirts sit back and observe / I just left a gang of ho's over there on the curb

The girls who "straight hit the curb" earlier are now just milling around, apparently unfazed by the massive firefight that has just taken place, patiently waiting for Nate to finish his killing spree so he can ravish them. Oh, and he can bring his friend Warren too, if he wants. I guess.

Now nate got the freaks / And thats a known fact / Before I got jacked I was on the same track

Yeah, sure you were, Warren. Were you going to call your girlfriend that you met at summer camp, who lives in Canada so we wouldn't know her?

Back up, back up 'cause its on / N-a-t-e and me / The warren to the g

I bet in high school Warren G sat in class and doodled "N-A-T-E AND ME" inside a big heart in his biology notebook.

Just like I thought / They were in the same spot / In need of some desperate help / The Nate Dogg and the G-child / Were in need of something else

Ohhhhh yeah. Bow-chik-a-bow-bow ... (that was supposed to be the porn riff that people sing to indicate that someone is about to get it on, written out phonetically)

One of them dames was sexy as hell / I said ooo I like your size / She said my car's broke down and you sing real nice, would ya let me ride? / I got a car full of girls and its going real swell / The next stop is the Eastside Motel

So, the final tally of things that each main character did during the course of this song:

Nate Dogg: Drove around. Caused girls to lose control of their motor vehicle by dint of his raw sexuality. Found his friend Warren. Killed several men. Seduced a group of women into getting into his car and driving to a motel to have sex.

Warren G: Drove around. Got mugged because of his own stupidity. Cowered in fear. Crapped his pants. Stood around and watched Nate Dogg save his ass. Stood around some more while Nate Dogg picked up women, and then probably went home to watch Fresh Prince reruns or something.

Anyway, this song goes on for a little while longer, but this is basically the end.

Outstanding questions from the video: Is there really an Eastside Motel, or was it just invented for this song? Why do Nate and Warren appear to be singing in an underground crypt? Why are there random shots of people playing basketball interspersed in the narrative? Is that a cameo from Tupac just after the 3-minute mark? And, why the fuck is Warren G such a pussy?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mr. Big -- "To Be With You"

Apparently Mr. Big is huge in Japan. That's all I have to say by way of prologue, because I couldn't find any other interesting tidbits online.

Also, the Internet appears to have been scrubbed clean of the video for this song, so here's a live performance. Again, not much of interest here, except for one of the guitarists, who appears to wearing nothing but a pair of red skin-tight pants with the word "EVERYBODY" written on it multiple times. I'm not tech-savvy enough to post a screenshot but if you pause the video at the 0:29 mark you can get a good look. If anyone knows where this garment can be obtained, I would very much like to know about it.


Hold on little girl / Show me what he's done to you / Stand up little girl / A broken heart can't be that bad

Dear boringly named lead singer Eric Martin,

This is a fairly patronizing tone to take when addressing a woman who seems to have little to no interest in you romantically. I suggest you refrain from calling her a "little girl" and instead emphasize her womanhood. Additionally, the advice that "a broken heart can't be that bad" is probably not what she wants to hear right now. Instead of trivializing her problems, I would recommend trying to empathize with her and show that you understand. Finally, try wearing no shirt and a pair of red skin-tight pants emblazoned with the word "EVERYBODY." I'm told the ladies really like this look. Especially Japanese ladies.

Miss Manners

When it's through, it's through / Fate will twist the both of you / So come on baby, come on over / Let me be the one to show you

What are you going to show her? Hmm? Is it ... YOUR PENIS??

I'm the one who wants to be with you / Deep inside I hope you'll feel it too

Hmm, what *exactly* is she going to feel deep inside of her? Hmmmmmm???? Could it be ... YOUR PENIS????

Note: The last two comments by me are much funnier if you read them in the Church Lady voice. Note #2: Not sure exactly why I chose to go in this direction here, but I'm gonna stick with it.

Waited on a line of greens and blues / Just to be the next to be with you

What precisely is green and blue? Could it be ... uh, OK, that doesn't work.

In fact, I have no clue what this lyric is supposed to be about. "A line of greens and blues"? Also, the idea of a man "waiting on a line" to be the next to be with a woman reminds me of this lovely woman who apparently slept with 620 men in one day, only to be thwarted by an even classier lady who went all the way to 919. (Is that really possible? The source of this information is the German newspaper "Die Welt," which was founded by Theodore Herzl and appears to be at least somewhat reputable. If you will it, it is no dream, I suppose.)

Build up your confidence / so you can be on top for once

Are we talking about sexual positions here? I think we are. This song is dirty, dirty, dirty!

Wake up, who cares about / Little boys that talk too much

Hmm, maybe the person to whom this song is addressed is, in fact, a little girl. "Creepiness" and "criminal activity" tags? I think so.

I've seen it all go down

"Go down." My mind is officially in the gutter.

Your game of love was all rained out

This might be in the top 10 worst lyrics out of all the songs I've posted. And it's not even a double entendre! Or ... wait a minute ... ewwwwwww.

So come on baby, come on over / Let me be the one to hold you

Break it down!

Why be alone when we can be together baby / You can make my life worthwhile / I can make you start to smile

Yes, that's right ... he can make you start to smile .... with ...

wait for it ...


Congratulations, people! We did it! Most vulgar post yet, narrowly edging out this one. Good night, Tokyo!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Killers -- "All These Things That I've Done"

While we're on the topic of marring perfectly good songs with one goofy verse or lyric, I've been wanting to mention this song for a while. Specifically, the part where lead singer Brandon Flowers breaks it down in the middle of the song and sings this line over and over:

I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier

Sounds foolish, doesn't really fit in with the rest of lyrics (as far as I can tell, at least ... if there is some deeper meaning here, someone please enlighten me), is just not necessary at all because it makes the song a little too long and it would be just perfect without this part, in my opinion.

On the bright side, though, this lyric did lead to this inspired scene (starring Justin Timberlake as like, a mentally ill fighter pilot or something, I forget exactly) from the little-known movie "Southland Tales" by the director of "Donnie Darko." Just like in the Killers song, the scene in the movie basically comes out of nowhere and has nothing to do with anything in the plot. (There's barely a plot to speak of in the film anyway, though, so I guess it doesn't really matter.)

I'm kind of obsessed with "Southland Tales" -- it's really a terrible movie by most any standard, and the cast includes ... get ready for this ... the aforementioned Mr. Timberlake, Sarah Michelle Gellar, John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Janeane Garofalo, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Mandy Moore, Amy Poehler, Seann William Scott (Stifler from the "American Pie" movies, surprisingly good here), and Nora Dunn. Yeah. Now THAT is an ensemble cast.

Anyhow, if you liked "Donnie Darko," I would recommend watching "Southland Tales," because although it is on the whole a huge annoying mess, I find it strangely compelling and there are a few scenes (including the one linked to above) that are pretty brilliant.

Also, I have a feeling this won't be the first time we see the "Justin Timberlake" tag. I love Justin Timberlake, but I have a sneaking suspicion that some of his lyrics might be kind of bad.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Styx -- "Come Sail Away"

Thanks to readers Emma and Peter for the recommendation.

No real comment on this video, expect to say that I REALLY want to buy the basketball jersey or whatever it is that the drummer is wearing.

Also, TONIGHT Styx is performing LIVE with REO Speedwagon and .38 Special! This is not a joke. If you are in or around Bismarck, N.D., as I'm sure many of you are, I recommend that you drop everything and head for the Bismarck Civic Center Arena for a show that is, quite accurately in my opinion, billed as "Can't Stop Rockin'."

But why stop there? Head on out to St. Paul, Minn., tomorrow for the Minnesota State Fair to see the very same lineup, or to Elkhorn, Wisc., on Sunday for the Walworth County Fair (?!), which is apparently a solo gig for Styx. In the 7:30 time slot at the county fair, Styx will be in direct competition, playing the grandstand, with the Bosworth Family Lumberjack Show over in something called "Kiddieland." VERY tough call ... as you are most likely well aware, the Bosworth family can really jack that lumber.


I’m sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea / I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me

Sounds like a bold move. The question is, will you be able to carry on, Dennis DeYoung?

On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard

I'm going to be honest, the lyrics to this song are not terrible. The real awesomelybadness lies in the last verse. However, this line is pretty bad. If he just sang "I'm the captain, so climb aboard," it would be totally fine, but to add the extra "on board" at the beginning? Why? The worst part is it's not even a matter of needing the right number of syllables ... it's almost as if the "on board" part is shoehorned in, like it's a vital piece of information that just must be imparted to the listener. In fact, it is entirely superfluous.

OK, let's just carry on here.

We'll search for tomorrow on (and?) every shore

I swear it sounds like DeYoung says "ond" both in the studio version and in the live performance linked above. He seems to be singing "on" and then adds a "d" sound. Both "on" and "and" would make sense here, so I'm stumped.

And I’ll try, oh lord, I’ll try to carry on

Whee! I love the way he sings "carry on." If I was writing out the lyrics phonetically I'd probably use about 23 A's in the word "carry."

Also, I guess Dennis DeYoung is supposed to be trying to escape something in this song, but damned if I know what it is. I guess it doesn't really matter.

I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory / Some happy, some sad / I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had / We live happily forever, so the story goes / But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold / But we’ll try best that we can to carry on

Not much to say here, except that this song was quite obviously ghostwritten by a leprechaun who yearns to be a pirate.

A gathering of angels appeared above my head / They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said / They said come sail away, come sail away / Come sail away with me

This is a fitting conclusion to what is actually quite a nice little parable. A man burdened by some unnamed pressures of society has decided to "sail away" to start a new life. He takes on a traveling companion who is willing to take a risk and join him on this journey. As he leaves, he inevitably feels a bit wistful/nostalgic/apprehensive about leaving everything behind, but knows in his heart that he is making the right decision, and that the potential rewards of his departure outweigh the risks. Then a vision of angels confirms that he is, in fact, going down the correct path.

Well done, Dennis DeYoung. I applaud you for writing a fairly coherent little song here and now I'm just going to enjoy this nice little guitar/synth/keyboard/whatever solo that's going on here and ... wait a minute ... sounds like another verse might be coming? Now I'm nervous.

I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise / They climbed aboard their starship, we headed for the skies

Noooooo!!!!!!! Aliens??? ALIENS?!?!!! He gets abducted by aliens?!>!>!^&@!%#$^&!%#E#$##&**()_ ? > ????? COME ON!!!! We had such a good thing going there. I didn't know this song was actually written by M. Night freaking Shyamalan. Argh. I don't know what to say. Oh well, at least we can break out the "space travel" tag, which I've been using with surprising frequency.

Singing come sail away, come sail away / Come sail away with me