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