Posts tagged “Michael Jackson

BLAST FROM THE PAST #1: Silver Side Up

Yeah, that’s right. I own a Nickelback album.

It’s been resting comfortably in one of my CD towers in my bedroom, mostly untouched, for nearly a decade. I got it when I was 15, right in the thick of my nu-metal/pop-punk/post-grunge phase. In fact, I asked for it for my birthday that year. My birthday is September 27. The year was 2001. Silver Side Up, fresh off the radio success of the band’s breakout single “How You Remind Me,” had just come out a few weeks earlier, on September 11. (I think we all remember what else happened that day.)

You know what else I wanted for that birthday? Come Clean, the first album from Fred Durst protégés Puddle Of Mudd. Ah, to be 15 and so easily charmed by songs called “She Fucking Hates Me.”

Chill out, Lightning. At least YOU didn't get a Nickelback album.

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Oh my God, I’M BACK! (And with a 2011 Grammy preview)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. In the words of that one guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I’m not dead yet. I feel fine. I think I’ll go for a walk! I feel happy, I feel happy — *gets knocked out with a stick*


So where have I been for, like, all of 2010? Looking for jobs, mostly (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOMEBODY HIRE ME, I PROMISE I’LL BE GOOD AND I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER), and also writing and recording my own songs just for fun. I might even share them on the Internet someday after I get over my crippling lack of self-confidence! Hooray for me!

Anyway, the 2011 Grammy nominees were announced recently and this gave me inspiration to make my long-awaited, much-anticipated (by absolutely nobody) return to the blogosphere. Of course, this isn’t a complete Grammy preview — I mean, there are 109 different categories and I’d have to be crazy to cover them all. This isn’t even a complete preview of all the awards people actually care about, just the ones I was able to write about in an entertaining fashion.

The Listen Up! 2011 Grammy Awards That You Care About And That I Was Also Able To Make Jokes About Preview continues after the jump!

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ENJOY THE GENIUS 9: Keep Your Day Job

My friend’s got a boyfriend. Man, she hates that dick. She tells me every day. He wants more dinero just to stay at home! Well, my friend, you’ve got to say, “I won’t pay, I won’t pay ya — no way-ay-ay-ay! Na-na, why don’t you ENJOY THE GENIUS?”

That’s right, ENJOY THE GENIUS is finally back, mainly because I’ve been saving my other big ETG idea for the 10th-episode special.

Nowadays, just as I posited with the title of the last installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS, anyone can get a record deal. It doesn’t really matter if you can sing or not, especially not in the age of AutoTune and “famous for being famous,” whatever the hell that means. All you really need is to either get enough Myspace friends or already be rich and/or famous, and you’re good to go. This is why people like Kevin Federline and Paris Hilton have been allowed to release albums despite never actually displaying anything resembling musical talent beforehand. And now that the Disney Channel is basically a teen-pop factory, young actors and actresses are more able to flood the airwaves with forgettable pop music than ever before!

But it’s not like this is the first time Hollywood has infiltrated other forms of showbiz. Back in the day, movie stars used to sing in their films all the time. Actors knew how to play instruments too. Hell, Harpo Marx only spoke one line of dialogue in his entire film career, but he could still play the shit out of the harp.

Still, just because Judy Garland and Gene Kelly could sing their hearts out doesn’t mean every A-list actor or actress who wanted to branch out into music could pull it off. And today, we’re going to take a look at some movie stars who probably should have stuck with their day jobs… along with one wannabe musical act so incredibly ridiculous that it took the combined efforts of the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd to mock it properly.

The fun begins, as always, after the jump!

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POTW #2: The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

“Be strong, godson — the Gloved One is not a sucker!”

— James Brown, MC Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” music video

So, as everyone in the universe obviously knows by now, Michael Jackson died on Thursday after suffering a heart attack. Michael was the King of Pop, a man who spent his entire life in the public eye and created some classic pop music for most of it. Everyone likes something Michael Jackson created during his long and incredibly successful career in music. This is because when he was at the top of his game, he found ways to connect with all kinds of music fans. He invented the Moonwalk, won a ton of awards, scored tons of hit singles, revolutionized the music video, was among the masterminds behind USA For Africa (he co-wrote “We Are The World”), made the best-selling album in the history of music (Thriller), and struck a chord with millions of people worldwide. And he did it in spite of violent abuse from his father as a child and deep-rooted mental traumas that haunted him throughout his life.

Over the last 20 years he became a highly controversial and polarizing figure, due in no small part to allegations of child molestation and questions surrounding his abilities as a parent. He also had numerous plastic surgeries done to his face, completely disfiguring his nose. As a result, he became known less as the King of Pop and more as Wacko Jacko.

The Fall Of Troy, “Whacko Jacko Steals The Elephant Man’s Bones”

But we’re not here to talk about any of that stuff. See, in one of my English classes this past semester, I learned the concept of “the death of the author.” Basically what that means is that criticism is at its most effective when you separate the creator from his or her work. People tend to put more focus on what they think a work meant to its creator rather than their own interpretation of the work. It’s about reviewing the work itself and ignoring external factors.

So today, for my picks of the week, we’re going to take a look at some King of Pop classics for the great pop songs they are and just ignore all this Wacko Jacko business for a little bit. Not to sound hypocritical or anything, but I’m pretty sure that’s what Michael would have wanted.

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Top 5 Scariest Songs In My Collection

(originally aired on Nov. 7, 2008 — the Halloween special)

Hi, everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!)

Did you all have a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day? Did you get to spend some quality time with your sweetheart? Take him/her out to dinner, maybe see a movie, trade cutesy little gifts, that sort of thing? Are you still on a high from a weekend full of love and happiness?

I hope so…

Because I’m about to completely obliterate that high.

For my Halloween special back in November (I would have done this on Halloween, but I was in Philadelphia for the World Series parade), I decided to count down the five scariest songs I possess in my collection. Some of these songs made the list for creating a spooky atmosphere. Other songs are here for their lyrical concepts. And there might be one or two that are able to effectively combine the two. Brace yourselves, everyone.

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