Flashback Friday: Volcano Girls

Remember the era of 90s Alt-Rock Power Grrl Music? I miss those days. Apparently, my iPod understands this, because the next song that came up during the shuffle session that pulled up last week’s post brought me this, my only Veruca Salt song (because I want to rock out now, now, now!).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyVSKydUxKk&w=640&h=480]

I’ve listened to some of their other music, but nothing else by the group ever struck my fancy quite like this song (even if they do all look like they’re trying to hang themselves in the video). Of course, listening to this song always puts me in the proper frame of mind to listen to more Power Grrl music, which means that I might be continuing this particular thread for a little while longer. You don’t mind though, right?

Flashback Friday: What’s Up

Nothing profound this evening. I had my iPod on shuffle on one of my 90s-era playlists, and one of the songs that came up was this gem from my musically misspent youth. I’ve no idea what most people thought of 4 Non Blondes, but I loved them. And I loved this song. The lyrics sounded so deep to my 16-year-old self. And Linda Perry, with her incredibly large voice and even more incredibly large mouth, seemed so cool and down-to-earth and real. Who knew that she would go on to write hit songs for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love, Kelly Osbourne, and P!nk. Hell, she pretty much put both Aguilera and P!nk on the map, with songs that either displayed gorgeous, thoughtful lyrics or insanely nuanced bounce and pep. She’s come a long way from “What’s Up.”

Still, I love this song. See? Nothing profound. I just felt like sharing a little something musical that made me happy once upon a time.

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6NXnxTNIWkc

Flashback Friday: Double Trouble

Okay, this is going to be a really weird entry, but I learned a bunch of stuff yesterday that I wanted to share…it kind of relates to the show listed in this post’s title…kind of not. Just follow along. It’s all cool, in a nerdy pop culture way.

So, does anyone remember a show from the mid-80s called Double Trouble? It was an 80s-era update of The Patty Duke Show that was barely on for a minute, but this time, they sprang for actual twins:

dt-twins

Meet Jean and Liz Sagal. Or Liz and Jean Sagal. Meet the Sagal twins. You might have seen them in other 80s-era shows and movies, either together or on their own. You might have missed the fact that they were twins and thought that this was one busy actress. Between the two of them, they covered the gamut of big 80s viewing, including Cagney & Lacey, Trapper John, M.D., Highway to Heaven, 21 Jump Street, Quantum Leap, Simon & Simon…I’m not saying which one, but one of them even appeared in that classically awful Lucasian misstep Howard the Duck, as Ronnette, the dummer for Beverly Switzler’s band Cherry Bomb:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/e0oeY1KMY9U

Sweet traumatizing prophets, WTAF were these actors thinking? Look at the names in this clip: Tim Robbins, Lea Thompson, Holly Robinson…wow. That’s some big pull for such a little duck.

And now I feel the need to self-abuse myself by revisiting this abomination from my youth.

Anyway, back on point. Since their debut, the Sagal twins have made their way from in front of the camera to behind the camera. One directs and one edits. However…their older sister Katey continues to wow the crowds with her ability to switch gears through all kinds of characters. That’s right, their sister is Peg Bundy:

pegbundy

Or the Cyclopean Leela for those of us who never really enjoyed Married With Children:

katey-sagal-leela

Truth be told, Katey Sagal has played a very impressive array of characters throughout her career, including a recurring character on the current series Sons of Anarchy. She does terrible characters really well, but she seems to comes across as quite a lovely person in real life [insert Jon Lovitz “Acting!” meme here].

I’m always fascinated by people who are nice in reality but excel at playing creeps on-screen. Like Louise Fletcher. If you don’t fear her as Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, then you will surely want to run away from her Nurse Ratched or risk being lobotomized for being too slow. And yet, have you ever seen her acceptance speech when she won for Nurse Ratched?

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/pGl5U7nNlkY

That ending. That. Ending. Even Nurse Ratched has a heart.

Well then. Talk about wandering off-topic. Anyway, the point of all this is that I always find it interesting when I learn about family connections throughout Hollywood.

This connection goes even deeper, in fact. The family patriarch, Boris Sagal, became a director and writer after he came to this country from Ukraine. He directed quite a few things throughout his career, including several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, an episode of Mrs. Columbo (which starred pre-spaceflight Kate Mulgrew), and Omega Man, the Charlton Heston ruination translation of Richard Matheson’s novella I Am Legend.

[Loba Tangent: Still waiting for Hollywood to get that story right in a movie.]

Sadly, Sagal died while filming the miniseries World War III. He had just finished shooting aerial shots and when he climbed out of the helicopter (which had landed in the parking lot of the hotel used for exterior shots in The Shining, of all movies), he turned the wrong way and walked right into the tail rotor. I don’t think you really want any additional details there.

And there you have it. This is all what I learned yesterday. Oh, and as for the show in the title? I can’t remember anything about it. How’s that for burying the lede?

Flashback Friday: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

I suppose this is both for the character and the same-titled movie. But let’s face it: The movie wouldn’t have existed without the character first. And oh, what a character she is.

You all know that I love horror movies. And anyone who loves the horror genre knows that sometimes really bad horror equals a really great movie-watching experience, especially when said horror is brought to you with respectful acknowledgement of said shlockiness. By a Goth Valley Girl with really large…assets.

Enter Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

elvira

To be honest, I’m slightly too young to be able to claim that I first knew Elvira as the host of Movie Macabre. I must confess that I first knew her as the provocative spokesghoul of…Coors Light:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/K1zcV_Za2t0

All right, all right. Cut me some slack. I didn’t know anything about beer back then. Besides, they brought me the Mistress.

Of course, the feminist side of me wants to rage against the first-blush image of Elvira and her scantily clad form and what might be the most amazing push-up bra in the history of everything. However, my more learned feminist side informs me that a woman can dress however she chooses to without fear of retribution or repercussions, and if this is how Elvira wishes to dress, then so be it. Then, of course, the engineering side of me wants to know things like how on earth does she stay inside that low-cut dress? I mean, everything has its limits, and I would think that she would have maxed out that dress a while ago.

Look even more deeply and you’ll find the woman behind Elvira and an amazing story. Cassandra Peterson, she who is the Mistress, was born in Manhattan, Kansas, in 1951. When she was three years old, she knocked a pot of boiling water onto herself, burning off most of her hair and ending up needing skin grafts over 35 percent of her body. It was so bad, she said that doctors had to graft skin from her mother to cover her burns.

Peterson would later state that her scarred appearance was what led to her love of horror. She’s said in interviews that she felt “comforted” by the monster movies of her youth because other kids often made her feel like one of the monsters from those movies. Then came puberty and a sudden expansion of her…personality that she admits led her to be what she has deemed cruel and taunting to the boys. In fact, she has stated that she channels some of that uninhibited teenaged lustful indulgence into Elvira’s personality.

Fast forward to post high school when Peterson went to Las Vegas to become a dancer and ended up being told by the King himself, Elvis, to get out of Vegas before it consumed her. So, she packed up and headed to Italy, where she met Federico Fellini and ended up in his movie Roma.

Back to the States and she found herself in LA LA Land and part of the improvisational group The Groundlings. This troupe has provided many a stand-up and star to comedy clubs and shows like Saturday Night Live and MadTV. It was also where Peterson both began to hone her Elvira persona and where she would meet and become friends with Paul Reubens. She even appeared in a brief non-Elvira cameo in a little movie called Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Tequila, anyone?

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/UVKsd8z6scw

And then, of course, came Peterson’s big break when she saw that a local affiliate was looking for a new host to help them bring back their weekend horror show, originally called Fright Night but rechristened Movie Macabre. With her sharp comedic timing, her sarcastic Valley Girl comments, delicious double entendres, unforgettable visual aesthetic, and anachronistically upbeat personality, Peterson’s Elvira was destined to become one of the most popular horror personalities of the 80s. Hell, of every decade since she started, really.

Of course, the zenith of her popularity was around the time that NBC Pictures greenlit her very own titular (heh) film in 1988. Co-written by Peterson, the film is one of the purest forms of 80s horror comedy shlock imaginable…which means it’s kind of perfect if you think about it. Elvira made her claim to fame by providing snarky yet loving commentary to really awful horror movies. She was MST3K before MST3K. For horror. What better venue for the Queen of Cheesy Horror than her very own cheesy horror?

Seriously, it’s really cheesy. And stars Edie McClurg as one of the antagonists. And W. Morgan Sheppard as one of the other antagonists. And the nerdy wheelchair-bound kid from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. (Spoiler: He doesn’t really need a wheelchair.) Plus a bunch of other instantly recognizable character actors populating a town in Massachusetts called “Falwell,” and a poodle with a punk-rock buzz. Oh, and tassles. Spinning tassles. I kid you not, denizens. There’s really nothing else I can think of to say about this movie after that.

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/MfVl56ZQBWA

Do I recommend this movie? Oh good grief, yes. Rent it, buy some really good beers (Sorry, Coors, that doesn’t mean you), invite over some friends, and just have a great time laughing at one of the most ultimate midnight B-movies ever made. You’ve heard me say it before, but it bears repeating: When horror is good, it’s great…but when it’s bad, it can be spectacular. Elvira is spectacular.

Flashback Friday: Tommy Boy

I’ve already written about a movie based on a Saturday Night Live skit of shwingalicious proportions. To be honest, it’s one of the only SNL-based movies that I can tolerate, let alone love.

[Loba Tangent: Dear Mr. Michaels, Creating a character that is funny for five minutes does not automatically translate to said character being funny for 90 whole minutes. Tangentially, having a cast member who can be funny for five minutes does not a movie star make. I won’t name names, but I suspect you already know about whom I speak.]

Then there is Tommy Boy, SNL alum Chris Farley’s first starring foray into movies.

tommyboy

I’m sure it was a scary prospect, moving from the safety of Rockefeller Plaza to Hollywood, so Farley took along his woobie…er, friend and fellow cast mate, David Spade.

[Loba Tangent 2: This was Spade and Farley’s first movie together, but they appeared in a lot of SNL skits with each other and they went on to make another movie, which was a blatant attempt to capitalize off the popularity of this one. Riding the coattails, so to speak. Kind of like how Spade rode Farley’s coattails, even after Farley died. Oh, you thought I had forgotten that awful DirecTV commercial you did, Davey? Not cool, man. Not cool.]

Enough tangents. I love Tommy Boy. It’s not Shakespeare. It’s not deep. It’s not Oscar-worthy. It belittles stupid people and fat people and skinny people and balding people and short people and Midwesterners and city slickers and deer and bees and cows and cops and working-class people and white-collar people, and I think it implies a little bit of non-incestuous incest for a couple of characters.

But…it’s funny. It’s damned funny. Whatever his hangups, proclivities, problems, or demons, Chris Farley was an incredibly funny guy. He channeled Belushi’s energy in so many ways during his SNL days, to both great and awful ends. He was the eponymous bull in SNL’s china shop, body-slamming and careening his way through some of the most hilarious skits to come from that show’s time period…hell, to come from the entirety of the show’s run.

And he brought that same untamed energy to Tommy Boy, this paint-by-numbers buddy movie about a bumbling oaf and a snippy little pencil pusher, one who is clueless about everything and the other who is bitter to his core about said cluelessness.

This time? Hilarity absolutely ensues.

This could have been a nothing movie like so many other cinematic flops from SNL cast mates (even though Tommy Boy wasn’t an actual SNL character, the truth is that most every character Farley ever played was actually just Farley being Farley…and that was perfectly fine). And, to be fair, the “holy shnikey” shtick threatens to wear thin (but only threatens; it somehow holds in there until the end). There was something about Farley in this movie…something that he was never able to recapture, not even by pairing up with Spade for the lesser Black Sheep, which was really just a different iteration on this movie.

Tommy Boy came out in 1995, and sadly, it was Farley’s highest career point. He remained on SNL a bit long and did a few more movies that never came close to the popularity of this film. And then his demons finally found him and he overdosed on December 18, 1997. He was only 33 years old. I remember that it was close to Christmas when he died because my mom told me while we were out Christmas shopping. I even remember where we were: standing in the classical music section of the Waves Music, looking for something for my dad. Crazy, right? Most people remember where they were when Elvis died or JFK or John Lennon. I’ll always remember where I was when I learned that Chris Farley died.

Talk about a downer. Just call me Debbie. Oh, but please don’t try to make a whole movie based on Debbie Downer. Here, let’s forget I even mentioned the name. Let’s watch the trailer for Tommy Boy instead. And after we’re finished, we can go cow tipping. I heard that Sandusky has their own league (I should know; I used to have the T-shirt)…

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6nQ4K2bvVxY

Flashback Friday: Last of the Independents

Loba plans and life laughs. And it’s the cruelest sound in the world. I honestly had every intention of coming here with far more frequency. Febrewary February was nice, right? Seems that it was not meant to be for March. If only I could have come up with a clever beer-related portmanteau for March.

DAMN MY INABILITY TO BE CLEVER ALL THE TIME.

Anywhoodle. March is now almost over, and I’ve only done one Flashback Friday. But it was a good one, right? So I’m back, once more mining my music loves. This time, it’s the 1994 Pretenders album Last of the Independents.

pretenders_loti

As I have confessed many times, music isn’t really my strong point when it comes to obsessions, so if I’m into a group it’s because they’ve finally become popular enough for me to notice them…or the pastor in the “Rock music is all from the Debbil, mmkay” videos that they made us watch in high school mentioned them as specifically evil, which meant in my mind that I needed to listen to them STAT (you think I’m kidding, but that’s how I learned about Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Dio, GWAR, Alice Cooper…see? Great groups!).

The Pretenders were never called out for specific sins by these videos, so my discovery of their music came with the repeated play of the single “I’ll Stand By You” on the radio, MTV, and VH1:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/J5pECaW-VMI

Yeah, I know. Power ballad. Shut up.

Still, this was the first time that I had ever seen Chrissie Hynde, and I found her mesmerizing. It’s the voice. And the bangs. But mainly the voice. After seeing this video a few times, I knew two things: I wanted to know more about this group and I wanted this album. Not a bad sell from a power ballad.

Of course, I’ve since learned all about the band’s British roots and Hynde as their Yankee front woman and powerhouse song writer. In fact, she either wrote or co-wrote every song on Last of the Independents (as well as the majority of the band’s entire oeuvre). One of the things that I love the most about this particular album is the incredible sociological commentary on womanhood at this point in time. Not feminism or femininity. Womanhood. Hynde basically wrote a musical treatise on her thoughts about being a woman, a mother, an unfairly classified “lesser” gender. Her songs are stories of support, survival, sexuality, stigma. Love and hate, birth and death, success at what cost? Family, fate, and tequila. Hynde’s musical personas through this album all struggle with wanting the fully realized life that men take for granted, sometimes at the expense of these heroines. Frailty. Strength. Admirable. Playful. Pitiable. Seductive. Loathsome. Hynde embraces all aspects, presents them on equal footing, lets us decide.

Also? She turns a phrase like a fiend.

I have to say, I don’t think there’s a dud on this entire album. However, my favorite song actually comes quite late in the playlist, toward the back where weaker songs typically go. This, however, is one of the most beautifully crafted songs—one of my favorites not only from the Pretenders but from any group. It’s called “Every Mother’s Son”:

I was born with my hand in a fist,
And my eyes shut tight.
Any wonder that I cannot resist
Punching blindly in a fight.
First time I saw swans flying to the sun,
I wanted to be one.

Like every mother’s son,
When I saw my life had begun,
I wanted to be someone—
Like my brother,
My one and only father,
And like every mother’s son.

I was raised within a cause,
With a purpose to fulfill.
I was taught to defend what was mine,
And instructed not to kill.
My small mortal eyes can see eternity
In the clouds that dissolve and then regroup endlessly.

Like every mother’s son,
When a man showed me how to use a gun,
I wished I’d never needed one—
Like my brother,
My one and only father,
And like every mother’s son.

Everything in domesticity
Assumes its role better than me.
I’m a displaced person whose culture let me down.
I raise my own daughters in a pornographic town.

Like every mother’s son,
I’ve lost some and some I’ve won,
Now I’m waiting for a new dawn—
Like my brother,
My one and only father,
And like every mother’s son.

The first four lines alone were all I needed to fall in love with this song.

If you haven’t heard this album, I’d definitely say give it a go. And if you’ve never given The Pretenders a chance to impress you? Well, what on earth are you waiting for, denizens?

Flashback Friday: Poe

No, not Poe as in Edgar Allan…although he was the inspiration for this particular nom de plum, as he was the favorite author of Annie Danielewski when she was young. This young Poe would write, but her poetry would come with a beat as strong and persistent as that wicked, wicked Tell-Tale Heart.

poe

I loved Poe. I still pull up her two albums on my iPod whenever I want to relive those angry, grungy college days. I remember how subversive and naughty her song and accompanying video “Angry Johnny” was…how MTV would only play it late at night because it was too sexeh for prime time:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/lrygAv93Ick

Admittedly, this was pretty risque…for 1995. Now, it exudes a dated innocence…the puerile adolescent exploring the newly discovered joy of the double entendre while experimenting with all variety of musical genres. Little bit of grunge. Little bit of jazz. Dash of electronica. Smidgen of hip-hop. Poe’s musical stylings could best be described as eclectic. Nuanced. Different.

Oh, but that voice. Pure as a church pew, sultry as a new religion that’ll bring you to your knees (if you please). I will listen to Poe sing anything in the world. Sadly, however, she only released two albums, the 1995 Hello and 2000’s Haunted. Interesting fact about Haunted is that she found the inspiration for all the songs from brother Mark Z. Danielewski’s debut novel, House of Leaves. I’ve mentioned this book here just recently; it’s an amazing debut. It’s also one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. You must be willing to commit more than a month to wading through the density of this epic. However, if you want an interesting glimpse into some of the aspect of the tale, take a listen to big sister’s complementary CD. Probably the most famous song from this second album is “Hey Pretty,” which Atlantic released as a remixed version for radio and video, interspersing the song with snippets of Mark reading from his novel:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/h_lhspmjCJ4

You might have also caught this song on a Ford commercial. Because why not?

Another bit of trivia about this album is that Poe found another source of familial inspiration, thanks to the discovery of recordings that her father had made throughout his life. She interspersed snippets of these recordings all throughout the album, often with…haunting effect.

Apparently, when Atlantic merged with AOL Time Warner, Poe’s contract became a casualty of war. Instead of heading into the studio to record her promised third album, she ended up spending her time fighting Atlantic for her music and her release from her contract. In the interim, she also did some writing and recording for Conjure One, an electronic project fronted by Delerium artist Rhys Fulber. She appeared on the group’s first two albums (which I own).

I’ve heard Interwebz rumblings that Poe finally won her war against Atlantic and is once again ready to record. Of course, those rumors are from 2012. It’s been two years since and still nothing. I’d love it if she did finally return to singing in venues that I can access. Until then, I revisit my love affair with 90s alt-rock quite often through her two solidly strange albums. I’ll just leave this here. It’s my favorite song from Hello, and the song that I think perfectly exemplifies that quirky melange approach she had for musical genres. I give you “Fingertips”:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/q3_mLghxado

Flashback Friday: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

You know me, denizens. I lurves me some drag queens. I know, some prefer the term “female impersonator.” Some prefer “gender illusionist.” I take all this into account and I respect it. However, in this particular instance, it’s definitely drag queens. Two, to be precise: Mitzi Del Bra and Felicia Jollygoodfellow, along with their transsexual friend Bernadette Bassenger. Seems they have a gig to perform their drag show in a remote part of Australia, far from their Sydney home base. The only reason that Mitzi would even consider traveling so far and to such a questionable location is because the hotel manager is…special to her. So they pack up their kits (which include lots of makeup, lots of shoes, lots of wigs, and lots of the most elaborate outfits imaginable) into a giant bus they christen…what? Priscilla!

And thus begins The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

pqotd

This is a relatively bare-bones explanation of this movie’s plot. It’s kind of hard to give more, because if you haven’t seen it, the descriptions aren’t really going to make much sense…and if you have seen it, you’re going to understand completely what I mean with that last statement. I can tell you all the details in the world, but it’s not going to be even remotely close to actually experiencing this movie. Which I highly recommend you do, at least once. Then you too can immediately laugh along whenever you hear someone mention this movie and ping pong or blow-up doll kites or ABBA poo. Or Ralph.

Wait. ABBA. Song break!

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Gv_6Gz-6Gig

See what I mean?

Me? I’ve seen this movie all the way through more times than I can tally (although I know it’s well into the double digits), and way more than that in bits and bobs whenever I catch it on television. Beyond being hilarious and riotous and strange and delightful, it amuses me to no end that the three leads each have found varying levels of fame playing characters utterly opposite from these lovely ladies: Mitzi later became Agent Smith, the ultimate foil to Keanu “The One” Reeves in The Matrix; Felicity would later forget her drag days along with every thing else as Leonard in Memento; and Bernadette once brought Christopher Reeve’s Superman to his knees as General Zod (back when Superman wasn’t mopey and pewey).

It blows my mind a bit that this movie came out 20 years ago this year. All three actors have gone on to do myriad performances beyond these characters, and still these are the roles I think of first whenever I see them. These are the roles I love them for the most.

I know there’s a musical based on this movie. I haven’t heard any of the music. I kind of don’t want to. The movie amuses me so much in its own right, I don’t really need to see another take on it. Besides, it has to be Australian. In Australia. With Australian actors (and Bernadette Zod). And not terrible fake Australian accents. Call me a purist, but I need my Oz fix, dammit.

As a special treat, I’ve come up with the following bit of PhotoShop fun. I call it Three Spocks in Frocks on a Rock. If you don’t get the pun, you now have another reason why you need to watch this movie. You’re welcome.

Click to embiggen
Click for more…

Flashback Friday: The Jukebox Network

Sometimes, I look at the artists on my iPod and I realize…I have some truly questionable taste in music. It’s eclectic, to be sure, ranging from classical to country, from rap to death metal (though not a lot of the latter and not enough of the “old school” former).

Why the strange mix of musical tastes? I suppose I could blame part of it on the years that I spent absorbing every music video played by MTV and VH1 (remember the moment you realized you were getting old was when you realized you were watching way more VH1 than MTV?).

However, I can also blame the Jukebox Network(later re-christened “The Box”) for my crazy-mad love affair with a lot of 80s-era rap (as well as my introduction to a pop princess-cum-reality diva and a thorny love affair with a blossoming new metal group).

First, though, what exactly was Jukebox? Well, denizens, there was a time when you couldn’t just go online, look up a particular artist, and spend hours watching every music video, concert performance, and interview they ever made. Used to was, you had to wait patiently for them to become popular enough that one of their videos would make it into heavy rotation on one of the aforementioned music channels. Either that or plunk out money for a VHS of their latest concert or music video collection.

Jukebox, however, was just that: It was the music video equivalent of a jukebox. You waited for the video menu, wrote down the corresponding number to the video you wanted to watch, and then called the Jukebox hotline and paid for your selection. If memory serves correctly, each video cost $2.99. Pretty pricey for the late 80s/early 90s, but worth it if you liked an artist that wasn’t played frequently on MTV.

The great thing about Jukebox was that it played nothing but music videos. No commercials, no special programming, no talking heads. Just videos. It was a national channel, but it played videos popular in your particular location. I happened to live in an area where rap was far more popular than any other genre, which would explain why I grew to love artists like MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, Kool Moe Dee, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Heavy D and the Boyz, EU, Kid ‘N Play, Whodini, Big Daddy Kane…you’ve heard me mention them all many times here. Jukebox was how I got my fix of them all. See, MTV didn’t really play a lot of rap videos in regular rotation. True, they had Yo! MTV Raps, but how does a half hour show compete with 24/7 music video access?

Strangely enough, I can remember the very first video I ever saw on Jukebox. It was one of the stupidest videos by one of the cheesiest groups I’d ever heard:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/BaeNelsAOGo

That’s right. They’re Tigra and Bunny and they like the boom. It kind of makes sense that this would be the first video I saw on this channel and that it was always in heavy rotation. If I remember correctly, Jukebox was a Miami-based channel, and so were the girls of L’Trimm.

It wasn’t all about the rap though. Every now and then, a totally unexpected video would jump into the rotation, like the DNA remix of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/jWMToInrke0

I can remember when it was the most important thing in our universe to be able to sing all the lyrics to this song, whispered to each other during random study hall moments. So weird.

Then there was this video that wouldn’t stop popping into the rotation, irritating me with its poppy perkiness until I finally just surrendered to the infectious beats:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/0pyxKqdtrH8

Ah, Paula. Who knew the boatload of crazy she would bring to our world many years later? For a time, though, she truly was forever our girl. Her videos were like kudzu on Jukebox…once one took root, others quickly followed. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been half as enamored of her as I was had it not been for Jukebox.

For the record, yes, that is Elijah Wood in this video, which was directed by David Fincher. Fincher directed several of Abdul’s videos, including “Cold Hearted,” which was like Flashdance meets Fosse:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/o7aShcmEksw

I can remember when this was considered too sexeh for MTV and they would restrict its play until the evening. Sometimes I miss that demure quaintness.

Ironically, Jukebox brought me into the rap scene, and Jukebox carried me right back out with another unexpected music video that kept interrupting the regular rotation:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/o1tj2zJ2Wvg

Oh, Axl. You so cray.

I swear, denizens, I’m going to stop that.

The introduction of “Welcome to the Jungle” into Jukebox’s regular rotation was what reminded me that I loved awesome guitarists and androgynously misogynistic lead singers in leather pants and makeup. It wasn’t long before I reverted back to metal and hard rock before the grungy likes of Nirvana and Co. brought that genre to its sha-na-na-na-na-knees-knees. It also wasn’t long after this that someone finally pulled the plug on the Jukebox Network. I read somewhere that MTV bought it and converted it to MTV2. Not sure if that’s true, but sure, let’s go with that.

And there you have it, denizens, a brief history on a dying art form–the music video channel. Now known as YouTube.

Flashback Friday: Sir Mix-A-Lot

Oh, denizens. You ever get a flash of music from your past that you just can’t shake from your brain, no matter what?

That happened to me earlier today with a Sir Mix-A-Lot song. No, not that Sir Mix-A-Lot song. See, I knew his music before he informed the world of his…undeniable fondness for generously portioned backsides. First Mix song I ever heard? The one that popped into my head this morning as I watched an old-school Cadillac roll past me on my way to work:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/l_F76ySzk48

Dang, Mix, even here, you’re checkin’ out posteriors. “My Hooptie” was one of my favorite songs back in the day. What other song would you love when your first car is a 1980 Chevette? To be fair, though, my little Chevette was in way better condition than the Buick he and his posse roll in throughout this video. Speakin’ of his posse…

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SBPpy_SVV_0

Of course, when you couldn’t find Mix and his posse on Broadway…well, good luck finding him as he made his way across the country. Better jump on it…

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tmCKnVaU7H0

Getting tired? It’s true, you’ve gotta be an Iron Man to keep up with Mix most of the time:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/sWMHa-ccRtQ

Yeah, that was “Iron Man.” If you’re curious, the metal group is San Francisco band Metal Church. They relocated to Washington State, which is probably how they ended up running with Sir Mix-A-Lot. He’s always called Washington State his home. It’s one of the things that I always found so interesting about him. While so many other rappers were drawing lines in the sand around their respective coastal allegiances and defending those lines with threatening lyrics, Mix always maintained a mellow groove up in Washington. He rolled to his own beat and always seemed secure enough not to need all the posturing and posing that so many others resorted to to make names for themselves. Mix-A-Lot never seemed to need all that. He just needed a great hook and clever lyrics.

And…yes, denizens…he needed butts. Big butts.

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/FlItMpGYQTo

Yes, one could make an argument that this video is about as subtle as a sledge hammer when it comes to innuendo. Whether it’s the lyrics or the visuals, you’re really not going to miss the point. Mix-A-Lot loves booty. But you know what? From the flip side of the coin, Mix-A-Lot is actually reaffirming a healthy body image for women who won’t ever meet the stilted criteria of PhotoShopped fashion mag models.

Ross understands. Don’t you, Ross?

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/XQglwughEyc

Could they be worse parents? And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bunch of Friends clips to watch now…and, yes, I sense a future Flashback Friday idea, too, my denizens…