Posts by Shawn Amos
- Yahoo Music27 days ago
Even though we are in a recession, it's as good a time as any to look at the Lifestyles of the Musical and Famous. A lifesrtyle in which the M&Ms are never brown, the Cristal always flows, and there's always a hotel room ready to demolish. Let the good times roll. Again. Soon. Please?
1. Michael Jackson — Neverland Ranch
Michael Jackson held the top spot for biggest pop star extravagance: Neverland Ranch (named in honor of Jackson's favorite kid, Peter Pan). He bought the 2,800-acre ranch in 1987 for an estimated $17 million. He built a private amusement park on the property, which included a zoo, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, rollercoaster, and bumper cars. Sadly, all that high living costs more than Jackson's faltering career and outrageous spending habits could sustain. He got hit with his own personal recession and eventually lost the property.
2. Elvis Presley — Cadillacs
- Yahoo Music27 days ago
Whether or not Kanye West is his generation's defining voice, and he has claimed, it's clear that he definitely has its biggest ego.
"I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice," he once said in an interview. "It's me settling into that position of just really accepting that it's one thing to say you want to do it and it's another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan."
[Related: Kanye's "The College Dropout" Turns 10]
- Yahoo Music27 days ago
We all love to sing along with our favorite songs. We sing in the car, in the shower, and at the karaoke bar. The problem is that half the time we don't know what we're singing. We're making up lyrics as we go along and hoping no one will notice.
Wrong. Everyone notices. They may not know the exact words, but they know it's definitely not what you're singing. In fact, there's a word for this phenomenon. It's called "mondegreen," and it means "the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase, such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song." (There's a great website called kissthisguy.com that's named after the frequently misheard Hendrix song listed below and is dedicated to the cataloging of mondegreens.)
So now that you've been outed, here are a half-dozen favorite misunderstood lyrics. Who was it that said, "No one pays attention to the lyrics?" Well, here's the proof.
6. Tom Petty: "American Girl"
What people sing: "That Wonderbra that she was gonna keep."
- Yahoo Music1 mth ago
The first dance at my wedding was to Freedy Johnston's "Bad Reputation." It was a fitting choice for us, and it kept to the "no cheesy love song" rule we'd set for our relationship. But the longer we stay married, the more that rule gets broken: I dread Peaches & Herb or "Endless Love" sneaking into our 20th or 50th wedding anniversary playlist.
But there's a place for cheesy love songs. It's right alongside Lifetime movies, high school poetry, and Harlequin novels. All of them take perfectly valid, real emotions and inflate them to such histrionic heights that all the love is replaced with syrupy clichés. And cavities. Subtlety has no place in a cheesy ballad. Every emotion is supersized.
With Valentine's Day approaching, we compiled the cheesiest love songs you must avoid at all costs. They kill romance. Save yourselves, and play Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" if you really want to confess your love. You've been warned...
10. Bryan Adams, "Heaven"
- Yahoo Music1 mth ago
On the flipside of heartache is sweet, sweet love. We're not talking about 1950s malt-shop love. We're talking about something closer to lust. We're actually saying love, but meaning something else. Get what we mean? Some of us will say anything to get a little seduction.
So to all of you who are lucky enough to be in love, here are some songs you must have playing if you want to get lucky this Valentine's night. Or any night, for that matter. Let us know how it goes.
MARVIN GAYE, "Let's Get It On" & "Sexual Healing"
Marvin is the gold standard for seduction. He once famously said life is a battle between God and sex. Listening to these songs, it's clear who wins the battle.
ROD STEWART, "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)"
Rod the Mod is one of the more famous rock seducers around. He was dating Swedish actress Britt Ekland when he wrote and recorded this '76 single. Janet Jackson took it to another level of seduction when she implied a threesome in her 1997 cover version.
BARRY WHITE, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe"
- Yahoo Music1 mth ago
Dating (or worse yet, marrying) you're a fellow musician can strain both the relationship and your band. This is the great rock 'n' roll rite of passage: date your bandmate, split up, write a song about it, and get a hit. It's the best revenge of all.
Most of us when dealing with a painful breakup have to settle for dissing our ex in private. We make phone calls, write emails, or have drinks with friends and reveal all of our former lover's dirty secrets and nasty habits. Songwriters and musicians, however, get to share their heartbreaks with anyone who has a radio, buys a concert ticket, or downloads a song. Plus, they get paid for their pain. This is a great country.
So in honor of all of you nursing blackened, broken hearts this Valentine's Day, we offer these famous romantic band breakups and the songs that resulted. And to rock 'n' roll lovers everywhere, we say, "Protect your heart, and keep the publishing."
- Shawn Amos at Yahoo Music3 mths ago
It's been 30 years since Michael Jackson's "Thriller" first hit the airwaves, forever changing our expectations of what a music video could be. It cost a record-setting $500,000, sold more than 9 million units (yes, people used to actually buy music videos), and won big at both the Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. But when it debuted on MTV just a few weeks before Christmas 1983, no one knew just how lasting an impact it would have on pop culture.
John Landis of Animal House and Blues Brothers fame directed, and movie legend Vincent Price reprised his spooky voice mojo from the album. Despite its comic-book vibe, Jackson, then a Jehovah's Witness, was concerned about fans thinking he was a devil-worshipper. To keep his conscience clean, he prefaced the video with a disclaimer: "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult." Surprisingly, there was no mention of him hanging out with chimps and llamas. One man's occult is another man's Bubbles.
- Yahoo Music at Yahoo Music3 mths ago
This week, Norah Jones and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong release Foreverly , an out-of-leftfield but lovely tribute to the Everly Brothers. Listen below:
But this odd couple got us thinking about other inspired — if not always as successful — unions from pop's quirky past.
LADY GAGA & BEYONCÉ, "TELEPHONE" (2010)
Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's tag-team "Telephone" video was an outrageous homage to Quentin Tarantino, bondage, the love that dares not speak its name, and every women's-prison picture grimed to a drive-in screen. Even as firebrand Sasha Fierce, it's rare to see Beyoncé, with her Betty Page-via-Rosario Dawson bangs, in such kinky form. Curious fashions aside, it was fun to see these icons at the pinnacle of their powers rampaging together.
FRANK SINATRA & BONO, "I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN" (1993)
- Shawn Amos at Stop The Presses!5 mths ago
There are songs you wish you could forget but can't. They're like a virus that won't leave your system no matter how hard you try. You're in the shower, and before you can stop yourself "Y.M.C.A." pops out of your mouth. You catch yourself chanting, "Who let the dogs out?" in the car. You respond to a friend's recent troubles with "I get knocked down, but I get up again."
You try to erase these unwelcome melodies by thinking about something else. Nothing. You sing them 10 times really loud and fast, hoping to push them out of your head. No luck. They won't leave you. You're afraid to go out at night. You used to be so much cooler than this.
Go easy on yourself. You're not to blame. There's a name for the affliction, and it's called "brain itch." And the type of song that causes the brain itch? That's an "earworm." Dr. James Kellaris of the University of Cincinnati has studied the phenomenon (for real). It seems the combination of repetitive words and unchanging melody makes for the perfect earworm. We're helpless against its power.
- Shawn Amos at Stop The Presses!2 yrs ago
Thirty years ago MTV aired its first video, the Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star." It was an apt choice, even though radio continued to cruise for another 20 years, until XM Radio and the Internet finally stamped it dead. MTV was the last great musical revolution. It kept this high school kid home on many afternoons when I should have been in class. It was the last time I cut school or work for anything.
What a difference 30 years makes.
This Monday, August 1, MTV celebrated its 30th birthday. It might as well have been the 30th birthday of KMET. Remember KMET? Of course you don't. It's an old Los Angeles classic-rock radio station. And it's dead. Dead just like radio. Dead just like MTV. The revolution is long over, and MTV is just another in a long line of corporate stooges trotting out corporate stooge bands trying to pass themselves off as something anti-establishment. It's filled with a bunch of reality nothingness celebrating a life of consumerism. The "M" used to stand for "music." Now it stands for "meaningless." EmpTV. Empty. It's all one self-conscious, soulless bore.