MTV’s subversively groundbreaking animated sitcom, Beavis and Butt-Head, has been off the air for two decades at this point, though it has enjoyed a lively pop cultural resurgence in the past few years due to Trump’s useless male progeny bearing an uncanny resemblance to the idiotic duo. The important difference being that Beavis and Butt-Head are at least somewhat loveable.
But if you were ever a fan, you will immediately recognize the design on the above T-Shirt, advertising a fictional breakfast cereal called The Great Cornholi-O’s, as a reference to Beavis’s maniacal alter ego, Cornholio. Conholio is known for uttering several memorable catch-phrases — “I am the Great Cornholio!,”“I need TP for my bunghole!” and “Are You Threatening Me?” — all of which are represented in this fun and nostalgia-inspiring shirt. Own yours now by clicking on This Link, and enjoy free shipping this week only! Perhaps your Bunghole will thank you!
I’m going to say it: Everything Old is New Again! If Southern California-based band Cold Showers‘ primitive CGI video for their distinctively 80s New Wave Dance track, “Plant Life” doesn’t make you jones for the early days of MTV, absolutely nothing will. Maybe you weren’t even born when Dire Straights‘ then-groundbreaking video for their hit, “Money For Nothing” encapsulated an entire generation’s feeling of ennui (look it up), but I remember it like it was yesterday — and it was thirty fucking years ago. Wow. Nostalgia can be so bittersweet.
But I digress. visually, “Plant Life” is the modern-day companion to “Money for Nothing” with a not-unwelcome aural nod to The Human League, One-Hit Wonders Animotion, and decidedly gloomier synth-drenched bands of that era, such as Killing Joke, that you had to perhaps be a bit more into the underground to know about.
The “Plant Life” video thrills me in a way that only animation that looks like it came from a 8-bit Nintendo game cartridge can thrill a Luddite. The unfortunate protagonist of the clip spends most of his time running between the floors of his split-level luxury loft in a futile effort to keep the plants sufficiently watered; a ritual that quickly becomes a waking nightmare. Believe me, I can relate. I take care of maybe a dozen plants in my office, and if I go away on vacation for a week, they are dead when I come back. It is so frustrating. The fact that the “Watering of the Plants” motif is a blatantly obvious metaphor for keeping a romantic relationship alive is beside the point. The feeling of existential dread is what matters.
In the end you just want to burn it all down, right? Pay close attention to that Red Gas Can. It will be important in the final act.
“Plant Life” is the first single from Cold Showers‘ upcoming album, Matter of Choice, due out on Dais Records on August 28th, 2015. Enjoy!
Lita Ford doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. She’s been playing guitar professionally since she was a teenager, and while she’s partied as hard as any Rock Star, Ford has kept her private life private, raised a family and still managed to maintain a high level of respect in the rock community for her skillful musicianship, which was never compromised by the fact that she’s also a beautiful woman. I remember reviewing her Greatest Hits Live CD when it was released in 2000 and being so blown away by what a great performer she is and how much fun she and her band seem to be having on stage. She’s never lost sight of what it means to have a Rock & Roll heart, and you have to respect that. So many performers could learn a few lessons on how to rock from Lita Ford. Maybe she’s never been a household name, but when she comes around, people take notice. Lita’s new album, the autobiographical Living Like a Runaway, signals that it’s time to start paying attention again.
These ten songs tell Lita’s life story, from achieving fame at an early age, having a successful career in the era of MTV video stars, to motherhood and her recent (apparently messy) divorce. Working with producer and respected rock guitarist Gary Hoey, Lita sticks to her roots of making an album based on strong song writing (Hoey and lyricist Michael Dan Ehmig are contributing songwriters), guitar, bass, drums and passionate vocals that don’t sound like they came from a can. The album kicks off with the high energy “Branded” and never lets up, delivering Old School heavy rock energy and hooks sharp enough to sharp blood. On the title track, a Bryan Adams-esque ballad that compels with its deeply personal lyrics and memorable melody, Lita looks back on her time in the now legendary teenage all-girl rock band The Runaways, a band that launched not only her career but also that of Joan Jett. That was a long time ago, but Ford makes the experience sound like it just happened yesterday.
In promotional material Lita reveals that after seeing a documentary about Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, she was motivated and inspired to focus on creating Living Like a Runaway as a complete journey rather just than a bunch of individual songs. The effort has paid off, in that this album recalls the experience of listening to an album from start to finish as you retreated to your teenage bedroom, gatefold cover open in front of you, pouring over every lyric and instinctively moving your body to the rhythm of the rock. There are so many great songs on this disc, but my favorites are the aforementioned “Branded,” “Hate,” “The Mask” (which rocks with a slightly industrial feel) and the passionate, frenetic “Relentless”, but if you like real rock and roll, you’ll dig every song.
Living Like a Runaway is Lita Ford’s strongest, most accomplished album to date. Like oxygen in a vacuum, this album is very highly recommended for fans of song-based, melodic hard rock featuring expert guitar work. Who would imagine that such a thing would be so hard to come by these days?
Living Like A Runaway will be released June 19th, 2012 in North America via SPV/Steamhammer. The album will be available in four configurations: a double LP, limited edition CD, standard CD and digital download. Living Like A Runaway is available for pre-order on Amazon Dot Com.
On This Date, April 17th in 1991: Nirvana filmed the music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Culver City, CA. The video, made on budget of less than $50,000, led MTV (which, believe it or not, actually showed music videos at that time) to favor the new crop of alternative bands in place of pop metal bands.
In a previous life of mine, back when MTV didn’t suck balls (i.e. before you were born), I used to watch a tacky, low-budget game show on that network called Remote Control. Basically your standard Pop Culture Trivia-themed game show where contestants answered fun questions about Rock music and classic TV shows for points, while sitting in easy chairs flanked by bowls of snacks, Remote Control was just awesome. The show helped to launch the careers of exploitation film actress and spokesmodel Cari Wuhrer (Who? Exactly), comedian Colin Quinn and box office poison Adam Sandler, and was hosted by a guy named Ken Ober. Ken Ober continued to work in the entertainment industry in his post-Remote Control career, but never achieved the “household name” status of some of his costars: and now he’s dead. Yes, Ken Ober, best known as the former host of MTV’s Remote Control passed away over the weekend of as yet unspecified causes. He was 52. Read more on this sad story and reminisce about the rad genius that was Remote Control at This Link.