Monday, October 01, 2007

Nelson, Rainforests, Top 5 Famous Encounters

Toe Family L

Thanks again to Puerto Rican radio, this morning I heard a song that I hadn't heard in a really long time. They seem to play whatever they want whenever they want, and sometimes the DJ will come in and sing in the middle of the song. Although this could be seen as an unwelcome interruption, I find it to be both funny and reassuring. It's funny because, you know, there's a reason he's a DJ and not a famous singer, and it is reassuring because it means that the DJ is actually listening to the song, and has some sort of actual connection with it. Well, the song that I heard this morning was by Nelson. Yeah, remember those guys? The last time I thought about them was like a couple of months ago when one of them (Was it Matt? Gunner? I always get them confused) was on Celebrity Fit Club on VH1 alongside Young MC and Bruce Vilanch. Dude from Nelson wasn't even that fat at all. Anyway, I found the video for this song, and wow, it is a real treat. Check it:

After recently reading a part of Fargo Rock City where the author talks about after ten years finding a VHS tape of a bunch of big-hair band music videos that his friend had recorded, I could totally relate to the described sense of amazement at how odd these videos appear today. The boys from Nelson seem like they are from hairier, toothier planet.

Weird video notwithstanding, what makes this song an artifact of its time period instead of a rock classic is it's crappy chorus. Now, the song starts out pretty strong (and the video starts out even stronger!), with Matt and Gunner doing their vocal harmonies and things being pretty OK. I feel what kills this song is the fact that you can't really hum or whistle the chorus. I never noticed this as a kid, but I guess I have learned something about music after all these years, because when I heard it, I just thought it sounded wrong. Now, I love vocal harmonies, a lot actually, but there is just too much going on during the chorus of this song. Not only is the main vocal line smothered by the chorus of bleach-blonde back vocals, but the main vocal line is completely unmemorable. Do it. Try and sing the chorus of this song by yourself. What are the notes? You can't do it. Without Matt, Gunner, and all of the other guys in the studio that day (or probably more like that month) you can't recreate what they have here. You can't sing it to your girlfriend by the fireplace. You know what song you can sing to your girlfriend by the fireplace? "More Than Words" by Extreme, and it even sounds good without the harmonies. If you and your S.O. can pull of the harmonies together, then all the better. If you and your S.O. can pull of the harmonies to any Nelson song, then you are probably actually Matt and Gunner Nelson. It's cool.

Below is another example of a song with too many vocal parts, by me. One thing these two videos have in common is trying to look like a tropical rainforest. One is real, the other is not.

Speaking of Bruce Vilanch, in making a list of the 5 most famous people I have ever met yesterday, I realized that my travel buddy on this Puerto Rican voyage, Jon Anderson has met way more cool, famous people than I have. Here's his list:

Roger Avery
Bruce Vilanch
Tom Arnold
Sam Raimi
Chad Smith
Mark Harmon
Justin Pearson
Sonny Kaye
Howard Dean
Steve Aoki
Oliver Stone

He told me to not include Justin Pearson, Sonny Kaye, and Steve Aoki, but if you know who those people are, then you know why I think they should be included, and if you don't know who they are then just don't worry about it. Google won't help. Seriously, just don't worry about it.

My list of 5 "famous" people I have "met" is really pretty pathetic, so I am not even going to post it. But here's what I want to know. Who are the top 5 most famousest people you have ever "met"? Let's not belabor the definition of "met" here. Just take this one and run with it. Share your stories of making out with someone famous at SXSW, seeing Van Damme at Starbucks, or getting yelled at by Flea here. When everyone is done, I will post my list and then everyone can laugh at how bad it is. OK, GO!

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