Ooh Child: A Comparison (Guardians of the Galaxy)

The Star Lord vs. Ronan the Accuser dance-off showdown in Guardians of the Galaxy is an adorably ridiculous scene. On the verge of defeat, Peter Quill (Star Lord) decides to distract Ronan with some singing and dancing. On paper, it doesn’t make any sense, but actor Chris Pratt pulls it off with such charm that you can’t help but enjoy the scene. Of course it helps that it’s see to the fantastic “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps. A classic soul song from 1970, “Ooh Child” is a tender and uplifting tune…that’s a brilliant precursor for a laser rifle blast.

Since I’ve watched the movie several times this week, “Ooh Child” has been stuck in my head. Let’s take a look at several versions of this excellent song, starting with the original from the Five Stairsteps. The live performance below is taken from Soul Train and is all kinds of awesome. The ’70s outfits are…spectacular.

Although the Five Stairsteps originally recorded the song, some people are more familiar with the Nina Simone version. I’m not going to argue with anyone that thinks of “Ooh Child” as a Nina Simone song since Nina Simone is awesome. Personally, I prefer the original, but totally understand people that prefer the Simone version.

Next up is a pair of covers featuring Cyndi Lauper. I’m a huge fan of her songs (especially “Time After Time” and “True Colors”) and adore her voice. First up, Cyndi teams up with Destiny’s Child for some lovely harmonizing accompanied by an excellent keyboard tone. That version of “Ooh Child” is followed by an a capella (mostly) clip of Cyndi and her backing artists.

As a big fan of Hall & Oates, I really enjoyed their take on the song musically, if not lyrically. Featuring Hall’s soulful voice, some pleasantly subtle guitar playing by Oates, and dreamy keyboards, this version is distinct. The lyrics were rewritten for this arrangement, which I wasn’t really big on. I prefer the simplicity of the original.

The Valerie Carter version below features some nice vocals, but I’m not too sure about the slide guitar solo. It kind of “rednecks” (yes, I’m using that word as a verb) a very soulful song.

Lastly, as a fan of acoustic jams on a porch and an even bigger fan of sandwiches, I’m high on this “Ooh Child” cover by Danielle Ate the Sandwich.

Vaping Diaries #263: Beefcake the Mighty GWAR Talks Vaping

In addition to being a ruthlessly rocking bassist and one of the most powerful denizens on planet Earth, GWAR’s Beefcake the Mighty is an avid vaper. He even has a juice named after him (German Chocolate Beefcake) in Mt. Baker Vapor’s line of GWAR Fluids. Minutes before he took the stage and conquered the crowd, I had a brief chat with Beefcake the Mighty to learn more about his vaping habits and how the relationship with Mt. Baker Vapor came about. The answer to the latter was simple, as Beefcake boisterously exclaimed, “They came to me on their knees!!!” As for the type of vaping gear the GWAR bass-playing badass likes to use, Beefcake favors simple devices. Check out the video above for one of the zaniest interviews I’ve ever conducted.

As for the show itself, it was a total blast. It took place at The Observatory in Santa Ana — an intimate venue where the crowd could really connect with the band. It was my first GWAR show and it was entertaining on several levels. The music and show were enjoyable on their own, but what I really loved was the utter lack of pretense. You can tell that the band is serious about entertaining their fans, but don’t take themselves seriously at all. It was such a refreshing contrast to most “artists” out there. The show itself was great, but the unique vibe is what will stay with me — a very particular and very pure type of fun.

For many GWAR fans in attendance, this was the first time seeing the band since original frontman Oderus Urungus passed away. The tour’s plot revolved around using a time machine to (mistakenly) order pizza and grab Oderus from the past. Several portions of the show were a tribute to the GWAR mastermind and you could feel the love the fans have for him. If you’re interested in furthering Oderus Urungus’ efforts on Earth, please check out the outstanding Dave Brockie Fund.

Anyway, please watch the video above when you have a chance. It was definitely fun for me to conduct and edit, but it was also very challenging. Both my feet are wrecked and I was on crutches for the entire interview. I was pretty close to keeling over towards the end. Ha!

Special thanks to my excellent friend Justin Leeper for setting up this interview and to Convict Vapors for a nice gift for Beefcake the Mighty.

Gwar fluids

Weird Al, Game of Thrones, and the 2014 Emmy Awards

While the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards were a dud compared to last year’s unforgettable show, the legendary “Weird” Al Yankovic saved the week with a thrilling performance at the 2014 Emmy Awards. The world’s most electrifying musical parodist performed a bit where he added lyrics to the theme music from several popular television shows. Mad Men, Scandal, Modern Family, and Homeland all got the Weird Al treatment, but the best work was saved for Game of Thrones. Andy Samberg added to the musical number by coming out as King Joffrey. As expected, Weird Al + Game of Thrones = Pure Awesome. Check out the clip below and let me know what you think of Weird Al’s performance at the 2014 Emmy Awards (please!).

I Missed a Barry Gibb Talk Show!

Gah! I can’t believe I missed this “Barry Gibb Talk Show” sketch from 2013. As a huge fan of The Bee Gees and the Justin Timberlake/Jimmy Fallon duo, “The Barry Gibb Talk Show” is one of my all-time favorite recurring bits from Saturday Night Live. I absolute adore the five sketches that I knew about and am hitting myself for missing the sixth. Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon came back for a very special edition of “The Barry Gibb Talk Show.” Madonna makes a cameo as herself, which is a huge deal (though the bit with her hypnotic teeth was…strange). The big surprise was the actual Barry Gibb showing up at the end of the sketch to lend his legendary falsetto to the show’s theme. That. Was. Awesome!!!

Weird Al Has “First World Problems”

I skipped “Weird” Al Yankovic’s last video from Mandatory Fun, “Sports Song,” because I didn’t think it was very good. Thankfully, “First World Problems” is a lot better. Yeah, it’s not a clever as the outstanding “Word Crimes” or as flashy as “Tacky,” but I found myself cracking up from several lines in the song. “First World Problems” has several things that I’ve been guilty of — getting annoyed that I can’t fast forward through commercials because I’m watching live television, being irritated by having to brush my teeth manually because I let my electric toothbrush’s battery run out, ordering extra items from Amazon to get free shipping, etc. Check out the video when you have a chance, let me know what you think of it, and let me know if it contains any “First World Problems” that you’ve had.

Weird Al First World Problems

Weird Al Pokes Fun at Iggy Azalea in “Handy”

Today’s dose of “Weird” Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun is “Handy.” A parody of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” the song and video are chock full of handyman gags. While it’s sillier and (arguably) not as clever as the other Weird Al videos posted this week, I’m happy that “Handy” exists. “Fancy” is a completely ridiculous song and Iggy Azalea is an outstanding target for parody. Besides, it’s always a good gag when a 54-year old man tackles a song performed by a 24-year old girl.

Anyway, (please) check out “Handy” when you have a chance and let me know how you think it stacks up against the other Weird Al Yankovic videos posted this week.

Iggy Azalea

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Foil” Reveals Illuminati Secrets

Have you ever dreamed of watching a “Weird” Al Yankovic video that has the artist starring in a cooking show and dishing out secrets on the Illuminati? That’s exactly what you’ll see in the video for “Foil,” from Weird Al’s latest album, Mandatory Fun. A parody of Lorde’s hit “Royals,” the video for “Foil” co-stars comedian Patton Oswalt as Weird Al’s producer. While I didn’t find “Foil” as entertaining as “Word Crimes” or “Tacky,” I’m always down with more Weird Al. Besides, making fun of Lorde and the Illuminati is always good fun.

Weird Al Foil

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” Totally Owns

The “Weird” Al Yankovic multimedia onslaught continues. The artist’s new album — Mandatory Fun — is available now and the video for “Word Crimes” is out. This very special single is a parody of the Robin Thicke smash hit “Blurred Lines.” It pokes fun at the numerous grammar and usage errors that have infected society. As someone that has spent a lot of time (both personally and professionally) reading forums and blog-post comments, the “Word Crimes” song and video totally crack me up. As RPadholic N8R mentioned in the RPadTV Google+ Hangout, “Word Crimes” contains a usage error that I used to make a lot, until N8R set me straight on a G4tv.com thread. Ha!

While I really enjoyed the video for “Tacky,” “Word Crimes” takes my love for Weird Al to another level. It’s fun, clever, hilarious, and educational. “Word Crimes” is a stellar example of Weird Al Yankovic’s brilliance — outstanding stuff, Sir!

Weird Al Word Crimes

Mariano Rivera’s Retirement Means Metallica’s Out of Work (ESPN)

Here’s a funny ESPN commercial featuring the legendary rock band Metallica. As all of you should know, New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera retired last year. If you’re familiar with the (greatest) closer (of all time), then you know that he entered ballgames to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The gag in the ESPN commercial is that Metallica has been struggling to find work since Rivera’s retirement. There’s even a bit in a break room where guitarist Kirk Hammett tries to get ESPN anchor Stuart Scott to sign up for guitar lessons. Ha! While there have been several great ESPN commercials over the years (love the Pete Sampras one!), this is easily in my top five because, you know, Yankees and Metallica.

Weird Al’s “Tacky” Video Completely Rules! (Pharrell “Happy”Parody”)

The video for “Weird” Al Yankovic’s latest single “Tacky” is one of the best things I’ve seen in 2014. As some of you know, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams bugs the crap out of me, so I’m thrilled to see that woefully overplayed single get the Weird Al parody treatment. As a song, “Tacky” is full of Weird Al’s signature silliness and trademark puns. While the song is what I expect and love from Weird Al, the video took my be surprise. I wasn’t expecting guest appearances by Jack Black, Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, and more. It’s well choreographed, fun, and filled with entertainingly horrid clothing (mad props to the wardrobe department).

As a lifelong fan of Weird Al, it’s awesome that he’s still serving up great parodies after decades of success. Unlike the original song, “Tacky” makes me very, very happy. When you have a chance, check out the video for “Tacky” and let me know what you think.

Tacky Weird Al