What’s Your Favorite Straight Outta Compton Meme?

With the Straight Outta Compton movie just around the corner, the denizens of the Internet have been having fun making their own “Straight Outta” memes. In a sharp move, Beats by Dre has created a meme maker at StraightOuttaSomewhere.com. I’ve seen dozens of hilarious memes generated with this tool and I’d love to hear about some of the ones that have cracked you up. Even better, I’d love for you to create your own and post a link to your witty concoction.

As for some of my favorites, here are two. First up is one the makes fun of LeBron James’ receding hairline.

Next, is a super nerdy one from my pal Lauren.

Home anywhere I live. #StraightOutta http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com/

A photo posted by L337Lauren (@l337lauren) on

Now it’s your turn! Kindly share some of your “Straight Outta” memes and make one of your own when you have a chance.

Kanye West Cements His Status As Music’s Biggest Prick

Oops, he did it again. Kanye West just can’t help himself. Unhappy with Beck’s Morning Phase winning “Album of the Year” at the 2015 Grammy Awards over the heavily favored Beyonce self-titled album, West stormed the stage and interrupted the proceedings. The classless move was similar to the time ‘Ye interrupted Taylor Swift winning an MTV Video Music Award over Beyonce. While it was only a brief hop on stage at the Grammys rather than the full-on interruption at the VMAs, West followed up his moronic stunt with some ignorant comments:

If the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. ‘Flawless,’ Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.

That’s just pathetic. I’m a Beck fan, but not an ardent one. He has written and performed several songs that I enjoy, but he’s also written and performed more songs that I don’t care for. I’m also weirded out that he’s Continue reading “Kanye West Cements His Status As Music’s Biggest Prick”

Coffee Talk #649: Shreds Revisited (Pop Edition!)

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of “shreds” videos. A well done shreds video totally cracks me up. The best clips are musically accurate enough to be recognizable, with the right amount of horrible playing/singing to make you laugh. The last time I wrote about shreds, I focused on heavy metal acts like Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. The genre lends itself  marvelously to shreds; it’s fun to butcher virtuoso guitar playing and bang heavy drums off-rhythm. Today, I give you a trio of my favorite pop music shreds. Today’s lineup is Hall & Oates, Backstreet Boys, and Miley Cyrus.

This live performance of Hall & Oates “Maneater” is a fantastic example of a superior shreds video. The composer did an exemplary job of mixing different musical instruments and vocals, syncing them perfectly with the performance. Small touches, like the hollow sound that occurs when Hall hits the microphone stand, really help bring this video to life. Plus, John Oates is just a funny looking dude. It’s a scientific fact that videos that feature a white man with an afro and a pr0n-stache are exponentially funnier than ones without a white man with an afro and a pr0n-stache.

This clip of the Backstreet Boys singing “I Want it That Way” shows that a capella shreds can work too. It helps that it was performed on Oprah, as cutaways to the live crowd and Ms. Winfrey herself lead to some funny moments. The ridiculous faces made by the Backstreet Boys are even funnier. Lastly, middle-aged men singing a boy band song is always a good laugh. On a technical level, the composer did a great job crafting horrid harmonies.

Last, but not least, is Miley Cyrus performing “Wrecking Ball” on Ellen. Similar to the Backstreet Boys performance, the talk-show setting helps. Miley’s edge is that she’s singing a ridiculously dramatic song; a rich white girl whining about problems just begs to be made fun of. The composer did a fine job with the instruments, particularly the wretched guitar playing. On its own, “Wrecking Ball” is easy enough to laugh at. Give it the shreds treatment and the song hits a whole new level of comedy.

Naturally, I want to watch any shreds videos that you recommend. If you come across some great ones, please post them in the comments section.

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