Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 10 Hair Metal Tracks from Stuck In The 80s

Sean and Steve from over at the Stuck In The 80s podcast http://blogs.tampabay.com/80s just did a hair metal show which really seemed like it would never happen. You see Steve is known for not liking very much hair metal at all but he finally succumbed to overwhelming fan pressure (and maybe Sean's hover dance) and gave us what we want. I thought I'd comment on their choices but I want to let it be known that I understand that these are their personal choices and that mine might differ. Being different doesn't make it wrong. So here we go.

First off I need to say that their definition of what they were looking at for hair metal and some of what they chose were a bit contradictory. They wanted the L.A. Sunset Strip, West Hollywood vibe which means that Poison, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Metallica do not fit in their category. Now I never considered Bon Jovi to be hair metal myself. They were close but not quite there musically. I'd put them down as a hard rock/melodic band. Ac/DC and Metallica really don't need any comments as there is no way you can consider either of them to be hair metal. Metallica was thrash and AC/DC is/was hard rock bordering on metal, but not hair metal at all. Def Leppard are very close but have changed styles many times over the years. When tehy started out I would say that they were metal but then morphed into a hard rock band and then into a slick, poppy rock band. Lastly we have Poison. To me they are the epitome of hair metal however many people state that they were not a true Sunset Sunset Strip kind of band so I guess I can see their point. You'll see what I mean as we go along.

First we have Sean's top 5:

1. Motley Crue "Same Old Situation" This is not even close to my favorite but then again it's not my list is it? Motley are clearly in the criteria listed above and are one of the most well known bands from the era.

2. Twisted Sister "I Wanna Rock" No problems with the song but Twisted Sister are definately not a Sunset Strip sounding band.

3. Skid Row "Youth Gone Wild" Another East Coast band that doesn't seem to match the criteria but it is a great song. Sebastian Bach can really whail but he's become almost as much of a reality show whore as Bret Michaels.

4. Cinderella "Don't Know What You've Got (Til' It's Gone)" Another band that didn't have the prerequisite sound, theirs was more of a bluesy metal type. They were from Philly but in order to get their dream the label made them get rid of their drummer and guitarist. IN recent years vocalist Tom Kiefer has had numerous throat problems which has held the band back from touring.

5. Ratt "Lay It Down" Great song from a great L.A. band. I saw them at Rocklahoma 2007 and vocalist Steven Pearcy sounded horrible but supposedly he sounds better now. The band sounded amazing.

Now we have Steve's top 5:

1. Motley Crue "Home Sweet Home" No complaints here. One of the best hair metal ballads out there.

2. Vixen "Edge Of A Broken Heart" I liked this song at the time it came out. The idea of attractive females who could really play their instruments was an exciting one. Hey, I was young and horny, forgive me. The band of course imploded and now has regrouped with one original member.

3. Whitesnake "Here I Go Again" A British band that doesn't seem to meet the criteria but really they were the definition of hair metal in the mid to late 80s. It was mentioned on the podcast that there was a different version of this song on their greatest hits release. It was horrible to say the least. Most of the guitar was taken out and replaced by even more cheesy synthesizers. I recommend you stay away from it.

4. Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford "If I Close My Eyes Forever" This ballad partially meets the criteria and was a huge hit for this unique pair. Ozzy did go kind of glam in the 80s and Lita definintely was hair metal. She came out of retirement last year for Rocklahoma and is now toruing again. Ozzy recently put out a very good cd titled "Black Rain" but his tv career has severely hurt his legacy.

5. Kiss "Lick It Up" I completely agree with the inclusion of this song. I was never much of a fan of Kiss but after they took off the makeup (and put on a different kind) they went hair metal in a big way. I can remember getting this cassette and then driving to a regional fraternity meeting (think Animal House in Oklahoma) in Oklahoma City with 3 of my pledge class brothers. We played this song almost the entire way down there. I'm actually surprised we didn't break the rewind button.

Sean also mentioned on the podcast that so-called country artist Carrie Underwood likes to do cover versions of hair metal songs. Now I've heard several of them and while she isn't as bad as Celine Dion I have to say I don't care for her cover attempts at all. It's her Pat Boone like vocal cleansing in her delivery that just turns me off musically. I can only hope and pray that she'll stop soon. There was also a discussion about female metal and Steve posed the question of whether Joan Jett could be included as hair metal and I have to emphatically say NO to that! In my opinion Joan Jett's music is more of a bar rock but it isn't metallic at all, not even light metal. So there is my review and added comments. Take them for what you will and remember it's just my opinion. Don't get worked up over it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where's the summer concert listings?

So far this year I've noticed an alarming trend. There have been virtually no concert listings for the summer for either Tulsa or Oklahoma City. I mean sure there are a few for the BOK Center but overall it's been extremely dry. I have been going to websites of venues on a daily basis but unfortunately have been coming up empty and disappointed. At this time last year venues like the Zoo Ampitheater, Frontier City (both outdoor venues), Cains Ballroom and a few others had enough listed to make it possible to check out your options and have a plan of action. Of course there will always be shows added at a later date as tours come around and bands want to pick up some extra cash on a side day. Zoo Ampitheater just put on a teaser on their site about 2 days ago which wasn't much of a teaser at all since both bands (REO Speedwagon and Styx) had already announced the show on their websites. Frontier City has 5 very lame shows announced about a week ago which equal an absolute zero on my concert going scale. Cains Ballroom has 7 shows listed for May and 1 for June and absolutely nothing after that. What about the (overpriced) Brady Theater you say? There's nobody listed past May 4th and lately they've had more comedians than music groups. There is a new venue in Tulsa called The Flytrap Music Hall that offers lower level groups for a pretty good price but they only have 2 listed for May and 3 for June.

Last year at this time I had already seen several shows and was making plans for others (which almost all fell through for a myriad of reasons) throughout the summer but this year it's just not there. One thing holding me back is that I am very picky on who I will spend my money on. As tickets prices keep escalating at an alarming pace I find that I am not willing to spend money, that I usually have to work overtime to get, on a group I am only slightly interested in. I made a deal with my wife that if I go to a show I won't take money away from the house, bills, etc but will instead work extra hours for it. Since we also have an (almost) 2 year old that also limits us in traveling very far for a show. We don't have any family out here that we could leave our son with overnight to travel to Dallas or Kansas City so that limits us even more. There are some good friends that we trust but he'd have to be willing to stay with them and I don't see that happening right now. So within my limitations I try to plan for a few good shows for the year. So far I've only seen AC/DC and should be going to OKC to see Street Dogs on the 20th but after that I really don't know when the next show will be. Devo is playing a one off show in Dallas next week but it's too far and too short of notice for that to happen. That's too bad because they are at the top of my concert wish list. It's been rather bleak so far but I can only hope for better things as the year goes on. Perhaps the casinos will get some good shows or who knows, maybe Rocklahoma won't suck as bad as last year and I can go to a day or 2. Stranger things have happened.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What happened to the time?

Wow, another month has gone and all I got done was 2 whole posts. I have started several others but I just never seem to have the time I need to work on them properly. My 22 month old son takes up most of my time during the day and then it's off to work. Occasionally I can work on a story during my break time but lately those opportunities seem to be drying up as I am constantly bombarded with questions from our newer employees. That's what you get when you're a supervisor though, it comes with the territory. I just need to make a better effort and concentrate more no matter how easy it is to lose focus and believe me, I can lose focus like a world champion. One thing I have decided to do is to make a serious effort to learn to play the guitar. My son seems very musically inclined and I want him to grow up in an atmosphere where music is being played so that it will be normal and natural for him if he wants to pursue it. An added benefit will be that perhaps in year or so I will have the ability to come up with some rough melodies or licks that I can framework some of the lyrics that I write for my friends band when I feel they don't exactly fit their style of music. Then I can see better where the song needs to go. Anyway, big dreams but the only way to do it is to just do it and see what happens, otherwise you'll only look back and wish that you'd done something and I've done that enough in my life.