Music Streaming of Time: Color Me Badd


 

I’m one of those scum sucking chumps that subscribe to a streaming music service. Deemed scum sucker by some musicians because they have to get a zillion streams before they get a dollar. Labelled chump by cheap asses who only use soundcloud, bandcamp, or youtube. Personally, I love it! I thought I wouldn’t. Didn’t think it was fair to the musicians, but other options are worse. I don’t go to live shows much anymore either. I just figured artists should get some money – hopefully – for entertaining me.

Since subscribing, I’ve discovered tons of new bands and musicians. I’ve listened to stuff that I typically wouldn’t listen to. I’ve also tracked down the old stuff that defined my childhood. In this case, the pre-pre-teen years.

I was writing a post about being sunburned, and was looking for something different to listen to. Metal and jazz just didn’t seem appealing. For reasons barely knownst to me, I opened up Google Music and punched in Color Me Badd. It was one fluid motion. I didn’t have a spare second to comprehend it. A simple click in the search field and immediately, Color Me Badd, was typed and submitted. I chose their debut album.

It was like hitting eighty-eight miles per hour or making a call from a time travelling phone booth*. I was transported back to my childhood home. Back to christmas vacation 1991, I had a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World and Color Me Badd on cassette. From where I sat – on the floor in front of the TV – my fat child life was rad.

A menagerie of images from Super Mario World swam in my visual memory center cortexy lobe thing. The memories kept coming and so did the songs. I’m uncertain whether the album sequentially became less cheesy or if I was growing accustomed to listening to early 90’s poppy R&B.

One could say it’s a concept album, if the concept is the precarious balance of a committed relationship while maintaining a wanton sex life. All the hits were frontloaded and other than “I Wanna Sex You Up,” I’d forgotten them. Later songs, like “Roll The Dice” and the eponymous “Color Me Badd,” still creep up in my brain, sometimes. They weren’t hits, but they were catchy. The last recorded case was within the month. Which may be why I felt compelled to check out the band.

Did it hold up and was I enjoying myself? Yeah sure, why not. I wouldn’t buy it today, but back then, no one could have convinced my watermelon head otherwise. It was the bomb-diggity or whatever the kids were saying between twenty and thirty years ago. Time for their follow-up.

 


Has anyone else ever listened to the music of their past and had the thought, Donald Trump probably had sex while listening to this? It puts a damper on things. #novisuals

*To be clear, this is a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, not Dr. Who. Hipster!

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A Bad Mama Jama of A Moment of Realization

The other day I was, heck I don’t remember what I was exactly doing. My hand was on a bag of cereal on the top of the fridge. I may have been putting it away. I may have been pulling it down to pour a bowl of some delicious organic cheerio clones. I know my dog, Bleu, was orbiting my ankles. He looked less shameful and more wizard like in his cone garb. For some reason, I started singing Carl Carlton’s She’s A Bad Mama Jama. That is correct, Carl only spelled jamma with one “m.”

The exact moment of realization came as my hand was touching the bag and the bag was touching the top of fridge. I know that in the song, the woman of topic is the best looking woman Carl Carlton has ever seen. Plus, she seems like she may want to do some stuff. I have heard bad mama jamma transcend gender barriers and be alternatively used as a way to describe a person who kicks butt. Hitherto a badass.

When I was little I seemed to run into song quite easily. I lived in the middle of nowhere and it seems that new music other than Def Leppard and country quit happening after ‘84. When people would listen to and sing along with it, not a single pair of eyes were batted. Why would they? The chorus is fun and the verses don’t vary much and repeat. I know this because I just listened to it. Carl says something about dimensions and curves, but never anything really specific. I guess in a way it is kind of body positive.

I digress. While we are at this break like juncture, I would like to let the faint of heart and the easily offended know that there is a some language coming up in the next paragraph. If you lean far to the right or far to the left, the next paragraph may not be for you. I would really hate for you to faint as your head comes rest on the keyboard typing “lllllllllll” continuously into the comment section. That being said, I will take all the comments I can get.

In the context of this song, I don’t believe that Carl Carlton meant it the way that I – and upon researching, the internet – realized it could be used. Mostly because I have never been in the situation where someone looks at a woman and use the phrase as a way to describe her physical beauty alone. As doing so would be a bit rough. Bad mama jamma is a very literal euphemism for – mother fucker! I have used mother stuffer a few times. Which I thought was pretty literal, but not enough to make people’s ears pop off. This is a word for word translation and doesn’t stray too far from the original. We have mama in place of mother, which doesn’t need further breakdown. Then we have jamma whose root is jam, which is basically to stuff or clog. Boom! Followed by the thudding sound of the mic hitting the floor.

Where Do Popstars Come From?

Just to be clear, I am talking about popstars and not poptarts. My fondness for the topic of the latter may lead to many typos out of familiarity. No matter what I type, I am always talking about popstars not poptarts.

Back to the question at hand, where do popstars come from. I mean they aren’t exactly the singer songwriter type are they? The genre they become known for isn’t exactly accommodating to the acoustic guitar slung over the shoulder or keyboard hauled around in a broke ass hatch back type of musician is it?

Do the venues that fledgling mega musicians inhabit inspire popstars? I for one couldn’t imagine sitting in a smoke filled bar through a set of Casio backed Alejandro and Poker Face. There is a lot of stage presence involved in being a popstar: singing, dancing, costumes, and what not. A single musician can’t pull that off and the more people they have in their band, the less room the stage has for theatrics.

It isn’t like proving your band is rocker material. Did you see how we all just showed up in the same ten minute window, looking like we just woke up and are on our way to our American Eagle photoshoot? Look our bass player will always be a part of us, even though he is going to university in the fall. One does not simply break up Pug Cuddle Huddle!

So do popstarts just pop into existence? Does someone scout them out for one talent and then tests them for other popstar requisites? How many popstars have fallen because they couldn’t change costumes fast enough? Perhaps it is all well connected people who some how get to know producers and just make their way in. Are there simply try outs, the same way undiscovered actors get parts?

I guess I could just watch the Katy Perry movie or maybe ask google. Honestly though, I don’t have the strength to dig through the My Little Pony sphere of the internet to find out the answers to Lady Gaga’s origins. Also, I don’t really give a flip what the answer is. However, if you have any insights, comment away.

Stuck In My Head

When I woke up this morning, for some unknown and unholy reason, I had some pop song stuck in my head. I can’t remember what it was for the life of me. What I do remember is that it is a fairly new song and while I don’t hate the song, I certainly do not go seeking it out. I also avoid stations that play it or other songs from its genre.

When I get songs stuck in my head, it always seem to be a pop song. Why don’t I get songs from genres I enjoy stuck in my head? Maybe I do, but since I am not offended by my subconscious’s playlist I don’t see it in negative connotation of being stuck.

However, having Lady Gaga repeatedly gabbin’ in my head “Ale, Ale-jandro, Ale, Ale-jandroooo,” is a huge freaking problem for me. I don’t know any more of that song, it is just a record skipping in the Jungian muck of my head. She keeps going! She is doing it right now because I had to keep saying it while I typed it out. For the love of google! Get out of my head!

I don’t mind getting pop songs from the 80’s or 90’s stuck in my head, those always seem to be a pretty good time. In fact, later on in the day someone at work said the phrase “Night and Day,” and before I knew it my brain had hit 88 miles per hour and was seeing some serious shit. I was whisked back to 1988 and was listening to Al B. Sure’s “Night and Day.” I don’t remember a whole lot of that song. I don’t think I liked it very much as a kid. Although these days I don’t mind it at all and can hum enough of the verse to trick my brain into thinking I know the song. That way I can progress and the song will become dislodged from my head.

Does anyone else out there have this same issue? What songs do you get stuck in your head?

An Open Letter to Google Play Music. (Yes, I sent it to ’em!)

 Censored music, really? There should be an account setting for censored or explicit. After all I can block explicit music on my instant mixes. I am thirty-five years old. I know where babies come from. I can stand a few f-bombs in my music. Also, due the fact that I am thirty-five, I have better things to do than to check explicit for each individual song. Because of this I will not be uploading my impressive collection of 90’s gangsta rap. This has been a problem since launch. C’mon. Al’s cool, not Tipper. Save the environment, not people’s ears from f-bombs.

Please Quit Making New Yacht Rock, Before It Is Too Late!

Yacht Rock:  Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald

New Yacht Rock:  Sebastien Grainger, Yacht Club, Cadence Weapon

 Yacht Rock.  The name alone conjures images of the Pacific Ocean dotted with boats covered in a white powdery substance. Thoughts of captain hat wearing, unattractive, well oiled, men in retina scorching floral patterned shirts, white shorts, and white shoes getting Frazetta girls – whose bikinis are so tiny, it makes one look down, at their own shoes to make sure these women have not appropriated ones shoe laces as swimwear – incredibly messed up.

  It was the 80’s, but everyone could see the 90’s from where they stood.  The buzzkill called grunge was still hiding behind a dumpster somewhere.   Everyone wanted to be stock brokers.  Uzis, ninjas, and BMX bikes were damn near everywhere you looked.  No one realized that Short Circuit was an incredibly racist movie.  Cops solved crimes by punching tables.  People could get on a plane with a two liter bottle of Dr. Pepper, hell why not two bottles because type-2 diabetes didn’t exist yet.

 When I hear yacht rock, a warm soothing happiness emits from the center of my being and enshrouds me in a fuzzy warm blanket of nostalgia.  My feet start tappin’ and my jaw starts flappin’.  I was an eighties child and by that I mean I was born in the seventies and became sentient sometime around 1985.  The sweet sounds of yacht rock take me back to a time when my friends and I had Genesis versus Nintendo conversations daily.  To a time when I had time to draw maps, tea stain them, and burn them for our Dungeons and Dragons games.  To a time when I started to find girls having significantly less cooties than in previous years.  To a time when I wanted to be an astronaut because I still had hope, and we still had NASA.

   Recently, the yacht rock sound has been making a bit of a comeback.  I love new yacht rock!  I’m not tired of it, but I know that I will get enough of it because every hipster within hundred mile radius of wi-fi connection is going to trade in their banjos and buy back their synthesizers and start recording tracks.  Which is fine, chase your dreams, do what you feel, whatever that means.  But for the love of ‘stache wax and home brewing please don’t flood the market with yacht rock!

  Don’t water it down, it is too damn awesome.  Every time a sound gains popularity tons of musicians shift toward that sound.  Some do it for the love, others do it for the chance of getting a record deal, and others do it to be more ironic than anyone else.  I’m not attaching an arbitrary number to the yacht rock limit.  I am imploring musicians to stop making it when we turn on the radio and hear a metric eff-ton of yacht rockish songs within an hour.  If every part of you, including your no-no’s, is screaming to make yacht rock, do it.  Perhaps you could make a sub-genre like death yacht rock, Tennessee yacht rock or just maybe play for your cat on your private YouTube channel.