A Handful Of… Decidedly 90’s Ditties

To refer to these tunes as ditties might imply that they’re gipper chipper, but come on… it was the 90’s.  Nothing was chipper.

What’s interesting about this A Handful Of is that I don’t think they could have been made at any time other than that dreary decade.

(SIDENOTE: Okay, two of them are kind of chipper.)

 

  • Sponge’s Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain) – 1995
  • Tripping Daisy’s I Got a Girl – 1995
  • Seven Mary Three’s Cumbersome – 1996
  • Nada Surf’s Popular – 1996
  • Butthole Surfer’s Pepper – 1996
  • Cornershop’s Brimful of Asha – 1997
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A Handful Of… Songs About Santa Monica

When I lived in West Los Angeles many El Niño’s ago (or were they La Niña’s?), there were two songs that always sort of inspired me to move there: Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do and Everclear’s Santa Monica.  Even though I didn’t live in the exact city of Santa Monica, I lived as close as those two songs were actually about the city (more on that in a moment).  It was their sound that encapsulated the vibe I was seeking, and they hit the gauge in the earlobe.

Anymalibu, it was a recent song I’ve heard that made me realize that there’s been A Handful Of Songs About Santa Monica, and here they are:

This is the song that launched this post, and if you listen to its words… you’ll have no idea what it’s about, either.  He’s talking about someone being tied up and screaming and the British army gets a shout out.  He sings of Santa Monica throughout, but it could be a person rather than a place.  Malinowski’s Canadian and in a reggae band, so… that’s no help.  But I like the song, anyway.

This one specifically talks about Third Street Promenade, which was one of my favorite places to visit, but it’s more about getting lost, or feeling lost, or losing yourself in a popular public place.  I never heard this song before writing this post, but man, is it depressing…

Do all these artists want me to slit my wrists with a long board, or what?  This one’s about a break-up that begins with a bed full of gasoline.  Whether it’s figurative or literal is beside the point.

Finally, an upbeat song!  Wait, what?  It’s really about attempted suicide?!  Plus, it was also temporarily banned from airplay after the attacks on 9/11?  Good vibes gracious.

Man, I forgot how big of a crush I had on Sheryl Crow back in the day.  This song may not be about the city, but at least it’s a happy tune about urban ennui.  In other words, a rallying cry for day drunks on Santa Monica Boulevard.

A Handful Of… Collections Of Remakes

Is music made of paper?

Is music made of plastic?

Is music made of glas– okay, I’m not going to go on with this forever.

What I’m basically getting at is this: why do we recycle music?  I meant to write about this when Muppets: The Green Album came out, but I had better things to write about then, like this or this.

So now that the movie is coming out on DVD (or Blu-Ray… pick your poison), I feel it’s timely again… to share the CD’s in my collection that are collections of remakes.  I will rate them on a scale of up to five recycled Kermits, for no real reason.

Muppets: The Green Album

Keep it green. Recycle.

3 out of 5

This album made me realize I’m not as big of a Muppets fan as I thought.  I’m a fan of The Muppets Movie and its soundtrack – but not as much else.  And that made me sad.  Or should I say, blue.  Moving right along…

Honeymoon in Vegas Soundtrack

Rock N' Repeat

5 out of 5

I really liked this album, but then again, it was back when I had it on cassette.  It made me appreciate Elvis Presley a bit more than I did before, though, so there’s that hunk of burning knowledge for ya!

I Am Sam Soundtrack

I Am Sam I Am

4 out of 5

The same things goes with this collection of The Beatles remakes.  I wasn’t sure I liked much of what they did prior to hearing these retreads, but my perspective changed.  Why only four out five recycled Kermits, you wonder?  Have you seen I Am Sam?

Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits

Saturday Morning Reruns

2.5 out of 5

I maybe listened to this CD in its entirety thrice, but that was mostly because the CD player I had at the time wasn’t the best.  I really liked Sponge and Sublime back then, which is why I bought it.  Maybe I shouldn’t have given it two-and-a-half recycled Kermits

The Duran Duran Tribute Album

The band's name is a repeat.

1 out of 5

I’m not even particularly fond of Duran Duran, so why did I purchase this?  Oh yeah.  Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Gob…

A Handful Of… Odd Guest Appearances In Songs

Having only recently rediscovered What Have I Done to Deserve This courtesy of satellite radio, I never realized Dusty Springfield sang with the Pet Shop Boys.  To anyone born since 1990, these words have no meaning.  This is the song on a little something the kids call, the YouTube:

Why this seems surprising to me is Dusty Springfield sang Son of a Preacher Man… not 80’s British synthpop.  For comparison (you may know this song if you were born after 1990… I’m sure it’s been featured on American Idol at one time or another):

Having shared that, I decided to drudge up A Handful Of Odd Guest Appearances In Songs, so here they are:

  • Aretha Franklin and George Michael’s I Knew You Were Waiting For Me

Arethra Franklin used to be huge instead of just huge, and George Michael was still a respected chap.  This one wasn’t completely out of left-field, but in retrospect, it is odd… ly wonderful, me thinks:

  • Eminem and Pink’s Won’t Back Down

Eminem teaming up with Pink is like Eminem teaming up with P!nk… it didn’t seem like something that would happen.  But I’m glad it did:

  • Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s Say Say Say

I would have rather used The Girl is Mine as my example, but I didn’t look too hard for couldn’t find it.  So teaming up a former Beatle with a former Jackson 5-er isn’t that strange, until you realize it was during these collaborations in which McCartney suggested to Jackson that he should buy all the rights to his music, which in turn lead to Jackson buying many of the rights to The Beatles music:

  • The KLF and Tammy Wynette’s Justified and Ancient

I still have no idea what this song is about.  But it’s another Brit pop band/American country artist match-up:

  • Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s Little Drummer Boy/ Peace On Earth

This is an odd pairing, but it’s not the strangest:

  • Rihanna and Chris Brown’s Bad Girl

This. Is. Wrong.  But still… not the worst:

  • Mindless Behavior and Ciara’s My Girl

These kids are in their early teens; Ciara is 26 (I thought she was older).  They still shouldn’t be performing like this together.  This is why so many teachers are having sex with their students, I don’t suspect:

A Handful Of… “Color”-ful Movies

What color sounds like the least exciting color?  Give up?  Howzabout:

The Boring

So, as is par for the course on this website, I got to thinking… how many movies are named after colors much more exciting sounding than The Grey?  Let’s see by checking out A Handful Of… “Color”-ful Movies.

  • RED

RED... featuring some ORANGE.

I could have went with some other titles like Red Dawn, Red Riding Hood, Red State, the current film Red Tails, or the French film Rouge, but I chose this one, which is actually an acronym for Retired and Extremely Dangerous.  But my point is proven so far… RED sounds so much better than The Grey.

  • A Clockwork Orange

I prefer my clockworks to be green.

I’ve never seen this Stanley Kubrick classic, but as a student of film (not that great of one if I haven’t seen A Clockwork Orange), I am familiar with enough of it to know this was a better choice than Orange County to go against The Grey.

  • Yellowbeard

You have to take this poster's word that he has a yellow beard.

Yellow is a tough sell for movie titles, so this is the best I’ve got.  I could have chosen Yellow Submarine or the Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow), but come on… Yellowbeard is about pirates!  Sure, it was made before pirates were (are?) cool, so The Grey can walk the plank!  Aaargh!

  • Green Lantern

Sometimes green means stop.

Green Lantern was a tough pick, especially against such examples of “greenness” as Green Zone, The Green Hornet, The Green Mile, and Green Street Hooligans.  Maybe I should have picked Green Street Hooligans.  The Grey is only slightly less better than Green Lantern

  • Deep Blue Sea

Hey! Look out for that

Samuel L. Jackson makes a lot of things automatically better, and since he wasn’t in The Blue Lagoon, Blue Velvet, Blue Valentine, the French film Bleu, or the Swedish film I Am Curious (Blue), Deep Blue Sea blows The Grey out of the water.

  • The Color Purple

Again, my favorite color for clockworks.

Okay… so The Color Purple wasn’t my first choice to battle The Grey, but Purple Rain or The Purple Rose of Cairo don’t sound like they’d fare much better.  Purple might be the color of kings, but when it comes to movies, it’s a notch better than grey.

Now if Liam Neeson’s latest was called The Gray, it’d be a completely different story…

A Handful Of… My Latest Crushes

I know you’ve been clamoring for this list for a while now, so I’m glad to present A Handful Of… My Latest Crushes:

She's the ideal girl next to the window.

Ms. Woodward first came to my attention last year during the first season of Raising Hope, and she’s held my attention ever since.  I’ve never seen the movie The Haunting of Molly Hartley, or the show she was on previously (The Riches), but they are definitely in my Netflix queue now.

She's keeping the wall stable, but not my heart rate.

I didn’t watch Two and a Half Men with any regularity, but I was aware of Ms. Stables when she had a recurring role on it.  Since I only caught her appearances in random reruns, I was pleased to find out she had a new show on TV Land called The Exes, which is actually pretty good… emphasis on the pretty.

Don't worry. She's 25.

I’m pleased to admit that Tim Allen’s latest show, ABC’s Last Man Standing, is funny.  But even if it wasn’t, I’d still be in inclined to watch it because of Ms. Ephraim.  She plays middle daughter Mandy on it, and just like middle son Randy on Home Improvement, she steals many of her scenes.  And surprise, surprise… I’ve now added Paranormal Activity 2 to my queue, too.

Maid in Heaven (or Hell)

As I mentioned in regard to Ms. Ephraim, I will watch a show I don’t particularly like if I like an Actress! on the show.  So when it comes to Ms. Breckenridge, she was a primary reason I watched FX’s American Horrible Story (well, her and Jessica Lange’s scenery chewing).  Let’s just say I’m glad that show was only thirteen episodes long.  And I hope Ms. Breckenridge gets another gig quick.

I am no longer the master of my domain hosting.

I’m not a fan of Go Daddy for many reasons, and their commercials do not help.  On the other hand, Ms. Dearing helps their commercials, so there’s that.  She’s also in Will Ferrell’s Everything Must Go, so you know what I’m going to do to remedy not seeing that.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll stumble over to Go Daddy’s website to see how her commercials end.  Gah, I hate that!

A Handful Of… The Video Games That Got Away

It’s closing in on Gimme Gimme Day, and what better way to celebrate the joyous overconsumption and high-expectations of youth than to examine the video games I was never Given Given.

Here are A Handful Of… The Video Games That Got Away:

Ah, the good ol' days of 16-color EGA graphics...

Not what you’d expect to be first.  This came out back in the days of me playing the original Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, but it was only available for Commodore 64.  I had an IBM-compatible.  To those not around at the time, that’s like wanting Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, when all you have is the Wii.

I had a Sega Genesis, but I didn’t get the system when it was originally released with Altered Beast.  Then again, ToeJam and Earl was still released after that.  I’m not sure why I didn’t get this game.  All I know is that I wanted it.

Another nerdy PC game.  (It was available for DOS, but it looked fantastic on the Amiga.  So I wanted the Amiga.)  I didn’t even really play chess, but I guess I craved digitized violence.  Don’t be surprised if one day it’s revealed that this game paved the way for Mortal Kombat.  Speaking of kombat

This was one of the two arcade fighting games I was good at (the other was Virtua Fighter), so when it was announced that there would be a version for the Super Nintendo, I was ecstatic.  Then I realized how people must have felt when Pac-Man was finally released for the Atari 2600…  Here’s the SNES commercial:

cavern of the evil wizard

"I get to be on top!"

This game might look familiar, although its name is not.  That’ sbecause you probably saw Tom Hanks playing it in the movie Big.  Sadly, TCOTEW never existed in the real world… until now.   Try it by clicking here.

Think of it as my early Gimme Gimme present for you.