The Savage Animal 07.04.12: Currency Exchange
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 07.04.2012
Surely Johnny Cash was worth his name in gold, but is 50 Cent really worth 50 cents? Is Nickelback worth a nickel? Is Chamillionaire worth a chamillion dollars? In this edition of The Savage Animal Mikey MiGo judges the value of bands named after currency. This, a look at the entire X-Files saga, The Making of Rockstar Wrestling, and a look at the new Spider-Man movie! Read it for America!
Well over a year ago my girlfriend and I agreed to sit down and watch every episode of The X-Files. She was a casual fan when she was younger but I had no real frame of reference other than "oh, that sci-fi show that was on Fox". I don't think I watched one full episode at all during its run. Maybe a clip here or there, but I always sorta of shunned it. I've never been a science fiction guy. To me The X-Files was that show I had to turn off after The Simpsons back in the day. Still… I made an agreement. We'd watch a few episodes here and there. Sometimes we'd go a few weeks without watching, but we'd always go back to it. Finally, after well over a year of semi-persistent viewing we watched all nine seasons, all 202 episodes, and both of the theatrically released movies. I think we're a better couple for it.
I can't and won't get into every episode or season. There are plenty of very detailed reviews out there. I'll keep it brief and summarize. I felt the first few seasons were a little ho-hum. I found myself falling asleep more-so to those episodes than any other group of episodes. Then the show just started getting really good. Creator and main writer Chris Carter kicked ass. For every show that was dreadful there were two that flew by with action and intrigue. He wrote characters you could invest in. I really wanted to see Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) hook up and live happily ever after. The last season or two took that from us. Robert Patrick stepped in for a while. I have no complaints about his work. His southern accent came and went early on and seemed to be gone by the end of the series. He's most known for his work in Terminator 2 so I found myself making the clinging-metal sound from the movie over and over again. He wore me out and I started to appreciate his character. I also dug Annabeth Gish's character. At first she had some sort of psychic ability but by the end of the series it was never brought up or utilized again. She was still a solid character. Law and Order branched off with other brands within their franchise. X-Files could have done that with Gish and Patrick. A subtitle would make the world of difference. Like "X-Files: Aliens" or "X-Files: Spiritual Encounters", etc. Better names of course, but they could have carried on. I know they tried "The Lone Gunmen" and others, but a direct take off could have and could STILL work. I'd give it a chance.
Overall, I'd say The X-Files is one of the best science fiction shows I have ever seen. It lasted nine years for a reason. It had some moments that weren't that great, but in general it was a pretty fulfilling television experience. I never understood the hype it got as I was growing up… now I do. Duchovny's "Mulder" and Anderson's "Scully" could easily be my favorite law enforcement partners of all time. On a personal level, I'm not sure if the show swayed me one way or another in terms of being a "believer". For sure ‘I want to believe' that ‘the truth is out there', but I can 100% confirm that this show was a lot of fun.
Are They Worth Their Value?Scratch, Scrilla, Moolah, Dough, Bread, Cash, Cheese, Cheddar, Stacks…
Those aren't just the ingredients of a good pizza; it's a list of nicknames people have used for money. As "evil" as people consider money, it's our cultural measure of fiscal value. There are those who would agree with my sentiment that there are many other things more important, but it's still a necessary evil. We need more, want more, and spend more.
Today we're looking at some bands and musicians who have "currency" in their name. I know some names aren't specifically named after money, but the currency is still there. Then the fun part… we judge if they're actually worth their namesake! Let's do this…
Formed in 1988, Pennywise was THE punk band for a while. Growing up I always heard Pennywise was awesome. It was one of those bands the older kids were into. Their name is from the Stephen King novel, "It". VALUE: More than a penny.
Nickelback is the butt of every music snob's worst and easiest joke. They're a walking punch-line to anyone with half decent taste. Sadly their mountains of Canadian loony's prove that there are more boring and lame people in the world than not. I have ill will towards Canada. They've produced some of my favorite things, people, and shows. Still, growing up American I'd always hate that moment when you realized a vending machine gave you back a Canadian coin. You'd either be stuck with it forever or you'd just try to pass if off as normal American money to the next schmuck. Nickelback is like that except it hurts your ears. VALUE: Less than a nickel.
Sixpence None the Richer
For some reason "Sixpence None the Richer" and "The Cardigans" were the same band in my head for the past ten plus years. I was well aware of both band names being out there, but subconsciously I just put "Kiss Me" and "Love Fool" in the same locked vault. Today, as I typed the words "Sixpence None the Richer" for the first time in my entire life I know otherwise. Sixpence None the Richer only made ONE of those songs I mentioned. NASA scientists are trying to figure out which one. VALUE: At least six pence.
This bad ass guitarist influenced A LOT of people. With Pantera he blew people's minds with his heavy metal guitar skills. He was just such a larger than life personality that could actually match that personality with skill. He's an icon within the metal community and with good reason. VALUE: Priceless.
I'm not one to "bump fiddy". It's just not my thing. Still, I can't deny that some of his songs transcend the trends and are part of pop culture. He'll never be as good as a Biggie or Pac, but in today's landscape of rap he's one of the bigger names out there. At first he came off a little ridiculous with his "beefs" and his informant/"shot nine times" background, but as he matured he became more bearable. VALUE: A lot more than fifty cents.
Eddie Money is responsible for a lot of music you know and love. You just don't hear enough about Eddie Money any more. In the mid 80's he had that awesome duet "Take Me Home Tonight". If you know the song, it's stuck in your head just by reading the title. On top of that he has songs like "Two Tickets to Paradise" and a slew of others. It pushes that "oxymoron" line, but he really is one of those unheralded icons. VALUE: Even Money.
If you don't know who Johnny Cash is, then you're ears and/or brain is broken. Johnny Cash has become one of the most known rock and roll musicians out there. This is weird to say, but I still feel that his acclaim is a bit "trendy". I'm in my late 20's. Growing up in the 90's, Johnny Cash wasn't a name that came up very often. Then around the turn of the millennium, before the bio pick, it became a mild obsession. He is very easy to get behind. He was a bad ass, whiskey drinking, rebel who you knew not the screw with. Stil around this time, everyone knew that "bad ass guy" who had the Johnny Cash shirt or poster. Johnny Cash wouldn't give a shit about your shirt or poster, bra! VALUE: Priceless.
Born Hakeen Seriki, this rapper has made a name for himself. Any time "Weird Al" parodies someone they're instantly cemented into the foundation of pop culture. Without Chamillionaire we'd never know the odyssey-like journey of one who "be ridin' dirty". I find a lot of value in that, don't you? VALUE: Less than a Chamillion, but more than Chathousand.
Can you think of any other "currency bands"? Are THEY worth it?
THE MAKING OF ROCKSTAR WRESTLING
No matter what, I'm always going to love professional wrestling. It's deeply embedding into my brain and personal culture. I enjoyed it as a child, I enjoy it now, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it in the future. Never the less, there are certain aspects about the professional wrestling business that make me cringe. One of those things is the weird hazing-like situation of "paying your dues". I respect the idea and think people should "earn their stripes" so to speak, but there is so many double standards that come a long with it.
I'm all for respecting the past. I'm for respect in general. Most fans only respect the top names and cult favorites. They will not hesitate to shit on the lower card guys, the newer guys, or just even the ones that don't suit their liking. It's not a "boo, you're bad!" thing anymore. It gets nasty and harsh. There is a way to criticize, a way to still show respect, and hell… a way to turn the channel. I'm a picky and opinionated person. You can ask anyone who is around me for more than five minutes. In wrestling, there is a big pyramid scheme going where those involves are getting screwed out of their respect. You shake hands, you be cool to people, you attempt to find a common ground and go from there, you respect… you find value.
This isn't a new or unheard of character trait. It has NOTHING to do with "old school" versus "new school". It's something that people just get and something that more people totally miss the boat on. It comes with the passion. When you "break in", you have to start making sacrifices. You put in the time, the sweat, the money, and the investment. You don't make money, you show up to set up and tear down, you show up for meetings, you show up for flying, you show up for practice, and of course you show up for shows. When you're not showing up, you're focused on it and always seeking to improve. After what feels like forever doing this, if you've developed and grown as a performer, you'll start to see the real rewards. You do all of this because you have no other choice. You're giving up a lot, but it's not even fair to call it a sacrifice. It's a pleasure.
Those who are casual about it always get weeded out.
If you missed out on "What IS Rockstar Wrestling" Volume Two, here it is…
"JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME"
I expected "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" to be a comedy, not an independent dramady. I'm not complaining, but I felt misled. When you see the trailer and promotional stuff for this movie you'd think it was a hilarious comedy. The stars Ed Helms and Jason Segel are two of the biggest and best names in comedy right now. Both have had plenty of success and have earned their place in comedy history for their own awesome reasons. What makes them so successful is that they're relatable and likeable. It's also the fact that they're both very good actors. They've proven this. This is another great example. The Duplass brothers put on another indie clinic. They did a great job with writing and directing this movie. They're really coming into their style and their tone hasn't been this sharp on any of their other movies. It's labeled a "comedy", but there is a lot of depth going on here. It's about two brothers. Ed Helms is the one stuck mid-age hell with a bad marriage and other problems. Jason Segel is "Jeff", a 30 year old still living at home and living in a different reality. Segel's character is a sweet and trusting slacker who you want to cheer on and Helms is a dick. Then you start to unravel the characters and realize that both of them are stuck. They can't get out of their worlds and aren't happy at all. This of course leads to hilarity. Judy Greer plays Ed Helm's wife. I love Judy Greer, but her character was horrible. She was really manipulative and unfair. The mom that "Jeff" lives with is played by Susan Surandon. The Susan Surandon scenes felt tacked on because she doesn't really do much outside of her work office location. It was a good side story, but I felt it could have had more of a tangle with the main plot. I really enjoyed this movie though. It was a pleasant surprise. I was thinking it was going to be "I Love You Man" or even "Cedar Rapids", but instead it's better than both of those good movies. If you're a fan of indies, a fan of either star, or just a fan of a good 80-something minute long movie then you should watch this. I'm sure everyone can get something out of this one. B+
RANDOM TRAILER OF THE WEEK
"THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN"
I'm not as open minded to this as I say I am. The truth of the matter is that I really don't care much about this movie. I enjoyed the recent trilogy as a whole. The performances and tone was good. I've never been a huge Spiderman fan so sitting through his origin story again isn't someone I want to do. I'm not sure how I feel about Andrew Garfield. He's been good in the stuff I've seen him in, but he just doesn't have a relatable presence to him as I'd hope such a lovable superhero would have. The trailer makes the character seem snarky. It's interesting they're going with more of a teenage route for him and Emma Stone showing up as "Gwen Stacey" is welcomed. Other than that, there just isn't much going on here. This whole thing just feels like it's leading up to disappointment. There are a lot of big action movies coming out. I'm sure this will make its money back, but this just screams "forgettable". I have negative vibes going in, but I'm still going to watch it with as open of a mind as possible. I could just be subconsciously lowering my expectations so I like it better when I do finally watch it. I dunno though. A snarky teenage Spiderman who doesn't have a relatable presence fighting off a big lizard? We'll see…
THE BIG COMEDOWN
That's all for this week. I swear I put a lot of time into thinking about this topic. I checked in with friends and family for more bands with currency names. It seemed like it would have been topic where I'd be able to list like two dozen bands. Apparently not. What do you want from me? It's Fourth of July. Next week, we're going to take a look a random band's entire videography. I'm going to try to step outside of my comfort zone with it. We shall see. There is a lot going on. Hopefully you've not blown up because of cheap fireworks. I'm in "lawless" Indiana so it sounds like a battlefield outside. I should survive. Until next time… Have a Great Week!