The Savage Animal 09.18.13: Top 20 Front Men Under 40 (20-11)
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 09.18.2013
From Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and John Mayer to Hayley Williams from Paramore, the Strokes' Julian Casablancas and more, 411's Mikey MiGo begins his look at the top 20 frontmen under forty with #20 - #11!
"WWE Night of Champions PPV Review": Night of Champions has come and gone. I went into it with the lowest expectations I've had for a wrestling pay per view in a long time. The main problem I have with wrestling lately is the lack good content. The main storyline revolves around Triple H, Stephanie, Vince, and the McMahon power structure. The problem is that people want this to be Austin vs. Vince again, but there's just no way. Vince would allow himself to be humbled and made a fool of. Triple H and Stephanie are too dominating in their hate. They rub people the wrong way and they're really not putting ANYONE over in the process. For the past few years I've wanted to see Randy Orton to be a bad ass heel in the main event scene, but now that I finally get it it's meaningless because he's second fiddle to Triple H. He's more of a prop than an actual contributor. Daniel Bryan is getting tons of camera time, which is great, but is it going to translate in sales, buys, or a long term fanbase growth? I hope so, but I'm a little doubtful. Then on top of that, others are being buried. What happened to Dolph Ziggler's push? What happened to Wade Barrett? Kofi Kingston? The Miz? The entire midcard? Outside of D-Bry, there just isn't a lot to get behind.
Never the less, I watched this show with an opened mind.
That was my first mistake. The opening was like an extended RAW promo followed up by a really decent Intercontinental Title match between Curtis Axel and Kofi Kingston. This was a solid match, but it had no build at all so it had nothing to engage with. It might have been Axel's best match so far though. I skipped over the Divas match, but AJ won as expected. RVD beat Alberto, but in the cheapest of fashions. He doesn't get the belt and for the first time in a while someone was disqualified for not listening to the five count. If that were a match on Smackdown I'd be thrilled, but the non-finish was a rip off. The Miz beat Fandango in a fairly decent match. It was good, but it didn't grab my attention. Something just didn't click. I'd like to see these guys keep going though. There could be something to this storyline if nudged.
Heyman defeats Punk. That was silly. Ryback made the attack, which is fine by me. Curtis Axel is solid, but he's not the blue chipper monster that Paul needs to unleash on people. That's Ryback, hands down. I really hope this leads to a Ryback vs. RVD feud somehow. Even Ryback/Axel vs. Punk/RVD sounds really appealing. Basically, I want RVD in this.
I really enjoyed the Deal Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler match. I like both guys right now and their pushes are very important. I can't believe that Dolph lost clean to Ambrose though. He must have pissed someone off or their just waiting for him to take the Rumble? I dunno. It's a bummer though. I skipped over the tag title match. I've seen it too many times at this point.
The main event came and went. It was fun, but it didn't really get into a different gear. I'm happy that Daniel Bryan got a big moment win. It was a great thing to see. Orton put on a good match. In reality, the match was more than solid and good. The problem is just that it never felt like it really mattered. I sadly think Triple H talking about it made it feel like it was something beneath him. He devalued the match and in the end, he ruined this pay per view. This was a really decent RAW. This would have be an average "Clash of the Champions" back in the WCW days. Sadly, this was a seventy dollar pay per view in 2013.
Top 20 Front Men Under 40! (20-11)
Lead-singer-itis!What makes a good front man?
To me a great front man needs to have a few specific traits. Being a talented singer is a plus, as is being charismatic, getting the crowd into the show, being a larger than life presence, being someone who demands your undivided attention, the front man is the conductor of energy, the pulse of the show. A front man should be untouchable. They should march to the beat of their own drummer and bring something genuine and magical to the table. There is big responsibility to the power of being a front man. That's why the greats are great and the rest are forgotten.
The idea of the front man has been revolutionized by guys like Morrison, Mercury, and Cobain that all had their own distinct style of being a frontman. Sometimes the best criteria for being a front man are to throw the criteria out the window and start from scratch. As time went on, more icon front man would come and go. We're talking Plant, Waters, Jagger, Cooper, Tyler, etc. etc. Then we have modern giants like Dave Grohl, James Hetfield, Maynard James Keenan, Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, Axl Rose, and so on and so on. They have been plenty of quality performers to make their mark on the front man legacy. It might not seem as obvious as it is, but it's not just all in retrospect.
Over the next two weeks I'm taking on the task of making my list of "Top Front Men Under 40". While some modern greats are getting awfully close to "the big four oh", there is still plenty of youth in rock. I'm going to narrow it down to my own Top 20. This is all just one music fan's opinion. You're more than welcomed to share your own list. I'm sure that despite the hours of time put into this list that I missed one or two obvious choices. It happens.
Three honorable mentions that made the short list, but not the final list is the 29 year old Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, 39 year old Sam Endicott of The Bravery, and the 34 year old vocalist of both The Kills and The Dead Weather Alison Mosshart. I'm a fan of all three for different reasons. Mosshart was the one that was closest to making the list if anyone's keeping track at home. Without further ado, here's my list!
(Alleged Ages as of: 9/18/2013) 20. Julian Casablancas
[Age: 35 Birthdate: 8/23/78 Band: The Strokes] The Strokes are one of my favorite bands from the 00's. I love the throw back garage rock style, but it's often done in a really uninspired and lame way. The Strokes brought a whole new life to the sound and became one of the biggest bands out there in the progress. Julian Casablancas' voice works perfectly for this style of music. One gripe about the guy is that he just stands there. He's almost an anti-performer. He was hilarious in his work with SNL and on his solo album, but he just seems bored sometimes. You'll be hearing a great tune, but then he looks sleepy. How is the fan supposed to react when the performer isn't? 19. Patrick Stump
[Age: 29 Birthdate: 4/27/84 Band: Fall Out Boy]
Fall Out Boy is not my thing. I've honestly tried to give them a fair chance, but I just couldn't connect to it. That doesn't mean I can't recognize an impact. Patrick Stump and Fall Out Boy definitely made and still make an impact. Stump's personal journey is an inspiring one for me so I'm a fan of his for that, but he's also great at getting the crowd to join forces as one mass of rock solidarity. I might not like the music, but his presence has caused me to watch more Fall Out Boy than I would have ever really wanted. 18. Hayley Williams
[Age: 24 Birthdate: 12/27/88 Band: Paramore] If you'd have asked me if Haley Williams would be on my list of best front men last week then I'd have laughed at you. I didn't expect this, but I wanted to be fair and open minded. I've listened to Paramore, but I didn't get the mass appeal. It's good, but not mind blowing. Then I saw them perform live on TV and it all made sense. Williams is hot and all of that, but she's one helluva performer. She takes the crowd by the collar and sings right into their proverbial face. Why would anyone complain about that? She's also the youngest person on this entire list. She has her whole life of rocking in front of her. 17. Tunde Adebimpe
[Age: 38 Birthdate: 2/25/75 Band: TV on the Radio] Tunde Adebimpe is one of my favorite vocalists right now. TV on the Radio has come a long way from "Ok Calculator" until now. Tunde's voice is explosive and makes his band's work even more great than it already is. He's done a little acting now and seems to be a really cool and chill guy. If he was as energetic performer as he is a great artist, he'd be close to the top of this list. 16. John Mayer
[Age: 35 Birthdate: 10/16/77 Band: Solo, John Mayer Trio] John Mayer is one of the best modern rock guitar players out there. I've made the joke to friends that "John Mayer is METAL", but it's pretty much true. He's got a blues rock thing going for him that would make him comparable to be today's Clapton. He's THAT good. He's got an okay voice and is an outgoing guy, but it's that guitar work that brings the owes and ahs. 15. Brody Dalle
[Age: 34 Birthdate: 1/1/79 Band: The Distillers, Spinnerette] I'm a big fan of Brody. She's everything you'd want in an aggressive female front. She's Joan Jett-like, but I'm certain she'd rip Jett's arms off and beat her with them just for shits and giggles. She's a dominate figure with tons of appeal. Her voice is said to be "harsh", but it's emotive and gets at you. 14. Adam Levine
[Age: 34 Birthdate: 3/18/79 Band: Maroon 5] I like Adam Levine well enough. He's got a great voice and seems like a cool guy. People naturally like him and he's becoming a bigger name with each project he takes on. He's done some acting now, he hosts a major reality show, and his band is still out there pulling in thousands in some of the biggest music venues in the country. He's steadily building up his name and legacy while still putting out relevant music. I could only imagine how much bigger Maroon 5 could be if Levine focused ALL of his energy in music. 13. Chester Bennington
[Age: 37 Birthdate: 3/20/76 Band: Linkin Park] I pride myself on the fact that I've been to TWO Linkin Park concerts and have NEVER seen Linkin Park perform. It's just not my thing. Chester is still a great singer though. He has tons of fans and has a natural coolness to him that makes him a strong front man. He's gotten past the awkward "new guy on the scene" thing a long time and has seemingly settled comfortably into the status as one of the top guys around right now. Along with the massive hits he's put out with Park, he's been recent tapped to be the new vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots. After having Scott Weiland as the helm for so long, they wouldn't add just anyone to the mix. 12. M. Shadows
[Age: 32 Birthdate: 7/31/81 Band: Avenged Sevenfold] I didn't get into Avenged Sevenfold at start. I thought "Bat Country" was a fun song, but something about "Seize the Day" bothered me. I eventually realized it was because it reminded me too much of "November Rain". After listening to it again, a few years after its popular release, it all made sense to me. Avenged Sevenfold is awesome. It reminded me of Guns N' Roses. Bands don't just do that. They made some epic rock tunes that are meant for arenas. A lot of this is thanks to M. Shadows. He's still young and has plenty of time to grow even more and put out what I'm thinking will still be his best work. Avenged Sevenfold might not be for everyone, but the voice of Shadows is something to be appreciated by all. 11. Davey Havok
[Age: 37 Birthdate: 11/20/75 Band: AFI] Davey Havok is an extravagant person. His voice carries like the wind. As the lead vocalist of AFI, Havok has been around for a while. Over twenty years to be exact. They've gone through many phases of looks and sounds, but the one constant is Havok's magnetism. In 2006 MTV executive Amy Doyle called the band "one of the most compelling live rock bands today." The woman was not wrong.
Next week: The Top 10!
What frontman under 40 do you think will be in the Top 10?
I love a few things and it just so happens that Jeff Garlin is involved with both. One of those things is "Curb Your Enthusiasm", which Jeff is a producer and star of. The other is the Chicago Cubs, which Mr. Garlin shares in the pain of being a fan of. He's just a likeable guy. He's just a big bowl of endearment. He put the "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With" a few years back. He wrote, directed, and starred in it. I remember really enjoying it and wondering if d he make more movies. It took a couple of years, but out of nowhere I was sideswiped by this latest project. I didn't know it existed until just recently after seeing Garlin on a TV show. This is another writing/directing/starring situation. This movie Jeff is dealing with idiots. Not just any idiots, but the parents of little leaguers. He plays a successful comedian who is considering to make a movie based on the colorful collection of personalities. This results in him going to games, bonding with his kid, going to the parent's houses and work, and even taking a few moments to reflect and have mental conversations with his father. put together a great cast. Fred Willard plays a weird not-rich old guy, Bob Odenkirk is the coach of the team who lives a sad life, J.B. Smoove lives in a pimp-tastic compound, Gina Gershon and Kerri Kenney-Silver are hot and intimidating lesbians, Jami Gertz is an overbearing organizer, Richard Kind is Richard Kind, and Steve Agee is a confrontational pussy. Those are just value descriptions for characters that honestly have a lot of life to them and meat to their story. I think that's the benefit of casting such awesome people. Jeff had awesome chemistry with them all and it made the back and forth banter throughout the whole movie enjoyable and hilarious. I love baseball, but not as much as I should. I think I appreciate it mainly because I know the value my father finds in it. In fact, I'm pretty happy to say I actually got to watch this movie with my dad. I'm sure Jeff would appreciate that. Jeff had a whole father/baseball thing in this movie too. He would jump cut to an internal conversation between him and his own father, played by the always cool Timothy Olyphant. These conversations carried the movie for me. It put Jeff's on-going journey and his perspective in a clearer light as he bounces from oddball character to oddball character. The whole time he's just kind of an explorer. He's trying to figure out a potential project, but it looks like he's looking for something else in the process. Does it find it or does he lose it? That's the fun in watching the movie. You'll get to find out! You'll want to find out because it's a fun movie. It won' blow your mind, but it'll weasel its way into your heart. B
"Worst Case Scenario" is a new take on the concept of "fantasy booking". For years professional wrestling fans would spend endless hours of thinking up the coolest things that could happen. Why waste the energy? This only leads to high expectations. "Worst Case Scenario" flips that. Instead of looking through rose colored glasses, let's take a bi-weekly look at the worst possible scenarios in professional wrestling. I'm not going to be malicious or anything too mean, but I will not refrain from letting my brain come up with the worst possible shit I can. Sadly, it seems the writers and producers of mainstream TV wrestling and the mainstream iPPV level indies are doing the same thing but charging us for it. And now
"Fan Interaction Goes Wild!"
The WWE has been hard up for being "interactive" and having their collective finger on the pulse of social media. They're always kind of late to the game, but when they get on board they hammer it into the ground. WWE has annoyed us with Twitter, Tout, YouTube, etc. Some people cry about it and take too much of their life to bitch about an announcer on a wrestling show plugging something more than they'd like. Kids, grow up. Real men don't bitch about things like that. They make it a drinking game!
With their recent efforts at being contemporary they have their "APP" now. They're trying REALLY hard to be interactive and get everyone on board. They have a lot of fan voting segments to pick opponents for people, pick match types, and all sorts of randomness. It still feels like a work, but I appreciate the efforts. The problem is on the horizon.
WWE WILL, without a doubt, hammer this shit into the ground. I had a horrible thought that the WWE will go overboard with "fan interaction". I loved "Cyber Tuesday" and "Cyber Sunday", but this will go bad.
Imagine the WWE letting the fans have COMPLETE interaction. Random lucky fans will get to COMMENTATE the matches via live streaming! We'd all love to hear teenage stupid asses try to call matches. Kids screaming. Shout outs to grade school classmates. Music in the background. Weird "call in show" feedback. It'd be GREAT, right?
And why stop there? Let's let the fans REF the matches via tout and live stream! The fans at home have to count three! We know that'll work out juuuuust fine, right?
Maybe the WWE shouldn't let the fans be anything more than fans. It's worked this long .
"PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5"
Why!? They have made four too many of these shitty movies already. The first one was interesting purely based on the marketing. They didn't show the movie, they showed the paid audience "freak out" over the footage. Then "word of mouth" caught on and lots of stupid people went and wasted money on this shit. Those people didn't want to admit to being stupid so they kept paying for the next installment and then the next installment and then the next one. You people are STUPID. Stop supporting this crap. These movies are draining any tiny drip of potential out of the already lame "found footage" concept. I'd have no problem if these were straight to DVD movies or on the Sy-Fi Network. But it's put out there and the stupid people who go see it then pretend we care what they have to say. Like it? Don't like it? Thought part 3 was better? NO ONE CARES. You paid to see Paranormal Activity 5, you're opinion no longer matters.
That's all for now! This was only part one of my "Top 20" list. For some reason I enjoyed making Top 20 lists lately. As soon as we finish this one, I'm releasing another two parter titled "Top 20 Non-Music Rockstars". It'll cover the famous people out there who embody the spirit of a Rockstar, but aren't in the music industry. It was fun to put together and will hopefully spark some fun conversations. Before that though, I gotta get some shit for my Top 10 under 40. I'm SURE I'm going to miss some random shitty hipster singer or some abrasive metal head and I'm SURE someone is going to flip out. It's fun that way! After that the normal run of "First Impressions", "Album Art of ", and "The Videography" will occur. Until next time Have a Great Week!