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 411mania » Music » Columns

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The Savage Animal 01.22.14 Top 20 Things Wrong With Music Today (20-11)
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 01.22.2014



"WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Preview": When you're a lifelong wrestling fan it's hard not to be at least a little excited this time of year. When I say "lifelong", I mean it. You grew up with it. It's been part of your routine life through many important developmental phases. There is a certain type of (crazy) person that is a lifelong wrestling fan. It's not a casual pick up along the way. It's getting hooked in as a child and being so engrossed in it that it's just part of your everyday essence. You can hate it, you can love it, and you can deny it. At the end of the day, wrestling is always in your blood. Anyone can appreciate professional wrestling, but you're not going to share the same passion for it as someone who cried over it as a child, had awkward teen years, and had to defend it during the worst of times. You cried when Pillman died. Your mind was blown with Owen died. You went to Blockbuster to rent old VHS PPVS from the 80s. You can hum the theme music to a 100 obscure wrestler's pre-Attitude era. It's ups. It's downs. It's a ritual. It's life.

So yeah, it's Royal Rumble time. Thirty men enter and one man wins. Sometimes. Sometimes there's less men, sometimes there's more men. Sometimes there's a woman or two. Sometimes there are more than one winner. It's not as consistent as we'd like to think, but premise is always the same… Some people enter and sometimes one person wins. To geek it up, it's an over the top battle royal with entrants coming in at timed intervals.

It's fun. It's the counting down, the suspense of who is out next, and the recurring questions. Wondering who the final four will be, who will be the iron man of the match, who will throw out the most, who will screw over who, what feud will start, what the hell will Kofi Kingston do THIS year, and the inevitable question… who will win!?!

Things are different this year for a few reasons. There is only one Championship belt again so the winner will automatically go for the top strap. There is no question of "what belt will they go for?!" But THEN there is a loophole. The Elimination Chamber is in the middle of this famous journey now. This certainly throws a wrench into this mess. The days of the winner of the Royal Rumble having a for sure shot at the champion at WrestleMania is pretty damn uncertain. While I like the unpredictability, I really miss the long build up to one big match. Having to wait until mid-February to really confirm the main event is a bit of a bummer.

I'm writing this before the final RAW before the show. At this point there are only a few things announced outside of the Rumble. I would guess we'd see Bryan vs. Wyatt in some shape or form, maybe Kane vs. Punk, New Authority Outlaws taking on the Rhodes Brothers. Yes, folks... the Rumble DOES have non-battle royal matches too. This year, Randy Orton defends the belt against John Cena. I take a deep breath and let out a accepting sigh knowing that it's dumb to ever really predict against John Cena. I'd rather see Orton retain and drop it at Mania. For my prediction, I'm going against logic and with my gut, Randy Orton wins.

In a random singles match, Brock Lesnar faces The Big Show. It would be cool to see The Big Show get a big win like this. He gets just enough wins to make him still convincing as a main eventer, but he's becoming the guy used to get people over more and more. He deserves the win, but the only way I see it happening is if Mark Henry interferes. This is surely going to lead to Brock's WrestleMania XXX build so I'm going to have to go with him winning. Yep, Brock Lesnar wins.

I really have no idea who will win the Royal Rumble. That's the awesome part. There are some rumored WrestleMania XXX matches, but nothing is really as firmly booked as the Rock/Cena matches of the past few years. Batista is an obvious choice since he's coming back. Batista vs. Orton makes perfect sense given their history and I can't imagine Big Dave coming back to NOT be in the spotlight. Him having the belt on his shoulder for all of his upcoming Marvel movie release promo wouldn't be a bad business move. But that's not a given. Daniel Bryan could win. CM Punk could win. Brock Lesnar is an option. Sheamus could potentially win. Del Rio is doubtful, but could win. Chris Jericho could show back up and take the win. What about RVD? Or what even if they had an old timer show back up and get the surprise win? What if Triple H enters himself at #30, or even #31 to be even more of a dick, and steals the win for himself. The internet would explode. Triple H, will full authority, is the WWE Champion. Holy shit. Whoever they built up to take the belt off him at WrestleMania XXX would have a HUGE moment. Daniel Bryan or CM Punk would the logical pick for that kind of blow off. You know what, I'm going with this bold pick. I'm going with Triple H.

Speaking of "bold picks"! In 2013 I took an extra effort to predict as many WWE PPV matches as possible. It always feels like the WWE is super predictable and disappointing so it was an experiment of sorts. It turns out I predicted 59 matches last year. Of those predictions, not including no-contests or matches that didn't end up happening, I got 32 correct and 27 wrong. So I got about 54% right. As jaded and disenfranchised as I've become in my life long fandom, maybe anything CAN happen in the World Wrestling Ferera…er.. World Wrestling Enterain… er… WWE. Yeah, that's the one.


Top 20 Things Wrong With Music Today (20-11)
By Ranty McRantness
I know this makes me sound like the old guy who tells the kids to get off his lawn. I realize that music is subjective and art is an all-encompassed opinion and experience. I rolled my eyes at the older people in my life who rambled about the music from their younger days as being the best too. Basically I'm admitted that I'm old, therefor none of this matters.

Music sucks right now.

There I said it. I feel better now.

Don't get me wrong, there are some artists out there putting out great work and I'm still actively seeking new music to engage my brain with. It's just the overall scene in music is crap.

You can't tell me it's not. You just can't. You can be a fan of a few artists all you want, but if you can seriously say that the state of music today is NOT horrible then you're lieing to not just me, your buddy Mike, but you're lieing to yourself.

We can all have different opinions about what's wrong with the state of music, but one thing for certain is that we can all agree is sorta sucks ass right now. In this two-parter, I'm going to share my top twenty things wrong with the current state of music.

Warning: This DOES get ranty…

20. Snob Generation

Our generation is just snobby. We're entitled and we think we're right and everyone else is wrong. We turn our noses up to everything not exactly what we like. We don't want to be open to anything not already accepted by the masses.

Unique little one-of-kind snowflakes that are factory made are still factory made.


19. $9 Beers and $40 Shirts

I'm all about supporting artists. They need money to live and to create. You know who else needs money? Everyone else. While the dude on the big stage is making millions the fans are paying even more to keep those millions stable in the bank. This leads to more expensive venues and higher overhead. Thus, if you want to drink a beer at arena show or festival it's getting to the $9 mark more often than not. If you want to get a t-shirt memento from the experience you're not going to drop the $19.99 you would at a local store, you're dropping $35 and up on a t-shirt with more cancelled tour dates than actual ones.

The flip of this is being a fan of a band on a smaller stage. You go to support them, but they charge $15 for their shirts and the dive bar or club they're in is only charging $4 for the beer.

When it comes down to it, the fan is penalized for their favorite artist's success.


18. Death of Radio DJs

I'm not talking about the morning show DJ or the shock jock. The "edgy" radio DJ who drops taboo topics to get a rise and the "wacky" morning crew are their own beasts. These things are stale and tired, but people still seem to follow them and get into it. Once this generation fades out, the podcast world is really going to dominate this market. Until then, enjoy the morning drive to work where you get to hear a group of lame old classic rock white guys try to be cool by starting something called a "black list" so they can keep track of how many African American listeners they have. Yuck-Yuck-Yuck!

No, I'm talking about the real DJ. I'm talking about the people who LOVE music. The DJs who go to shows, interview artists, have random cool facts, get gossip, have obvious favorites, and have bands they have to play but by the sound of their voice you, the longtime listener, can tell if they're shoveling shit or genuine goodness. After a while, a bond is formed.

It might just be my region and the Chicagoland, but the art of the radio DJ seems to be going away. Voices like Chris Payne, JVO, Electra, and the Manno brothers are responsible for audio palette. Who is going to bring the music to new ears? Pandora's expert selection system? ipod commercials? Ugh.


17. No Physical Property

When you buy music you get to hear it. That's the genuine idea of buying sound. Sadly, that's all you're buying now…. Just some sound contained within a digital space. It's crazy. It's like buying air. I want property. I want to hold the art I'm supporting. I need a physical representation to make me feel like I bought some THING. This is all my own neurosis, but there is still a huge aspect being missed.

Album art is an endangered medium.

LPS were big pieces of cool art and even CDs, in a smaller way, could contain a lot of awesome visuals. The Tool albums come to mind instantly because of how creative and groundbreaking the packaging has been. As a culture we're moving more towards a paperless, physical property-less world. In the long run it's better for us, but we shouldn't shun this so easily. The album cover is an awesome piece of an artist's release puzzle. Who can think of "Thriller" without thinking about the music, the video, and the iconic cover? All we're doing is removing one of the more enjoyable and inspired aspects.


16. Recluses of Rock

The people we want to hear from stay quiet. The David Bowies, the Prince's, the Zeppelins, etc. etc. etc. These people are great artists and we all love to get inside their heads to see what their creative genius is cooking up. Sadly, they the reclusive ones and keep more to themselves.

Meanwhile, the weakest of substance is what's shoveled at us in heaps and piles.


15. Are Festivals Killing the Rock Clubs?

I like festivals. Why wouldn't I? A whole bunch of bands go to one location for one big celebration for one big ticket price. It's a smart marketing idea in theory, but it's becoming an oversaturated market. There are TONS of festivals these days with the same headlining acts and the same general supporting cast. Bands don't tour in the summer they "do the festival circuit".

What happens here is that bands aren't touring much on their own. Instead of being able to see a band I like for like $20 at a smaller club in November I have to wait until May to see them and 30 bands I hate for $200. The bigger ones have a restriction where acts can perform within a certain radius of the festival for a certain amount of time. So basically if you don't go to Lollapalooza in Chicago to see Nine Inch Nails, you're screwed because come the tour to follow you're not seeing them in Chicago, Milwaukee, Indiana, etc. It's at least a good chunk of the Midwest and it's at least for a few months.

It's not just my own bitching. The smaller clubs and venues are being hurt by this. The bigger and medium name bands aren't stopping in to play the 1000 fan standing room only clubs anymore. Going to concerts used to be an all year occasion. It's slowly and surely becoming a seasonal event.


14. Video Outlets(or Lack There Of)

I miss TRL. As hateful as my teenage self would be to me right now for saying that, it's true. I don't even care what videos would be on TRL, it's just the idea of it. There seems to not be any demand or desire for any network to put on a music video show. We don't get to see videos anymore because channels like MTV and VH1 aren't putting them in front of us unless we're up at a strange hour on a weekday for like 2 hours a month.

Wouldn't it be awesome if making music videos was an inspired medium that artists would creatively compete over and push forward? I think the product of this shifted more toward the live production. The days of Yo MTV Raps, TRL, and of course Headbanger's Ball are gone. Even Beavis and Butthead was a music video show in general terms. This has been replaced by reality shows and reruns. So apparently people aren't clamoring for it or the powers that be don't think it's worth it. It would be great if a chance was taken and it was brought back.


13. Young Pop Stars are the New Rockstars?

Rockstars are pussies now. It's not a bad thing for them as humans. People are eating better, working out, keeping clean, and just being good people. But dammit, rockstars gotsta be rockstars. Where are the destroyed hotel rooms? Bar fights? And undefinable chaos? It's on the pop star tours! Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus are running amuck and making the rock bands look like obedient little ass-kissers.

The days of crazy Rockstar stories are now replaced by tearful reality show appearances with Dr. Drew. The lifestyle of being a Rockstar was glamourized for so long that it's generally taken as just being part of the gig. Some people paid the ultimate price and some got clean. That happens in any career field, but they're just under a microscope. I don't want ANYONE to be hurt or die, but some edge and some balls would be nice. At least punch a camera man. If Alec Baldwin can do it, so can Corey Taylor.


12. Jaded Ears

This sucks, but I think we're all victim to this. I think it's all about expectations. It's really hard to have a genuinely opened mind. There is a certain characteristic that a lot of us seem to have taken on. We seek the negative. Unless it's a band or artist we blindly love, we listen with the intention to find something bad about it.

I know there's optimism out there, but the general census of people who are vocal about these things are negative. I know I've been guilty of listening to a new album, expect it to disappoint me, and then spend the time listening with that little bird in the back of my brain pecking at the parts that make me question everything.


11. History Envy Division

This is a tradition that won't go away but should. Each generation is told by the generations before them that "THEIR" music was the best. Once they're old enough to talk to the next generation they find themselves repeating the process.

I often hear that we love the music we hear when we're a certain teenage/young 20's age. It's the music genre that we'll relate to the most and always go back to fondly. Some of us are blessed with awesome eras and some with embarrassing ones, but regardless we embrace it and own it. There's always the rapping granny and metal dad examples, but most grandmas aren't giving the Foo Fighter's a chance. Middle aged businessmen aren't exactly going out of their way to listen to stuff outside of their comfort zone.

I think that's what it comes down to, people's comfort zones. We divide ourselves with comfort zones. We get used to something and instead of taking chances and listening to new music we just accept whatever is given to us, whatever we're used to, and whatever we're comfortable with.

History is that annoying kid in the backseat repeating itself over and over again. Sometimes you just have to tell the kids to shut up and turn up the dial. Why not explore the unknown?


What do YOU think is wrong with the current state of music?

Next week I get down to the nitty gritty and bitch some more about why the music industry and it's fans suck! Stay tuned for more!



WATCH THIS!?
"Mike Goodpaster's Unpaid Programming"




"The Heat"

How can you not love Melissa McCarthy? She is easily one of the most energetic and charismatic female comedic actresses to EVER come out. She brings the energy and comedic timing of a Will Ferrell, but has the lovable aloofness of a Galifinakis, and the silly charm of a Jack Black. I love Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Anna Farris, and other leading female comedy performers but McCarthy has that extra something that is just hard to capture. She can make the less than great movies a bit better. Sadly, I feel like that's what she did here. The Heat looked good. It had Paul Feig behind it and who doesn't smile at Sandra Bullock. I think my hopes were just too high. I expected this movie to be funnier than Bridesmaids and just as huge. It wasn't. It was funny and good. I will watch it again and I recommend people watching it. I just think if you're expecting your mind to be blown or to piss yourself with humorous glee then you're going into it the wrong way. It's a cop comedy with McCarthy playing the vulgar brute and Bullock playing the uptight nerd. As lame and as bold as it sounds, this might as well have been advertised as "The Odd Couple with bras and guns." It's not a bad thing at all. McCarthy and Bullock didn't seem to have that much chemistry. Bullock was too stiff. The rest of the cast was good. Demian Bichir is in everything these days and it's always fun to see Marlon Wayans in something that doesn't bad ghost movie parodies. Then there are tons of talent sprinkled in. We see Jane Curtin, Taran Killam, Michael McDonalds, Tony Hale, Nathan Corddy, Bill Burr, Kaitlin Olson, and more and more. They stacked this movie with funny people. It was funny, but not the best ever. Check it out on basic cable one afternoon when you don't want to get out of your pajamas. 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…

" Handicap Match: Big Show vs. Two Bears!"

The Big Show is one of the most unique figures in the history of the WWE. He's been a main eventer and has been in the ring with some of the best wrestlers and most successful performers of all time. He has carried his own in the ring for well-paced, intriguing, and action packed matches. I'm not saying he's a 5-star wrestler, but he does what he needs to do. He's been champion up and down the card and is always a legit contender to plug in whenever they want to.

At the same time, he's an attraction. He's a HUGE man so he's someone the company can spotlight based on the presence alone. This is why he's the guy who comes out and fights the famous boxer, the famous sumo wrestler, and the famous basketball player. When the media covers the fact that someone from another faucet of pop culture they get to see a big spectacle of a foe.

Let's take this one step farther. Big Show vs. a bear? Nope. Big Show vs. TWO BEARS!

You see, people have heard folklore of old school bad asses and carny folk fighting a bear. It's a crazy story, but people seem to stomach it enough to let it fly and let the stories continue on. To REALLY make history, Big Show would have to face not one, but TWO bears.

Show would have to be feuding with a non-wrestler like a Paul Heyman, Zeb, or even a Vince McMahon. They could go on a story where Big Show becomes animalistic and people are off-put by him. No one wants to work with him. This leads to him being forced to face two bears. The promos would be great.

Tell me how AMAZING it would be to see The Big Show clinch his fist and knock not one, but TWO bears out with a punch to the dome? You can't.

Book it! Big Show vs. TWO BEARS! WrestleMania 30!



"Ride Along"

I can't believe I'm this interested in an Ice Cube movie, but I am. Kevin Hart is just due his big break out movie role. He's pretty much a household name, but he needs a big movie or two like this to cement his status in the entertainment world. I'm confident in the dude not being a flash in the pan. He's hilarious and by all accounts a hard worker. He's going to make it no matter what. I'd just like to see this movie be a spark for that. He's a loud mouth who joins up with his soon-to-be brother in law for a 24 hour patrol in Atlanta. Hilarity and hijinks then ensues. It's Kevin Hart teaming up with an angry Ice Cube with a solid supporting cast of like John Lequizamo, Bruce McGill, Bryan Callen, Gary Owen, Jay Pharoah, David Banner, and a whole bunch of familiar talented faced. This movie is going to be either really good or really forgettable. For some reason I can't wait to find out which one.


That's all for now! It's always fun to have an outlet to let loose. I'm sure my words will be taken the wrong way and that I'm an asshole for having an opinion. Oh well. I'm also sure that we'll continue to see aspects of this column ripped apart. I'm really considering dropping this column from my workload. I gain the enjoyment of rambling about music, but I can EASILY focus my writing towards something where I will see support, reward, and fair exposure. It's been something I've noticed for a while now and just haven't taken the time to step up. Shit has to change. In the meantime, we have at least a few more columns that are on their way. Next week I drop part two of this rant and then I check out the album covers of Common. There is a lot of cool stuff on the horizon. Until next time… Have a Great Week!





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