The Savage Animal 1.29.14: Top 20 Things Wrong With Music Today (#10-1)
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 01.29.2014
Your ears aren’t broken. That music you’re hearing does in fact sound like crap. In the 381st edition of The Savage Animal Mike lets off steam with the second part of a long rant on what’s wrong with music today. This, a Royal Rumble rant, a look at the new Robocop, and the worst case scenario involving TNA and legit sport rules!
"WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Review": I went into this show with very little expectations. I expected the worst and hoped for the best. That's how you have to designate your expectations when you're a WWE fan. It's never "always good" and it's often "pretty bad", but there is a certain level of interest at all time. For me, I've not been that engaged. I enjoy guys like Daniel Bryan, Dolph, and others on the roster but the storylines surrounding these people and the occasional good match is so bad and annoying that the entire product is one big turn off. The "Authority" is currently "in charge". Are we supposed to want to see them finally "get theirs"? So what? What will that accomplish AT ALL? Who cares? The Big Show finally got his punch in on Triple H and no one gave a shit in the long run. In fact, it's all but forgotten. Daniel Bryan spent months as the whipping boy in the storyline and he didn't get closure nor ANY comeuppance. Daniel Bryan could put Stephanie McMahon in the "Yes lock" on top of a bloodied Triple H and it would be lame. Sure it would get a big pop in the moment, but in terms of storytelling and logical booking the blow off is too late and too little.
If a storyline is too different than the normal routine they'll either drop it or cut if off at the knees before it can go anywhere fresh and innovative. Daniel Bryan was part of the "Wyatt Family" for like two weeks. This storyline could have been nurtured and carried on for a few more weeks. But no. This is the same company who hasn't changed John Cena's character in like ten years, who features Triple H and the McMahons over the performers, who constantly buries people like Vicki or Lillian for their own asshole-like amusement, and the same company who made having three hours of wrestling to watch every Monday more of a task-feeling punishment than an escape and fun time.
The Royal Rumble has been one of the best and most enjoyable events of the year. I realized two important words in the last sentence, "has been". Can a pay per view become a "has been"? Is that even possible? Well, folks… ANYTHING is possible in the WWE! :-D
The opening match between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt was the only match worth watching. The rest of the show was one constant disappointment. Before we get into that, let's ramble about this match. Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt put on a great opening match. It could have been and should have been the main event of the show. The crowd wanted to see more, the crowd chanted "this is awesome" and cheered on the action of both men just because it was action worth cheering on. Bray Wyatt isn't a "workrate" guy, but the dude can tell a story and provide an interesting and engaging match-up. He's only 26 years old so people need to realize he's only going to get BETTER, which is damn great place to start. He's going to be a Randy Orton and eclipse his father's legacy in no time. His talents in the ring, his mic skills, and his presence is clear he won't be another Teddy DiBiase Jr. or a Curtis Axel. This is CLEAR. I plan to write a rant about the legacies of wrestling in the near future so we'll save this ramble for then. I'm sure it'll be rambled about by other people now that I brought it up. My musing just work that way. But yeah… Wyatt rules. The fact he's in there with the hottest act in wrestling doesn't hurt. This storyline was the best thing on their program lately. Of course they'll run it short and take the ingredients of it and spread it to Cena, Orton, and/or Triple H. Nothing good can happen without "the stalemates" of wrestling getting involved. Daniel Bryan lost the match, which sucks. I'm okay with it because he's really helping add fuel to the Wyatt run, a run that will surely be halted by "The Creative Cooler" named John Cena. Let's just fast forward a month to John Cena cutting really serious promos where he "hoods-it-up" and adds extra base to his voice, says "dude" a lot like a rapper, and gets overly sentimental about a lot of nothing. Wyatt will get a few moments in on him but the inevitable result is John Cena standing victorious over the WWE's latest naturally pushed star. The WWE doesn't want YOU to decide the stars! That's just not what's "right" in the "biz".
Brock beat the crap out of Big Show. It was what it was. It was tiresome and lame after like five chair shots. I don't want ANYONE to get hurt, but I can't buy a "chair shot beat down" when it's all body shots and arm shots. I could see if it was to set up a big arm breaker move or something, but otherwise it's crap. After what felt like an hour of stiff body shots, Big Show gets up and walks out…. Okay, thanks for the most violent bathroom break of all time! E-C-Dubya! E-C-Dubya!
The worst recepted WWE World Title match in recent memory happened too. The crowd summed it up for everyone. It was pure crap! I'm not a hater of either guys. John Cena has TONS of value and I think Randy Orton is one of the most underappreciated Main Eventers of this era. He's not super flashy, but he's consistent. If he's wrestling a Punk or Bryan he can complement their styles very nicely. He has proven he can create holy shit moments. The problem is that when he's wrestling someone who's not a faster paced guy he seems even slower. Randy Orton vs. Dolph, Punk, Bryan, Kofi, Cody, and even Big E. are all "good" to "pretty awesome" matches. He CAN do it… but not against Cena. These two SHOULD have the best chemistry on the roster, but instead the crowd ate it up and spit it out. I've NEVER heard a crowd hate on both guys like that. If that's not a red flag to the WWE's creative department I don't know what is. The two biggest stars of the "era" can't put on a match without their PAYING FANS chanting about unwanted a match was. I'm glad Orton retained because I think he can put on more interesting matches against Brock, Batista, Punk, Bryan, and whoever else they decide to push for a month or two before creatively crippling them.
The Royal Rumble was craptacular for the most part. It was exciting to be in the moment of. I won't be THAT jaded and say it wasn't fun for a while. The awe and mystery is ALWAYS fun. Then when you get down the final six or so, you start to realize what's going on. It was OBVIOUS that Batista was going to win this match. Painfully obvious. The whole deal about Reigns getting the most eliminations was REALLY contrived. I know everything is, but it was spoon fed and felt reaaaaaaally forced.
I dare the WWE to brag about how long CM Punk was in the Rumble. I'd like someone to take the time to rewatch the match and count how much of the match was actually spent on his feet. It just seemed like most of the match had Punk curled up in the corner taking naps in between really uninspired spots.
Kofi did his thing again. I'm happy he's still getting his moments because a legit push seems to be something out of his reach. Make him heel and let him run wild.
The fans did NOT want to see Batista win. The rumors of Hogan, Sting, RVD, Morrison, Jericho, Undertaker, Evan Bourne, and about a million others made the match have that "I wonder WHO will show up" vibe. When no one showed up except Kevin Nash you can't blame the crowd for having their expectations pissed all over. I've always appreciated Nash's mic work and his outspoken nature, but he's officially turning into a "grumpy old man".
So yeah, Batista won. At the expense of all the company has been working on, all the potential they've created, and all of the fans demands. Reigns has been getting a respectful reception from the crowd and it's obvious they plan on pushing him as a big star. The fans seem to dig him and he has tons of upswing. My problem is that you can already taste the bad taste they're going to leave in our mouths. We're going to sacrifice one of the coolest stables and best groups in the company's recent history in exchange for the company-wide man-crush on big dudes. Let him grow and evolve naturally. I REALLY don't want to see his push and singles career ruined by horrible decisions this early in his hopefully long career.
The WWE seems determined to tell the fans what they want despite the fans revolting. The crowd WANTS Daniel Bryan to be the top guy. I'm hopeful that at WrestleMania XXX the crowd gets the HUGE moment where Daniel Bryan is standing tall at the end of the show. The crowd has been teased and brow-beaten so long that the arena will explode with "Yes!" chants. It could be one of the best moments in wrestling history if pulled off right.
But why, in our right minds, would anyone expect this to happen? The WWE's finger is so far away from the pulse of their audience that I'm pretty sure they'll need the best proctologist in the world to get that finger back.
It's wrestling. It's not meant to be taken so seriously. You have to just disconnect a little. When the WWE drops some bullshit on us that they think will "draw big" instead of putting over the characters that the fans CLEARLY get behind you just have to disconnect. There is no point to get all worked up about it. There is no point to get online and type your fingers to a bloody pulp bitching about the WWE's latest booking decisions. There is no point to get upset that your favorite wrestler is regulated to the midcard for no reason at all. There is just no point.
At the end of the day, our opinion does NOT matter to the WWE. This is obvious. In the past you just had to sit back and say "well, they ARE the WWE. This is THEIR business. Let's just see how this turns out because THEY know what'll be the best direction to go". It was a balance. You'd give the WWE the benefit of the doubt on certain aspects of things because they'd drop big moments and awesome stuff on us occasionally. That's become too sporadic. The WWE's ratings don't change all that much. If they do some special marketing or if The Rock or someone huge comes back, it's always about the same. Randy Orton doesn't "draw" any more than a CM Punk or a Daniel Bryan, but we're lead to believe he's the "real deal". Our opinion does not matter. If anything "cool happens", it's purely on accident and coincidental.
Okay folks, it's officially WrestleMania season. Let's see how Triple H swindles Shawn Michaels' hard-earned legacy to get him over this year! If Triple H can be involved with WrestleMania this year WITHOUT ANY HBK promos or involvement I will shave my head. He can't, so my invisible hair will be safe.
Oh man… Wrestling IS dead.
Top 20 Things Wrong With Music Today (10-1)
By Ranty McRantness Music still sucks.
Last week, I opened up to the world and admitted something I think we were all afraid to admit. The current state of music is horrible. There is so much wrong, so much lacking, and so much to forget about that it's overwhelming. It's like being stuck on a really fast merry-go-round with monotone pop stars, hipsters with banjos, and rappers with fragrances are all trying to get you to download their latest digital single.
This is the second installment of a two-parter. Two parters are important. I come from the television viewing era where two-parters meant that the Tanner family was hanging out at Disney, that Will and Carlton were in over their heads, or Jebus-forbid Dudley was getting molested by that bike shop guy.
Read it, comment, and discuss. You don't necessarily have to read it now. You can read this part of the list and then go to that one. It's all interchangeable. Music sucks and these are the reasons why I, one dude with ears and a passion for good music, think so.
10. Retro'd Out
I'm part of the problem here with this one. I grew up being in awe of the whole Woodstock thing and then in the early 90's I was a little too young to honestly be part of the grunge scene, but I always felt like my odd generation of being the last of the analog/in the middle of grunge and hipster movements/transitional era.
Personal tirade aside, we ALL dig old school stuff. The question is if we're trying to get an "old school sound" all the time then how will anything NEW ever come? I am a HUGE fan of Jack White, but a good portion of his music would fit right in with music from thirty years ago. It's cool and enjoyable, but when do we stop trying to be "vintage" and start trying to be innovative? 9. Reality Shows
No shit, right? Reality shows continue to churn out product after product. I say "product" because to associate it with the art of music would be an insult. Being a huge fan of someone on a reality show is basically giving in to the participation of a karaoke popularity contest.
I know there are some great talents to come out of these shows, but not as many as we pretend. There might be like ten A-listers who came from a modern reality show. The rest are flavors of the month who hit high on the charts once or twice and then fade into county fair obscurity.
It's our fault. If we didn't get together and decide this is not only an acceptable format of entertainment and entry into the music industry, and not just that… but a successful form of entertainment and entry into the industry then it would have faded away. Like a wise man once said, "Stupid people do stupid things."
I'm not saying to end this, but let's limit this shit. Why does every network need two or three talent shows? This is a waste of energy, time, production, sponsorship, brainwaves, promotion, money, celebrity, and existence. 8. Country Is Twang-Pop
shows are ruining music. It's true though! Pop music has been turned into a factory of colorful bullshit being carted out and reserved to people over and over again. The line of quality and just stupid has blurred to the point of parody.
Pop music now a parody of pop music. It's all a reference to old pop music and it's all a comparison to old stuff. Nothing is groundbreaking. The stuff that's making stupid people act all shocked and appauled is the same shit that happened years ago, yet even taimer and more refined to give the parent groups something to keep busy freaking out over. There is no substance. No genuine substance at least. Everything a buzz topic, a buzz word, or a generic flavor of the month theme.
This is because no one REALLY cares. If they did, we'd not be putting reality show stars and sitcom soundtrack singers on top of the charts. I'm not even the biggest of Beatle fans, but it makes my stomach turn to know that the cast of Glee has more number one "hits". We have no one to blame, but ourselves… and maybe Simon Cowell. 7. Not One Major Influence
This isn't a bad thing, but it has to be looked at. Each generation had a big defining superstar that REALLY defines the era. We can go with Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson off the top. These are the main givens, but it's not just the obvious ones. The Woodstock era had TONS of huge notable stars as did the grunge era and the gangsta rap eras. Despite there being tons of awesome artists to hit the scene none of them have gotten to the level of the Elvis, Beatles, MJ "holy trinity".
People are jaded and can't let anything get as popular as it could be. The haters drag their feet on things and pull everyone down with it. Lady Gaga is HUGE, but not quiiiiite there. Same with Eminem, Jay Z, Jack White, Dave Grohl, etc. etc. Tons of figure heads, but not one icon.
I'm starting to think the well has been tapped in this department. 6. Too Much Artist Access
This one is a double-sided sword. On one hand you're giving the fans what they want. Fans want access to their favorite stars. We want to know the details about them, we want to know their thoughts on things, we want to be able to relate to them on as many levels as possible. This is how any fanboy of anything is. If you LOVE metal, you're going to know a lot about metal and be interested in the topic. If you're really into something like snow globes then you're going to want as much access to snow globe info as possible.
We want it, but this is one of those "we get what we THINK we want, but not what we need."
The mystique is gone. The mystery about the people we appreciated was part of the allure. It made the moments they shared access that much more important. It made those sit down interviews with Kurt Loder THAT much more important. There is no personal details kept away from the press and there is rarely every a big interview reveal. People are shown for the assholes they are, which is always fun but the problem is that it's unfairly exposing people too. Bono is a pretentious charity rocker. So was John Lennon, but people tend to forget all the insanely pretentious ideals he had. Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison on twitter would have likely to have caused a lot of "trippy posters" to not get made and sold at head shops. The exposure vs. the mystique is a fine line to figure out, but it should be looked at. Its TMZ press hounds and social media outpours. I know I enjoy getting dirt, but I genuinely feel music would be better off if artists would start letting the art speak for itself more than ever these days. 5. Hip Hop Lost Its Edge
Hip hop music is weak. There is nothing strong, impressionable, or memorable about it anymore. The mainstream is so far from the original tone and vibe of the genre that it's pretty much hip-pop. Just because someone is throwing out key slang phrases and trying to sound like a bad ass doesn't mean there is any legitimacy to it.
I'm not saying I want gangsta rap to come back. I just want to hear something that matters. The only substance coming out of rap these days is when an artist gets all weird and experimental. I have no problem with trying new things, but too little do too little. There is nothing that pushes the envelope. Hip hop doesn't scare parents anymore, it just annoys them. That's the kind of rebellion I want! The nagging kind! Hip hop stars are becoming breakfast cereal icons made to get young people to buy brain rotting products. Rappers have fragrances, clothing lines, and all of this crazy awesome business endeavors. I'm all for that, but you really have to REALLY listen and understand what this focus-shift in hip hop is costing us. 4. Did the Niche Market Murder the Mystery?
With the internet rising and taking precedence in the industry, there has been a big overtaking of the niche market. People aren't flocking to the same big bands. They're spreading out the love and people are all getting into their little subgenre groups. The main genres have subgenres and now those subgenres have their own subgenres. It's hard to even decipher where things come from anymore, what's a loop and what's real, what's new and what's old, and what's worth listening to. It's perfectly understandable to want to stay in a personalized bubble of genre recommendations and like-minded people.
The problem with this is the lack of exploration. I truly feel that music is one of those arts where if you hear a certain song at a certain time, it can change your life. Music not only assists in making memories, but it within itself can be the memory. We all have those moments where a song hits right when you, one person in the world, REALLY needed to hear it.
This is going away. When we're given the leisure of picking and choosing we're losing out on the exploration of what's out there. Shit's always going to suck, but why not know why is sucks. Some of the stuff you thought would suck will always end up good. It's just how it works.
We're backing ourselves into a closed-minded corner and no one seems the wiser. 3. Holding Up a Phone
When a slow jam came on or there was some big magical moment at a concert everyone would pull out a lighter and hold it up. It would be one big unifying moment surrounded by an arena of small little contained fires. It was like a ritual of the purest kind. Now people have replaced this with an artificial replacement of a phone. Even this bothers me. But it's not just the replacement of the crowd full of lighters, is it? Of course not.
For entire shows, people have their phones up. Who needs to see shitty shaky, bad sounding cell camera footage of a random concert? Sure it's a cool personal memory, but why not do what people used to do… take a few pictures on their phone of the stage before the show starts, get a few shots of the key players, and forget about it. This has to be an energy killer for the performer. I can't imagine growing up wanting to be a Rockstar only to look out at the crowd to see a whole bunch of people singing a long while staring at you through the lens of a hand held device. I can guarantee you that disconnection DOES effect the output of the performer.
Basically, if you're going to pay $80 to see Slayer, Ke$ha, or Radiohead why not watch it through your fucking eyes? 2. Blaming the Labels
This one gets me music snob secret society membership revoked, but so be it. You know what's become re-fucking-dundant? Bitching about record labels. Artists have bitched about record labels since day one and it's a common theme going forward. The problem is that's it's not JUST the label being greedy when it comes to the music industry. It's the ticket outlets, the online market place, the album prices, the merch prices, etc. etc. etc. Pointing at the labels and blaming them for every little thing wrong in music is just stupid.
Yes, record labels screw people over and are greedy. They often promote and get behind the wrong shit. BUT let's take a look in the mirror folks. The cream ALWAYS rises to the top. If music is good enough people find it and it blows up organically. If you're "undeniable" you're going to hit. The record labels COULD make it easier, but good art is good art and, like I said, the cream rises to the top. I really believe the main problem right now is lack of cream. 1. No Rebellion
Did ringtones killed the legitimacy of music? Once you hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" coming from the flip phone of a stranger in line for a corn dog is there anything left? I think the finaldrippings of artform is rapidly being rung out from the rag that is modern music. There is PLENTY to get riled up about. The world is not perfect. Where is the rebellion?
There is no call to action. There is nothing to rally over. It's all isolated hugs and kisses. The world is using baby gloves, popping meds, and going too far out of their ways not to hurt people's feelings. There is a passive approach to everything.
Is there anyone from the rising generations to actually stand up and start something real?
What do YOU think is wrong with the current state of music?
There are more theories about what happened when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated than probably anything else every theorized. There are some obvious roads to go down and some crazy ones, but these roads are traveled down to this day. People just can't let this one go, and really, nor should they. This movie examines a new point of view to film. The slant here is from the perspective of a few of the unspoken figures affected by what went on. We see the world through the eyes of Mr. Abraham Zapruder, played by Paul Giamatti, the man who shot the famous footage. We follow the medical staff that had to declare the beloved president dead. We follow the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald and watch him cope with being blood to the most hated man in the world. We follow the police involved. It bounces around, leaving your soul crushed more and more with each passing moment. The sadness of everyone, the lost look in everyone's eyes, and the slow connection everyone built together as they united for their country. It's really easy to over-romanticize this story and moment in history, but it's an important moment in the identity of America. This movie further showcases that in a respectful look in full of solid performances. This movie isn't about history. It's about the impact of historic things while you're in the moment. I'm not going to go out and say everyone should see this. I don't know if it's suitable for a school viewing, but it should be seen by those in school. 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…
"TNA Adopts Sport Rules!"
TNA has tried to be more "cutting edge" in the past. They've even had a tie-in with the UFC and MMA for a cup of coffee. It just didn't work. The crossover of MMA and TNA just doesn't work. I'm not saying the daunting task of interlocking the two "sports" is impossible, but for TNA in this era it totally is.
But that doesn't mean TNA couldn't try other horrible ideas. To really try to embrace to the "rules of sports", TNA would adopt a whole new direction. The rules of wrestling as we know it would change. TNA would not just steal the rules and style of one sport, but bits and pieces from al l of them! Yes… ALL OF THEM!
If a wrestler uses a low blow, rakes an eye, etc. they will see a flag thrown. If a wrestler disregards the flag they are automatically disqualified. The wrestler who gets the flag thrown on them loses points.
Speaking of points, if you win a match you have a chance to go for a "Point after". Just like football. Say you get a 3 count and your opponent is still out. You can attempt to roll them back up for a single one count, like amateur wrestling. This gets you a "point after". You can even attempt to hit a top rope move on them for "two points". If you miss or they kick out you lose ALL your points. Harsh, but it's the rules of the NEW TNA…
In tag team matches, there shall be penalty boxes. If a flag is thrown in a tag team match, the offending wrestler is forced to sit in a penalty box for 60 seconds for the first offense, 120 for the second, and 180 for the third.
Time outs… yep, time outs! If you are caught in a submission move or need a break to get your shit together then you can call a time out. Luckily for the stalling heels, there is one per half.
Yep, halves. In fact, in TNA they will be adopting a "four quarter" match format. Each match will be 12 minutes. Four quarters of 3 minutes.
This is all leading to the obvious… pads! TNA will half to adopt a uniformed padded outfit. Each wrestler would pretty much be wearing customized jerseys with odd looking pads AND head gear.
The most important part of all of this, the refs get whistles.
Thank you. Goodnight.
I was a casual fan of RoboCop back in the day, but never got too into him. I was weary about them making a remake, but once I realized it wasn't being done by Michael Bay I was completely okay with it. The casting of Joel Kinnaman as Alex aka RoboCop gets me excited. I'm a fan of the dude's work on "The Killing" and really dig they're going with someone who is not a big household name. Kinnaman is a solid actor and could prove to be great for this movie and potential franchise relaunch. He's going to only get more famous so growing with the franchise would rock.This movie has one of the best casts I've seen on paper in a really long time. When you put names like Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel, and Aimee Garcia on list it's hard not to take notice. The trailer looks cool. The action and style has a grit to it and I imagine the movie will be pretty edgy and fun. Good mindless action movies are hard to find these days. This could be THAT movie.
That's all for now! Wow does music suck these days. If you force yourself to listen to the radio you'll hear the same five songs all day. That's the same five on the rock, hip hop, pop, and whatever station. Everyone sounds like bad variations of the Lumineers or Rihanna. Another week, another column. I'm very appreciative of all the readers and feedback given. I know it's hard to find this column sometimes and there are times it doesn't even make the main page and even less presented as a feature. At this point I should go back and write the same columns I wrote five years ago and pretend its "fresh ideas". When you dedicate years into writing fresh content every single week it gets a bit screwed up when the efforts go neglected. It's a recurring theme. From here we go with a look at the album art lineage of Common. He's a damn good rapper and a really impressive actor, but how does the cover of his albums measure up? Find out next week! After that I get all weird and look into some of the most known "mannerisms" in music. I have no idea what's to come after that. We shall see! Until next time… Have a Great Week!