The Savage Animal 02.12.14: R/P/S #4 - Mannerisms In Music
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 02.12.2014
From Axl Rose’s sway to Diddy’s “dance moves”, there are plenty of odd yet notable quirks in music. In the 383rd edition of The Savage Animal Mike overanalyzes the quirks of a few musicians. This, an Olympic rant, review of Prisoners, and the worst case scenario of having pro wrestling in the Olympics!
"The Olympics Are Gay…": I'm going to just be bold here. The Olympics are gay. That's right. The Olympics are gay.
But here's the thing. Before anyone gets all freaked out by me pointing out the sexuality of a thing, let's chill the fuck out. The Olympics are gay. The Olympics are straight. The Olympics is white, black, yellow, and brown. The Olympics are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Atheist. It's man, women, and sometimes children. It's young, old, and timeless.
The second the Olympics restricts someone from participating it loses its meaning.
The whole thing is supposed to be about community and pride. We take pride in our countries and come together as one big global community. It's as simple as that. Yes, we come together to compete in athletic events, but that's a given.
Some smaller country is going to the Olympics with hopes of just competing with the best. It's not about winning. There is no way some of these smaller countries realistically expect to win. But they still go out there and put their all on the line to go for it all. Win or lose, they were there and they represented.
Who decides who represents and takes pride in their country should not be decided or even conflicted by the sexuality of some one? This does NOT matter. It's not going to hurt anyone if a straight man, gay man, or transgendered man skates faster than someone who's deemed "appropriate" by archaic standards.
I think the heart of the problem is that the social ignorance going on here is letting the world look in the mirror. It's a reality check that just because a few countries are accepting the beautiful diversity we are blessed with does not mean it's everyone. We're sheltered to our own devices as others are still stuck in the past.
I'm not comparing Putin to Hitler, but this whole thing reminds me of the Jesse Owens situation. Hitler wasn't exactly "diversity friendly" as I'm sure a few of you have heard. When the black American Jesse Owens kicked ass and took the medals Hitler was not happy. It was one of those awesome historical moments where the good guys won. It's that magical moment of comeuppance. But when we peel back the truth, it shouldn't have happened. This shouldn't have been an issue. Does Mr. Owen's amazing skills and drive diminish or get devalued at all if the story is "American Athlete Kicks Ass"?
So now this Winter Olympics is tainted. Like back in the 30s, certain group of people are being singled out. Russia has many good things about it and I'm sure the people are fine folks, but they are not coming off nicely in this event. The accommodations and way things are handled are less than "World Event" worthy. This is all cosmetic and artificial though. We can attempt to look past the dirty water and lack of room. There's also the dog issue. Basically, they're killing a lot of stray dogs to "clean up" the town. This is a bummer for sure. If you allow yourself to think about it too hard it'll put a heavy damper on your day.
My recommendation is to turn off the TV, pop in your DVDs of "Cool Runnings", "Blades of Glory", the "Mighty Ducks", and of course the classic film "Ice Princess".
R/P/S #4: Mannerisms In Music
Twitches Be Trippin' This one is weird, but it has to be done. For the past few months I've been trying to figure out a way to approach this topic. I think this is the best way.
So everyone has a "tick" right? Some people crack their knuckles, shake their leg, tap their fingers, hum random melodies to themselves, and just in general do weird things. When you're around someone a lot, you notice these things. It's the little idiosyncrasies that make a person, the person they are. Sometimes we take them with stride and others it's the nails on a chalk board that makes us hate each other.
Regardless, we all do it. Even rockstars and famous music artists.
I was going to make a "top 10" or something to rank them, but that bored me to sleep. I'm going to dust off my old "Rock Paper Scissors" rating system. We'll talk about a few of the random mannerisms in music, but I'll also be rating them based on if they "rock", if it sounds cooler than it is…. Or "sounds good on paper", and of course if it sucks it makes me want to stab my ears (and/or eyes) with "scissors".
It's as simple as that. Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Let's take a look at the mannerisms of music!
Mannerism #1: "The Axl Rose Sway"
The Axl Rose sideways hip sway is classic. Anyone who was a fan of rock music in the early 90's known exactly what I'm talking about. It's one part slither, one part sway, and all ridiculous. It's crazy how known and popular this mannerism was/is but yet it's not talked about or referenced much anymore. As visually strange as it is, it's not something people seem to care about today. As much as I enjoy mocking this movement, it's sadly more of a parody target than a cool idiosyncrasy. 1…2…3: PAPER Mannerism #2: "Joe Cocker's Shake"
This one is more medical and sad than anything. Cocker has a twitch. If you've ever lived through being around someone screwed up on pills, coke, and alcohol you already know how this works. It's just a lot of spastic twitches, contortions, and jerks. The crazy thing is that it works. It's Joe Cocker. Take it or leave it. I think we should all just take it. He's awesome. I didn't even really take in the extent of this stuff until I retroactively watched Belushi's AMAZING cover and impression of Cocker on an old SNL episode from the glory days. When I think about Cocker the first things to come to mind are: 1.) Belushi's rendition. 2.) "The Wonder Years" and THEN 3.) His uncontrolled jerky movements. 1…2…3: ROCK Mannerism #3: "The Diddy Dance"
True story. I once had the pleasure of drinking wine in a VIP suite at an old Ozzfest. I spent the entire duration of Iron Maiden drinking said wine and dancing like Diddy. Sean Combs is known for a lot of things. He's a rapper, a producer, a business man, and just an overall productive entity. You can hate on his work all you want, but can't deny the work that goes into his stuff. When he's not working hard to take over the world, he dances! It's like an end zone dance done on a small trampoline. It's a weird little bounce around dance. It's something Bill Cosby would do while smoking a cigar. It's a silly as shit dance, but it's hard to see it and not be amused by it. 1…2…3: ROCK Mannerism #4: "Eddie Veddar's shake/twitch"
Eddie Veddar is a living legend. He's just one of those people. He is a great vocalist for one of the most consistent rock bands ever. Pearl Jam will never be the biggest band ever and I doubt they'll be releasing any clothing lines or alcohol brands. They will go down as one of the most respected. You don't even have to be a super fan or anything, I'm certainly not, but you'd be dumb to argue the mark they have made. They deliver great concerts, they stick with their fans, and they embody everything good about rock. They truly are a modern throwback. Like most classic figureheads, Veddar has his own style. One of the quirks that stood out is his weird shake thing. It's like a crazy little convulsion that rattles his vocals. I always thought it was cool. 1…2…3: ROCK Mannerism #5: "Manson: The Mannequin"
Marilyn Manson is a shock rocker so image is important to him and his act as any other performer out there. For years he has captivated our minds with antics as a disguise to deliver his message of discontent and disenfranchisement. Basically it's safe to say he's a man of many quirky mannerisms. The one that always stood out to me was his mannequin pose. It's pretty much exactly how it sounds. Marilyn strikes a wide shoulder pose where he cocks his creepy neck and takes on a face only a blind mother could love. 1…2…3: PAPER Mannerism #6: "Elvis Presley's Lip Curl"
Elvis Presley is one of the most famous, influential, and successful pop culture figures of all time. He had a million hits, movies, and tons of stories. He has his haters, lovers, and indifferent observers but his impact in undeniable. He was a showman for sure. He had a charisma that could not be bottled or duplicated. Ironically enough, he has to be one of the most imitated people of all time. There are so many Elvis impersonators that there have been movies about it. Not movies about Elvis, the man… but MULTIPLE movies involving people dressing up as and being Elvis.
One of the main ingredients of an Elvis impersonation is the lip curl. He raises one side of his lips in a cocky snarl. It was contraverial and taboo back in the day. It was one of the things that made Elvis who he was.
I want to give it a bad score because it's such a tired mannerism to mock. I just can't. It's Elvis's lip curl. Respect it. 1…2…3: ROCK Mannerism #7: "Miley Cyrus's Tongue Twisting"
I like Miley Cyrus. She's got spunk. She went from America's sweetheart to the mirrored reflection of a generation raised wrong. I'm SURE she's a nice person and fun to hang out with, but she's just a kid. She's living life and learning from mistakes just like the rest of us. Our decisions and mistakes aren't being covered by TMZ. One of the many things about Miley that people are talking about these days is her use of tongue. Sticking a tongue out is a perfectly okay thing to do. It's fun and works for many occasions. The problem is that it's becoming a "thing". It's what dumb young girls are doing in pictures now. It used to be back handed peace signs and duck lipped "selfies" and now its twerks and tongues.
I'm a perfectly hetro dude. Of course Miley is attractive and her displaying sexuality is perfectly fine. It's her right. I don't care what she does as long as she's safe, happy, and productive. There are cooler things, more controversial things, and sillier things for her to do as her "thing".
Gene Simmons is famous for sticking his tongue out and all of that too. That itself should show that using this shtick is a HORRIBLE THING. Anything Gene Simmons does should be an example of what NOT to do. Granted, I'd take Miley's tongue over Gene Simmons's ANY DAY OF THE WEEK let the old creep have it. It means more to him and his "brand". 1…2…3: SCISSORS
Ever see that episode of Law and Order that went over two hours long and had cussing in it? No? Apparently you've not seen this 2013 thriller. Off the bat I want to say this movie is not bad at all. I was engaged and interested in the plot and there were some good outings for some good performers. The problem mainly lies in the length and the story fulfillment. By the end of the movie you realized you've sat through a pretty standard action drama for well over two hours and the story ends in such a way that you just sorta shrug and say "what the hell". Not even a "what the hell" in an interested way, but in a mumble unfulfilled way. The movie revolves around a kidnapping. Two families get together for a dinner as the two families find their little girls have been kidnapped. The main suspect is a creepy guy who lives with his mom but he manages to be cleared of the charges. The fathers of the girls take the law in their own hands and take the man hostage. So basically this creepy man-child suspect is being held captive at the same time of two little girls. The family drama, the suspect's family drama, and the cop who's on the beat's drama… it's all there. All the drama. It's just really exhausting. While I enjoyed the company I was in for the viewing of this, I just didn't find myself captivated enough to ever want to watch this movie or even talk about it again. After I rate it of course. C
"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…
"Pro Wrestling In the Olympics!"
Right now the world is engaging in the competitive war of athletics that are the Winter Olympics. The main thing I think about when faced with the Winter games is the movie "Cool Runnings". I think about Jamaican's bobsled team and the late great John Candy. I'm sure others care about hockey, skating, and all of that stuff but for me it was that fun 90's movie.
Everyone has a place in their heart for the Olympics. There is no reason professional wrestling wouldn't want to latch on to that good vibe and milk it for any loose change it could. Wrestling could have its own version of the Olympics and no one would care. It would be a cool side attraction to an already busy Wrestlemania season.
But what if the actual Olympics were to encompass professional wrestling? I know they almost took out amateur wrestling so this is REALLY FUCKING UNLIKELY, but let's have fun with it. Imagine there being an American group, a Mexican, Canadian, Japanese, European, Australian, Dutch, etc. etc. etc. These groups compete like boxers do. The individual accomplishments matter for solo performance AND for team performance. There are TWO sides to this. The worked winners get Olympic belts, but there are judges for workrate and style.
Just like a diver, a swimmer, or something like that… the skill, the finesse, and the workrate is what matters. Select judges sit there and judge someone's workrate. Win or lose, they decide if the guy told a story, looked good, sold good, worked safe, pulled off impressive moves and spots, and got over with the crowd. All of these factors go into the performer's score.
Sure it exposes the worked side of wrestling, but it also legitimizes the art form.
What a quandary…
"Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters"
This movie should not be made, but I get it. The Twilight girls are growing up and feeling weird. They're rebellious and they're sassy now. After Kristen and Robert broke up, they know they don't need no man to make them happy…. Or something. The cast is made up almost completely of people I don't know. It's a lot of pretty faces looking mad. If you want to see an occult movie of sexy not-really teenage girls doing occult shit then go back and watch The Craft. This is just crap. Sadly, this is also crap that'll rake in the dumb girl dough. We need to put laws in place to make sure movies like this don't happen again.
That's all for now! There is so much going on. Life happens sometimes. On top of "life happening", I'm talking a few huge steps forward towards some creative leaps. The world I'm about to creative will be slowly taking public shape in the upcoming weeks. Next week I drop a new "First Impression" column. This time I take a listen to the pop rock band The Script. I had no idea what I was getting into and the results could be shocking. Find out next week! After that the world gets set on fire with a new Savage Animal feature. I've done plenty of "first impressions", but I rarely get to dissect albums by artists I'm a fan of and familiar with. So I'm going to start ranking an artist's albums. It's nothing new or original, but since when has that determined a column topic for anyone? Huh? Huh? Huh? Yeah. Then I'm going to spend the rest of March digging deep into my fandom of Nine Inch Nails. One week I'll judge the album covers, the next two weeks will be a two part installment of "Top 20 NIN Videos", and then a deeper look at my current relationship with the music of Trent Reznor. I'm looking forward to it. Until next time… Have a Great Week!