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 411mania » Music » Columns

The Savage Animal 05.07.14 17: Artists I Never Got That You Love
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 05.07.2014

I went into this non-PPV with very low expectations. I noticed a day or two before the event that most of the biggest matches were "old school" vs. "new school" and I think that's why I wasn't that excited. I wanted to see fresh matches, not old dudes clinging on to modern relevancy by working with talent people actually want to see and support.

The term "old school" used to hold some value of being cool. I'm starting to see that term as "old IN school" because it's a term that represents things that are clearly held back. That guy with the full mustache shouldn't be in 8th grade anymore, but he's "old school". I like older things, but those things are "classic" and "timeless", not "old school". We grow, evolve, and take on new things because that's what is needed to provide the world new content and moments. "Old school" music is fun to look back on, but it's not the end all-be all. I feel people should respect the classics and learn from them and then take the ball and run as far as you can with it. Sometimes it will flat out suck and it won't match up the impact or magnitude of the "old school" stuff but if we're not trying to better ourselves and the artistic mediums we love then why even try?

The WWE has an amazing influx of talent right now. The younger guys are fresh, entertaining, and the crowd is getting behind them. Their time is now. Meanwhile there is a group of WWE "old school" guys convincing themselves and others that they are "passing the torch" and trying to "get the new guys over". That's nonsense. These guys aren't going to put on great matches with broken down and uninspired old timers. All of the vets aren't like this, but in the long run "old school" is holding the new talent and the business back from taking the next leap into the next era of the art form.

This was on my mind going into this non-PPV event.

I didn't expect much. Luckily I didn't get much.

I'm not going to be super jaded or hateful about the show. It wasn't "bad" at all. It had some fun and interesting spots and in the grand scheme of things it was one of the better PPVs(or not) in a while that wasn't one of the "big four". It didn't blow me away or make me want to rewatch it anytime soon. In fact it didn't even convince me to renew my Network subscription at all unless they get the Google Chromecast application in order.

The opening "Wee-LC Match" was a lot of fun. It was more "extreme" than 75% of the show and I have to give credit to everyone involved. El Torito is pretty athletic and did some cool looking stuff. Hornswoggle pulled off more than anyone would have expected and all in all it it was a good and fun match. The Matadores didn't add much, but 3 Man Band certainly did. Those guys took crazy bumps that they didn't really need to. It was a comedy match and they were taking table bumps and doing shit that most people in Money in the Bank Matches wouldn't dare doing. I really hope they are rewarded for their efforts here. With the Usos being tag team champions I think it's safe to say the belts are fair game for the entire roster.

The triple threat match should have just been a one on one between RVD and Cesaro. I know Swagger has a point to be in it because of his feud with Cesaro, but he just sucks. I'm not going to sugar coat it. He's boring and bland. He's not a bad wrestler but he does nothing to make me care what he does. He could really use a complete gimmick overhaul including new gear, a new name, and a mask. Cesaro and RVD had some fun spots and it's cool to see Cesaro's rise continue.

What is there to say about the Rusev handicapped match. Lana looked really hot and I'd love to see more of her, but he's dull a shit. I'd buy him a lot more if he had an equally intimidating partner and went after the tag belts. Shit man, him and Swagger under hoods could be bad ass. Not this though.

I enjoyed the IC Title match. It was cool big man vs. big man match. I'm bummed that Big E's reign wasn't really developed, but I'm happy to see Barrett get another shot at glory. He's a damn good talent and could be money with the right push. I anticipate a rematch and hopefully a feud. I'd honestly be interested to see these two have a ladder match. It would be uncharacteristic of the traditional ladder match set up, but I bet they'd do some cool stuff in it.

The Shield and The Evolution match was really fun. I'm happy as shit to say that the Evolution did a great job to not only put The Shield over, but they sold their asses off for them. I honestly expected they'd lose, but still stand tall afterwards. The Seth Rollins dive was the shit and he's officially replacing Jeff Hardy now, but with a lot more upswing and talent. Ambrose REALLY came into his own as a face in this and pulled off some cool stuff like the table run and dive and all the energy he had. Meanwhile Reigns got his big moment and pop and is starting to wear thin in terms of protection. I honestly can't tell you anything else he does outside of his spear, punch, and clotheslines. I'm a fan of his, but it's starting to be pretty clear of how limited he is. He's young and had plenty of potential to grow from. He's charismatic and has great presence so I have plenty of faith in him.

The cage match was a good story. It wasn't a good "match" persae, but John Cena isn't exactly known for five star outings. Of course they protected the shit out of Cena, made him look like a super hero, and still managed to keep Bray Wyatt strong in the end. That little kid has to be related to someone because he's awesome. He's got great timing and when he tilted his little head after putting the mask on I all but clapped for the kid. Good stuff. I'm excited to see if they'll actually let Cena break down without coming back with horrible comedy promos.

Paige continues to kick ass and look hot and Tamina really showed some improvement here. Ever since Paige hit the scene I have a new found interest in the women's division of the company.

Danny B and Kane had the match they needed to have. It was straight out the attitude era. They had a good brawl, went back stage, pulled off some storyline antics, went back to the ring, brawled some more, LIT A TABLE ON FIRE, big bump, finisher, 1-2-3, and the crowd goes home happy with the story to tell of "that time Kane set the table on fire and went through it". This totally distracted the fact that the match didn't have much rhythm or excitement. It was all story antics and it worked out. Of course I'd have rather have seen a five star Daniel Bryan match, but for the purpose of the feud and the limitations of the match-up this was more than satisfying.

Maybe it was my lack of high expectations, but I actually enjoyed this show. Like I said, it wasn't a mind blower or anything but it served its purpose of furthering storylines and providing a nice family night distraction. Well done. I know all of their shows aren't going to be like this, but I can't complain for the time being. Now if we can get Dolph, Kofi, Fandango, and a few others back into the swing of things…

17 Artists I Never Got That YOU Love
Remember, Music Is Subjective…
When you really love music you REALLY love it. You take in as much as you can. You know the words to every song you hear. You appreciate the little nuances of the random live versions of songs you know better than most of your family. You love the journey and emotions the music takes from you. It's part of who you are and what you look for in life. Sometimes you want to rock, sometimes you want to bounce with a beat, sometimes you want to relax, explore your inner thoughts, fix a broken heart, or just get stupid. When you REALLY love music it's always there for you.

During your music loving life you encounter tons of different things. Some stuff sticks to your soul, some stuff comes and goes to become a novelty that you and friends laugh at while singing along with years later, some stuff sucks and you just hate on it or just ignore it. It's all part of the experience.

What about the music that everyone else REALLY loves but you don't? For some great reason we all have differently tuned ears. We enjoy and appreciate different music and connect to different artists.

There are iconic artists, popular artists and extremely successful bands that YOU and I don't like. For whatever reason a billion people will love the hell out of something and one guy won't. That doesn't automatically mean they're "trying to be different" or a "hater". It could just mean that specific sound of music or artist doesn't captivate one's ears and soul the same way.

There is music that I just never got. I can see why people like them, but I never connected to it. It's not just the fly by night trendy bands or genres of music that I don't like in general.

Today I'm going to expose myself a bit. I'm going to admit to "not getting" the hoopla or mass love for some artists that YOU probably LOVE. I'm not talking about stuff like Nickelback or things that obviously suck and are appreciated by one really strange demographic. I'm talking about the big time acts who people love across the board and just accept as "great". There could be many reasons as to why this happens. Maybe it's just not for me, maybe someone I didn't like liked something and ruined the appeal, maybe I don't like the artist so I don't want to give the music a chance, or maybe I just think something is overrated nonsense that people only like because they're raised to do so. There are tons of irrational, valid and random reasons.

You can like these bands and love them all you want. Sorry, I just don't.

Let me explain why and what I prefer instead…

(Not even including country music as a whole!)

Artist:] Skrillex

Genre:] EDM (Electronic Dummy Makers)
What I Don't Get:] Robot farts with a little bit of a rave beat is music now?
Suitable Replacement:] Industrial Rock/Metal & Moby

Skrillex makes really cool electronic music and looks like if Millhouse from The Simpsons decided to go as Jonathan Davis for Halloween. What I've heard has a fun beat to it, but in the end it's just a bunch of electronic noise with beeps, scratches, drones, and smashes. I came up really liking Industrial rock, but there seemed to be some sort of effort at presenting an artistic medium to people. EDM is techno for ADHD robots. It's rave music for people who like to dress up like the hackers from the movie hackers. It's like the vampires from Blade that CAN be exposed to sun light, but insist on staying in their parents basement until it's time to dress up like human Power Gloves and go out and take some "Molly". Times were much simpler when kids would wear rave clothes and pop an ecstasy tab. I could see Skrillex being awesome at making remixes or scoring a bad action movie, but people are pushing the whole "EDM" scene like it's something… at all! It's become cosplay for the drum and bass crowd. That's not even a big problem with me. It's the lack of depth and actual substance to his music. It's one night stand music because there is no possible way to really "connect" or be captivated by this music on any real non-diluted sense. It's all pulse and no soul.

Artist:] Blink 182/Fall Out Boy

Genre:] Tattle-Rock
What I Don't Get:] How the same voice can make so many bad song.
Suitable Replacement:]

I'm pretty sure it was Jonah Ray from The Nerdist podcast to call this kind of music "tattle rock". I can't think of any better way to describe this stuff. It sounds like a little kid tattling on someone. In the early part of the millennium these bands ruled the music world. They had nothing to say and they all sounded exactly the same. It was an army of whiney voices putting pop punk in all our ears. From there was emo and from there was the end of rock and roll. I'm not saying tattle rock killed rock and roll, but it most likely held its head under water a bit too long. It was the first baby steps towards the end of what was good about rock. The edge, the rebellion, the balls, and the party were over and replaced with whiney pop rock. Instead of fighting the world these guys tattled on it. Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy are the same band. I know not literally, but it's the same formula and same weakness. A whole generation became disconnected from any signs of conviction. I'm not denying they have talent or skills, they certainly do, but they never evolved. Dudes in their late 20's sounding like they're telling your mom on you for getting a bad grade is not rock. Some stuff was catchy and okay, but I'll never get how so many impressionable young people got hooked into the Hot Topic rock. If this "scene" was an "arms race" then it was the rock and roll Hiroshima. Does that offend you kids? Waaaa. (Please don't tell my mom on me!)

Artist:] Taylor Swift

Genre:] Prissy Pop and Modern Country
What I Don't Get:] Where her soul is!
Suitable Replacement:] Adelle, Alanis, etc.

A few years ago I wrote a column about how I didn't think Taylor Swift had any soul, was disposable, and would NOT be as famous today if it weren't for the Kanye West incident. This lead to one of her people, I believe her publicist, to reach out to me. After spending over surreal twenty minutes on the phone with this nice woman it was clear that I hit a nerve. While I did learn that she writes her own stuff, the rest was a big push at how nice she is. I was told she's nice to her fans and bought her parents a new house. I was told she was on magazine covers and famous before the Kanye West incident. I was told a lot of things. All because a dude in his mid-20's wrote a blog and posted it online. I still feel like it was a big elaborate prank, but it wasn't. I can honestly say that my opinion of her has not changed. She might be a really nice and cool chick, but I don't see any soul in her. She has a "deer in headlights" look whenever I see her, on any platform. Her music, despite attempts of showing her "attitude" in a few big performances, lacks anything captivating or engaging. She's a pretty smile that parents are comfortable with their little girls listening to. The content of her music has not evolved. There are other singers and performers out there who have substance, unique style, and edge to them. Some are even more attractive and marketable. I don't know her and she's not my cup of tea thus I still can't see how or why people get behind her. The better alternatives to listening to Taylor Swift are endless. She's probably cool to hang out with and awesome to everyone around her. That might make her likeable and marketable, but that doesn't translate to good music.

Artist:] Rihanna

Genre:] Pop
What I Don't Get:] Her musical appeal.
Suitable Replacement:] Adelle, Beyonce, Lorde,

I've never got Rihanna. Her music sounds the same and, even for pop music, sounds really artificial. While Skrillex will blatantly sound artificial and get away with it because people accept it's "EDM", Rihanna's voice is so produced that she might as well be one of the "boom-smash-screech" effects that "DJs" are putting out there as music. I used to make the joke "Rihanna sounds like a Jamaican robot" and years later I don't have to touch that joke. She moans a little more, but nothing about her as changed. She has not evolved as an artist at all, but people keep going back to her for "deep and insightful" music. Her voice just sucks, but the well-crafted music and genius producers really hide this fact. Plus she's "hot"! I can't remember the last time I read an article that proclaimed "oh shit! Rihanna sung the shit out of that sound!" But I can remember TONS of times where it's "Rihanna posts nude pictures on social media" or "Rihanna comments on (random pop culture event here)". There's the Chris Brown bullshit too, which was horrible, but sadly a big reason people outside of the fans of her specific genre know about her. Taylor Swift blew up because of Kanye interrupting her and Rihanna got mainstream eyes because of the horrible Chris Brown incident. I KNOW she was successful before then, but my parents, mainstream media and A LOT of people did not give a shit until some douche bag pop dancer raised his hand to her. I listen to A LOT of music. I've not gone out of my way to check out any of her albums but I hear her singles and radio spots. She's getting a lot of "love" because of her guest spots in singing the same sentence over and over again on more talented and creative people's singles. If Rihanna didn't throw provocative pictures out there and jump on pop culture bandwagons I don't think she'd get any attention. She's not my cup of tea, but Beyonce is a better singer, performer and dancer. Adelle has more soul in her morning eye crusties. Lorde has already showcased more creativity and seems to have nailed the same monotone delivery. When she's trying to be "provocative" it comes off really forced. Gaga does it better. I really don't see why people get behind her. Other than her looks.

Artist:] Lil Wayne

Genre:] Hip Hop
What I Don't Get:] How the hologram of TuPac hasn't shot him yet.
Suitable Replacement:] Any other hip hop

I honestly can't tell you one Lil Wayne song that I've appreciated or enjoyed. His image is cool. He has tattoos, cool hair, and looks like a gangsta version of a Muppet. He is entertaining in interviews and his antics are amusing. He's like the hip hop version of Justin Bieber but he at least has a body of work to explain his acceptance into the music community. His raps feel sloppy and uninspired. Maybe I'm just missing the mark here, but there are obviously better rappers and hip hop artists out there. The only thing I can figure is that people like him because of the image he's marketing. To my ears he sounds like a guy who's mumbling his way through a cold. He's probably fun as hell to hang out with though.

Artist:] Justin Bieber

Genre:] TMZ Pop
What I Don't Get:] What has he done to be famous?
Suitable Replacement:] Puberty and Netflix

Just because I don't like a certain type of music or an artist doesn't mean I'm not aware of their singles, their videos and overall artistic presence. I'm not a country music fan for instance, but I know there's country music out there. Outside of the really bad "Baby" single from like four years ago I have no legitimate proof that Justin Bieber is in the music industry. Dude has more documentaries to tout his "talents" than actual accomplishments. He is nothing more than a Canadian little boy who was groomed to make little girls move into puberty quicker than necessary. He offers the world nothing more than a distraction from their own lives. The misguided hair do that is Bieber acts like a spoiled brat trying waaaay too hard to be hard while the rest of the world takes this opportunity to bitch about him. He acts out so the TMZ and celeb followers in return get to complain about him and try to get him deported and shit like that. He's not going to change because a middle aged woman in Omaha is "outraged" and that middle age woman's life is not going to be any different one way or another. So he's pretty much an empty pretty face serving as a distraction for people who need to be distracted. He brings nothing to the table other than that. What else does he offer? What artistic contribution has he made? Unless being a celebrity is considered "art" now, and it probably is to too many people, I don't see any real reason for anyone to be a fan of or care about Bieber at all.

Artist:] The Black Eyed Peas

Genre:] Parody Hip Hop/Pop
What I Don't Get:] How they got away with it for so long!
Suitable Replacement:] The Fugees

A friend of mine likes to always bring up that he met and saw the Black Eyed Peas BEFORE they added Fergie. The Black Eyed Peas have made some fun pop singles with hip hop undertones. The image and way they present themselves is as if they're a parody of hip hop music. It's hard to see this group as anything more than a fabricated boy band with rhythm. Will.I.Am has proven himself to be a good producer and talent, but when he brings his talents to the Peas it's as if he's just clowning around and putting on a show. There is nothing wrong with that, but the level of success and praise this group gets is beyond ridiculous. If you want a worthwhile hip hop ensemble with male and female representation then you should pick up old Fugee albums or even Arrested Development, the group AND the show. They shouldn't even record their music anymore. It's party music for people who suck at partying. They should write it and then directly send it to KID BOPZ.

Artist:] Mumford & Sons

Genre:] Ho-Hey shoeless beard rock
What I Don't Get:] Where the edge of rock and roll went
Suitable Replacement:] Testicles

This whole "hipster folk rock" movement blows my mind. "Ho-hum" indie bands from ten years ago have evolved into shoeless "ho-hey" traditionalist. These bands all have similar sounds. It's rock with banjos, ukulele, accordions, and probably even jugs to blow in. It's like mountain people got wifi and decided to trim their beards, put on their sister's jeans, and buy really expensive "vintage" clothing to fill out the image. I'm all for hippy music and a chill approach, but there's nothing here but "awe-shucks" type of music. Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, and the such all have the same thing going on. It's like vegan rock or something. I'm not a monster though. Occasionally I'll hear a pleasant and catchy melody and hum along or enjoy it. It's just I don't get how this is THE MUSIC of the moment right now. How these bands are winning awards, headlining big shows and selling so much is a bummer. Not because of the bands because I can't hate on them for embracing the success, but it's a bummer because it makes you realize we're not being given any other options anymore. THIS is "rock music" now. I've not eaten red meat in over four years, but this music makes me want to go bite the nearest living cow.

Artist:] My Morning Jacket

Genre:] Yawn Rock
What I Don't Get:] The cult following.
Suitable Replacement:] Sleeping pills

I've gone back to the well on this band more than a few times. The dudes in the band seem really cool and I want to like them. As people they seem like okay guys. I just can't get into their music and I have a hard time finding the mass appeal. The stripped down rock sound they put out just never did anything for me. With there being so many other good rock bands out there I don't know how people are so easy to get excited about My Morning Jacket's work. Is the fact they're such cool guys make their music better? Seriously. What am I missing here?

Artist:] Madonna

Genre:] Pop
What I Don't Get:] How she stayed relevant.
Suitable Replacement:] Cindy Lauper, Whitney Houston, Adulthood

Madonna struck it hot in the 80s. She came onto the scene and offered something fresh, something enjoyable, and something genuine. Her old hits were classics but she is the exact opposite of fine wine. She gets worse with age. Every few years she puts out a new album and in what always feels desperate, gets "controversial" and "in your face". It's like she takes on whatever current pop culture taboo is in the media and try to capitalize on it. Her message is clear. It's not "express yourself", it's "look at me! I'm pushing obvious buttons to get a rise out of people". She has started to remind me of Cher in terms of what she releases. Her diehard fans will continue to support her, which is cool, but I really don't get how anyone is buying into her obvious attempts at staying relevant. She had the musical talent to pull it off, but you have to start wondering if she believes in herself. If she did she wouldn't need to use all of these tactics to get her name in the press.

Artist:] Sublime

Genre:] White Boy Reggae
What I Don't Get:] The hidden messages that hypnotize girls.
Suitable Replacement:] Bob Marley, Incubus

A bunch of California kids without a worry in the world made some white boy reggae rock in the 90s. They had some catchy tunes and did some good stuff. But every girl over the age of 20 and under the age of 40 think they're special because they sing along to the same four radio hits whenever they come on. I can seriously think of about ten girls I've known that will bust out their painful singing chops to harmonize with Sublime. The hype is in mass abundance. It's what a friend would call "bon fire rock" where white kids in sandals and more hemp accessories than necessary sit around and sing to. I remember there was a this guy at a telemarketing job I had in the early 00's that would bring his guitar to work and start strumming a few chords of Sublime during break to try to bait chicks into singing. It was actually a smooth play, but he didn't have the skills to ever close the deal on any of these unsuspecting women. Ironically, it was like musical date rape because once the song faded I'm sure the girl wakes up from her Sublime daze and wonders why the fuck she's within arms distance of this douche with the cheap acoustic. THAT is what comes to mind when I think about Sublime. Then they come back and attempt to replace the lead singer with someone else. After a legal issue it becomes "Sublime… with Rome!" Imagine how much better the world would have been if it were "Van Halen… with Sammy Hagar!" It basically lets us know it's "Sublime… with bills to pay!" Maybe they SHOULD have practiced sanitaria. Practice makes perfect… right?!

Artist:] Johnny Cash

Genre:] Country Rock
What I Don't Get:] His most notable audience couldn't leave.
Suitable Replacement:] Willie Nelson, Hank Williams

The people who are big die hard Johnny Cash fans are the ones who don't get it. Cash made some good songs, but I think its overly-macho-take-no-shit character that people are drawn to. He's like the duller, more abusive and aggressive Elvis. He's a larger than life personality who has pictures where he holds up a middle finger and looks like he's going to back hand someone. The people who I've encountered are people who are wannabe bad asses with not much of substance to say. Out of nowhere a few years back these black T-shirts with white text "CASH" on them. It's not a cool shirt and it's a good sign that someone isn't cool when you see them wearing it. Odds are they have tattoos they regret and have a substance abuse problem. You see it's not Johnny Cash that I don't get. He's just an old timer dude with a voice full of bass and machismo who put out about a half dozen huge hits. He did some acting and in the end was a respectable dude. He was who he was. His fans under the age of 40, the ones I've encountered, are scared little people who wear this strange "Johnny Cash is my hero" badge of douche honor. You are NOTHING like Johnny Cash. Cash would have held that iconic middle finger up to YOU. If you want music of his style give Hank Sr. and Jr. a listen, try out Willie Nelson, and give ol' Merle a shot. They have much more "life to their work and don't need a faux-macho shtick to appreciate them. Stupid people… ruining Johnny Cash!

Artist:] Bob Dylan

Genre:] Mumble-Folk
What I Don't Get:] What is he saying?!
Suitable Replacement:] Audible Music, Velvet Underground

Bob Dylan's best song is a song that Jimi Hendrix made a great cover of and took control of. I never got the love for Dylan. He mumbles, he's an old folk rock guy who apparently wrote really "astute" stuff. No he didn't. He made music that a bunch of beat-nicks liked and then made others feel ignorant for not liking. Those people got insecure and just started going along with it and telling others that Dylan is great. Those people then had kids and told their kids the same thing. Those kids told their friends and made them feel ignorant for not liking it as well. Then it just spread and spread… like the Outbreak monkey from that one movie that I think was called "The monkey who caused an outbreak!" That made more sense than anything Dylan put out there. If that's not enough he seemed like a pretentious dick based on the stuff I've seen and read about the guy. He gave shit to the Andy Warhol crowd when at least they were attempting to openly create pop art. Meanwhile his stuff is as commercial as they come. "Like a Rolling Stone"? It's like he wrote that in the 60s while envisioning how to sell oversized SUVs to yuppies. True story: Back in the early 00's a friend's truck was broken into in a parking lot on campus of a pretty famous Northwest Indiana college. These assholes stole his CD player and all of the CDs he had in his car, some I even burnt for him myself. He comes to find out they left one CD, his Bob Dylan. They took the time to go through his CDs and despite taking EVERYTHING didn't want to take the CD of the massively dull and overrated Bob Dylan. Why? Because Bob Dylan is so crappy that criminals will risk the extra moments of being seen so they'd not take the chance of being caught stealing a Bob Dylan CD.

Artist:] KISS

Genre:] Cartoon Rock
What I Don't Get:] The Kiss Army.
Suitable Replacement:] Ear plugs

I don't know where I heard it, but a wise man once proclaimed "I wanna rock and roll all night and PART of everyday". I know that's NOT the lyric, but it's a much more responsible way of rocking. You don't even have to work or put on a suit during the rest of the allotted day. Get some sleep, take some vitamins, watch some TV and veg out. If you "rock and roll ALL night and party every day" you're eventually going to burn out and wear yourself down the point where you start looking like Gene Simmons without the make-up. The bad joke I'm making is about the only Kiss song I half-way respect and that's mostly because the bad joke amuses me. This band made really poppy arena rock and put on a show. I'm sure they were great performers in the 60s or 70s, but it looks really lame in today's world. I was born in the early 80s and I've never had a point in my life where I thought Kiss were "cool". As I grew older the people who loved Kiss always rubbed me the wrong way and seemed a little dimmer than the rest of us. At one very pivotal and "no shit" moment I understood the fact that Kiss was not a group of musical entertainers. I realized that Kiss is a company made to milk dumb people out of their money. The same way a "bubble gum pop act" would have contrived lyrics and actions to get little girls to get their parents to spend money is the same way Kiss goes after their fan base. There is no music substance at all. It's like a parody of rock and roll that took a really evil and greedy turn. If the Kiss Army were a real army, I'd definitely be a draft dodger.

Artist:] The Pixies

Genre:] Indie Rock
What I Don't Get:] The cool-kid enthusiasm.
Suitable Replacement:] Nirvana, R.E.M.

I was tricked into thinking The Pixies were great. I DO like a few of their songs, especially "Where Is My Mind" from Fight Club. After those few songs it all starts to sound the same to me. I can hear the talent within the band, but a lot of it just sort of drones together. It's not even that the band is super hyped anymore because I rarely read anyone randomly bringing them up anymore. For a while there it was a pre-hipster hipster standard to proclaim you LOVE The Pixies. I never got the hype of these fine folks though. I know they're considered to be influences to many bands, but most of those bands took that influence and pumped some life into them. They had this "too cool for school" vibe going but when you sit down with their discography and listen from album to album, which I have, it gets tiresome pretty quickly. I'd much rather take in other indie darlings from back in the day like R.E.M or other iconic alt-rock bands like Nirvana. I know those bands are more "mainstream" than The Pixies, but it's not because they "sold out" or were more "commercial". It was because they were better.

Artist:] Bruce Springsteen

Genre:] America Jersey Rock
What I Don't Get:] How anyone thinks he's a good writer!
Suitable Replacement:] John "Cougar" Mellencamp

Bruce seems like a cool guy and I'd probably enjoy having a beer with the man. That doesn't mean I have to like his music. Outside of "Born in the USA", none of his work really stands out to me. It seems like there's a very specific age group and east coast demographic. People who wear jean jackets and complain about farmers getting the shaft but refuse to buy that organic hippy shit. It just all sounds the same. I've listened to full albums and taken in "the boss" at different times in my life. I just never connected and never really got the big appeal. People talk about Springsteen as if he created empowered tough guys with feelings. He'd get into a bar fight, bloody his knuckles, and then go to his ladies apartment in a drunken stupor to only find out she's sleeping with someone else. Then he'd go outside her window and scream in rage while the rain comes down as the cops pick him up. But he knows the cops because they went to grade school together so they just take him home and say "Oh! Micky you gotta get yo' shit togethah! Next time I gotta book ya!" But we know how this ends. He gets the girl back and the old friend cop never books him because he's from "da old neighborhood". Sadly, I visualize this made up story as how every single Springsteen fan spends their Tuesday night. Let's just hope the factory doesn't lay ol'Micky off again. Then there's weird insecure father issues and random punch dancing. Ugh. If I want my Americana, I'm going with Johnny "Cougar" Mellencamp. To me, the Indiana boy is a much better story teller and singer.

Artist:] The Beatles

Genre:] Pop Rock and Stuff.
What I Don't Get:] The hype.
Suitable Replacement:] The Rolling Stones, Elvis, Beach Boys

The Beatles are considered the "greatest band of all time" by more people than any other band. They have made timeless music that has been loved by generations. Not by me though. I'd be a dick if I didn't respect the band and acknowledge their impact on music and pop culture in general. That said, they are the most overrated entity since God herself. See what I did there? I'm sure that offends Beatle fans more than Christians, fun enough. People who are super fans of the Beatles have blinders on to avoid this fact. Did they put out some great songs? Sure. Did they put out some bad fluffy pop stuff too? Hell yeah! The Beatles early stuff is simplistic nonsense that people try to convince themselves is insightful and deep. "I wanna hold your hand"? Seriously? You can put any kind of pretentious Biblical amazement on that old trite shit but it's nothing more than a boy band pop lyric. "I am the walrus"? Oooh so trippy and "great". Pink Floyd did it better and more convincing. Of course this is the point where the Beatle twats chime in with "if the Beatles didn't take a shit first then NO ONE could have taken a shit! They invented taking a shit!" like it's a Bible verse being spouted off by that one annoying pushy Facebook friend or those fine folks who knock on your door and leave pamphlets when you decide watching infomercials is more important than engaging in the same questions about the Earth's mortality. Ironically enough the answer to such question is "Tomorrow Never Knows", from the bands best work. "Revolver" IS a great album, but there is other music out there just as good, if not better. To me the Rolling Stones, Elvis, and possibly even the Beach Boys have had just as much impact and put out just as much quality music into the world. The Beatles didn't invent the wheel, they stole it from old black blues acts just like the others. When it comes down to it, music opinion and taste is subjective. The problem I really have here is the hype. People are raised on The Beatles the same way they're raised on Disney movies or whatever sport team is nearest to them. It's not "good" or even reasonable; it's just being in a certain place at a certain time or whatever your parents exposed you to. My parents didn't shove The Beatles down my throat or Disney movies. Instead they raised me on using my own ears and deciding what I personally like or not. This didn't always lead to the coolest music or the most popular. Hell, some of it is downright embarrassing in retrospective. The difference is that I'm not treating John Lennon like he could have walked on water. No one can walk on water. No one. If there was twitter and the internet around during the Beatles heyday you can bet your ass that Lennon would be treated and mocked WAY more than Bono, a guy who can be obnoxious at times that also actually puts in the leg work to help those he rallies behind. Lennon would have occupied Wall Street, not a protestor but as a corporation. The Beatles is a brand, a religion, held on a ridiculous status, and plenty other things. All listed and regarded much higher than their actual body of work. Just grow up and listen to The Rolling Stones. You'll get the same dose of stolen blues rock, but with balls and real rock and roll. The Beatles are the Walmart, the McDonalds, or the Coca-Cola of music. If you think that is a good thing then your Beatle blinders are still functioning fine. Congrats!

What famous and successful artist do YOU not "get" that everyone else seems to love?


"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"

To say that "Anchorman" wasn't one of the best comedy movies of all time is just stupidity. It didn't get the love in the theatre as I should have, but as time went on people just seemed to accept it. Will Ferrell has made plenty of great comedy movies, but it's safe to say that the first Anchorman is the bar that's set really high. Other movies are good, but they are all fighting for second place. Will and co-writer/director Adam McKay fought and got the sequel made. Sadly, it seemed to have fallen to the same fate in the theatres. It made A LOT of money, but it almost didn't feel like enough. The buzz and hype for the movie didn't really hit the mark that one would expect. That's probably MY problem though. I expected it to be HUGE and become the number one grossing comedy of all time. I expected people to devote their brain to it the same way they did The Hangover. I expected it to put Will Ferrell on top of the world. Instead, what we got was a great comedy movie. Nothing more, nothing less. It jumps back into the world of news casting with a new chapter of the story. Ron Burgundy and the gang get back together for the early days of 24 hour news networks. In the process, they create the junk-news reporting that Fox news and other news networks seem to use. It's the cheesy, over the top, and pandering news style that we've all pretty much grown used to. The way they pull it off is spot on and hilarious. The jokes are plentiful and the characters are as funny as ever. It's a lot of the same. They deliver the same type of jokes, the tone, the surprise appearances, the ridiculous stunt casting, and everything we enjoyed about the first one. I'm not quite sure if gave us anything more though. It didn't really "evolve", but I'm not sure if it needed to. Of course the original will always be "better" because it creates the world we enjoy and opens the doors to things. The second one instantly gets expectations and has to live up the second one. Anchorman 2 does not live up the expectations I had for it. It was hilarious and fun to watch, but after watching it I didn't feel the same kind of engaged glee of the first one. I need to watch this movie again. I feel like I'm unfairly criticizing it, but this was my honest first impression. I'd still like to see a part three to wrap up the story. Was it funny? Of course. Was it a movie I'm holding up in the same regard as the original or even other Ferrell/McKay movies? Not really. Watch it, decide for yourself, and watch it again. I'm going to have to. I'm clearly overanalyzing this. B+ (for now)

"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 Goes ALL Tag!"

TNA wrestling sucks. It's only a matter of time before the entire company folds and everyone is left to fend for themselves in indies and "next big thing" start-ups. If the talent of TNA was THAT good then they'd have been in the WWE be now. Guys like Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, and others were overlooked when they were in the indies and have wasted the best years of their career in TNA. Great talent and good matches can't make a wrestling company. The storylines, production, and marketing has been so bad that they have ruined themselves. No one gives a shit about TNA outside of a small group of fans. The company can't last forever and it definitely won't. Some guys will retire and some might end up in the WWE as mid card or tag team talent.

So why not prepare? Internet fans and old school fans often take too much time from their lives to bitch about the lack of tag team wrestling in today's modern era. The tag team movement comes and goes in spurts but it's a common complaint no matter what. It's up there with people complaining about Vince's love for "big men", Triple H "burring people", and John Cena being "shoved down our throats". Since TNA "has it's finger on the pulse" and likes to "give the fans what they want"… then in this hypothetical look at the future TNA decides to go ALL tag.

Singles matches are done. Everyone has to find a partner and go at it. If a tag team breaks up, there is no blood feud. They simply find a partner and go after the former partner and their new teammate. Of course there would be wrestlers who no one likes and they basically just hang out and try to find someone… anyone… to team up with them. If not, they don't wrestle.

Or if they can't find a partner, they're entered in a "Partner Pool" where they're "randomly" matched up with someone and forced to team up.

The WORLD Tag Team Title is the top championship, a TV Tag Team Title is added, a Women's World Tag Team Title is there, and a X-Division Tag Team Title is thrown in there for good measure.

This will definitely help the WWE Tag Division once TNA inevitably dies.

If TNA cares about its workers they'll do this.

Imagine.. "From this day forth TNA is on the ‘buddy system'. All tag teams… no singles!"

This is TAG TEAM wrestling!

"Million Dollar Arm"
When I first heard Jon Hamm was going to be in a Disney movie about baseball I automatically visualized him being an older player who is trying to recapture glory, win over the girl and have a huge powerful moment in the end. It's a paint-by-numbers type of thing. Then you find out more about the movie and see the trailer. The impressive supporting cast is made up of Bill Paxton, Lake Bell, and Alan Arkin. Hamm plays a sports agent who is down on his luck. In a moment of genius desperation he's watching TV late at night. He comes across a cricket game and sees how fast the folks in India are throwing the ball. He then up and decides to go to India to recruit people who throw the ball fast in attempt to turn them into pitchers in Major League Baseball. He scoops up a couple, comes back to the US, and heartwarming hijinks ensues. We get the manliness of Hamm, the fish out of water innocence of the Indian players, the know-it-all-seen-it-all wisdom of Arkin, the conflict from Paxton, and the love interest in Bell. I'm sure it ends with a powerful and happy ending, but the journey to get there should be better than I would originally anticipate based on the name of the movie, the company behind it, and the awesome actor at the lead. In the end I imagine at least one of the Indian players make the big leagues, Hamm and Bell hook up, and all is good in the end. It's Disney. This doesn't mean it'll be a bad movie, but it's just not a movie I'm too excited about.

That's 395! Clearly I'm "out of touch" and don't like music all that much anymore. I reread this column to myself a few times and it's obvious that I have a lot of frustration with the art medium that is music. I don't want to be the bitter old blogger who writes about the same bands he likes over and over while constantly bitching about new music and music that people love. I do not want to be a "hater". I've always prided myself on being an opened book with an opened mind. That book is quickly closing and I'm just burnt out. I have no desire to explain why some music is better than others, why some videos are better, or pretend that listening to multiple albums in a row of a mediocre band is fulfilling. It's not. It's all becoming tedious and pointless. I'm sure in time I'll reconnect with the music-loving side of myself but I'm not going to hang on longer than I should. After reflecting back over the past eight years, I'm pretty sure I should have hung up this column a few years ago. For whatever reason, I just kept cranking them out. This column has become "work". You get paid for "work" and I've not been paid a penny for the half million plus words I've put on 411mania.com. You also gain fulfillment for "passion". The passionate part of this is gone. There is no reason to stick around any longer. I'd end it now if I didn't want to wrap it up and give YOU the supportive reader some sort of closure. Closure is good. So is tapping out before you're broken. I was going to end this column at #399. I've been pretty set on that number for some reason. A lot of people have asked my "why not just stop at 400". My only response was "Why do I HAVE to stop at an even number? What difference does it make?" The difference is time and effort. I don't have the time to put in the effort. This said, I'm NOT ending The Savage Animal with #399. I'm ending it with #396. I had a decent plan of action on the columns I wanted to hit before taking the Animal out back and shooting it, but my enthusiasm is not there. I don't want to force it or trying to work through it because it's not fair to me or you, the reader. Next week will officially be the end of The Savage Animal. The finale will be a farewell, goodbye, and will be covering one specific band that I've had connections to and have loved since the first edition of this column. Hopefully it'll entice others to give them a chance. At that point I'm out. Check out DigitalLizardProductions.com! Until next time… Have one more Great Week!


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