Monthly Archives: October 2014
Friday Night. Halloween. 12:30 AM EST. Rocktober’s Final Friday Night Videos has arrived… like fist to face.
You can’t kill the metal!
It comes from hell!
Halloween is scary.
Halloween is costumes.
Halloween is metal.
The apex, the sum total, of Halloween is
No one can destroy BatMetal!
BatMetal will strike you down with a vicious blow!
Before diving into tonight’s bonecrunching impossibelievable hypertastic Halloween finale of Rocktober 2014, kick back and enjoy a bit of smooth easy listening –
Just for fun… from 1983, listed as “Friday Night Videos opening recorded with the stereo simulcast off the FM radio. Includes a VERY RARE opening of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” made just for FNV.”
Denied political success, Opus sought and found fame and fortune in heavy metal –
I’d vote for Bill ‘n’ Opus over anyone in any race in the USA. Their lyrics are better than anything slapped together by today’s political speechwriters and they tell it like it is.
And they have their own kickass theme music instead of renting some worn out and warmed over 70s Mellow Rock song for their ads.
My wife was watching Todd’s One-Hit Wonderland and said I might be interested in a song Todd mentioned – “Automatic Man” by Michael Sembello is apparently what “Mr. Roboto” would sound like if written by Hall & Oates.
So of course I had to check out the video…
This video is beyond incredible. It’s a Frankenstein monster of music. It even alludes to this (probably unintentionally) with the line “like some Frankenstein.” A mad scientists dances his freaky dance while constructing a male android that looks suspiciously like the TV character Automan shortly before Automan even premiered, and the verses sound like Hall & Oates going on about robots while stealing chords from Olivia Newton-John, with elements swiped from the Doobie Brothers (the pre-chorus is reminiscent of “Taking It To The Streets” and the chorus is similar to “It Keeps You Runnin'”) as Sembello channels Michael McDonald in both vocal style and beardness. The entire thing sounds like random samples automatically(!) pasted together in a music console program, and the video looks like someone at Nickelodeon tried to recreate Star Trek with a $17 budget while tripping on industrial-grade acid.*
The solo features a futuristic stringless guitar that Guitar Hero only wishes it had.
All of this was before I even watched Todd’s video. Turns out there’s a loose Halloween connection to Sembello’s “Maniac” – it was originally written as a song about a serial killer. Knowing this, the lyrics make a LOT more sense. Todd also made mention of Sembello becoming a sort of poor man’s McDonald. The repeated electronic chant of “Ah-be-auto-we-bo-we” sounds like nothing more than a cyberized Michael McDonald, head kept alive and connected to a pirated mixing console in some dark, post-disco apocalypse.
I have to wonder if I’d seen this video back in the day and forgot about it. If, like me, you’re old enough to remember the early days of MTV and, like me, weren’t smart enough to stay away from it, you know that MTV was so saturated with these kind of faux science fictionesque videos that were so weird they made Philip K. Dick look about as surreal as an insurance salesman that they all kind of blurred together. I also believe Sembello’s video didn’t receive much airplay.
But if I don’t recall Automatic Man, I do remember about a dozen songs called “Automatic” or with that word in the title. And Automan. It was the 80s.
* Leonard Nimoy was at Nickelodeon circa 1983, hosting a show called Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, which featured behind-the-scenes info about movies.
Friday night, 12:30 AM
The primary aspect of Halloween is not the horror or scary stuff, but costumes and masquerades. People love to play at being something other than themselves once a year, as an escape from their everyday lives. A chance to do something different.
Music sometimes comes in costume too. Consider a chart-topping funk/jazz/R&B song which was actually written by a white guy…
Thanks to heavy airplay on urban contemporary radio stations, “I Can’t Go for That” also topped the U.S. R&B chart, a rare feat for a White act. According to the Hall and Oates biography, Hall, upon learning that “I Can’t Go For That” had gone to number one on the R&B chart, wrote in his diary, “I’m the head soul brother in the U.S. Where to now?” – Wiki entry on “I Can’t Go For That”
…which was later dressed up as a bossa nova by a female singer from Singapore –
For more literal costuming in music, there’s wdydfae‘s request for some Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Serious costume overdose here –
Insane keytar aside, I’ve never seen anyone play drums with nunchuks before.
Final Friday Finale next week, but there may be more Rocktober sets between now and then.
It’s Twosday, two years and two months after I first started this thing, and this is the 200th post.
Past that, I got nothin’ to say, so here’s a fun image with one of my favorite characters cheerily celebrating 200 –
Ack! Wrong 200. That’s not exactly sunshiny and cheerful. Let’s try again…
Better. There’s even a couple shots of Bats smiling. Who woulda thunk it?
Thanks to everyone who hangs out here.