15th Jun2007

Last Call: Brewed In The Attic, Lil Mama & Avril Lavigne, Where’s Christopher Cross?

by Will

I wake up, it’s a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired
To be fighting
Guess I’m not the fighting kind”

I tell ya, nothing brighten’s up your morning like hearing the squarest bunch of guys around singing T.I.’s “What You Know (About That)”! In-freaking-credible! Yes, folks. It’s gonna be a music post!

So, LC sent me Brewed in the Attic, which is their latest CD. Now, I feel I need to preface this because it’s going to come off a little backhanded: this CD is awesome if you’re into nouveau, mixed a cappella. I’m coming to the realization that I like bad a cappella. The kind that’s not really processed, and you might hear the soloist crack a note every now and then. I realize this is equivalent to a guy admitting that he likes ugly women, but I like what I like.

Don’t get me wrong, this CD blows the doors off anything I ever had a hand in recording, and I was really impressed by most of the tracks. First off, I’m jealous of Jamie & Nishant, as they got to sing 2 songs that I’d kill a hobo to record (Get Ready & A Change is Gonna Come, respectively). This CD solidified the fact that Nishant is one of the top 5 soloists in LC history (no, don’t ask me the other 4, and no, I don’t consider myself one of them).

And John Cape *killed* Careless Whisper. I didn’t know he had it in him, as it’s such a well done track. I’d be such an asshole in this group, ’cause I’d be auditioning for ever solo thrown out there. I really love their active rep. Oh yeah, they were the square guyssinging What You Know (About That), which caps off the album. For reals. And it was awesome. Part of me thinks they got the idea from Divisi doing Yeah!, but I don’t care. Amazing arrangement!

So, what’s my problem? I like my recorded a cappella pure. My mom once asked me, “What’s the point of a cappella? So, they don’t have instruments? Why not go and get some instruments?” It sounded delightfully ignorant at the time (I’m such a snob sometimes), but now I see where she was coming from. Back in the day, part of the charm was that you could harmonize and substitute for the instruments. Your mouth wasn’t a guitar, but you were “ooh-ing” and “bah-ing” in lieu of an instrument. In essence, a cappella was the art of vocal improvisation, in a way.

I like my a cappella to sound like the same thing I’d hear in concert. As far as mixed cd’s go, I’ve always thought they’d be a cool thing to have around A) if you had the funds available and b) you just wanted to see how you might sound in that format; purely for shits and giggles. I don’t like my a cappella to sound like Peter Cetera (listen to Glory of Love or Hard to Say I’m Sorry to understand that…). The way the “industry” is going, though, all collegiate a cappella is heading down this road, which somewhat saddens me. I was reading a review of a Hangovers disc the other day, and they said something like, “This would have been BOCA quality 4 yrs ago.” What has changed? Talent hasn’t changed. The essence of music hasn’t changed. But the production expectations have changed. It’s a new ballgame out there, and while these groups are doing awesome, awesome things, I think my number was up in a cappella at just the right time. Anyway, enough about a cappella…

Amy Winehouse’s album is even better than people say it is. It’s such a creative concept; it’s like someone asked, “I wonder what a Supremes album with a parental advisory label would sound like.” Same vibe (which I’ve been begging someone to bring back for yrs now!) and same general song length. It’s like a Motown revival! Sure, Rehab is great and gets a lot of spin, but you really need to check out Back in Black and Love is a Losing Game. So true, Amy…In any case, I hope she doesn’t get boxed into a corner. Now, she’s “broody, soulful Motown chick”, but the novelty of that might wear off. Remember, Fiona Apple was the brooding, jazz standard chick. The inevitable “reinvention” album is right around the corner. And then, Amy’ll end up fighting with her 80 yr-old label head over what’s considered “cool” in the music game…

While I felt it was too early to crown the “Song of Summer 2007”, I know that the distinction HAS to go to Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”. It’s so cute and catchy, and you’re going to fucking hate it by Labor Day. Like I posted on Marcus’s blog, “Suicidal, Suicidal, Suicidal” is going to be the white kids’ new “Hey, it must be the money!”

Snippets:
Why did Rihanna sample Blue Monday? It doesn’t even fit that song!

Maroon 5’s Makes Me Wonder is pure hotness. The instrumental, alone, is disco sex, but the lyrics just add the spice as they’re so bitter. If you go back and listen to Songs About Jane, you’ll see that most of their songs are pretty post-relationship and bitter. With the exception of She Will Be Loved, Adam was telling some chick that he was fucking through with her. Apparently, that has carried over to the new album.

U+Ur Hand has grown on me. Still kind of hate the message, but I get where she’s coming from.

New BSB single leaked. Happily Never After. It’s awful. I don’t even know why they’re still trying. And I was their biggest fan. This current shit is too lame for Soft Rock Adult Contemporary. They’ve just lost their…thing.

The Li’l Mama & Avril Lavigne Girlfriend remix is the shit. It makes me wanna break into a high school and bang on lockers, as Toni Basil drones on and on about that Mickey fucker…

Where is Christopher Cross right this very minute? There is a hole in Adult Contemporary that could easily be filled by an amazing Christopher Cross comeback. The man gave us Arthur’s Theme, The Best That You Can Do, and Sailing. There isn’t an elevator out there that hasn’t played a Muzak version of his stuff. I really think he’s got a few more hits in him for that Delilah demographic.

All for now. Back later with a 21 Day Wedding Party update…

08th Jan2007

High School Musical Is Gonna Save Pop Music

by Will

“My wife’s vajeen hangs loose like sleeve of wizard.”

Mark my words: In one year, pop will be back in full force. No, I don’t mean that dreck that’s currently on Top 40 stations. I mean pure, unadulterated, don’t-worry-about-the-lyrics, bubblegum pop. Hell, we might even get a few boybands out of it.

And you know who’s gonna be responsible for it? The Disney Channel. More specifically, “High School Musical”.

Now, I haven’t had the pleasure of watching this movie, but I hear it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Apparently, if you pause at 00:03:16, you can even see Jesus in the background! No, that’s a lie, but you’d think it were true considering all the press this movie gets.

For a movie that has only been in existence for a year, it has been released on DVD 3 different times! No, not three different release dates; there are 3 different versions of this thing in stores, and they all sell like Disney’s going out of style. 1.2 million copies were sold of the first version, within 6 days of its release! The soundtrack has gone TRIPLE PLATINUM! That’s 3 million copies of a soundtrack to a made-for-TV movie! A stage show, complete with original cast, has been touring the country for months!

While I haven’t seen the movie, I HAVE seen enough talk show appearances, Disney 365 specials, and random commercial break music videos to know what’s going on. The songs these kids are singing are pretty much the same thing that sold gangbusters back in ’99. Add to that the fact that they’re being sung by beautiful White kids and Halfies, and you’ve got the recipe for pop success.

You may laugh at me now, but in a year, you’re going to be hearing nothing but Corbin Bleu on the radio. Hell, I thought that was a sandwich at Wendy’s, but High School Musical has taught me the error of my ways. As we’ve learned before, all it takes is one to open the door. Backstreet Boys were so influential that every White kid with 4 more guy friends put together a boyband. ESPECIALLY if they lived within driving distance of Orlando.

So, a year from now, when you’re watching MTV and thinking to yourself, “Wow, Justin Guarini got younger and cuter”, just remember that Will brought it to ya first!

08th Jan2007

I’d Die For You…

by Will

“This is America: Speak Spanish!”

Recently, I was thinking about the power of song. More specifically, I was thinking about how there are things that you can say through song that you just can’t fit into everyday conversation. Primary example: “I’d die for you”.

Seriously, you just can’t walk up to a person and say “I’d die for you.” I mean, you could be married 20 years, and there’s still no legitimate way to work that into conversation. It’s just plain awkward. And if you’re like me, you’d probably say it at the wrong time:

“It’s OK, baby. If you swallow real quick, you won’t even taste it. Aw, don’t be mad! You know I’d die for you, right?”

“Baby, if you’d listened the first time, you wouldn’t be in this mess. Now, get on up off that floor! I love you, girl. You know I’d die for you!”

“I swear that ain’t my kid! I only did her once. You can’t get pregnant for doing it once, can you?! Oh man…you know I’d die for you, right? Baby? Baby?”

But you just know, if someone came up to you with a gun, and said, “Give me yo’ woman, or I’m gon’ cap yo’ ass!” You’d instantly say, “Take her! Do whatever you want! Shit, you like dudes? You can take me, too!”

Now, if only someone would fit “You like dudes? You can take me, too” into a song. Well, maybe if Sisqo puts out another single…

08th Dec2006

Gwen And Gavin At Breakfast & S Club 8

by Will

“I don’t fuck goats, Mr. Gibson. I make love to them.”

So, I just got the new Gwen Stefani album, and while it’s not as good as “L.A.M.B.”, it’s still a fun album. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that it’s the kind of album that Madonna wishes she could still put out. Why? Because it’s the kind of album Madonna would’ve put out 15 years ago. Pre-“Take A Bow”, during her playful “Sex” period. To go even further, if I didn’t know it was Gwen, I’d think, “Wow, Madonna finally made a good album again!”

Anyway, this got me to thinking: I wonder how Gavin feels about all of this. You see, Bush never exactly took the world by storm, but he always struck me as an “artist”. You know, the guy who’s “not in it for the money, but for the music.” One of those guy’s who’ll say in an interview, “It’s all about the band, man.” The only time Gavin would’ve shared a stage with Gwen would’ve been back in the No Doubt days, and even then, I feel like he’d think he was superior.

I look at Gwen now, with her faux-cheerleader grandstanding and yeah “love conquers all”, but you just know that Gavin’s embarassed. I mean, it was bad enough when she was in the band with her exboyfriend, and every hit single they had was about said relationship. But once they went on “hiatus”, he probably thought, “I finally have her to myself”, and the chick has a nervous breakdown and starts thinking she’s Tonie Basil or something!

I can see them at the breakfast table:

Gav: So, Gwennie. I was readin’ your lyrics last night…um, maybe you can explain exactly WHAT is so…”bananas” about…how to put this…”the shit”?

Gwen: It’s not “bananas”, baby. It’s “B.A.N.A.N.A.S.”

Gav: Right, luv…”bananas”

Gwen: No! You’re just not getting it!

Gav: Oh, bollocks!

And speaking of Madonna, I feel that this exact exchange has happened between her and Guy Ritchie. Gav and Guy are two blokes who just wanna get a pint at the pub. Unfortunately, they’re attached to these…iconoclasts who suffer identity crises after every career decision they make. I feel like there should be a club for these guys. I’d throw Beckham in there, too, but I think he’s more of a woman than Posh.

Anyway, I like Gwen and what she does, but I feel like Gavin’s somewhere laughing his ass off. And probably crying a little bit since his woman is SO much more successful than he is. That’s enough to piss off a guy like that. He’s thinking, “I go off and write an opus like ‘Glycerine’, and she grabs some tramps from a kabuki theatre and she goes bloody platinum?!! It’s bollocks, innit?”

And while I’m riffing on the “red coat” music scene, I must say that the album “Sundown” by S Club 8 is INCREDIBLE. You will not a find a better brit bubblegum pop album. It’s a crying shame, too, considering that they were the “spin-off” group yet in one album they put together a product FAR superior to all of S Club 7’s albums combined. You may now stop laughing at me. You’re missing out. I said stop laughing!

Anyway..where was this going? I really don’t even know anymore. I just wanted an excuse to write that “Robot Chicken”-esque Kitchen Scene with Gwen and Gavin. Now that it’s out of my system, back to work!

28th Nov2006

Finally! Britney Cooter Shot!

by Will

“The only difference between a dream and a nightmare is how big your balls are, bitch!”

Well, it’s been 8 long years, but the day has finally arrived! We have finally seen Britney’s vi-jay-jay! No, I didn’t link it because I’m at work and I can’t very well copy and paste a URL with “britneysupskirtsnatch.html” in it, now can I? If you really wanna see, just go to Defamer.com.

Unfortunately, I think this was overhyped. I mean, first off, when we wanted to see it, we didn’t think we’d also have to deal with a cesarean scar. Nor did we think there’d be that little trickle of blood. Hmm…upon second thought, we thought it would be a LOT better than this.

I find myself wanting my money back. What was that? I didn’t pay anything? This was free on the internet? Well, I still feel like someone should pay me for having to look at that thing. I’ll be waiting for my check. Or McDonald’s gift certificates. Either form of payment will do.

16th Apr2006

Shakira Is Mesmerizing

by Will

“I should feel tremors of psychitude rock my body like a seizure. That was like a declawed pregnant cat on a porch swing idly swatting at a fly on a Sunday afternoon. Show me your psych!”

I swear, watching Shakira move is a religious experience. Whether she’s doing her “robot having a seizure” dance, or her “watch my boobies and hips move in differet directions” dance, I can’t look away. Nor do I want to. Come, Shakira…come take me back over the border with you!

06th Oct2005

Runaway – Hong Tat Tong (feat Will West)

by Will

“It’s so hard, to say goodbye…”

So, without much fanfare, I announce my retirement from the recording game. Sure, this doesn’t mean retirement from music, per se, but it does signal the end of the recording. I wouldn’t close the door on the possibility of a comeback, but for now I believe I will focus on other projects. I will continue to tour the country, possibly at a karaoke bar near you, but the recordings will cease for the foreseeable future.

With that, I leave you with my final track. It’s actually more of a “Hong Tat Tong, featuring Will West” track, but it’s me, and it’s recorded. It’s a different sound than you’re used to from me. I tackle that R&B genre, with mixed results. I’m happy to have a new track, but when you hear this, you won’t miss me much. Trust me. So, fill your ipods with the old stuff, and remember to tell your grandkids about the days when you could easily download the latest Will West track off the i-net. Yup, this is that monumental. Anyway, snatch it while you can, ’cause I don’t know how long this site will be up:

http://box.net/public/t2/files/751820.html

18th Aug2005

How Did Ryan Seacrest Surpass Carson Daly?

by Will

“Dave even enjoys some hard rock bands like Genesis and Rush.”

So, in the Great American Radio Tool Off, who’da thunk that Ryan Seacrest would edge out Carson Daly?

First of all, what is UP with Carson? He’s joked that he’s on the Lindsay Lohan Diet, which I guess means he’s now a cokehead. But he’s lost SO much weight. Now, normally, this would be a boon, but it just serves to make his head HUGE. I mean, he’s got quite the cranium. It’s like he’s thinking for three now.

What happened to the Carson of yore? The Carson who may have been a tool, but he was OUR tool. He WAS TRL. Hilary? Go back to “One Tree Hill”. Quddus, or whatever the hell your name is, Justin Guarini called and he wants his head back. 5 yrs ago, if you’d asked me where Carson would be in 2005, I’d have said “President of MTV”. Now, he’s gaunt, he’s got a show that NOBODY watches, and he’s got his little radio countdown. Poor guy. He had it made. He wasn’t looking for competition. Which is exactly how he was broadsided by Seacrest.

Now, I have followed Ryan Seacrest for MANY years. I mean, pre-Idol. I remember all of his terrible kids game shows, like “Gladiators 2000”. I remember his radio countdowns. If you’d asked me where he would be in 2005, I’d have probably predicted he’d be hosting a revival of “Classic Concentration” on GSN. Boy, would I have been wrong!

Not only has he got the Idol gig, but he’s got Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40 Coutdown”. Frickin’ Casey Kasem! Shaggy, himself! The man is an institution. All Carson did was replace Bill Bellamy. Plus, with the Idol gig, Seacrest gets to host every other special that Fox decides to have that involves music and/or teens.

But just when I thought he had nothing else up his sleeve, Seacrest dealt the killing blow to Carson: He just signed a deal to co-host and produce Dick Clark’s “Rockin’ New Years Eve” through 2009. And, in this contract, it’s stated that he will take over the show once Dick Clark steps down. But we know that really means it’ll happen when Dick Clark’s batteries die; those Cold War model cyborgs can take quite the licking, I’ll tell ya! Seacrest saw poor Dick after his stroke, and he saw an opening. Ever the opportunist, that smarmy bastard…”Rockin’ New Years Eve”! Not only has Seacrest bested Kasem, but he’s set his sights on “America’s Oldest Teenager”.

Seacrest is playing tracks and taking names! Dont be surprised if you come home one day, and find that your parents have traded you in for Ryan Seacrest. He’s THAT much of a bastard! He must have some kind of Charm Powers but all I know is that we should be afraid. Ryan Seacrest will stop at nothing until he has taken over all forms of media with “America” somehow prominently named. Next, he’ll go for “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, which wouldn’t be too bad ’cause Bergeron is NO Saget. But then he’ll go for “Good Morning, America”. And that’s just the beginning.

These are SIGNS, people! Seacrest is the Horseman of the Clear Channel Antichrist, and we’re just lapping it up. Wake up and rebel! He finished off Dick Clark! That’s like someone kicking your cool, hip grandpa in the nuts. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

10th Aug2005

RARB Likes Me! They Really Like Me!

by Will

“I love Connect Four. If my entire family died and a stranger offered to play Connect Four with me for a full afternoon, I’d skip the funeral and blame it on car troubles.”

Well, RARB has put up the review of “Straight Up”, Last Call’s latest CD. I had NO part of this CD, so it’s not like it makes or breaks me, but they’re still my boys, so I care.

http://www.rarb.org/reviews/554.html#

The BEST line of the whole thing: “Straight Up provides the most heterosexually dubious track list I’ve ever seen from an all guys group.” Not only do I agree, but that about sums up my entire life…

Anyway, I NEVER thought I’d read LC compared, favorably, to Off the Beat and the ‘Bubs. Who’da thunk, right?

Well, it’s certainly an ambitious album, as most of the reviews will attest. It seems like they’re catching Hell for using the a cappella equivalent of Kanye West and The Neptunes to produce the thing. All they did was start doing what every other group with a wad of cash to blow did. But I guess people expected more of LC or something.

Anyway, the CD never really screamed “Last Call” to me, but I liked it. Plus, the girlfriend liked it and outside of a few UMD Faux Pas references, I think she may be embarassed by the whole a cappella thing, so I guess the CD’s got “convert potential”…

24th Jul2005

Lance Armstrong Stole Sheryl Crow From Me

by Will

“Tell ’em ‘Large Marge’ sent ya!”

I would like to congratulate Lance Armstrong…for making me feel like a complete and utter failure. C’mon, the dude had ball cancer! I’m sorry, that’s crass. He had “cancer of the balls”. And he STILL managed to come back and win 7 times. 7 TIMES! The only possible explanation is that Lance Armstrong hates me, and thoroughly wanted to piss on me.

It all started back in 1994. Sheryl Crow was MINE! I found her! She made it more than clear that all she wanted to do was have some fun. And next thing I know, here comes Armstrong, stealing my girl. And what does he do for an encore? He wins the frickin’ Tour De France 7 TIMES!

I just know Lance has something against me. Maybe he knows that I’m secretly a Greg LeMond fan. But this just proves it. Lance Armstrong’s mission in life is to make me feel like shit.

OK, Armstrong. You won. Isn’t it enough that you’ve taken over the world with your bracelets? EVERYONE has one. Everyday, I see thousands of little yellow reminders of how you’ve won and I have failed. I AM that yellow bracelet. But 7 times? I got the point back in 2001. You really didn’t have to go into overdrive.

I’m getting my shit together, Lance. I got the hint. But it’s hard for me to build up when you are just racing by to bring me down. I WILL survive. I’m gonna be a success. But you don’t have to show me the peak of human performance. I’ve got Batman for that. I’m not gonna let you keep me down, Man!

So, why don’t you and Sheryl go soak up some sun, and we can all get on with our lives. 7 times? God, Lance! Some people can be so petty…