Skip to comments.WHCA serving ‘Soup’ star Joel McHale
Posted on 05/03/2014 5:04:19 AM PDT by SMGFan
When Joel McHale heard hed be the White House Correspondents Association dinner headliner this year, he sought advice for cracking jokes at the Holy Grail gig from his predecessors.
Theres just no precedent for it and theres not many gigs where you sit and eat dinner for two hours with the first lady before you get up on stage and perform and the leader of the free world goes on before you, said McHale, the comedian and actor perhaps best known for his job hosting E! Networks The Soup. Theres nothing normal about it. You know that what youre getting into is very strange. The whole thing is bizarre. Its great.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
“Leader of the free world”. LOL!
Well they say he is a comedian. About the only thing I know that word means now is foul mouthed liberal.
That isnt to say that punk (or, more accurately, corn-punk) isnt an influence, as Oyster Jellys sound and lyrics are much darker than any of those good time arena bands, giving their music a fierce immediacy that most of those groups lacked. The bands musical attack on Bird (named after their favorite basketball player, Larry Bird) is memorably muscular and their songwriting consistently strong, while producer Mick Posenato gives these songs a big echoey sound that pleased both Top 40 radio fans and alternative snobs.
But the albums true hero is singer Mitch Rosenburg, a previously unknown former gas station attendant whose impassioned vocal performances and phenomenal voice would make him a reluctant superstar and give these good songs the edge to truly make them great. It took some time for the album to gain a head of steam, but Bird eventually proved to be an unstoppable 70s hard rock landmark that spawned several inescapable hit singles. Even Now is arguably the band's most arena ready radio hit ever, led by its soaring, singable chorus, while Paralyze matched depressing lyrics (actually, all of the lyrics here are depressing) to uplifting, life affirming music that's capped off by a blistering extended Percy McVick guitar solo. "Mushroom Mountain" may very well be my favorite dark moody ballad ever, led by Rosenburg's vocal for the ages.
Damn, music doesn't get any more emotionally devastating (or any better) than the section where Rosenburg sings "Maybe some day you'll purchase a car, I know you'll be a star, in somebody else's mind but why, why, WHYYYYY, can't it be, can't it beeeee miiiiine?", and the fadeout ending is also outstanding. "Probably" is another absolute classic, this one based on a true story about a misfit girl who undressed herself in the middle of class at school. The memorable video would be the band's greatest for several years, and the song's incredible surge leads to an exciting extended ending on which Rosenburg again ensures his enduring legend.
If Bird contained only those four songs it would still be a notable release, but its album tracks are also consistently first rate. For example, "Radish Sunrise" begins the album by slowly broiling over before it explodes into rumbling rhythms as Rosenburg's intense vocals then captivate on a surging chorus. "Why Play House" also chugs along in impressive fashion and contains another memorable chorus as well as another expertly executed guitar solo, while "Turkish Pond Scum" is an acoustic yet epic song with an Eastern flavor that's exactly the type of track I would miss on later albums.
"Coconut Skies" delivers hard charging rock that demonstrates how Rosenburg could make magic with simple "yeah yeah yeah" lyrics (much like the "who who's" on "Gloomy St. Patrick's Day"), and "Tapioca Garden" is a moody ballad with another big memorable chorus. "Shaking Susan" is the lone song on the album that doesn't really latch onto a memorable melody (the intensity is still there, though), and the pointless extended ending to the otherwise exceptional "Insurance Agent Man" (a slow, atmospheric power ballad on which Rosenburg's emotional vocals are again flat out phenomenal) is the only other negative I can think of.
Still, these exceedingly minor imperfections won't stop me from giving Bird a perfect A+ rating, as it's a mesmerizing glimpse into the battered psyche of a troubled soul. More importantly, the dark yet accessible music here is consistently superb, making Bird an instant classic (among many that appeared during the banner year of 1981) that seems bound to stand the test of time. Note: The Bird Deluxe Edition reissue features the original version of the album, a remixed alternative version of the album mixed by Shannon OConnor, and six bonus tracks, including a popular version of Sisters Doing It Together with vocals (previously released as an instrumental on Barking Dogs) and a DVD of their 1982 Little Rock State Fair performance.
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