Tuesday Tiddley Winks- Then and Now, Part II

Driving home from work today and I heard a song I’d not in a while. I’ve already forgotten what it was, but it reminded me, there are a lot of music artists that seem to fall off the radar while others keep going, and going, and going… can you say Mötley Crüe?

Now, this list will be difficult, incomplete (I’m horrible at remembering the names of songs or groups, so I’m going to put GOOGLE to the test with quotes on lyrics), and happily not as long as the Then and Now ‘Boy/Girl’ list I put together previously.  Still, I think it will be fun.  I’m going to try to keep the music to what I heard in high school and college, even if it was released ‘prior’ to that time frame.

Please remember, I did not grow up on cable and therefore MTv was already turning into bad rap music videos and catty, twenty-somthings in a shitty apartments in foreign countries crying over their spilled beer by the time I had access to cable TV.

8. “Zoot Suit Riot,” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, 1997. (or click here for alternate video)

Why this song?

I believe this song was in a few movies, but the one that stuck out for me was Blast from the Past with Alicia Silverstone and  Brendan Fraser (very cute romantic comedy, and I generally hate those). IMDb says it was performed by a different group, but whatever the case may be or however I heard it I’ve always loved this big band/swing music.  Partly because I’m jealous.  I’ve always wished I had a little bit of rhythm and dance ability and I have always admired those guys that could chuck a girl around like a rag-doll, swinging and dipping them about.  At 5’8″ and riding around … well I’m not going to tell you.. I’ll say size 12 and leave it at that, it would take a brawny dude to toss me in the air and catch me.

Where are they now?

LOL, so the link at YouTube says they’re from Eugene, Oregon as does Wiki.  How awesome is that? Since I’m an Oregonian I think that’s neat-o. OK, so they went on hiatus when the ‘swing-dance’ revival died off, but regrouped for another recording in 2002 and have signed with an indie-label. Their latest album is ‘Skaboy JFK,’ released in 2009.


7. “I wanna sex you up,” by Color Me Badd, 1991.

Why this song?

I remember when this song came out I was transitioning between middle school to high school and the arch conservatives were having themselves a hissy fit because this song was making its way into high-school auditoriums for dances. Apparently adults are generally deaf to lyrics and were just letting the top-40 songs run rampant at these dances and not noticing what this song was about. Regardless of your opinions on the matter, I think it is safe to say most people didn’t want their middle school-aged children listening to this song.  Ergo; all the kids wanted to listen to it.  It was like publicity from heaven when Bill O’Reilly said he was shocked seeing kids dancing to this song and flabbergasted when he listed to the lyrics (I’m paraphrasing what I remember seeing on TV at the time).

Where are they now?

The band had 5 US hit singles from their debut album; “I Wanna Sex You Up” (U.S. #2), “I Adore Mi Amor” (U.S. #1), “All 4 Love” (U.S. #1), “Thinkin’ Back” (U.S. #16) and “Slow Motion” (U.S. #18). They released four albums, but with very limited success. In 1998 they released their final album under Epic Records, Epic Records did not renew their contract and in 2000 the group disbanded with a release of ‘The Best of Color Me Badd.’

From Wiki – Sam Watters pursued a second career as a record producer, achieving success in later years with Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Fantasia, Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield, Kelly Clarkson, 98 Degrees, Blake Lewis, and The Runaways. Watters married R&B singer and former American Idol contestant Tamyra Gray in 2006.

Kevin Thornton released a solo album that features contemporary hip-hop/rap material with gospel and soul music.

Mark Calderon currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and works for a local insurance company.

In 2001, Bryan Abrams released a solo album entitled Welcome to Me. In 2007, Abrams participated in the VH1 reality TV series Mission: Man Band. Also in 2007, Abrams appeared on the Insane Clown Posse track “TruthDare” on Psychopathic Records’ compilation album Psychopathics from Outer Space 3.

In 2010, the group reunited as a trio: Bryan, Kevin & Mark and appeared in the “DirecTV Gameshow: Rock and a Hardplace” hosted by ‘Meatloaf.’ They were raising funds for an L.A. charity group called “FACE” (raising alcohol awareness to young kids) and competing against 1970s R&B group “Divas.” It wasn’t revealed why ‘Sam Watters’ wasn’t present.

6. “Pretty Fly for a White Guy,” by The Offspring, 1998.

Why this song?

In 1998 I was a Junior in college and there were 3 radio stations in Pullman, WA that had any good reception at the campus. Two were hip-hop top-40 stations and one was a country station.  Sometimes the two top-40 stations would literally be playing the same song at the same time, their lyrics off by only a second or two. I heard this song A LOT, yet strangely hearing it again years later doesn’t drive me to rage.

Why the song made the list today lands squarely on my co-worker, Nick’s, shoulders as he mentioned this song this morning at work.  Also, what the hell is up with those opening lyrics?  Sounds like the Swedish Chef from the muppets doing karaoke.

"Hunderd, Lieben, Glausten, Globen!"

Where are they now?

I don’t really listen to any of their other stuff, at least not intentionally…

The group is no longer their original brotherhood of punks, they’ve gone through several members.  I don’t care enough to go into the story, but to be succinct it appears that would be a reason for the lengthy studio sessions in recording albums and long vacations in between.  They announced they wanted to start their latest album in 2009 and be done in 2010, but as early as 2011 they were only recording music, but didn’t have lyrics yet.

That just seems odd to me, but I’m not a musician, so who am I to criticize others.

5.  “Life is a Highway,” by Tom Cochrane, 1991.

Why this song?

In 1991 I was a Freshman in high school and I remember this song being in the movie Pretty Woman. I believe they ‘played’ it while Richard Gere was taking off in his friend’s car all moody because his latest girlfriend (one he didn’t pay to have sex) had dumped him.

Regardless, I always liked this song.  You can air-drum to it, you can karaoke to it easily, you can even air-harmonica should the mood strike.  What’s not to like?

Where is Tom now?

First, I was surprised to learn from the dubious Wiki that “Life is a Highway” only made #6 on the Billboards in 1992, but did reach #1 in Canada where Tom is a native.

‘Today,’ again if Wiki can be believed, Tom enjoys a generally retired life, though still tours with live shows around Canada where he has remained popular. His primary home is in Ontario Canada, but winters in Texas.

He has been a long time supporter of several charities; World Vision, and has traveled to Africa several times, served as the Honorary Chairman of the SuperWalk for Parkinsons and has been a proud supporter of WSPA, War Child, Amnesty International, and the Make Poverty History campaign.

The song “Life is a Highway” was retooled by Rascal Flatts for the original Pixar animated movie, Cars.

4. “One Week,” by Barenaked Ladies, 1998.

Why this song?

As mentioned, limited radio music options in college (and no money to buy music).  This song also had the benefit of lyrics referencing both the ‘Smoking Man’ from X-files with no lights on, and I was a HUGE X-files fan, and how Sailor Moon was the cartoon that had the boom. My best friend in college and I also watched a lot of anime and Sailor Moon was one of our favorites. Bonus about laughing at a funeral; I didn’t do that, but when the movie Seven came out to theaters I was the only person to  laugh at the last scene where they find the dead dog in the field and Kevin Space dead pans, “I didn’t do that.” Combine these nostalgic moments with the fact I can admit to being a rather unforgiving person and the concept of how long it takes to apologize for somethings and this song rings pretty true for me.

Where are they now?

Did I mention they were Canadian?  No?  Well, they are, which is fine, but also would explain why they don’t have a ton of hits in the U.S. of A.  Steven Page, one of the founding members, left the group via mutual agreement, and Barenaked Ladies remains a quartet.  Their latest album is “All in Good Time” and they’ve toured Canada, a  little in the US and some in the UK.

I must also add if you’ve never listened to their Christmas song, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen“, from their Barenaked for the Holidays Christmas album featuring Sarah McLachlan you are missing out.  It is only marred by the song being cut-off after they switch into ‘We Three Kings’ and I don’t know why the hashed off the song, but it makes me angry.  Still, give it a listen because it’s freaking awesome. Enjoy yourself some X-mas in August.

3. “Waterfalls,” by TLC, 1994.

Why this song?

I heard this again on the radio, sadly it has become one of the songs that has fallen victim to my general intolerance to over-played music. I had to change the station, but don’t let that take away any snaps to TLC having a rockin’ song with a rockin’ video that even I caught it a couple of times while over at a friend’s house (I was a Junior in High School, and can also say the song was over-played at school dances). The song had a cognizant message (contrary to GaGa’s “Born This Way”) and a good beat, too bad it got over-played for my tastes.

Where are they now?

The ‘lovely’ ladies of TLC were Tionne “T-boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas. These gals were not wall-flowers and had several run-ins with the law. Since their success in the 1990’s they had several platinum albums, but in 2002 Lisa Lopes died in Honduras after she lost control of her vehicle, when it rolled off the road she was not wearing a seat-belt and was thrown from the car, perishing at the scene.

Watkins and Thomas still make appearances and have sung with other artists publicly as recently as May 25, 2011 for American Idol.

2. “Say My Name,” by Destiny’s Child, 2000.

Why this Song?

Ever dated someone who cheated on you?  Ever have suspicions before you figured it out? ‘Nuff said.

Where are they now?

I believe it is safe to summarize Destiny’s Child birthed Beyoncé Knowle’s solo-career. Let’s not take away from the other ladies, Destiny’s Child was a trio of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. As far as I know it was and amicable split, I’m sure there is plenty of gossip to discredit that statement.  On an interesting note, I heard the music video for this song was a little difficult for the girls to shoot, being one of the first music videos they had filmed and they were reportedly nervous.  This led the director to go with the idea of filming the ‘vogue’ style of them switching and freezing positions and basically letting the film set and wardrobe changes do the heavy lifting.  Neat to watch.

Pictured: some old guys that probably still get more tail than you.

1. “Hells Bells,” AC/DC, 1980.

Why this song?

Remember when you were little, and your parents tried to get you to eat something and you turned your nose up convinced it was rancid death?  I remember when I was growing up there were two boys on my hill (they would have you know it is “THEIR HILL”) and the only kids close to my age.  Tim who is a couple of years older loved/loves AC/DC. I was still listening to The Beach Boys because that’s what my mom let me listen to, and I remember thinking, “That’s really loud, it hurts my ears, and the guy is kinda screetchy.”  A year or two later it was Todd’s (Tim’s younger brother and the boy who was my age) birthday and he had told me he wanted the CD AC/DC ‘Back in Black’ album.  This was when CD’s had only been on the market for a short time and parental units were up in arms about lyrics and that some how, unlike tapes or the radio, these CD’s needed advisories.

Warning: may cause child to rebel.

Well, there my mom and I were at Fred Meyer in the music section and I find the CD with that big, stupid black warning label and my mom pitches a fit that there is no way Todd’s mom is going to let him listen to this and it’s $19 and a waste of money and I couldn’t give it to him at this party.  I’m sure she worked in ‘good girls don’t listen to that stuff ‘ speech because there was ‘swearing in the titles of the songs’ on the back of the case.

Ha!  Lickety-split I started listening to naughty groups.  AC/DC was the gate-way rock ‘n roll of other bands like Guns N Roses “Get in the Ring” from ‘Use your Illusion II’ (I remember Tim also singing to “Paradise City” while on the way to the school bus at the bottom of the hill) and Metallica (the ‘Black’ album is still my favorite though ‘S&M’ was awesome too for a twist).

How our tastes change as we mature.  Thanks to Tim I got over the ‘screetchy guy’ and was introduced to rock ‘n roll. Bub, bub-bye Barbara Ann!

Where are they now?

As recently as 2008 they released their latest album ‘Black Ice’ and went on world tour.  They also have their own XM radio station, #53, and Sirius radio channel, #19.  In May 2011 Angus announced they were already thinking of doing another world tour.

Interesting note: the band being from Australia has their own thoroughfare named after them in Melbourne, Australia. The city however forbade the use of the slash/lightening symbol for the name so it is the “ACDC lane.”


Hope you all enjoyed yourselves and had a good listen to the songs I linked.  If there is anything you want me to research and post let me know, I’d be happy to include a “Part III – Reader’s Choice.”


One response to “Tuesday Tiddley Winks- Then and Now, Part II

  1. I have a version of “Life is a HIghway” by my favorite country dude Chris Ledoux. His cover is mighty fine as well. It as well as “Copenhagen” is one of my favorites of his. 🙂

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