This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Mr. T Experience - or - what the fuck is wrong with kids today?

Two big things:

1) My roommate Jon used to game obsessively, especially the football games. I kind of understood it when they had Linkin Park and Nickelback on the soundtrack - meathead rock for meatheads. It really confused me, though, when they started adding bands like Bad Religion, Jawbreaker, the Hives, and the Pixies to the rotation. Since when did people looking for the John Madden seal of approval start enjoying Dali-related films because of the lyrics to "Debaser?" Mr. T Experience's "More Than Toast" was a mystifying choice that falls in the latter category. More on this later.

2) I listen to songs like "Swiss Army Girlfriend" and wonder why no one ever mentions Mr. T Experience as an obvious influence on the glut of pop-punk bands clogging the airwaves today. (Not to denigrate them.) When a band claims their sonic influences don't go back any further than Blink 182 circa their original drummer and the video for "Josie" (which I like despite myself - fuck you, Anna!), it makes me want to crack some skulls over some knees.

I guess what befuddles me the most about the current crop of pop-punk idols (whiffs of 1994 and 1999, anyone?) is that the bands that should be famous aren't, and there's no sense of history. Addressing the first concern, if Panic! at the Dildos or whatever they're called wrote a line as adult and insightful as the Lawrence Arms' "laughin' and cryin' are almost the same/they just show everyone how much attention you're payin'," I will drop dead from the shock. Addressing the second concern, no one acknowledges the true heroes of the genre. Of course, today I watched a video where Good Charlotte covered the Buzzcocks, sacrilege worthy of public hanging. The brigade of idiots with shellacked, shoe polish hair covering one eye has not a clue of whom they're ripping off, akin to the alterna-boom grunge bands not having any idea that they were all basically weaker versions of Husker Du.

Of course, even when the obvious pop-punk heroes are aired out for praise (Buzzcocks, Undertones, Screeching Weasels, and Jawbreaker), some worthy bands still get the short shrift. Such is the fate for Dr. Frank Portman and the revolving door band dubbed the Mr. T Experience. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like most of the big whiny white guys that's are popular steal the hook for their breakout single from the first 17 seconds of MTX's "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba."

I mean, I guess why I can understand why the band never broke as huge as, say Green Day, whom they came up with on the Gilman St. scene. The songs aren't as sugary and immediately accessible as those who wear US Bombs patches on MTV and declare themselves hardcore, but there's an honest, awkward charm that those ree-tawhds in bandannas could never replicate, even if they spent $100,000 of studio time and invited all their ex-girlfriends to the sessions. Dr. Frank always sings like he's consciously lucky to have a girl into him, and it goes much further in selling songs about muffed communication and girls who just don't get him.

For the rare kid who wants to ditch his "cross my heart and hope i die" t-shirt and shitty haircut and actually see some of the world outside of his myspace.

Swiss Army Girlfriend:

Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba:

Don't Know What I'll Do If You Go:

There's Something Wrong With Me:

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret:


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