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Bang my Head and Balls (what?)
by Baby Huey
Baby Huey gets things started:
I was born in '81, so I'm a toddler of the 80s. My real heyday was the 90s, but hell, I still enjoyed MTV. It started broadcasting 6 months after I graced y'all with my presence. I've always been an MTV fan. A little story for you (I swear to god it's true):
As a toddler, I was a huge MTV fan. I'd watch it all day long. My dad came into the TV room one day and asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. I looked right at him and said "I wanna ROCK!" He took me to Threshold, the local record store, and bought me a Twisted Sister button. My mom promptly shit a brick. They've been divorced for 20 years. Coincidence?
I'm going to briefly explore the greatest MTV show ever, and its sad, sad replacement ... and how it's really indicative of MTV today.
To me, the 80s meant a lot of things. It meant John Hughes movies, it meant slasher flicks. It meant Valley girls, but more than that, it meant MTV. And nothing said MTV in the 80s like Headbanger's Ball. Granted, I didn't start watching it until the 90s, but still. In retrospect, the 80s? Totally Headbanger's Ball.
The Ball came out in 1987, with the metallest motherfucker this side of a guitar, Riki Rachtman at the helm, replacing Dee Snider and Heavy Metal Mania. This show had it all. I mean, where else can you see Death Angel followed by Poison followed by Prong followed by Twisted Sister? It was fannnnntastic. It defined the genre of the 80s. Fuck new wave. Seriously. Fuck it right in its stupid fucking asses. Pop? Laaaaaaaaame. Metal? Fuck yeah. Then in 1995, dammit, they cancelled it. Out of nowhere. Didn't even tell Riki.
In the spring of 2003, I was a college senior. I already had a job. I heard Headbanger's Ball was coming back. I did a few shots in celebration. I heard Riki wasn't coming back. Hmmm .... that's OK. They'll get someone totally metal. See? They just announced they're going to use metal bands as rotating hosts! That'll kick ass. Who's first? Oh ... Metallica? That'd have been super cool in 1987. But whatever.
I watched that first episode. After four years of college radio, I was pretty in tune with the metal scene. Or so I thought. Everything they played was mainstream. ... Maybe that's what people really like, says I. Ok, let's see who's on next week. Rob Zombie? This is starting to set off some alarms.
Today, Headbanger's Ball is a laughable shell of its former self. Hosted by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, the show is rehearsed and polished. It's sad. You have a 2 hour show ... sort of. Sometimes it's 1:50 so they can fit whatever new, sophomoric pap Bam Margera got optioned. Two hours of Headbanger's Ball time is like two hours of football time: that much may pass on your watch, but they only cover 35 minutes of ground. Seriously. They'll do a video or two, then 5 minutes of commercials. Repeat ad nauseum. They'll have 2 or 3 great bands (Goatwhore, Kreator, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death -- they've all had good videos soon) and the rest are metalcore and ... fuckin SCREAMO. SCREAMO!!!!. I want to kill every fuckin "metal" band where the singer's hair is gelled down and swept across his head. FUCK!
Just like everything else in MTV, they took a fantastic idea that had a lot of fans and commercialized it to the point that even the most ardent followers want to stab someone in the trachea after watching it.
Shame on you, MTV.
BH was drunk when he wrote this, giving the post a genuine rage tempered with drunken anger. -ed
and thefinn draws this little adventure to a close....
Being a child born in the seventies meant that I watched more than my share of MTV as a kid, until I went back to Germany. Little news for you, MTV Europe, not nearly as much fun. And when I came back in 1990, MTV had changed. More original programming, “new and exciting” shows (long before the days when they ran 23 hours of reality TV) and SOMETHINHG HERE. Initially, I got sucked back in, but that only lasted for a couple of weeks before I got bored. What brought me back though was something I never thought I’d see on MTV.
I’ve stated my love for the animated on this site a hundred times, so this might as well be one hundred and one. Liquid TV tuned my head when they first started running it, even though the first few episodes were all they ran for months. Apparently though, there was an audience for this kinda stuff and MTV started an animation renaissance that continues (sorta) to this day. Here’s a few of my favorites.
The Maxx – Once upon a time, an amazing writer by the name of Simon Keith had a very popular comic book called “The Maxx”. Mr. Keith amazing characters and had a very imaginative mind and when MTV called and asked him to do an animated version of his comic, he jumped at the chance. This was before MTV (and subsequently it’s parent company Viacom) started buying up great ideas and turning them into shit, so it seemed like a wise move. The story revolves around a homeless man called Maxx, who lives on the streets and adventures in a parallel world called The Outback. He’s befriended by a therapist named Julie who attempts to break him of his psychosis and who ends up being pulled right into it. It’s compelling writing and a strange little story that sadly hasn’t been released on DVD, but can be found here and there on the internerds.
Aeon Flux – Maybe I just have an affinity for oddball characters who’s motives are always questionable. Are they a good guy ? Is she a bad guy ? Ah, fuck it… Morality’s for suckers. Aeon flux originally ran on Liquid Television as a series of five minute shorts that, I think, dealt with the missions and subsequent deaths of a series of cloned assassins. Huh ? Yeah, I did the same thing. Essentially, the series followed the adventures a female assassin (who could catch flies with eyelashes) as she made her way through a futuristic city looking for her target. There’s virtually no dialogue and it makes use of context to do more of the storytelling than anything else. Oh yeah, the main character seems to die in every episode, but with each new episode, she seems miraculously unharmed and continuing the mission.
Beavis and Butthead – Do I really need to cover this ? Unfortunately, this was the last great gasp of the MTV creator owned cartoon. Not long after the show started, MTV decided to buy Mike Judge out and they screwed him in the process (the did the same thing to John K., so at least he’s in good company), but for those first few seasons you were reminded of how consistently funny a couple of retards could be. They were a couple of idiots who sat on the couch and made fun of music video. They were miscreants who played frog baseball and “washed the dog”. And I’ll be damned if they weren't hella funny.
How could I forget The Maxx?
Posted by: michele | February 9, 2007 6:31 AM
I would personally like to thank baby huey for mentioning Death Angel and Prong in one sentence.
Posted by: Dan | February 9, 2007 6:50 AM
I haven't listened to Prong in ages. Snap your fingers, snap your neck!
Posted by: michele | February 9, 2007 6:57 AM
Demon Hunter did a damn good cover of Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck on their latest album, The Triptych. It's the only bright spot on the album.
Posted by: baby huey | February 9, 2007 7:36 AM
death angel were cool
Posted by: turtle | February 9, 2007 8:58 AM
The Ultra-Violence is on my short list of favorite 10 minute songs.
Posted by: baby huey | February 9, 2007 9:01 AM
OG Bay Area Thrash, baby
those were the days
Posted by: turtle | February 9, 2007 9:10 AM
Someone needs to write a dictionary post or something that explains various musical labels. Screamo and Metalcore. No idea what that is. Course I still don't really know what Emo is either...
Good call on all those super-cool cartoons. Liquid TV that was a good show. I think I have some Maxx comics in a box somewhere...
Posted by: Ernie | February 9, 2007 9:45 AM
Ok, quick and dirty:
Metalcore (n, adj): A genre of music loosely defined by its associations with classic hardcore punk music and thrash metal. Most easily identified by its use of a small number of detuned chords and double bass drum work. Melody is usually infused through the choruses by vocalists who are usually terrible singers. Most bands commonly associated with metalcore came out of New England in the late 1990s.
Screamo (n, adj, lame): A style of music similar to emo (short for emotional) augmented with slightly heavier guitar riffs and the inability of the vocalist to actually sing, so he screams like a friggin pansy.
Posted by: baby huey | February 9, 2007 10:18 AM
fuck ya death angel. holy shit.
BTW slayer at the new 930 2/20 if anyone wants to buy me a $40 v-day present...
Posted by: kali | February 10, 2007 9:00 AM
Liquid TV was the shit, as was the ORIGINAL Head Bangers Ball.
Posted by: Jenn | February 10, 2007 6:14 PM