Your Friday WTF

Because, honestly. WTF, man:

Then they all crowded into a clown car and drove home.

50 Comments on “Your Friday WTF”

  1. I can’t make fun of that. I was on the verge, up until the xylophone solo. Those folks had way too much fun for me to be mean, and I just can’t do it. That was just… that was awesome, it really was.

  2. I didn’t say WTF at all…until I realized that the xylophone player was wearing oven mitts. WTF?

    I wonder if they do a version of Slide It In?

  3. I actually DO have a problem with it.

    The arrangement is nice. The musicianship is evident. But only one of them was right in singing what he or she was singing (the soprano with the short hair). The lead singer has a good voice–but either it’s wrong for this song, or she should have been singing a harmonic lead rather than following the straight Whitesnake melody, because her head voice simply ain’t cutting it. Or, rather, the jarring difference between the strength of her chest voice and the weakness of her head voice simply hurt the performance.

    I say this in this fashion not to disparage the woman’s talent, because talent she quite obviously has, but rather to say that she should work on becoming more skillful in the application of sad talent.

    In the end, though, they had fun–which is of course the most important thing.

  4. I didn’t say WTF at all…until I realized that the xylophone player was wearing oven mitts. WTF?

    Well hey, that was one hot xylophone he was playing.

  5. After that first woman popped out in the lower right, I kept expecting more to show up the same way. Seriously, they should have had more people rappelling from the ceiling and poking in through the window throughout the song.

    And the xylophone was a bit excessive. Maybe he should have been playing the cowbell.

  6. I also was wondering about the oven mitts (or were both of his hands in casts?) but then they offered me cookies. How can I say no to cookies?

  7. The video is still there, just try reloading the page if you’re having issues.

    But seriously, hearing a folk arrangement of hair metal is just making me twitch… It’s just really hard to fool yourself into thinking a song is badass when it involves a xylophone and acoustics up the wazoo. (And when the band offers you cookies and pineapple afterwards!)

  8. All those people squeezed into such a tiny space! It’s like a folk musical staged in the Anne Frank house.

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang who is Chang but is Not not chang

    That’s what all the noise in my bathroom was last night.

    I thought I smelt folkies.

  10. It really is a Whitesnake song? I thought it was some generic singer-songwriter stuff that they wrote themselves–not actively bad, but not good enough to get them further than the local coffeehouse or bar. Whitesnake, eh? So these folks just pretty much drained the life out of the song?

  11. I can’t get past the oven mitt-wearing xylophone player. I think that should be required of all xylophone players from now on.

  12. No, their version didn’t “suck the life” out of the Whitesnake version: the original was insipid hair metal of the type that dominated mid-80s MTV and radio. (A check on Wikipedia indicates the song was originally recorded in 1982 and re-recorded by the band in 1987; I have no idea whether the ’82 version is any good–probably not.)

    Don’t get me wrong–there was some great metal in the ’80s, and ’87 was the year G’n’R released their best record, but Whitesnake sucked. Badly. The only reasons “Here I Go Again” didn’t sink into oblivion were: (1) it was a schmaltzy enough pop ballad for teenage girls to dig it and (2) the video featured Tawny Kitaen in a filmy gown, rolling around on the hood of a car, which guaranteed that a lot of teenage guys would watch the video even if they despised the song. (Hell, I sure did. Tawny was hot.)

    The folks in the video John posted weren’t as musically competent as Whitesnake, but they had a lot more fun and didn’t take themselves half as seriously as David Coverdale does. (Sorry: I know that’s a meaningless statement since infinity divided by two still equals infinity, but you get the idea.) So, yeah, their version is better than the original. One of the neat things about performing music is that execution isn’t everything, and can be trumped by joy.

  13. An Eric – Not to nitpick, but while “Here I Go Again” may be many things to many people, “a schmaltzy enough pop ballad” it most certainly is not. Insipid…yes, but I believe it should be referred to as a “rocker” or even an “anthem” as opposed to a “ballad”.

    Perhaps you confuse it with “Is This Love” – http://viddigger.blogspot.com/2007/05/whitesnake-is-this-love.html – which cornered the market on schmaltz – and also had Tawny Kitaen in the the video, which makes everything pretty much OK with me.

    It’s too bad the folkies could not cram Tawny and a Jag or two into the frame as well. I am certain that she is available.

  14. Brian M: I’m sure Tawny is available, too (is she out of rehab, again?), but she’d probably kick the crap out of the whole band. Woman has some kind of crazy temper.

    Wait… Tawny Kitaen… dis-temper? (Ha!)

  15. Okay, I’ll concede “ballad” was a poor choice of words–you’re right, it’s not a ballad. But I can’t bring myself to call it an “anthem”. And a “rocker”? Only in the sense that someone’s granny might enjoy it.

    I stand by my allegations of suckitude. What was it about bad 80s hair metal and “white” names, anyway? Great White, White Lion, Whitesnake, what the hell? (And no, “bad 80s hair metal” isn’t redundant. Cinderella was alright and I own a couple of Queensryche albums, including Rage For Order from their glammy hair’n’makeup days–sure, it’s cheesy and dated, but “London” still rocks.) But none of those “blankWhiteblank” bands were any good. As the editors of Mad might say, “Bleaaacchhh!”

  16. Each of the elements of this video taken individually might cause me to say, “WTF?” I mean, seriously, offering pineapple and cookies? WTF???

    On the other hand, taken as a whole I thought it was awesome. I loved it. It’s no JoCo Baby Got Back, but still great fun.

  17. Actually, it was shot with a wide-angle lens. It just was a really short working distance. Wonder if they really were in a bathroom, figuring they’d get reverb from the shower stall… it had that feel to it.

    And yet, despite it all, they had room for the one guitar player to have a glass of water in the middle of the song, plus the plates of pineapple and cookies.

    Dedication — it’s what the musics all about, baby.

    Dr. Phil

  18. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., by any means necessary

    Scalzicce,

    Is it a WTF’er because they’re crowded into someone’s computer room the size of a john or that your really, really, really, like the WHitesnake song and you know Tawny Kitaen is crying somewhere because there’s a Jaguar without her rolling on it?

  19. On the YouTube site, one comment says they were in Rose’s “office”. (the lead vocalist) I was figuring they took a break from their D&D session to jam a bit before returning to their regularly scheduled activities…

  20. Carol Elaine – Spend my days being creative with acting stuff & cleaning up after animals for money. Spend my evenings cleaning cat puke for free. 'Tis a glamorous life.
    Carol Elaine

    The violin. Love it. Just love it.

    Almost better ‘n’ cowbell.

  21. Ironic yet sincere “off-style” cover of cheezy Top 40 tune combined with “hey, let’s see if we can film a video with our computer’s built-in camera and still get the whole band in the shot” . . . what else is there to get? Is it something about living out there in the Great White Midwest that causes you to react to this with a “WTF?” Or were you just amazed that you could listen to the song all the way through without wincing?

    Also, 100% agreement with An Eric on his assessment of Whitesnake and their musical legacy. I’m not sure what they sounded like pre-1987, when “Here I Go Again” came out in the U.S., but for the American phase of their career they were a bland, uninspired corporate band making bland, uninspired corporate music. And I actually think the generally approved term for a song of this type is “power ballad.”

  22. I don’t know from 80s metal or hair band music. But this explains much. Well, maybe not *much,* but at least some of the lyrics to Bowling For Soup’s song “1985”:

    She was gonna be an actress
    She was gonna be a star
    She was gonna shake her ass
    On the hood of Whitesnake’s car

  23. Actually, it was shot with a wide-angle lens. It just was a really short working distance

    Actually, no.

    If it were a wide-angle at a short working distance, then the perspective would be more exaggerated, and the scene wouldn’t look so cramped. In fact, it would give pretty much the opposite of this effect.

    This is a normal-ish length lens. At most, a very mild wide-angle, like a 35mm equivalent on 35mm film. But I don’t really consider 35mm to even be wide-angle – it’s within the “normal” range.

    I agree with the conclusion that it was shot with a webcam’s standard lens.

  24. Actually, it was shot with a wide-angle lens. It just was a really short working distance

    Actually, no.

    If it were a wide-angle at a short working distance, then the perspective would be more exaggerated, and the scene wouldn’t look so cramped. In fact, it would give pretty much the opposite of this effect.

    This is a normal-ish length lens. At most, a very mild wide-angle, like a 35mm equivalent on 35mm film. But I don’t really consider 35mm to even be wide-angle – it’s within the “normal” range.

    I agree with the conclusion that it was shot with a webcam’s standard lens.

  25. spsmyth – This is not everything you need to know. I am a Mac, Star Trek, SF, gadget, movie, soundtrack and TV nerd, not necessarily in that order. I've also tried to do voice overs and I am currently working customer service/tech support for an online backup company. I have a beautiful wife and an adorable daughter. Happy? Good...
    Otis B. Driftwood

    On my gosh, are they trying to cover Whitesnake, or remake the state room scene from the Marx Bros. “A Night at the Opera?”

  26. Otis @41:  Yes.  ;^)

    IMNSHO, their cover was … unsettling at first, but not half bad by a long chalk. Besides, how often do you get to hear a xylophone, a fiddle, a maricello, and an accordion (use an accordion – go to jail!) in a single song?

    The cookies etc. at the end were a bit scary, I must admit … for a moment there I thought “oh no, the CM house band followed John home!”

  27. spsmyth – This is not everything you need to know. I am a Mac, Star Trek, SF, gadget, movie, soundtrack and TV nerd, not necessarily in that order. I've also tried to do voice overs and I am currently working customer service/tech support for an online backup company. I have a beautiful wife and an adorable daughter. Happy? Good...
    Otis B. Driftwood

    Pismo @42 “…a xylophone, …”

    Another shameless cultural reference, it was the same one that the kid used in “Close Encounters of the third Kind” to pick out the alien’s music.

    I love John Williams.

  28. While we’re debating the merits of Whitesnake, and someone’s mention of them being uninspired corporate trash… Perhaps it would interest those who missed (or ignored) the hair metal of the 80’s to know that none of the musicians in the Whitesnake videos actually played on the record.

    Sure, David Coverdale did the vocals, but John Sykes (of Thin Lizzy and a bunch of forgettable 80’s bands) wrote most of the music and played guitar on the record. He’s not in the videos.

    So while I would disagree about all of their music being crap (cuz some of it is just solid, catchy pop rock material) I do wholeheartedly agree that the corporate machine was in full swing to push this band to the top of the hair band heap.

    sj

  29. I love the way the violinist is sort of contorting his body to stay in the frame and yet not jab xylophone boy in the larynx with his bow.

    As for the Whitesnake vid, judge for yourself:

    My verdict? Even straight girls gots to shout.

  30. I’m pretty sure I’ve paid to see bands play in bars smaller than that. And the bars probably had worse acoustics and no pineapple.

  31. You know, a couple months ago I was at a venue where the stage wasn’t much bigger than a couple of queen-sized mattresses pushed together, and the opening band had *sixteen people*, among them:

    lead singer/guitarist
    two backup singers
    a keyboard player
    two trumpet players
    two saxophone players
    a drummer
    at least two people playing various handheld percussion
    a bongo player
    a bassist
    a backup guitarist
    a xylophone player wearing a little yacht-captain hat
    and a guy who stood in the teeny patch of remaining space and danced.

    I’m not gonna lie: they were pretty fantastic. If you’ve never seen a dude do the Running Man while playing the xylophone, you’re missing out.

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