Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don’t forget about the big Black Friday RSD Drop at Record Archive with all kinds of cool exclusive releases. Check out the list HERE.
This blog is usually a place where people who think similarly to me can come and read about stuff they like, or maybe learn about something they weren’t aware of but might enjoy. This week is a little different… I’m going to tell you some of my most controversial opinions. These are the hot takes that run through my brain that I don’t always share with people for fear of being shunned by my peers.
From my home office in Greece NY it’s “Billy’s Top Ten Opinions Most People Don’t Agree With”.
10. Weird Al Yankovic belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. He’s sold millions of records, is still popular after forty years, and is the gold standard that any other musical-comedy act has to measure up to. Here is a great starter collection if you aren’t familiar with much of his work
9. I hate peanuts, peanut butter, and all other nuts and the various butters that can be produced from them. I’m not allergic… they just taste and smell terrible. I do my best to provide higher class humor on this blog, otherwise I’d be tempted to make an off color joke using the words “nut butter”, but I wouldn’t do that.
8. Monkeys are creepy. I think at some point everyone (including myself) thinks they want a pet monkey (or chimpanzee, orangutan, gorilla, etc…) In the song “If I Had A Million Dollars” Barenaked Ladies ask the musical question “haven’t you always wanted a monkey?”. Upon further review I have to honestly answer no.
They may seem cute and smart, but if you really look closely at various simians and primates I think you’ll be weirded out, and they just might bite your face off. In fact, since they are the only animals with thumbs they could also pick up a knife and stab you, or hit you over the head with a hammer.
On the other hand, I’m all for being around The Monkees anytime you get the chance. They have excellent music, plus Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith both seem like swell fellas. Pick up The Mike and Mickey Show Live here.
7. The 80’s was the worst decade for music ever. It seems like every artist used cheesy sounding synth keyboards, electronic drums, and a really hollow production sound. When you hear something from 1982-1989 on the radio you don’t need to know the song to guess what time period it came from. If it sounds fake it was recorded in the eighties. This includes my favorite artists, and albums I like… albums I’d like even more if they didn’t have that dreaded 80’s sound.
6. Snooze alarms are stupid. I’ll never understand why people set their alarms for a specific time to wake up, and then once it goes off they push a button to make the alarm go off again while they take a nine minute nap. Then they might do it again. Just program the sound to go off at whatever time you really want to get up and stop jarring your brain and body with the extra noises.
Okay, we’re halfway through my ten most controversial hot takes. Here are the top five.
5. I unapologetically, and without a bit of irony, love the music of The Partridge Family. I’m not talkin’ about just liking a greatest hits album I picked up for a dollar at Goodwill. I’m saying I have the groups entire catalog on both the original vinyl, and the subsequent CD reissues… many of those records I picked up used in the Record Archive backroom when it was in the yellow and red house on Mt. Hope Ave. I can’t tell you how happy I was the day I finally tracked down the hard-to-find “Bulletin Board” album.
Combine some of the best “gun for hire” songwriters of the early seventies with fantastic session musicians (including the legendary Wrecking Crew), and then have those tunes sung by David Cassidy, and do you know what you have? Perfection. Okay, maybe just near perfection… some of these records could use about 20 percent less harpsichord.
As I type this I am currently listening to the Partridge Family “Up To Date” album, and “Sound Magazine” is queued up for next. One question… how come my spellcheck/dictionary doesn’t recognize “Partridge” as a real word? I keep getting a red line under it. Even if it wasn’t the last name of Shirley, Keith, Laurie, Danny, Chris, and Tracy it’s still a very real bird found in many a pear tree every December.
4. I love baseball, and I love baseball movies, but “The Natural” starring Robert Redford might be the most overrated film of all time. In fact, I don’t think it’s just overrated. I think it’s an all around lousy movie. I can’t stand it.
I’ve actually watched it a couple times, because I figured I must be wrong considering all the praise it gets. I’m not wrong. It’s boring, with a lousy script and badly acted. The one positive is a beautiful score by Randy Newman. In fact this soundtrack is back in print on vinyl for the first time in decades, and was part of the October Record Store Day Drop. The Archive still has a few copies available if you want to stop in and pick one up, or you can also order it online here. It’ll save you the pain of having to watch this snooze fest just to listen to the music.
3. I don’t want milk on my cereal. Just give me the box and I’ll eat the Frosted Flakes, Cap’n Crunch, or Apple Jacks straight out of the little plastic bag inside that big cardboard container. If you insist I’ll pour the cereal into a bowl and eat it with a spoon, but NO MILK!! I’ll drink my milk out of a glass to wash down the Fruity Pebbles. Thank you.
I’d feel the same way even if you could guarantee that the cereal would stay crunchy in the milk (which it won’t). I just don’t want my food floating around in a cold liquid… it’d be like pouring Dr. Pepper over a bowl of pretzels. You’re just ruining two delicious things.
2. It’s cool for people to say they are sick of, or don’t like, Mariah Carey’s classic holiday song “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. I’m here to say I will never be sick of it, and I will never not like it. It’s a perfect song, and if it randomly got played on May 14th it would still make me happy. Can you believe it came out 26 years ago? There have been a bunch of covers since, but Mariah’s original is still the best.
And now, my number one opinion that most people don’t agree with. I do my best to keep politics out of this blog, but in this case I’m too fired up about this, and can’t keep these feelings to myself any longer….
1. I don’t like how Saturday Night Live has been celebrity stunt casting major recurring characters with famous people who aren’t cast members.
Sure, Alec Baldwin was very funny as Donald Trump. Yeah, Melissa McCarthy made me laugh as Sean Spicer. It’s also been fun seeing Jim Carrey get ready for the next four years as Joe Biden.
What about all the very funny people already on staff at SNL looking for that big break?
Chevy Chase didn’t look or sound a thing like Gerald Ford. He still went from a complete unknown to the biggest star in the country overnight because he could fall down like our accident prone President. From that point on many cast members used their talents as actors and mimics to give America the political leaders they needed on late night TV…
Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter
John Belushi as Henry Kissinger
Joe Piscopo as Ronald Reagan
Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton
Amy Poehler, and then Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush
Will Ferrell as W
Kate McKinnon (again) as Rudy Giuliani
… and on and on and on. Who could forget the controversial decision to have Korean-German-Venezuelan cast member Fred Armisen play Barack Obama?
Back to my original point. SNL currently has something like twenty cast members, compared to only seven in that first season in 1975. There are a couple dozen talented people wandering around studio 8H every Saturday night hoping for that one sketch to make them a TV sensation, so I’m guessing that at least a few can work up a really good Biden impression. C’mon Lorne, let Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Beck Bennett show us what they got.
Hell, considering you had a white guy play Obama maybe turnabout is fair play… give Kenan Thompson a shot as Biden. I say have Jim Carrey put his President Joe caricature on ice until Fox wants to reboot In Living Color, but that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.
By the way, I’m all for keeping Maya Rudolph as V.P. Kamala Harris. For one, she is grandfathered in as a former longtime SNL cast member. Two, there is not one person in the world better equipped to play the Veep than Ms. Rudolph… not even Kamala Harris herself. The same goes for Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.
If you want to disagree (or agree) with me about any of my extremely controversial opinions please find me on Facebook (Billy D’Ettorre), Twitter (@RadioFreeBillyD), or email (RadioBillyD@gmail.com)
That’s it for this week. Stay extra safe, wear your masks (or better yet, just stay home if you can), and let’s turn these yellow and orange alert zones back to green, or whatever the good color is.