A Very Ghostbusters Christmas

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Back in the fall of 2011, Dan Aykroyd, Dr. Raymond Stanz himself, came to the Sam’s Club in Freehold, New Jersey to promote Crystal Head, his new vodka line. I knew of the promotion shortly before it was to occur, but alas, I was stuck going to work that fateful Sunday. To get a chance to meet Dan Aykroyd would have been a dream come true, and looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t fake some sort of violent illness in order to call out of work. Ultimately, I resigned myself to my miserable retail duties. Continue reading

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For Unlawful Carnal Composition: The Starting Line- “Bedroom Talk”

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When a young Kenny Vasoli, bassist and lead singer of Pennsylvania pop-punk mainstays The Starting Line sang the words “I’m gonna tear your ass up like we just got married,” parents of the band’s teen and tween fans were sent into a seething rage. Granted, those lyrics, which led the chorus of “Bedroom Talk,” came from more than a bit out of left field when compared to the band’s previous writing. Vasoli snapped back, addressing a scathing letter to those self-righteous parents, asserting that it was more than perfectly reasonable for a 20-year old dude to have finally had sex, and then decided to sing about it in his rock band. I was a huge fan of The Starting Line throughout my college years, so I was privy to their lyrics about broken relationships, falling in love, and the general angst that becomes your companion as you grow up. Continue reading

For Unlawful Carnal Composition: AC/DC- “You Shook Me All Night Long”

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I’ve never truly liked AC/DC. Save for a few of their songs that I’ve grown to like, I could just never quite get there as a fan. However, as I’ve gotten older and my musical taste has somewhat matured, I’ve developed a fairly profound appreciation for classic rock, and AC/DC’s storied catalog certainly fits that bill due its longevity and sonic style. Continue reading

The Walking Assholes

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“How many walkers have you killed?”

“How many people have you killed?”

“Why?”

~ Rick Grimes, when considering allowing a new person to join his group

Walkers. Biters. Lurkers. Roamers. Lamebrains. The undead. The walking dead. They go by many names, but for some reason on The Walking Dead, nobody ever calls them zombies. Regardless, in the post-apocalyptic world in which the monstrously successful show is set, they are the enemy…or at least they should be. One would think that in a world such as this, the remaining humans – no matter where they come from or who they were before the shit hit the fan – would all band together and become a united force against a common enemy. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Richard Marx- “Take This Heart”

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“I’ve been where you are before
No one understands it more
You fear every step you take
So sure that your heart will break

It’s not how the story ends
You’ll be back on your feet again”

Although Richard Marx is mostly known for his monster power ballads and pop hits from the late 80’s, he was still churning out great music after the decade came to a close. To this day, Marx still writes music for himself, and for others, penning hit songs for other successful artists. What leads us to this week’s edition of Growing Up 90’s is “Take This Heart” from his album Rush Street, released in 1991.  Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Third Eye Blind- “The Background”

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Although I could happily go the rest of my life without ever hearing “Jumper” again, Third Eye Blind’s debut record has always been a desert island album for me. Top to bottom, the album is littered with amazing songs. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins was an incredible storyteller and lyricist, and this record is a reflection of that talent. What may be my favorite song on the band’s breakthrough recording – and the bar is set high with songs like “Motorcycle Drive By,” “God of Wine,” “Narcolepsy,” and “Losing a Whole Year” – is “The Background.” Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: The Offspring- “The Kids Aren’t Alright”

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“When we were young the future was so bright

The old neighborhood was so alive

And every kid on the whole damn street

Was gonna make it big and not be beat

Now the neighborhood is cracked and torn

The kids are grown up but their lives are worn

How can one little street swallow so many lives?”

The No Seatbelt Blog is getting serious this week on Growing Up 90’s with a song that has always been powerful but hits much closer to home these days. The Offspring has been one of my favorite bands since I heard their breakthrough album Smash in 1994. Album after album, the blindingly fast guitar riffs from the six-string maestro known as Noodles, the always-shouted vocals from lead singer Brian “Dexter” Holland, and the band’s ability to master both the hilarious and the heart-wrenching with their music have been an easy sell for me.  Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: The Refreshments- “Banditos”

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“So just how far down do you want to go?

Or we could talk it out over a cup of joe

And you could look deep into my eyes

Like I was a supermodel, uh-huh”

If you lived through the 90’s and were old enough to be cognizant in the least of the popular music scene, you know that the decade was rife with one-hit wonders. That’s no insult – I’ve never recorded a hit song, and many one-hit wonders will be remembered for decades for that singular musical gem, enjoying royalty checks in perpetuity, so there’s that. Continue reading

Growing Up 90’s: Gin Blossoms- “29”

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“Time won’t stand by forever

If I know it’s true

And I’ve learned not to say never

Or else I’ll seem the fool

Twenty-nine, you’d think I’d know better

Living like a kid

‘Cause when my lies may seem less than clever

Is when I fall for it”

Gin Blossoms are one of my favorite bands from the 90’s, and when I got their breakthrough New Miserable Experience on cassette after it came out in 1992, it left a lasting mark on my taste in music. For my money, contemporary rock music has never been so rife with talent, and has never been so utterly enjoyable than it was with this band. Continue reading