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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Bryce Harper saga has gotten so ridiculous Smash Mouth now claims to have inside info

News came down early Monday that the Los Angeles Dodgers had re-entered the race to sign Bryce Harper, which most frustrated fans of the rival San Francisco Giants. Giants fans want Harper hitting dingers into McCovey Cove, and if not, they certainly don’t want him in Dodger Blue.

If you don’t believe us, go ask Smash Mouth.

No, that’s some weird Twitch user or some newfangled social media platform you’ve never heard of. We’re talking about Smash Mouth, the band. You know, the one that sang “All-Star” back in 1999.

Mind you, it’s only slightly more ridiculous than taking Jon Heyman seriously….

 

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hot stove, rumors, smash mouth

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   1. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:57 AM (#5818579)
We’re talking about Smash Mouth, the band. You know, the one that sang “All-Star” back in 1999.
i think they've sung it once or twice since then, too.
   2. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:58 AM (#5818580)
also, fun fact:
smash mouth and r kelly are the only acts to have performed at the NHL allstar game, NFL pro bowl, MLB all star game and NBA all star game.
   3. Jack Sommers Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:23 AM (#5818584)
Heyman was long since viewed as a shill for Boras here at BTF, but I think he's really hurt his brand nationally this off season, based on what I've seen out and about this year.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5818594)
Heyman: So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out. Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
   5. Rusty Priske Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5818611)
Heyman: So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out. Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive


Remember Primeys? This gets a Primey.
   6. base ball chick Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5818718)
my freaking god
was this really 20 years ago?? i loved that semi-60s stuff they had for a little while then

i feel so old i can't bleeve i was ever actually a teenager and hadn't started dating my Husband yet. it really feels like there was never a time we weren't together
   7. winnipegwhip Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5818720)
i feel so old i can't bleeve i was ever actually a teenager and hadn't started dating my Husband yet. it really feels like there was never a time we weren't together


I was thinking about Goodfellas earlier today and thinking that the time since it's debut and now was the same amount of time between the film's debut and the election of JFK.
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5818733)
I had similar thoughts when I realized that Nirvana's Nevremind was older than Sgt. Pepper's was when Nevermind came out.

The death of Julius Caesar is still more recent than the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza was when the Caesar croaked, so all is not yet lost.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5818735)
When I was born, Glenn Miller's "I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" was more recently released than Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine album is now. I am old.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5818737)
Heyman: So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out. Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
I've got that song stuck in my head now, so thanks for that.
   11. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5818752)
Hey now, he's an all-star, gets his game on go plays. Please make him an offer, so he gets paid.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5818766)

I was thinking about Goodfellas earlier today and thinking that the time since it's debut and now was the same amount of time between the film's debut and the election of JFK.


The one that gets me is that when I was a kid, WW2 was roughly 30-35 years ago. That's the mid-80's from today's perspective.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:34 PM (#5818773)
General comment: 90s pop rock as a genre is terrible. Smashmouth was probably one of the least bad of that group.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5818775)
Dubious. What are examples of bands that are worse than Smashmouth?
   15. Baldrick Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5818778)
Have people heard the Smash Mouth isolated vocal track for the song Days Like These? It's...well, you just have to listen to it.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5818780)
What are examples of bands that are worse than Smashmouth?


Queen. The Beatles. Pavement.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5818781)
I happened to share an elevator with Guy Fieri twice this weekend. He was extraordinarily friendly. I know that Guy Fieri isn't actually in Smashmouth, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were friends or something.
   18. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5818783)
I happened to share an elevator with Guy Fieri twice this weekend.


So that's what the kids are calling it these days.
   19. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5818786)
I had similar thoughts when I realized that Nirvana's Nevermind was older than Sgt. Pepper's was when Nevermind came out.


Oh man that makes me feel old. So does finding out that I was born closer to the first Trinity nuke test than today.


Queen. The Beatles. Pavement.


Someone's spoiling for a fight.

   20. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5818789)
I've heard a number of stories about Fieri - all positive. His style is ridiculous, but that's very different from being a decent person.
   21. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5818791)
Dubious. What are examples of bands that are worse than Smashmouth?

To limit it to late 90s rock bands, let's start with Three Doors Down, Third Eye Blind (What's up with that era's obsession with threes? It's reminiscent of the 80s hairmetal era's fixation on "white"--GreatWhiteLionSnake), Nickelback...

I mean, low bar to exceed those bands, but you asked. Surely we can agree the late 90s was an abysmal time for popular music.
   22. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5818792)
Dubious. What are examples of bands that are worse than Smashmouth?

That Fastball song was as bad as Smash Mouth.

The Offspring had some songs that were worse than Smash Mouth (e.g., "Pretty Fly for a White Guy") but some that were better.

That Sugar Ray song was clearly better than Smash Mouth, though.

ETA after Spahn's post: Third Eye Blind was obviously better than Smash Mouth.
   23. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5818797)
The Offspring had some songs that were worse than Smash Mouth (e.g., "Pretty Fly for a White Guy") but some that were better.

Oh, c'mon--"Pretty Fly for a White Guy"s so bad it's good. I once heard it described as "the white You Be Illin'", which seems about right.
   24. Lassus Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5818798)
#22 sounds like you're talking about which types of Hepatitis are better.
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5818799)
ETA after Spahn's post: Third Eye Blind was obviously better than Smash Mouth.

P'shaw. Or maybe my perceptions are skewed by having sat through most of Third Eye Blind's postgame concert at PNC Park in 2013. Lord, were they awful.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5818800)
#22 sounds like you're talking about which types of Hepatitis are better.

That about captures the gist of it; I'm hardly a Smash Mouth apologist, but I think they were far from the worst their era had to offer.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5818806)
I suppose they were better than Creed and Korn and Limp Bizkit, yes. Were they better or worse than Matchbox 20 or the Goo Goo Dolls? It's not something I really want to think about.
   28. winnipegwhip Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5818807)
That Fastball song was as bad as Smash Mouth.


I bought that Fastball CD on the recommendation of Peter Gammons....haven't played it since Smash Mouth released Allstar.
   29. winnipegwhip Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5818810)
When over-rating music I will always comeback to the lead singer of Poison saying in a documentary, "I will put Talk Dirty to Me up against anything the Sex Pistols did." To me that is delusional.
   30. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5818811)
P'shaw. Or maybe my perceptions are skewed by having sat through most of Third Eye Blind's postgame concert at PNC Park in 2013. Lord, were they awful.

Well, sure, if you're talking about the 2013 version of the band, although to be fair, the 2013 version of Smash Mouth must have been pretty grim, too. Why'd you sit through it, though? When I went to PNC Park, the postgame concert was 38 Special ... so I bailed.
Oh, c'mon--"Pretty Fly for a White Guy"s so bad it's good.

I hear this a lot but I don't actually believe it's a thing. I think it's just people actually liking something but not wanting to admit it, so they pretend that they're liking it ironically.
#22 sounds like you're talking about which types of Hepatitis are better.

From the 2 minutes of reading I just did, E sounds like the worst hepatitis.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5818812)
the recommendation of Peter Gammons


Thank you for reminding me that he would do things like this. I also remember him recommending John Mayer's first album, before he was big. Gammons was really into milquetoast singer-songwriter types and edgeless bland rock. Very into the latest releases of people like Boz Scaggs and John Hiatt.
   32. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5818814)
I suppose they were better than Creed and Korn and Limp Bizkit, yes.

These seem like different kinds of bands than the "pop rock" label that sounded the conversation.
Matchbox 20 or the Goo Goo Dolls

That's more like it.

I'd probably listen to Smash Mouth before Matchbox 20. Goo Goo Dolls were unexciting but nonoffensive.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5818817)
Goo Goo Dolls were unexciting but nonoffensive.


Yeah, I don't think they're nearly as bad as most of the others mentioned.

   34. . Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5818819)
I'm on board with the general theme here but will stand up for the Goo Goo Dolls. Beck's Odelay came out in late 1996 as did a really good REM album, but I'm thinking those are different genres than the one under discussion.

Most likely, the era was one of transition to the mainstreaming of hip-hip which was still a few years away and the beginning of the eclipse of grunge and alternative which were arguably at their peak from about 1989-93. But that's just brainstormy sketching rather than anything thought out.

I can't even contrary this one. It's not really the measure of anything, but I'm eyeballing the Billboard Top 100 for 1997 and it's horrifying. Candle in the Wind, a 20-plus year old song at the time was #1 for the year as the theme song for Diana Spencer's death, a maudlin and embarrassing affair that had to have been the precursor of all sorts of bad stuff I don't have the time or really the inclination to tease out.

If I had the green-barf emoji handy, I'd deploy it here.
   35. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5818821)
The Offspring had some songs that were worse than Smash Mouth (e.g., "Pretty Fly for a White Guy")


Hey, they gave Weird Al some quality material to work with there.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5818823)
Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls were never actively terrible, unlike Smashmouth.
   37. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5818826)
Matchbox 20 really was awful, though.

But that may just be me - mediocrity is one thing, but truly aggressive mediocrity really grinds my gears, even more than something that's outright bad. And no one was more aggressively mediocre in those days - or maybe ever - than Matchbox 20.
   38. Ginger Nut Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5818835)
What kind of music are we talking about here? The original comment in #13 was: "90s pop rock as a genre is terrible. Smashmouth was probably one of the least bad of that group." But then it later seems to just morph into "rock bands" or "bands." Radiohead released OK Computer in 1997, Green Day released Dookie in 1998, and there was Weezer and Beck, Sleater-Kinney, and there were other bands like that, but are they "pop rock," I don't know. Also someone mentioned this was "the era was one of transition to the mainstreaming of hip-hip which was still a few years away...", but this was the era of Biggie and Tupac, plus the Wu Tang, and also some great female artists like Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill. There was A Tribe Called Quest. The Fugees. My memory of that time is that there was lots of great hip hop that was way more prevalent in popular culture than most of the rock bands.
   39. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5818842)
What kind of music are we talking about here?

I mean ... there's been a whole bunch of bands listed if you want to get some idea of who we're talking about.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5818844)
Dookie was 1994. I’d put them right on the edge of pop rock. Radiohead and Sleater-Kinney, no.
   41. Ginger Nut Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5818845)
My point is that the bands listed are really widely spread out on the musical spectrum. So if we are talking about any "bands" from the late 90s then there is obviously a lot of great music. If "pop" just means, what got played on VH1 and top 40 radio, then that's different.
   42. oscar madisox Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5818848)
I suppose they were better than Creed and Korn and Limp Bizkit


I have no idea who Korn of Limp are (or what team they played for), but Creed is absolutely the best character on The Office.
   43. chisoxcollector Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5818851)
I can’t believe an otherwise intelligent human being could possibly think Smash Mouth was better than Third Eye Blind.
   44. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5818855)
This Third Eye Blind number is about as good as a hit fluff powerpop song could get after 1986 or so. That's not super-great (it sure ain't "Starry Eyes") but it's better than anything that Smash Mouth ever managed.

That said, I saw Smash Mouth open for Blur in 1990-something. They were consistently good-natured and funny about being (at the time) one-hit wonders, and won a small place in my heart for that. They have no place in my ears, but a place in my heart? Definitely.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:14 PM (#5818857)
Candlebox. They were pretty horrendous. A few years ago I was in the parking garage near my office and saw a car with a CNDLBX license plate, though, so they apparently have at least one enduring superfan.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:30 PM (#5818864)
They were consistently good-natured and funny about being (at the time) one-hit wonders, and won a small place in my heart for that.


Yeah, I always pair them with Sugar Ray. And Smash Mouth struck me as happy-go-lucky dudes whose music sucked, while Sugar Ray was fronted with a guy I really wanted to punch whose music sucked.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5818868)
I liked and still like the first Sugar Ray hit, "Fly," and vaguely remember that they started out as a kind of poor man's Sublime or Red Hot Chili Peppers (who themselves soon also became a poor man's Red Hot Chili Peppers). Their bland follow-ups were particularly craven sell-out jobs, but I'm sure they have no regrets.
   48. ajnrules Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5818873)
One of the "best" moments for the Texas Rangers from 2018 was the Smash Mouth concert that was supposed to happen at the end of the game on April 21. It was great not because of the concert, but there was a little bit of a 7/4/1985 feel to it. The game was delayed for over an hour because of rain, and then the game itself was a plodding mess that was typical for a game from 2018. The concert ended up not starting until after midnight, and from the videos I saw less than 100 people stayed for the concert. Of course I wasn't one of them.
   49. winnipegwhip Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:04 PM (#5818875)
At least there was Britpop. Has anyone else heard Ocean Colour Scene and agree with me they should have been known on this side of the Atlantic?
   50. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5818879)
Radiohead would have been pop rock if they'd have faded into obscurity after "Creep."

My point is that the bands listed are really widely spread out on the musical spectrum.

The spectrum from Smash Mouth to Third Eye Blind to Goo Goo Dolls?

Candlebox. They were pretty horrendous. A few years ago I was in the parking garage near my office and saw a car with a CNDLBX license plate, though, so they apparently have at least one enduring superfan.

I remember a guy on the radio raving about how amazingly deep Eve 6's lyrics were during an interview with the band. I wonder if that guy regrets how he spent his '90s at all.

   51. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5818880)
Oh man, the 90's pop-rock was right in my wheelhouse. Third Eye Blind was my favorite band in high school (although I admit they were awful live, but that didn't bother me since I very rarely went to concerts).

If you want to go a bit earlier, we've got bands like Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Soul Asylum (a lot of souls in the early to mid-90's), Vertical Horizon, Dishwalla...all enjoyable. Late 90's was all the bands mentioned here, most of whom I liked. I haven't seen anyone mention Blink-182, who was huge. You also had the one-hit wonders like Fastball, Duncan Sheik, Marcy's Playground, Semisonic, Eagle Eye Cherry, Chumbawamba, The Verve, The Verve Pipe, etc. I had all the Third Eye Blind albums and Matchbox 20's Yourself or Someone Like You, but otherwise I was all about the hits on the radio.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5818881)
I liked and still like the first Sugar Ray hit, "Fly,"
Go stand in the corner.

EDIT: And now that song is stuck in my head. So thanks for that, #######.
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 PM (#5818882)
Has anyone else heard Ocean Colour Scene and agree with me they should have been known on this side of the Atlantic?
Yep. I was a fan of theirs around ‘97 and ‘98.
   54. Zach Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:08 PM (#5818889)
Is Pop Rock really a category, or is it what's left after you subtract out everything that's in a more specific category?
   55. Zach Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:09 PM (#5818890)
Radiohead would have been pop rock if they'd have faded into obscurity after "Creep."

Didn't they?

(I keed, I keed!)
   56. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:22 PM (#5818896)
Has anyone else heard Ocean Colour Scene and agree with me they should have been known on this side of the Atlantic?


Yes, and they get bonus points for covering Richard Thompson's "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight".
   57. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:26 PM (#5818899)
Sugar Ray isn't better than anything, ever.
   58. Omineca Greg Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5818926)
Sugar Ray isn't better than anything, ever.

Well, on the one hand Sugar Ray has done a cover of a Cale/Eno song...so I would say that makes them better than any number of shitty bands that have not covered a Cale/Eno song. (Actually, I like "Fly" quite a bit...it's catchy! But for this post let's assume I'm joining in on the Sugar Ray bashing).

Let me say it again for clarity, "Sugar Ray is better than any number of equally shitty bands that have not covered a Cale/Eno song."

On the other hand...

This song is about an artist drawing the night sky, and the transformation of objective reality into art and feeling, and the paradox that the stars exist in a different time than the one in which we perceive them, yet as observers...OK, never mind, I'm not explaining the whole thing for you. But there's a line in the song...

Spinning away, like the night sky at Arles

...which is referencing the city in France where Vinnie Van Gogh spent some time in the rubber room. And of course, he painted while he was there, including this one, which you may recognise. So, that's Arles in the picture.

Now "Arles", in French, rhymes with "Carl" (more or less), and in English, "Charles". Eno sings it in French, but of course his full name is "Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno", and the French part is of his own creation, so obviously he knows his claret from his Beaujolais (actually, I'm sure Brian is quite charming), but McGrath sings the name in English.

I don't know how you say "Arles" in Welsh, but as John Cale doesn't sing on that one, I guess we'll never know.

And as much as I think of Sugar Ray covering this song, which is almost never (their version, I think it's fair to say, is nul à chier), I always wonder why they changed it.

Was he reading off a lyric sheet, and just couldn't be bothered to remember the way Brian sang it? The musicians are explicitly mimicking the arrangement of the original, it seems weird that he wouldn't pronounce it just like the record. Like remember their version of "ISRGOWH?". That's like a dead rip, right down to the last snivel.

Were they thinking, "What the #### is with this 'Arl' bullshit, no American is gonna understand that, we better change it to 'Arles'. Then everyone will get it!"

Did they even bother to figure out what the reference was, or was he just singing "words words words, more words".

There's a paradox at work here, because either you get the reference and are cultured enough to expect the pronunciation in French, or you're not going to get it no matter how hard they Anglicise, or in this case, Americanize it.

Anyway, these are the things that keep me up at night.

After all that, you probably want a song. We've already discussed that "Spinning Away" one to death...so how 'bout this one from the same album...

A man was sleeping under a tree
He wrote to me from Cordoba
After the theatre, we went to his house
He's a very generous Cordoban

We waited at the door, but he didn't come
According to his father, he's very ill

There was a long line of cars in front of me
I came as soon as I could
I left without paying, a suitcase under my arm
I won't see you until Sunday
I'll come as soon as I can

I'll meet you alone in the shoe shop near the bakery
By the two-storey house, very pretty, like a villa

The lift stops between two floors
You start to walk towards the station
I walk towards the bus
We'll have to wait at the station
Leave the parcel on the top deck

You start to walk towards the station

(repeats)
I'll walk towards the bus
You walk towards the station

Cale/Eno


"A very generous Cardoban"! Oh man, those guys are a scream. And do you think Sugar Ray would stick with "lift", or go with "elevator". In this thread I learned "sharing an elevator" means, "hot, sweaty, knuckles gripping on the silver handrail, sex" which I never knew before, but makes sense, because when you're in an elevator you're going up and down a shaft constantly, so for once these crazy kids have come up with an expression that makes sense, God bless their Tide Pod eating little hearts. So I'm guessing Mark and the boys would go with "elevator"...but who knows?
   59. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5818929)
The late '90s were indeed a grim time for pop rock. Grunge had petered out by then, plus a lot of the big mainstream Rock acts of the early '90s we're losing their fastball. U2, Sonic Youth, REM, and the Chili Peppers all had strong albums in the early '90s but couldn't duplicate them in the latter half of the decade.

Things turned around in '01 or so - the indie wave of bands like The Strokes was a breath of fresh air, and the internet made previously obscure acts like Wilco more accessible. But pop rock in the late '90s was a bunch of forgettable acts like the ones named in [51]. I'd add Spacehog to that list. I actually saw them a few years ago at Citizens Park ... playing '90s nostalgia night before a Phillies game.
   60. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5818938)
U2, Sonic Youth, REM, and the Chili Peppers all had strong albums in the early '90s but couldn't duplicate them in the latter half of the decade.

REM had a good album in '96 (New Adventures in Hi-Fi) and then their drummer quit. I actually quite like the first post-Berry album (Up), although it suffered from the album bloat that was common in the CD era. If they had cut a few tracks, I think it might have held up as a late-career classic.

On the other hand, REM is a band whose reputation really took a hit from their late-career fade, and it looks like the damage may be permanent. If they had quit when Berry left, I think their legacy would be unimpeachable, but the last 10 years of their tenure as a band was not good. The music really fell off quality-wise, and simultaneously Michael Stipe went from enigmatic frontman to one of the most insufferable celebrities around.

Which naturally brings me to U2, who were my favorite band in high school. Achtung Baby is a really great album and it holds up still, Zooropa was a worthy follow-up, and then Pop happened. That album had its moments, but overall it was a big drop-off in quality and widely recognized as such at the time. Even worse, the unenthusiastic reception really seemed to spook the band good, and I've always felt like they just lost their nerve after that. Since then, they've retreated into safe, familiar-sounding adult-alternative rock, with each album worse than the one before until the most recent album broke that streak (but not by much - it's still safely their second-worst album). Basically, they just stopped trying to be good and started resting on their laurels, and have been compensating for it ever since by never f'ing shutting up about how good they're trying to be and how they refuse to rest on their laurels.

I'm not sure Sonic Youth were ever really a mainstream act. Never cared for the RHCP although I kinda respect how long they've been able to hang around. I feel the same way about Green Day, actually.
   61. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:21 AM (#5818939)
Pop is an underrated album. Yes, the production is often dated, and there is some crap ("Playboy Mansion" being the nadir along both lines), but there are also some great songs, and the lyrics often hit harder than the music suggests. Gone, Wake Up Dead Man, Last Night on Earth, If You Wear That Velvet Dress...good stuff.
   62. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:28 AM (#5818940)
four things:

1: this was a thing. it happened. for some reason. the only thing i can figure is a mortimer/randolph situation.

2: new kids on the block had a bunch of hits; chinese food makes me sick.

3: oh god. oh god no.

4: i'll stan for this one every day of the ####### week. this one, too. and this. and #### it. cut em up.
   63. Brian C Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:23 AM (#5818943)
Pop is an underrated album. Yes, the production is often dated, and there is some crap ("Playboy Mansion" being the nadir along both lines), but there are also some great songs, and the lyrics often hit harder than the music suggests. Gone, Wake Up Dead Man, Last Night on Earth, If You Wear That Velvet Dress...good stuff.

Well you've really gone and f'ed up this time, because now I want to get into the weeds with the Pop album.

As you say, it has its strengths. Certainly "Gone" and "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" are pretty great. And I actually like "Playboy Mansion".

But as you also say, the production is a problem. I feel like there's a good song buried in "Do You Feel Loved" that the band never found because it's buried under so much formless, extraneous, unpurposed sound. "Discotheque" is similarly overbearing, as is "Mofo", although to be honest there's probably not much of a song there once you strip away the production. Although at least Edge came up with some cool guitar sounds for that one. Even the mix of "Gone" that's on the Best of 1990-2000 compilation, with its rougher drunken-stagger feel (more similar to how they played it live), beats the album version. The only songs on the album where I feel the production really complements the song in a fully satisfying way are "Velvet Dress" and "Please". It's a real shame, because the production on the Passengers album, which they did immediately before, is very dense and electronic also on several tracks but so much cleaner and coherent.

Still, there are some pretty weak moments on the album simply from a songwriting perspective, after a run of albums where that wasn't really the case at all aside from maybe Rattle and Hum (although I don't consider that a proper album, but rather a soundtrack album, so it's a little different). "Mofo" is words that Bono mumbles under the music. "If God Will Send His Angels" blows, and I've never heard a version of "Staring at the Sun" that wasn't deadly dull. "Last Night on Earth" to me is pleasantly listenable but basically filler, a b-side on a stronger album on par with something like "Where Did It All Go Wrong" from the Achtung Baby era. "Miami" is too unfinished to work even as a b-side and ought to have been scrapped altogether. "Wake Up Dead Man" always sounded like something still in the early stages of development, too.

So I guess on the whole, I feel like the album is pretty properly rated - some highlights, but not enough to save it. But it's still disappointing that the band seems to have decided that God was scolding them for their artistic ambition and so gave it up.
   64. manchestermets Posted: February 28, 2019 at 05:29 AM (#5818947)
When over-rating music I will always comeback to the lead singer of Poison saying in a documentary, "I will put Talk Dirty to Me up against anything the Sex Pistols did." To me that is delusional.


I'll put foxes mating outside your bedroom window at 3am up against anything the Sex Pistols did. I'll happily accept arguments that they were extremely important - heck, we'd probably not have had Buzzcocks without them - but the music is unlistenable.

At least there was Britpop. Has anyone else heard Ocean Colour Scene and agree with me they should have been known on this side of the Atlantic?


If it erases all knowledge of them on this side of the Atlantic, absolutely. They were seen over here largely as dull Britpop bandwagon jumpers, and are rarely remembered fondly.


Belle & Sebastian's early albums were coming out in the late 90s. Just saying...
   65. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:45 AM (#5818951)
You also had the one-hit wonders like Fastball, Duncan Sheik, Marcy's Playground, Semisonic, Eagle Eye Cherry, Chumbawamba, The Verve, The Verve Pipe, etc.

From 1998 to 2001, Semisonic had four singles (as per Billboard) in the top 40. Dan Wilson also co-wrote one of the most popular singles in history, Someone Like You. I know I'm biased, but putting them on par with Fastball is a real undersell.

Also, Presidents of the United States of America was an amazing band, stiggles is as usual a bit of a lost soul.

Finally, Redd Kross. Everyone else is tied for last. Except Jellyfish.
   66. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:56 AM (#5818952)
65 posts about 90s pop rock, and nobody mentioned No Doubt? The Cranberries?

For the record, you all suck.

Also, Greg K is probably disappointed that nobody mentioned The Cardigans...
   67. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5818956)
I first noted at least a decade ago that it's easy to tell when pop culture threads on BTF begin running out of steam: people start posting "no love for _____?"

The conversation was about the cohort of mediocre-or-worse pop-rock bands that were popular around the same time as Smashmouth. I actually like the Cardigans too, but I don't associate them with the Marcy's Playground or Matchbox 20 or Fastball. It's a credit to them that they haven't been mentioned yet.

Obviously there was an extremely rich indie rock scene at the very same time. I was a teenager at the time and I was listening to Radiohead, Portishead, Massive Attack, Yo La Tengo, Stereolab, Modest Mouse, Spiritualized, Mogwai, and there were plenty of other bands creating great music that I didn't discover until the next decade. It was a fine time to grow up a rock fan, provided you had the means and opportunity to get music that they weren't playing much on the radio.
   68. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5818957)
Speaking, however, of bands that have "given up," I will declare that the recent Weezer covers album is absolutely one of the laziest and worst albums I've ever heard in my entire life. It's like they mic'd Rivers Cuomo at a karaoke party, and allowed brazen idiots to choose the songs that he would sing.
   69. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5818961)
I was about to mention The Cardigans, Garbage and Portishead.
   70. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:30 AM (#5818962)
Concur. I'm embarrassed for Weezer. It s Mays on the Mets bad.
   71. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5818966)
I first noted at least a decade ago that it's easy to tell when pop culture threads on BTF begin running out of steam: people start posting "no love for _____?"

No love for 2007's pop culture threads?
   72. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5818968)
I will declare that the recent Weezer covers album is absolutely one of the laziest and worst albums I've ever heard in my entire life.
Concur.


Thirded. It's awful. Although I admit it has made me even more curious about the album being released tomorrow - will it be even exponentially worse, or just only OK, or maybe great?
   73. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:57 AM (#5818972)
Is it consensus that Weezer truly and forevermore stopped giving a #### after the poor response to Pinkerton? I know that many love some of the best songs from the subsequent albums, but I think there's an obvious bitterness and cynicism to just about everything they've done since then.
   74. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 28, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5818973)
On the other hand, REM is a band whose reputation really took a hit from their late-career fade, and it looks like the damage may be permanent. If they had quit when Berry left, I think their legacy would be unimpeachable, but the last 10 years of their tenure as a band was not good.

Yeah, that's pretty fair. I'm not as high on Hi-Fi and Up as you, but they're solid albums. IMO they weren't as good as Out of Time and especially Automatic for the People. Your U2 analysis is spot on.

I'm not sure Sonic Youth were ever really a mainstream act.

It was a stretch to call Sonic Youth mainstream, but they did get some fair MTV play from Dirty and some of their other early to mid '90s albums. They also headlined Lollapalooza '95. Their next album (A Thousand Leaves) was a big drop down from Washing Machine, and they didn't recover until the early aughts with Murray Street, Sonic Nurse, and especially Rather Ripped.
   75. McCoy Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5818975)
For me late 90's were indeed a bad period for music. It did seem like an era of one hit wonders and terrible music. I think I bought maybe one or two CDs from 1997 to 2004. I think it was The Killers and white stripes that brought me back.
   76. mike f Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5818976)
Brian C, are you familiar with U Talkin U2 2 Me/R U Talkin REM re Me? They meander A LOT (it’s kind of the point) and there must be over 50 episodes by now, but they eventually do a song by song review of every U2 and REM album. I was shocked how much I dislike REM beyond their greatest hits and Automatic For The People.
   77. Baldrick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5818978)
The conversation was about the cohort of mediocre-or-worse pop-rock bands that were popular around the same time as Smashmouth. I actually like the Cardigans too, but I don't associate them with the Marcy's Playground or Matchbox 20 or Fastball. It's a credit to them that they haven't been mentioned yet.

The conversation started as "90s pop rock" is bad, and Smashmouth is among the best of that genre. But no one has yet explained what the genre is, other than 'crappy post-alternative music of the late 90s.' Which, okay, yeah the bad stuff is bad. But that's not saying much.

There was a ton of very good music released in the late 90s, some of which was quite popular, and was routinely in rotation on the same radio stations and MTV channels as 'All-Star.'

Set aside all of the legitimately great records released during that period (including a number which have been mentioned here), and just stick with the modest successes, and you've got stuff like Nada Surf, Better Than Ezra, the Gin Blossoms, Eels, A Perfect Circle, Collective Soul, Veruca Salt, Tonic, Our Lady Peace, Superdrag, Harvey Danger, etc. etc. (this list could run on hundreds of artists) You may not like all of them, but it seems pretty indisputable that many many artists were making better music during that time than Smashmouth.
   78. mike f Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:07 AM (#5818979)
PF, I’d agree with you past Maladroit. I don’t even particularly like Green or Maladroit, but I don’t think there’s anything bitter or cynical about this video. Edit: I just noticed your “just about”, so we probably agree.
   79. Spahn Insane Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5818981)
I should probably clarify/limit my criticisms of 90s pop rock above to the bland radio stuff I referenced (all those bands, along with, say, Fastball and Matchbox 20, have a dull sameness to me--which is why I think Smash Mouth doesn't stack up badly against those groups; at least their songs have something resembling original hooks/rhythms). That's the crap my first wife and her reprehensible nieces used to listen to in the car all the time, so perhaps I conflate "90s music" with that stuff to an unfair degree and negatively associate it accordingly. Bringing the Cranberries and REM and No Doubt and Sonic Youth into the conversation is a whole different beast. (I don't really think of REM as a "90s band," in that they became successful in the 80s. Ditto Sonic Youth, and as another commenter said, they weren't really in the mainstream at that point anyway.)
   80. Baldrick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5818984)
I mean, look, on the alternative charts at the exact same time as All Star were songs like Praise You by Fatboy Slim, Awful by Hole, When I Grow Up by Garbage, The Kids Aren’t Alright by The Offspring, Stolen Car by Beth Orton, Ana’s Song by Silverchair, Beautiful by Joydrop, Alien by Pennywise, My Own Worst Enemy by Lit. All of which are miles better than anything Smashmouth ever did.

There was also, of course, All-Star, along with songs from Limp Bizkit, Sugar Ray, and Kid Rock. So it’s not like everything was perfect. The wave of popular-good guitar rock that had managed to last most of the 90s was finally starting to crash down by this point. But I'd put Smashmouth as one of the leading indicators of this fact.
   81. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5818985)
I think that REM changed enough over the years that they can be properly considered both an 80s band and a 90s band.
   82. Brian C Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5818986)
But no one has yet explained what the genre is, other than 'crappy post-alternative music of the late 90s.' Which, okay, yeah the bad stuff is bad. But that's not saying much.

...it seems pretty indisputable that many many artists were making better music during that time than Smashmouth.

Well, what more of a definition do you want? The discussion was based on the assumption that the crappy stuff was crappy. That's why Spahn originally described Smash Mouth as the "least bad" of the genre. No one came within 10,000 lightyears of saying that no one was making better music than Smash Mouth.
   83. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5818987)
Baldrick, if you think this thread is pro-Smashmouth, I'm not sure what you're reading.
   84. BrianBrianson Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5818989)
I think I bought maybe one or two CDs from 1997 to 2004.


If you bought Hot Show in 1998, buying other CDs was probably unnecessary (and Wikipedia calls it pop rock, anyhow, though it's decidely on the "pop" end of that spectrum).
   85. Baldrick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5818991)
Baldrick, if you think this thread is pro-Smashmouth, I'm not sure what you're reading.

I think Spahn's original comment suggested that they were among the best of the popular rock music of the period (though I see the clarification in 79 helps to make it a bit more clear what is being referenced). My thesis is that they are among the very worst artists of that period, and were far more of an indicator that this style of music was in terminal decline by 1999, rather an exemplar of what the genre actually could offer.
   86. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5818992)
Is it consensus that Weezer truly and forevermore stopped giving a #### after the poor response to Pinkerton?

Nah. But, at the same time, I'm not that cynical.
   87. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5818993)
That was a critical misreading of Spahn's comment, which called them "least bad," which is still "bad." Give your fellow Primates a little credit - the going assumption should be that everyone understands and agrees that Smashmouth is overtly terrible. If someone says "Hey Smashmouth wasn't that bad," you should interpret that as "I know everyone considers them to be an abomination, but I think they're just a small abomination, but still clearly an abomination."
   88. McCoy Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5818994)
I had smash mouth's debut album and of my dreams is to eventually see their music video in which Jennifer love Hewitt jiggles amd gyrates to their song. I got like a 5 second spotting of it way back when before the age of the internet and I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere. Maybe I just imagined it.
   89. Brian C Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5819001)
Brian C, are you familiar with U Talkin U2 2 Me/R U Talkin REM re Me? They meander A LOT (it’s kind of the point) and there must be over 50 episodes by now, but they eventually do a song by song review of every U2 and REM album. I was shocked how much I dislike REM beyond their greatest hits and Automatic For The People.

No, not familiar, but thanks for the rec. I've never really gotten into the podcast scene but I'll keep it in mind.

I'm just the opposite of you on REM - their "greatest hits" are typically some of my least favorite songs on their respective albums. There are some exceptions - "Radio Free Europe", "It's the End of the World as We Know It", "What's the Frequency Kenneth" - but generally I find that my favorites are buried on the albums. For example, I've never heard whatever it is that people love about "Losing My Religion" and would take "Half a World Away" from the same album 100x over.
   90. Brian C Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5819002)
I had smash mouth's debut album and of my dreams is to eventually see their music video in which Jennifer love Hewitt jiggles amd gyrates to their song. I got like a 5 second spotting of it way back when before the age of the internet and I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere. Maybe I just imagined it.

This one?
   91. Baldrick Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5819003)
That was a critical misreading of Spahn's comment, which called them "least bad," which is still "bad." Give your fellow Primates a little credit - the going assumption should be that everyone understands and agrees that Smashmouth is overtly terrible. If someone says "Hey Smashmouth wasn't that bad," you should interpret that as "I know everyone considers them to be an abomination, but I think they're just a small abomination, but still clearly an abomination."

There were two claims there "1. the whole genre is bad" and "2. SM is among the better entrants of that genre."

I disagree with both of those claims.
   92. McCoy Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5819004)
It's that song but I seem to recall JLH doing more dancing. But like I said it could very well be that has the years go by the memory gets more and more embellished.
   93. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5819008)
From 1998 to 2001, Semisonic had four singles (as per Billboard) in the top 40. Dan Wilson also co-wrote one of the most popular singles in history, Someone Like You. I know I'm biased, but putting them on par with Fastball is a real undersell.

Dan Wilson also wrote some Dixie Chicks songs including Easy Silence, which is a great song.

Also this conversation should be in the Pop Culture thread!
   94. Esoteric Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5819024)
Queen. The Beatles. Pavement.


I may only lurk here these days but I'll be good and goddamned if I'm going to sit back and let wanton insulting of Pavement go by unchallenged like this.

P.S. MY podcast's discussions of Pavement, R.E.M. and U2 are better than anyone else's. As a bonus, our very own fellow Primate Matt Welch was our guest for the R.E.M. episode... https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/national-review-2/political-beats/e/51430692
   95. Brian C Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5819026)
Alas, Lassus's claims about Semisonic appear to be inflated somewhat. They actually had four songs hit the Billboard Alternative chart (then called "Modern Rock"), and only one in the top 10. This is a considerably less noteworthy feat than what was implied, and I don't feel it is enough to get them out of "one-hit wonder" status.

To put them on par with Fastball ... Fastball had 4 songs chart on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart (not to be confused with the general Hot 100), with 2 in the top 10. Different chart, but if anything more people at the time were probably familiar with the Fastball songs than the Semisonic ones aside from "Closing Time".
   96. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5819035)


I happened to share an elevator with Guy Fieri twice this weekend. He was extraordinarily friendly. I know that Guy Fieri isn't actually in Smashmouth, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were friends or something.


I hope you've seen this. Although I guess the theory was disproved, I'm not convinced that Fieri and Harwell aren't *both* the ICP guy at different times, a la the movie Scream.
   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5819038)
They meander A LOT (it’s kind of the point)
Man, that's an understatement. I tried to listen to the first episode on the way to work today, given that U2 and REM are two of my all-time favorites, but I had to stop 30 minutes in when they still hadn't gotten to any of the actual content. Just a bunch of riffing trying (and mostly failing) to be funny, with occasional references to the content that they supposedly were eventually going to talk about. Does it eventually get listenable?
   98. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5819043)
RUTU2TME/RUTREMRE:ME - The meandering is the point. They eventually focus mostly on the content but it's a comedy/hangout show more than a music show. (It's the same show.)
Best ep is the U2 one with Todd Glass.
It's not my favorite Aukerman work but perfectly fine as background noise while I work.

I'll spare everyone my 90s music thoughts, which are voluminous, except to say that the first several Cardigans albums were pretty great / mostly slept on.
   99. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5819053)
Alas, Lassus's claims about Semisonic appear to be inflated somewhat.

I admitted my bias; but seriously, akin to Fastball? No.

I mean, I guess I'm not the audience, but not only had I never heard of Fastball, I've googled all four of their singles, and haven't ever heard any of those ether.
   100. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5819057)
Most likely, the era was one of transition to the mainstreaming of hip-hip which was still a few years away and the beginning of the eclipse of grunge and alternative which were arguably at their peak from about 1989-93. But that's just brainstormy sketching rather than anything thought out.

There is some truth here--alternative/grunge/punk genre went mainstream in the early-90s, peaked in popularity in the mid-90s, and began to decline from there. There's some personal bias in this timeline, as I was 12-16 years old in the early 90s and just discovering a lot of these bands, but I know that if I discovered it then, it was already mainstream.

I also think that hip hop was already fairly mainstream at that point (again, if I was listening to it, it was mainstream), but the mid-late 90s was when you had a backlash against mainstream/gangsta rap and the formation of some of the great underground/conscious hip hop groups and labels (Black Star and Company Flow were both debuting around 1996-1997). And then by the early-mid 2000s those groups had gone mainstream as well.
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