The Aughts Hot or Not – Blink 182 “First Date”

Photo: YouTube

It’s 2001, you come home from school and throw some pizza rolls in the microwave. Homework? Nah. Shut the door to your room and throw Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in the PS2. Are you going with Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, or Chad Muska? Doesn’t matter, all three of them shred so hard.

As great as the THPS soundtrack is, sometimes you have to switch it up a bit. So you grab that trapper keeper that held all of your CDs, and find Blink 182’s classic album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. You meander through the first few songs, until you get to the third track, “First Date.”

All is good in the world.

Music Video

There is so much going on in this music video and I absolutely love the chaos. A totally random and unexplained anecdote of Tom DeLonge kissing his brother starts the video off right before Travis Barker begins the musical proceedings.

If the costumes and grainy footage didn’t give it away, we quickly learn the setting for the video is El Segundo, California in 1974. Shaggy hair, handlebar mustaches, and short shorts all around. We see the band start to roll around town in their Volkswagen van, exiting accompanied by a plume of smoke, and driving with an “Ass, Gas, of Grass” bumper sticker on the back fender.

Around the 1:45 mark, we get to, in my humble option, the climax of the video…the wiffle ball scene. Both hilarious and sad, the wiffle ball bat gets launched, and caught in the poor girl with the headgear’s bike spokes. She takes a mighty tumble over the handlebars and rolls away crying and ashamed. Sad indeed.

The hilarious part is that this moment produced what is one of the most popular GIFs used today:

At their peak, the guys from Blink 182 were such visionaries they were creating visual art that would become one of the best GIFs we have, 15 years before the medium even became a popular form of communication. Truly forward-thinking stuff.

The remainder of the video is a trip to the water park and go-kart track, where we get some awkward ass slapping, shrinkage jokes, and peeing on the side of the go-kart track. We finish off by getting an update on where the guys are know; Travis drives go-karts full time, Spaulding (Mark) still lives in his van, and Boomer (Tom) is currently in prison for undisclosed reasons. A fitting end to this group of dimwits we’re introduced to in this video.

Best Lyric

I dread the thought of our very first kiss
A target that I’m probably gonna miss

Not only are these great lyrics, they’re totally savvy. Blink knew exactly what they were doing here. They had the early aughts, punk rock, teen angst crowd wrapped around their finger. You just know there were millions of 13-17 year olds who felt these lines in their bones.

Another thing that I love about Blink 182 and bands of the like, is the punk rock accent they threw out there when singing, have you ever noticed that? A lot of elongated A’s and ending words with an “auuuugghhh” sound. You can read the lyrics above in what would be considered a normal voice, but they actually sound like:

I draaad the thoight auhv our vaary feeurst keeis
A taurgut thaaat owime praubly geeonna meeis

You know I’m right.

Worst Lyric

Is it cool if I hold your hand?
Is it wrong if I think it’s lame to dance?

A few pros and cons here. Asking permission to hold someone’s hand, definite pro. Thinking it’s lame to dance, definite con. Starting the song off with a shaky lyric; con. Having the song only get better after said start, pro.

Just because I love it so much, let’s get phonetic and read how these lyrics actually sound coming from Tom DeLonge:

Ees eiut kewl eif I hold yer haaaund?
Ees eiut wraung eif I theenk eiut’s lame tuh daaaunce?

You know I’m right.

Rating

It’s a shame that Blink 182 has gone through their fair share of break ups, reunions, and re-break ups. The band currently still consists of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Tom DeLonge has gone his separate way, and has gotten really into aliens, which I’m all for. But I think we would all be glad to see the three members that made up the band at their peak get back together at some point. A great band, and one of their top songs.

Rating: 8 Carson Daly’s

The Aughts Hot or Not – Nickleback “Photograph”

We are back with another addition of AHN, and this time we are diving deep into the cringe.

Nickleback is the most hated band in history. We’re not the only ones saying this, it’s scientifically proven. The band hails from Hanna, Alberta, Canada, and (unfortunately) came on the scene with their first hit, “How You Remind Me” in 2001. Since then, it has been a continued decline for lead singer Chad Kroeger and his Ed Hardy-wearing group of rockers.

The band has come out with songs for years that have been consistently panned. From such classics as “Someday” (2003) to “Rockstar” (2005), Nickleback has continued to assault our eardrums for the past two decades. They’ve somehow accrued incredible commercial success, however. According to officialcharts.com, their singles have spent a combined 28 weeks in the Top 10, 83 weeks in the top 40, and 144 weeks in the top 100 on the US charts; thus proving that there are people out there who will listen to anything.

Today, we’re focusing on the hit “Photograph” off of the band’s 2005 album “All The Right Reasons.” This was another song in the never ending product line of Nickleback offerings that all sound pretty similar. This timeless piece gives us Chad (such a perfect name for this band’s leader, by the way) looking back on his hometown of Hanna, and shows us the roots of the man who would become a rock God for dudes who drink Mountain Dew and wear white-rimmed sunglasses.

Music Video

The music video for “Photograph” is…something. It starts with Chad forcing us to, indeed, “look at this photograph,” really hitting us over the head here. Around the 40 second mark, Chad and the boys take their purposefully-ripped jeans and graphic tees to the old gym at Hanna High to start shredding in the way only Nickleback can. We get some canned b-roll of a typical, rural town with dirt roads, a junk yard (for some reason?), and train tracks with overgrown weeds.

Around the three minute mark, we start to get introduced to some of the Hanna locals, and it’s exactly what you would expect from a relentlessly bland group like Nickleback. Tucked in plaid shirts, jeans worn out from years of blue-collar work, and even a few Karens for some razzle dazzle at the 3:06 mark. Other than that, we get some random video of a softball game, but otherwise just continued pounding of the small town feel of Nickleback’s hometown.

Best Lyric

I miss that town
I miss their faces
You can’t erase
You can’t replace it

Whew…this was a treasure hunt. Trying to find a “best lyric” in a Nickleback song is like trying to find a good steak at a McDonald’s. It seems like this might be as nice and normal as Nickleback lyrics can actually get, which I guess is something. There’s honestly not much to analyze here, simply because like most of their lyrics, it’s so brain-numbingly dull that I can’t pull one interesting thought out of it.

This is as good as it’s going to get, folks.

Worst Lyric

Remember the old arcade
Blew every dollar that we ever made
The cops hated us hangin’ out
They say somebody went and burned it down

…what?!

What a roller coaster of garbage we’re riding here. So, the cops hated patrons at the arcade? Why? I can only assume it was Chad and the boys’ fault. I can imagine, despite spending “every dollar” they ever made, they still tried to steal prizes, bled the place dry of Mountain Dew and beef jerky, and asked for free tokens when they ran out of money.

Also, we’re just throwing out the fact that someone burned down the poor arcade, and just moving right along with our lives? That’s someone’s business, their income, their life. These thoughtless miscreants couldn’t care less about their old local hangout burning to the ground. Deplorable.

Rating

Reviewing a Nickleback song, let alone “Photograph,” was quite the masochistic process, and I’m not sure why it was done. You can’t have sunshine without the rain, as they say. As one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, you almost have to respect Nickleback’s hustle for just continuously putting out shit that they know is going to be made fun of forever. Those steadfast Canadian rockers refuse to quit giving all of us songs we don’t want, don’t need, and will never like. Having said all of that, it still isn’t going to improve my rating.

Rating: 2 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

The Aughts Hot or Not – Fleetwood Mac “Dreams”

We are going way off track on this one, but it must be done. As you may remember, we typically review our favorite songs from The Aughts (2000-2010) in this series. However, due to a certain recent viral video, we’re breaking our own rules.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen the now famous TikTok by America’s new best friend, user @420doggface208:

This video is all of the vibes, as the kids say these days. It went hugely viral, enough for Mick Fleetwood to actually respond via TikTok:

@mickfleetwood

@420doggface208 had it right. Dreams and Cranberry just hits different. #Dreams #CranberryDreams #FleetwoodMac

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

So, as you may have now gathered, in this edition of “The Aughts Hot or Not,” we are traveling back to 1977 to review Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Music Video

Well, this is going to be short and sweet. The music video for “Dreams” is severely lacking in any special effects, CGI, or general substance….and that’s OK!

The production of music videos wasn’t as big of a business back in the 1970’s as it was in The Aughts. What we get here is Stevie, Mick, and the crew in their element, simply performing the song on a stage for presumably an adoring crowd. While everyone gets their moments to shine, the video mostly focuses on lead singer Steve Nicks, who belts out the painful lyrics as only she can.

Best Lyric

Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?
It’s only right that you should play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness

We’re jumping right in here with the best lyrics; the very first verse of the song. While writing the album “Rumours” (in which “Dreams” was featured), each member of the band was going through some incredible hardship.

According to Rolling Stone: “Stevie Nicks had just split with her longtime lover and musical partner, Lindsey Buckingham, while Christine was in the midst of divorcing her husband, bassist John McVie. Meanwhile, Mick Fleetwood’s extra-band marriage was on the rocks, leading to an affair with Nicks before the year was out. This inner turmoil surfaced in brutally honest lyrics, transforming the album into a tantalizing he-said-she-said romantic confessional.”

You can feel all of the calamity and misery surrounding the band come through in the song, and this first verse really paints that picture. Not a surprise that our guy 420doggface208 made his viral TikTok using the best part of the song.

Worst Lyric

Women they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know

Bo-riiiiing. Fleetwood Mac is widely appreciated as one of the greatest bands of the 70’s. Their list of hits is quite long: “Go Your Own Way,” “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” etc. All of these songs have incredible lyrics. I think we as Fleetwood Mac fans came to expect consistently top notch lyrics. Which, of course, is both unreasonable and unfair. However, when Stevie blurted out the two above lines, I was quite disappointed at the blandness.

Rating

This song was surprisingly the only hit for Fleetwood Mac to reach number one on the US Billboard charts. I think it’s a really solid mix of lyrics, message, and performance. Stevie Nicks’ voice alone probably gives any Fleetwood Mac song a one to two point boost, I think it’s just one of the greatest we’ve ever been privileged to hear. With all of this considered:

Rating: 8 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today