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June 5, 2012 3:23 AM   Subscribe

Asked to cover Van Halen's "Panama" for A.V. Undercover 2012, Reggie Watts chose to present an early demo version of the song, "helpfully dispelling some myths and explaining how its namesake canal works."
posted by Knappster (85 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.
posted by Violet Hour at 3:33 AM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Suddenly the urge to go to Starbucks.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:16 AM on June 5, 2012


My reaction to this one was funny, because:

1) I have generally really liked the "A. V. Undercover" series, and
2) I really like Reggie Watts
3) I don't particularly care for Van Halen...
4) ...and "Panama" in particular is a bad song, violating the only really hard and fast rule that I have for pop music: that it cannot be boring.

So I don't have any fondness for the original to block my appreciation of the cover, and I was still a bit disappointed by this one. It seemed to break the rules for Undercover. I wanted to hear Reggie actually do the song in question, not just free associate on the title.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:42 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


4) ...and "Panama" in particular is a bad song, violating the only really hard and fast rule that I have for pop music: that it cannot be boring.

Wait, what? Boring? Bad? "Panama"? De gustibus non est disputandum and all that, but that's crazy talk.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:08 AM on June 5, 2012 [18 favorites]


I've been having a classic rock station on at home lately and when Panama came on the other day I noticed that it consists of two things:

1) a bunch of blah blah blah that I've never managed to catch
2) the word "panama" about a million times, all mispronounced

So yes, boring.

Which I think explains why my reaction to Watts' version was the same as above. I didn't have any feeling of "oh man, I can't wait to see how he twists that (stupid|awesome) classic!" More of a "*sigh* OK, let's hear it."
posted by DU at 5:17 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Panama is a guitar song. If you're paying attention to the lyrics, you're doing it wrong.
posted by smcameron at 5:29 AM on June 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


...and "Panama" in particular is a bad song

I reach down...
Between my legs...
And flag as offensive.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:32 AM on June 5, 2012 [26 favorites]


1) a bunch of blah blah blah that I've never managed to catch

What are you talking about?

jump back
what's that sound
something something
with the top down


How hard is that?
posted by Trochanter at 5:38 AM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


... and then he says "burning" like my grandfather.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:40 AM on June 5, 2012


That felt like a lame cop-out.
posted by oddman at 5:49 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do doo be-do-do
Pa nah ma nah
posted by Wolfdog at 5:52 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of liked this cover of 'Panama,' but then again I do hate the original.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:59 AM on June 5, 2012


That's pretty much how the song goes.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:04 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, that was just an obnoxious example of being too clever by half.
posted by graphnerd at 6:19 AM on June 5, 2012


I know I should be used to Metafilter folks hating stuff but for the life of me I can't figure out the hatred of what is one of the most kick-ass rockin' songs ever made in the history of kick-ass rockin' songs.

From the part that goes "BAMP BA BAMP BA BAMP Bu BUMP BUMP BAMP bu BAMP bu BAMP" to the slow part that goes "do doo doo doo doo doooooo do dooo..." and all the little whammy bars and pick scrapes in between, that song is just 100% pure awesome and anyone who disagrees with me has obviously eaten way too much paste in elementary school.

I saw a Post-VH David Lee Roth in concert and he performed that song in a boxing ring hanging from the middle of the Worcester Centrum. A BOXING RING!

I bet your little Amanda Palmer Neutral Milk Honey Neko Cases Hotels or whatevers have never sung a sung from a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I'm about ready to take this to Metatalk.
posted by bondcliff at 6:41 AM on June 5, 2012 [58 favorites]


Jack. Daniels. Bass.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:59 AM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I know I should be used to Metafilter folks hating stuff but for the life of me I can't figure out the hatred of what is one of the most kick-ass rockin' songs ever made in the history of kick-ass rockin' songs.

From the part that goes "BAMP BA BAMP BA BAMP Bu BUMP BUMP BAMP bu BAMP bu BAMP" to the slow part that goes "do doo doo doo doo doooooo do dooo..." and all the little whammy bars and pick scrapes in between, that song is just 100% pure awesome and anyone who disagrees with me has obviously eaten way too much paste in elementary school.

I saw a Post-VH David Lee Roth in concert and he performed that song in a boxing ring hanging from the middle of the Worcester Centrum. A BOXING RING!

I bet your little Amanda Palmer Neutral Milk Honey Neko Cases Hotels or whatevers have never sung a sung from a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I'm about ready to take this to Metatalk."



This may actually now be my All-Time Favorite Comment on Metafilter, ever.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:05 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Panama is a guitar song. If you're paying attention to the lyrics, you're doing it wrong.

I never pay attention to the lyrics of any song. But as I hear it over time, I gradually learn the words phonetically, without any meaning attached. I noticed while listening to it recently that I know exactly one word from Panama and that is "pa-na-MUH". The others are all just an undifferentiated mush.

Which is probably for the best, but it makes singing along impossible and therefore the song is boring. (Yes, all songs that cannot be sung along to are boring. Many songs without lyrics CAN be sung along to, but not Panama. Thus endeth the lesson.)
posted by DU at 7:08 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The lyrics might be stupid but the guitar is awesome.

Usually I sing this about my dog.

Taaaaaasha, Taaaaaasha, Taaaaasha, Taa-ah-ah-ah-ahsha-sha...
posted by stormpooper at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2012


The best part about this post is that it led me to listen to Van Halen's Panama twice in a row, which is a great way to start your day.

Also the lyrics are fantastic.

"Model citizen, zero discipline" -- Reggie Watts only wishes he could write such a poignant, succinct description of America. Also, "Got the feelin', power steerin' / Pistons poppin' ain't no stoppin' now" -- take that Sammy "wanted dead or alive...all that jive..can't drive 55" Hagar.

(And that doesn't even count the amazing break where David Lee Roth basically invents rap music two full years before Run–D.M.C. released "Walk This Way.")
posted by straight at 7:38 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I noticed while listening to it recently that I know exactly one word from Panama and that is "pa-na-MUH". The others are all just an undifferentiated mush.

I'm not sure what's so difficult. It's about a car. There may possibly be some sexual innuendo, though that's rare for a Van Halen song. I mean, why would someone have an on ramp coming through their bedroom? Wouldn't eminent domain just take the whole property? Doesn't make a lot of sense.
posted by bondcliff at 7:50 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


(And that doesn't even count the amazing break where David Lee Roth basically invents rap music two full years before Run–D.M.C. released "Walk This Way.")

Dammit, you made me listen.
posted by DarkForest at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2012


Actually, according to Diamond Dave, he got sick of hearing that all Van Halen songs were about cars and girls. Then he realized that he'd never written a song about cars and went to a drag race where he saw a dragster called the Panama Express. That's what it's about. And if you don't like Van Halen or Panama especially, I can only assume that you hate fun and are to be disregarded.

Also, read Van Halen: Exuberant Zen California Rock. I just finished it and it makes my case better than me.
posted by jonmc at 8:23 AM on June 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


One of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time. The cover, not so much. I like Reggie Watts, and I can see what he's doing here. Hit song, 80's rock band...he was asked to cover something that is, essentially, antithetical to his entire schtick, muse and, arguably, being. So he half-asses something for people to listen to while riding to the coffee shop on their fixie. Meh.

Panama kicks ass. Emasculation fail.
posted by Chuffy at 8:52 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone notice that there's a shark on the wall behind him. I wonder what sort of jumping shoes Reggie would choose.


... and what jonmc said.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:17 AM on June 5, 2012


Which is probably for the best, but it makes singing along impossible and therefore the song is boring.

Well, I'm glad we could have this post so we could hear all about how you don't enjoy music.
posted by yerfatma at 9:24 AM on June 5, 2012



When 1984 came out, I was 12 going on awkward.

Dirt bikes, atari 2600, and the lascivious rock and roll everyone's older brother blasted from the Chevy Nova's and Trans Ams they were constantly working on.

1984. Pyromania, Out of the Cellar, Metal Health....

Man, that music was awesome.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm conflicted about Reggie Watts. The premis of his whole thing and the ost-ironic afro with the super-ironic sweaters makes me predisposed to hate him, but then he's a really clever, seemingly really nice guy who clearly has metric shitloads of talent and when he does his stuff I just don't end up hating him for some reason. I just... I guess I wish he'd take a project or whatever seriously because I think he has good music in him and not just mostly amusing music-comedy.
posted by cmoj at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reggie Watts is funny, "Panama" is my favorite Van Halen song, just edging out "Hot For Teacher" and "Runnin' With The Devil", and summa y'all hate fun.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:44 AM on June 5, 2012


Jesus. The fucking dumbass knee-jerk dismissal of any creative endeavor that inevitably happens in a thread where people infinitely more talented than you are actually DOING something is exhausting. That is the only shit in this thread that's jumped the shark.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who is being knee-jerk dismissive? People are allowed to not like things and say so.
I think Watts is talented, but this did not live up to my expectations of... well, any of the things I thought it could be when I read about it.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:05 AM on June 5, 2012


it's all been downhill since fuck-shit-stack.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:13 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's all been downhill since fuck-shit-stack.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:13 PM on June 5


I agree with this, but on the other hand "Fuck Shit Stack" existed at such an oxygen-starved vertiginous altitude of ace that even the foothills of that mighty peak are strewn with the scree of abnormally powerful rockage.

Oh Lord, I really must conclude that the absinthe and acid experiment was not one of my brighter ideas.
posted by Decani at 11:26 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: something for people to listen to while riding to the coffee shop on their fixie
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:32 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Reggie Watts is at this point in his career where he really needs to take it somewhere. Is he a mind-blowingly talented artist with something to say or a pot smoking wise ass with a really great shtick? I mean I loved loved those early Vimeo pieces but it's been a while since I'm seeing anything new.

I mean, as others have pointed out, there's a lot of redeeming qualities to Panama as a song, that's why it was one of the AV Club's choices. Instead of indulging the spirit of the project, he just sorta phoned in the same kind of thing that's already all over the Internet. And this video will get lots of hits and praise and probably keep getting Watts paid for doing the thing everyone expects him to do. Which is a comfortable place for an entertainer to be, but a dangerous place for an artist. I think he's probably a Very Smart and Creative man and I really want to see where he goes next, but there may be nothing more. He reminds me of that really brilliant and funny friend everyone has who's really great fun but gets to be annoying when you realize you can't have a serious conversation with them ever.

But I'm just some loser on the Internet with no talent so what do I know...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:39 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw a Post-VH David Lee Roth in concert and he performed that song in a boxing ring hanging from the middle of the Worcester Centrum. A BOXING RING!

Come now, I love me some David Lee Roth (especially since I saw the DLR Dog World videos) and especially love him as the front man of Van Halen, but if we're using singing in a boxing ring a a metric for measuring awesomeness, then we have to agree that this guy rocks just as hard. Heck, he not only sings in the boxing ring, he attempts to have sex with it. Diamond Dave would have cleaned it in a pre-performance zen-state. Not very rock.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:56 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, yeah, on the one hand, I enjoy Reggie Watts, on the other hand the whole point of this thing is to cover the song.

Perhaps Watts is trying to make us ask "what is a cover?" He is capable of doing an actual cover - as he starts to do with Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" before going off into his own lyrics and ultimately in part two his own thing. Based on this, his method of covering a song seems to be more based on being inspired by the original rather than trying to replicate it.

Or, perhaps, Watts is trolling us and the A/V club. In that Reggie Watts TED talk, he clearly sings "I'm trolling you" at one point. Why not troll all the A/V Club listeners and get everyone talking?

Anyhow, this is the first time we've been discussing A.V. Undercover since the awesome Chumbawumba cover by They Might Be Giants, so good on Reggie for getting the whole project some extra attention this season.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:05 PM on June 5, 2012


Anyhow, this is the first time we've been discussing A.V. Undercover since the awesome Chumbawumba cover by They Might Be Giants, so good on Reggie for getting the whole project some extra attention this season.

Not true, there was a post about Young the Giant's cover of Ignition (Remix) from the beginning of this season.
posted by Copronymus at 12:12 PM on June 5, 2012


Not true, there was a post about Young the Giant's cover of Ignition (Remix) from the beginning of this season.

Clearly, I have no idea who Young the Giant are. Bad on me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:18 PM on June 5, 2012


but if we're using singing in a boxing ring a a metric for measuring awesomeness, then we have to agree that this guy rocks just as hard.

What I neglected to mention was that upon the completion of Panama he then rode a surfboard across the top of the crowd back to the main stage while singing California Girls.

That, my friend, is rock and roll.

Billy Idol: 0
DLR: Infinity
posted by bondcliff at 12:27 PM on June 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Bondcliff, I'm glad you enjoyed the show you saw, but I'm going to have to point out that the motherfucking best Van Halen song of all time is "And The Cradle Will Rock".

Listen to the bridge in Panama. It's loose, sloppy, and Diamond Dave is just kind of blathering to fill time.

Compare to the bridge in "Cradle". Tight, short, and they come out of it with a line for the ages: "Have you seen junior's grades?" Guuuuiiiiittttaaaar! Watch that bit of the video. Watch Dave do the reverse splits in purple spandex tights and foot wide furry white shin gaiters. God came at that point.

(I am open to opposing arguments, but I'm pretty sure purple spandex win the argument any time.)
posted by benito.strauss at 12:47 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many songs without lyrics CAN be sung along to, but not Panama.

Aww, c'mon, it's not that hard:
Panama!
Panama-ah
Panama!
Panama-uh-ah-uh-ah!
Panama!
posted by kirkaracha at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


My go-to Van Halen cover is Aztec Camera's "Jump."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:01 PM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm going to have to point out that the motherfucking best Van Halen song of all time is "And The Cradle Will Rock".

As much as it pains me to say this, I agree with Chuck Klosterman:

"They also recorded the most average song in rock history: "And the Cradle Will Rock." What this means is that any song better than "And the Cradle Will Rock" is good, and any song worse than "And the Cradle Will Rock" is bad. If we were to rank every rock song (in sequential order) from best to worst, "And the Cradle Will Rock" would be right in the fucking middle."

Perhaps I overstated my love of Panama. Now that I think of it I can probably name a dozen Van Halen songs that are better than Panama. I was merely reacting to the folks who claimed Panama was somehow boring or did not, in fact, rock.
posted by bondcliff at 1:05 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


4) ...and "Panama" in particular is a bad song, violating the only really hard and fast rule that I have for pop music:

Panama isn't pop. Debbie Gibson is pop. Wilson Phillips was pop.


Panama is rock. It is a song that whenever it comes on the radio, it demands that you crank the stereo - because it is not possible to do hearing damage while listening to this song loud.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2012


(Yes, all songs that cannot be sung along to are boring. Many songs without lyrics CAN be sung along to, but not Panama. Thus endeth the lesson.)
DU

You should reconsider your teaching career. Of course Panama can be sung along to. It's like the perfect song when you're on a long drive when you're tired from the road because when it comes on you crank it and can just scream PA-NA-MA whenever you want and then you're pumped and full of energy.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:10 PM on June 5, 2012


I like Panama. Mainly for the silly video with DLR swinging about on a wire with a ghetto blaster , I have to admit. Come on. A person would have to have a soul of pure Decemberist not to love that.
posted by Decani at 1:13 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And the Cradle Will Rock"

Obligatory response.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:13 PM on June 5, 2012


Well, shit. It was in the main post and I didn't notice. No, I really have to declare this absinthe and speed experiment a failure.
posted by Decani at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


DarkForest, I apologize for misleading you by joking that Run-D.M.C. did not invent rap music. Of course they did.
posted by straight at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2012


Also, even though Panama is my favorite VH song, I'd say that Beautiful Girls would be the most representative, although they went way farther afield than most hard rock bands of their day.
posted by jonmc at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2012


Jesus. The fucking dumbass knee-jerk dismissal of any creative endeavor that inevitably happens in a thread where people infinitely more talented than you are actually DOING something is exhausting. That is the only shit in this thread that's jumped the shark.
I hate threadshitting as much as the next person, but I think the negative comments here have largely been thoughtful and contain interesting content and opinions other than "I hate this".
posted by dfan at 1:43 PM on June 5, 2012


Perhaps I overstated my love of Panama

I hear you, bondcliff. You don't always get to make your fight on the best battleground.

As for Klosterman, while I enjoy lots of his ideas, I usually completely disagree with him on music. And the pattern continues.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:45 PM on June 5, 2012


Mr. Strauss, I'm afraid we're going to have to settle this like men.

Dance off!
posted by bondcliff at 1:49 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


So much wrong on the internet, I hardly know where to start. Fuck it. I have to walk this off.
posted by wobh at 2:44 PM on June 5, 2012


Dance off!

Let me find my purple spandex tights, do a few stretches, and you're on!

[stretches]

I'll be on the couch with ibuprofen and an ice pack. You win.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:57 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet your little Amanda Palmer Neutral Milk Honey Neko Cases Hotels or whatevers have never sung a sung from a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING.

Back away from the keyboard and leave Neko Case out of this.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:34 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a teenager learning to play guitar in the 80s, it really didn't matter what kind of music you were into - you were going to learn some Van Halen songs. So after teaching myself to play guitar for a while, I started taking actual guitar lessons. And the first song my teacher (who was a Telecaster-playing country chicken pickin' guy) taught me was Drop Dead Legs - a great song to learn, because you're never going to get it right, ever, and you have to re-tune the guitar 2/3 of the way through the song.

And so, right along with all the new wave and punk stuff I was into and that defined my personal style for years to come, Van Halen entered my world, broadening my musical horizons into the world of so much stuff that is embarrassing now.

So then I'm playing in a band in high school that's sort of a post-punk new wave rock thing, and we start playing with a new drummer. We go to the guy's house, down to the basement to practice, and he's got the greatest poster in the world behind the drum kit: An ad for Van Halen II that said "If you don't like Van Halen, you're wrong." Yeah, that about summed it up. It didn't matter what kind of music you really liked or what you thought defined you as a person. If you didn't like Van Halen, you were wrong.

These days, when I'm in the car with my wife and I put on some Van Halen, she gives me one of those sideways looks like "seriously, Van Halen?" I always repeat that slogan. If you don't like Van Halen, you're wrong. And she's happy to concede that she's wrong and go on not liking Van Halen.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


And that doesn't even count the amazing break where David Lee Roth basically invents rap music two full years before Run–D.M.C. released "Walk This Way.

Saying a prayer to all the Gods Old and New that this was meant as a joke.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:46 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet your little Amanda Palmer Neutral Milk Honey Neko Cases Hotels or whatevers have never sung a sung from a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING.

Yeah, please don't take it here. While all the "What do the lyrics even meeaannn?" criticism is juvenile and entirely missing the point of what music is, more than one kind of thing can be good. We don't need to go for the cheap "indie rock is wussy and effeminate" cliches to counter the "hard rock is stupid jock music for stupid jocks" cliches.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:48 PM on June 5, 2012


We don't need to go for the cheap "indie rock is wussy and effeminate" cliches to counter the "hard rock is stupid jock music for stupid jocks" cliches.

Hear hear.

And anyway, DLR's the one with a Farrah Fawcett haircut wearing purple spandex and ladies' apres-ski boots. Colin Meloy might sing like he's trying out for a guest spot doing autobiographical fiction on This American Life, but come on.
posted by The World Famous at 4:58 PM on June 5, 2012


Yes, but Dave still got laid more, somehow.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 PM on June 5, 2012


We don't need to go for the cheap "indie rock is wussy and effeminate" cliches

I just started about sixteen different responses to this but basically they all came down to this:

Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by bondcliff at 5:30 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Besides "wussy and effiminate" would be a welcome thing in todays 'indie rock' which is most just boring.
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on June 5, 2012


Also, here is the amazon link for the book I recommended upthread. Read it, those of you who don't get it.
posted by jonmc at 6:00 PM on June 5, 2012


"indie rock is wussy and effeminate"

I am certain that was not what bondcliff is getting at, because I am a mindreader and he is absolutely correct.
posted by jessamyn at 6:19 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone who does not appreciate Neko Case as a gift to humanity is... well, I don't know what to say.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:26 PM on June 5, 2012


I dig Neko Case, and she digs VH style buttrock, witness her cover of Toronto's "Your Daddy Don't Know."
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on June 5, 2012


The actual joke being that "Walk This Way" was probably most MTV-watchin' Van Halen fans' introduction to this scary new "rap" music. "DLR WAS DOING THAT ALL THE WAY BACK IN 1984!"
posted by straight at 7:37 PM on June 5, 2012


The actual joke being that "Walk This Way" was probably most MTV-watchin' Van Halen fans' introduction to this scary new "rap" music.

That would really depend on which part of the country you were talking about. I assure you that in the Northeast most rock fans were aware of hip-hop. Some liked it, some didn't, and yes the Aerosmith-Run-DMC collaboration was a big landmark, but MTV watchers had seen Run DMC's 'Rock Box' (among other stuff)which paved the way. And if you read the book I recommended (and any VH bio actually) you'll learn that Dave was into a huge range of music from country, to salsa, to dancehall reggae that were waaaay out of the usual hard rock bailiwick. And if he got people to look outside the box, hey, more power to him.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 PM on June 5, 2012


I freaking love Neko Case. She has just, to the best of my knowledge, never performed Panama in a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING hanging from the Worcester Centrum, which makes her less awesome than DLR in all matters relating to performing Panama in a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING hanging from the Worcester Centrum. That's really all I meant by my post. Sheesh.
posted by bondcliff at 7:44 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you, The World Famous, for mentioning Drop Dead Legs. What a fine song. A hard rock song with a fuckin' groove. Not even close to their best song, but, a fine fine trip down memory lane I'm a having right now thanks to your shout out.

I love this thread.

BTW, dare I mention Diver Down? There was so much contention over that album. My more hard-core, devoted, traditionalist VH fans would constantly berate my devotion to this album. But, Senorita, I'm in trouble again.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 8:18 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING!
posted by benito.strauss at 8:22 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my. I just remembered: in seventh grade, at my first-ever 'recital' after having started taking piano / keyboard lessons, I played "Love Walks In".

On a borrowed Roland synthesizer.

Owned by the priest at my Catholic church.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 8:31 PM on June 5, 2012


In those days, Eddie was just bubbling over with strong, strong ideas. And who else, as a drummer, can top Alex for personality? I'd say Stuart Copeland and... maybe nobody.

Panama's a bitchin' arrangement. So much fucking around with not landing on the quarter notes. And such a pumping production. An all time great rock song.
posted by Trochanter at 8:47 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Yes, all songs that cannot be sung along to are boring. Many songs without lyrics CAN be sung along to, but not Panama. Thus endeth the lesson.)

Kind of funny that this is immediately preceded by a comment praising bondcliff's lesson on how to sing the guitar parts of Panama.
posted by smcameron at 9:18 PM on June 5, 2012


We don't need to go for the cheap "indie rock is wussy and effeminate" cliches to counter the "hard rock is stupid jock music for stupid jocks" cliches.

No, just... square.
posted by danl at 9:37 PM on June 5, 2012


I'm an odd one. I love Reggie's cover-- I think it's funny, inventive, and embodies what a cover song should be: A reinterpretation of a song. YOUR version, if you will.

That said, I did come in to post/point out John Mayer's cover of Panama-- which is neither technically good, nor an (intentional) reinterpretation. But there is something kinda fun and off the cuff about this cover. Also, given the fact that John Mayer apparently owns a EVH replica, he's clearly a fan...

(Note: I actually am NOT a JM fan, but occasionally he does some pretty cool stuff, this included, that makes me begrudgingly nod in his direction.)
posted by Ct314 at 1:33 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Panama is a guitar song. If you're paying attention to the lyrics, you're doing it wrong.

Clearly, someone who doesn't realize Panama is actually a Guitar/Organ instrumental song!


Eh, screw it: While I'm here, and since no one has posted it: Eddie on SNL Which is one of my favorite EVH performances ever-- you can practically feel the looseness and fun in this performance.
(sorry, Hulu link...)
posted by Ct314 at 1:44 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


John Mayer's cover of Panama

Wow, that's ... really terrible. I mean, I get that they're just goofing around and having fun, but clearly he brought the Frankenstrat to the show. They were planning on playing this. And it's ... unrehearsed? I can't stand Mayer, but you can't say he hasn't got chops. Did he leave them on the bus?

Guitar/Organ instrumental song

This, on the other hand, is just fucking perfect. Tight as hell and everybody seems to be having a blast.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:24 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


And who else, as a drummer, can top Alex for personality?

Keith Moon.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:06 AM on June 6, 2012


I bet your little Amanda Palmer Neutral Milk Honey Neko Cases Hotels or whatevers have never sung a sung from a MOTHERFUCKING BOXING RING.

You've apparently never heard Dan Bejar's cover of "Everybody Wants Some".
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:31 AM on June 6, 2012


Eh, screw it: While I'm here, and since no one has posted it: Eddie on SNL

Wow, G.E. Smith got totally swept up in whatever it is about EVH that inspired David Lee Roth to jump around and do somersaults in tight neon leotards.
posted by straight at 2:55 PM on June 6, 2012


Every song from 1984 is amazing, and makes me happy.
posted by empath at 10:18 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


empath, if you make a trance song out of the opening track on 1984, you'll be my hero.
posted by The World Famous at 10:23 PM on June 6, 2012


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