Friday, December 2, 2011

Boldly Going Where No Blog Should Go

This may come as a shock to some of you… but I’m a bit of a nerd. While I try to maintain a certain amount of coolness, at the end of the day, I’m just a big dweeb.

I try to balance my dork-dom with a bit of cool, by having a cool job, (well, its SUPPOSED to be cool anyway…), and by having varied musical tastes ranging from cool artists like Coldplay, Green Day, Beatles, Stone Temple Pilots and Neil Young; (well, some people say they're cool), to the not so cool, like… well, that’s kind of why I brought you all here today.

How would everyone feel if I say the name… William Shatner?

Yea, that’s kind of what I thought.

William Shatner is known for having a very ‘set-phasers-on-cringe’ musical styling. He is most commonly known for butchering Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which is accepted as one of the worst cover songs of all time. George Clooney has said he would bring this song with him if he was stranded on a deserted island because, “…If you listen to [this song], you will hollow out your own leg and make a canoe out of it to get off this island.” Ironically, I felt the same way about watching your Batman & Robin, George.

Check out Shatner’s classic rendition of Elton John’s Rocket Man.

In the end, I respect this because it’s so bad… it’s good. Say what you want, but I do enjoy cheesy cover songs. I loved his versions of songs on the MTV movie awards years ago, and I enjoy the over-acting goodness of his Priceline commercials too.

So, when I accidently came across his 2004 song, Common People, I loved it! It was fun, and pop-rocky and really made you want to build a shrine towards all things Shatty. So, I got the entire album it was featured on, called Has Been.

Here’s where things get weird…

I expected big, over-the-top goofy Shatner. But, while listening to him doing a song about a man trying to meet his estranged daughter, and a song about a man striving for success but finding none, and then hearing him do a monologue on finding his wife in the pool after she overdosed on alcohol and valium, I began to realize… this is serious.

But here’s the twist… its good! I mean, NOT in a goofy over-acting sort of way, (although there are a few goofy songs on here), but in a well written, and well performed sort of way.

Not only is Shatner’s dialogue extremely enjoyable and heartfelt, the music is incredibly well produced and performed. Turn’s out there is a reason for this, by the name of Ben Folds, who produced and co-wrote many of the songs with him. It also features, Joe Jackson, who does the vocals on Common People, Aimee Mann, who does vocals on another song, and Henry Rollins on yet another. Isn’t this one of the signs of the apocalypse when Henry Rollins performs with William Shatner???

I don’t think The Shat did an actual video for anything from this album, (surprisingly), but I did find a live version when he performed on Jay Leno. While not quite as good as the CD version, this is still pretty decent.

Joe Jackson & William Shatner - Common People by Pius35

Bill (as close personal friends like me call him), recently released Seeking Major Tom, which didn't impress me as much.  Maybe he needs someone like Ben Folds, who understands him.  Maybe someone like me, (call me, Bill!). 

At this point, I usually make some attempt to summarize and wind this blog up… but I think I’ve said too much already.

The picture on my profile is edited in Photoshop, and NOT me dressing up to go to the conventions.

Id like to say I still have some dignity but... okay, yes I've gone to conventions dressed up.  But NOT as any Star Trek characters!  


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