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LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Hello NMD, today I would like to talk to you about the Barenaked Ladies. Those of you that are smart and have taste already know about them, and the fact that they are amazing and can do no wrong (unless they're Ed). Warning, to the uninitiated -- the Barenaked Ladies have a lot of songs that are very good, but most of them are by founding member and former frontman Steven Page, and none of them are the ones I linked in that parenthetical, so you probably shouldn't click on those.

Some of the rest of you might not be aware of how good the Barenaked Ladies, and in particular ex-lady Steven Page, are, and so I'm here entirely of my own free will to tell you about a really excellent and underappreciated group that technically doesn't exist anymore. I'll contain the next comment to a single sentence: The BNL debut album, Gordon, was what would prove to be a trademark blend of light-hearted humor, self-deprecatory satire, and a sense of genuine introspection. Unfortunately (perhaps), it was the jocular nature of the band that caught fire with the public, and so the poor souls who bear fond feelings towards BNL are forever met with "really? the joke band?"

Despite the depth the aforementioned amazing and do-no-wrong Page lent to the band in the form of his struggles with addiction and mental illness, BNL had the odds against it from the start, given that Ed was like "hell yes, a fake joke name is perfect for my new musical group!". If you clicked the BNL wikipedia link earlier, you don't have to worry about following that one. It's the bit about Ed abruptly calling the group the Barenaked Ladies and Steven not being on board. Well, Steven regardless continued to produce songs that were as pithy as they were insightful, and managed to keep the group floating along as somewhat more than a flash in the pan. I am not at all biased, nor am I an enormous fan of Steven Page himself. Shame on you for thinking such. You can click on all the links in this paragraph. The joke name and pan-flashes are not good though.

Ed did some good stuff too, and much of it leaned on his own fights with depression. He's relatable too, I guess, and often has a smart turn of phrase, but his lyrics are just... lazy, sometimes. Come on man. Give it more than ten seconds' thought. Surely you don't need to rhyme "sticks and stones" with "mobile phones." Also you're the worst and ruined everything, I wish Steven were still in the band.

I've run out of narrative, here are a bunch more BNL songs that I like, and most of them are from Steven probably.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rseecmTF_Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJO931kbicI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLOxRHV35Ic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoFMRXlNJ6Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs3xXlXSOKk

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Various Meat Products
Oct 1, 2003



Fun Shoe

Ed's songs are better than Steven's.

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



I respect your incorrect opinion, friend

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


I bought Silverball on its release date, and am not ashamed to admit it.

BigFactory
Sep 17, 2002



I grabbed a box of cd jewel cases that someone had thrown away once, that the case sans-booklet of some BNL cd was in there, and the photo under the Cd is like cut outs of their heads and they are not an attractive bunch of guys. But that "this is where we used to live" song ain't bad and the one where Gordon lightfoot and geddy lee say what their favorite snack foods are is ok.

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



I'm really mad at Steven Page for doing all the cocaine because Barenaked Ladies Are Me/Are Men is probably the high point of the band and then he went and was all dumb and poo poo and now the albums aren't as good anymore.

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


DC Murderverse posted:

I'm really mad at Steven Page for doing all the cocaine because Barenaked Ladies Are Me/Are Men is probably the high point of the band and then he went and was all dumb and poo poo and now the albums aren't as good anymore.

The fact that 'Maybe You're Right' hasn't been used in a movie's climax is a crime.

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



Favorite Barenaked Ladies fact: Paul McCartney is a fan, to the point where he said "Their harmonies are right on. They could outsing us any day of the week. I donít think John and myself ever had the sort of range they do."

LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

Some of the rest of you might not be aware of how good the Barenaked Ladies, and in particular ex-lady Steven Page, are, and so I'm here entirely of my own free will to tell you about a really excellent and underappreciated group that technically doesn't exist anymore. I'll contain the next comment to a single sentence: The BNL debut album, Gordon, was what would prove to be a trademark blend of light-hearted humor, self-deprecatory satire, and a sense of genuine introspection. Unfortunately (perhaps), it was the jocular nature of the band that caught fire with the public, and so the poor souls who bear fond feelings towards BNL are forever met with "really? the joke band?"

The biggest disparity between "funny songs" and "serious songs" is definitely Everything to Everyone, which has some very heartbreaking songs that deal with depression and falling out of love with your SO, and also a song about postcards that have monkeys on them.

edit: Also, here is my favorite album cut that doesn't get a lot of play from most people.

DC Murderverse fucked around with this message at 06:14 on Apr 16, 2017

BigFactory
Sep 17, 2002




That has to be the worst album cover ever, right?

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



all-Rush mixtape posted:

The fact that 'Maybe You're Right' hasn't been used in a movie's climax is a crime.

DC Murderverse posted:

Favorite Barenaked Ladies fact: Paul McCartney is a fan, to the point where he said "Their harmonies are right on. They could outsing us any day of the week. I donít think John and myself ever had the sort of range they do."

This song and this quote are both things I meant to include in the OP and didn't. Thanks friends

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYrfl_HpZpc

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Stunt was my first album so I've never really been able to let go.

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



Also I don't give a poo poo if it's April this is the best christmas song there is. If you'd like evidence of BNL's harmonizing abilities, this is exhibit A1. (with bonus Sarah McLachlan for extra Canadianity!)

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Here's another song I forgot to put in the OP, from Born On A Pirate Ship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUt-wGmklWI




I think Pirate Ship is my favorite studio album, Everything to Everyone was a really strong contender but Another Postcard just... really torpedoed that whole thing. Thoughts?

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

Here's another song I forgot to put in the OP, from Born On A Pirate Ship:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUt-wGmklWI




I think Pirate Ship is my favorite studio album, Everything to Everyone was a really strong contender but Another Postcard just... really torpedoed that whole thing. Thoughts?

Everything to Everyone is a bunch of lame songs with a few truly great songs (For You, War on Drugs, Have You Seen My Love?). Maroon and Are Me are the best IMO because I can listen to them without skipping, with Stunt and Gordon behind that.

Actually, looking back Gordon is such a great, complete debut that gets overlooked because it's a debut, but even the goofy songs are more "quirky" and less "insufferable".

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



DC Murderverse posted:

Everything to Everyone is a bunch of lame songs with a few truly great songs (For You, War on Drugs, Have You Seen My Love?).

I like quite a few of the songs on EtE but looking back over the tracklist you're not wrong, there are several really poor showings. I totally forgot that Shopping was on this album because I removed it from my iTunes list

The only Pirate Ship song I usually skip is In The Drink, less due to dislike and more that it's just very... meh.

Break Your Heart is one of my absolute favorites, and I like Straw Hat a lot too. "I'll catch you, spread my tiny wings and fly away" is a really mental image to me despite the context and being in the middle of a song about a delusional murderous stalker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHT-7rMJ5WI

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007


RICKARUS

It's Moot baby!




This is one of my favourite BnL songs and haven't seen it posted yet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2smt5a3Oc_I

beejay
Apr 7, 2002



Toilet Rascal

Seeing Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep At the Wheel performed live was one of my all-time favorite concert moments.

I usually hate when people say stuff like this, but the band ended for me when Steven left.

Pocky In My Pocket
Jan 27, 2005

Giant robots shouldn't fight!



how have we got got this far without mentioning the bathroom sessions

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"



CLAM DOWN posted:

This is one of my favourite BnL songs and haven't seen it posted yet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2smt5a3Oc_I


beejay posted:

Seeing Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep At the Wheel performed live was one of my all-time favorite concert moments.

I usually hate when people say stuff like this, but the band ended for me when Steven left.

Like I said, Maroon owns

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Yeah I gotta admit I put your

DC Murderverse posted:

I can listen to [Maroon] without skipping
theory to the test tonight and it checks out. I hadn't visited this album for a couple years, thanks pals

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007


RICKARUS

It's Moot baby!




BNL just did a collab on CBC's Q: (sorry, no steven)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JUS-zMI05U

CLAM DOWN fucked around with this message at 22:18 on Apr 23, 2017

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


BigFactory posted:


That has to be the worst album cover ever, right?

The cover is godawful, but Gordon is a killer album. "Brian Wilson" is one of my favorite songs in any genre. That outro breakdown...

Molestationary Store
May 21, 2007



Well that cover's since been replaced with this one.

But the old cover is kind of wonderful in how terrible it is.

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Okay BNL friends I have a question for you. Here's It's Only Me, from the greatest hits album, in case you hadn't heard it recently --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3woCrJgJebU

I am pretty sure it is just about being a narcissist but I also know a person that thinks it is about masturbation?? Please advise.

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


I have listened to that song for over 15 years and not once have I made any sort of connection like that. Your friend is nuts.

CLAM DOWN
Feb 13, 2007


RICKARUS

It's Moot baby!




Well now I think it's about masturbation...

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



CLAM DOWN posted:

Well now I think it's about masturbation...

YOU'RE WELCOME

Cemetry Gator
Apr 3, 2007

Do you find something comical about my appearance when I'm driving my automobile?


LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

I am pretty sure it is just about being a narcissist but I also know a person that thinks it is about masturbation?? Please advise.

I thought all love songs were either about heroin or masturbation.

Although, I actually do think the song is about masturbation - just a pretty coyly. Lines like "I'm not antisocial and it's nothing that's reproachful / it's only natural, it's only me / I can't think of anyone I would rather spend some one on one time with," or "I give me R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

It's not "I Touch Myself," but it's pretty clear that it's not just narcissism.

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



I love "Brian Wilson" but I always considered them purveyors of novelty songs. It is hard to get people to take your serious songs seriously when you've got a cover like this:

BigFactory posted:


That has to be the worst album cover ever, right?

....and yes, it is.

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

I am pretty sure it is just about being a narcissist but I also know a person that thinks it is about masturbation?? Please advise.

Apparently The Beatles' Please Please Me was about oral sex, which I didn't guess before I was told, so maybe...

Hedrigall
Mar 27, 2008

You can catch me just lion around the forums!


LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

Okay BNL friends I have a question for you. Here's It's Only Me, from the greatest hits album, in case you hadn't heard it recently --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3woCrJgJebU

I am pretty sure it is just about being a narcissist but I also know a person that thinks it is about masturbation?? Please advise.

It's clearly about masturbation!!



I'm sorry I haven't found this thread until now. BNL were my favourite band growing up and I still think of them fondly even though Steve WAS the band for me. My favourite album is Maroon.

I actually started with the Australia-only One Week EP which had One Week and one song each from Gordon, MYSD, BOAPS and Rock Spectacle.

Then I went to Canada in 1999 and grabbed Rock Spectacle and Gordon in some Toronto CD store and fell in love. I didn't actually get Stunt until years after though for some reason.

I still consider this band in my top 20 Nobody knows how amazing they are and it's sad

Hedrigall
Mar 27, 2008

You can catch me just lion around the forums!


Okay now let's talk rare b-sides. How many of you have heard Powder Blue? It was a Stunt era b-side I think, and it's one of their absolute best songs.

Edit: sorry, Maroon era. Here:

https://youtu.be/XW006QIYMzA

Mr. Glum
Jul 28, 2008


Hedrigall posted:

Okay now let's talk rare b-sides. How many of you have heard Powder Blue? It was a Stunt era b-side I think, and it's one of their absolute best songs.

Edit: sorry, Maroon era. Here:

https://youtu.be/XW006QIYMzA

Thanks for this, I've never heard it -- been on repeat for a while now!

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



On balance, do fans regard the band name as unwise?

kuddles
Jul 16, 2006

Like a fist wrapped in blood...

I've been a long term BNL lover. Gordon was actually the first CD I bought in high school on a whim because it was popular, and then realized I can like music because I enjoy listening to it, not just because it's popular. I also think it's a bummer that for most people, especially in the US, they are seen as a flash-in-the-pan gimmick band to be mentioned in the same breath as Deep Blue Something or Semisonic, because the diversity of their songs and the great lyricisms (that sometimes went shockingly dark for a song that had a catchy pop hook) made them so much more to me. I think some people wrote them off and never gave them a chance, which I can fully understand.

My EXTREMELY IMPORTANT OPINIONS ON THE BAND to note:

- I agree that Maroon is their best and most cohesive album from start to finish.

- While I am not an "Ed hater" per se, I would say I enjoy Steven's songs more. They both have their share of pop hooks, maybe Ed is a little better in that regard, but almost every BNL album before Steven's departure would have at least one song that hits you in the gut with sadness: War on Drugs, The Wrong Man Was Convicted, Break Your Heart, etc. Only "When I Fall" manages to come close. Also, while I would agree that neither of them have been as good separated as they were when they were together, Steven's solo albums are certainly more interesting. Meanwhile, I could probably make one album's worth of songs I don't want to skip out of the last 3 BNL releases.

- The thing I loved the most was seeing them in concert. They were a tight professional band but were also very relaxed and open to improvisation and asides that made it a very entertaining experience. Rock Spectacle is pretty good to listen to but still doesn't really capture the experience properly.

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Hedrigall posted:

Okay now let's talk rare b-sides. How many of you have heard Powder Blue? It was a Stunt era b-side I think, and it's one of their absolute best songs.

Edit: sorry, Maroon era. Here:

https://youtu.be/XW006QIYMzA

Mmmm, that's the good stuff.

Re: Maroon: I've found that it's great for putting on for long drives etc where I don't want to be fussing around skipping tracks or suffering through something like "I Know," but it doesn't have any real stand-out songs for me. Which is weird because it's like 95% Steven but the world is a mystery

Hedrigall
Mar 27, 2008

You can catch me just lion around the forums!


LITERALLY A BIRD posted:

Mmmm, that's the good stuff.

Re: Maroon: I've found that it's great for putting on for long drives etc where I don't want to be fussing around skipping tracks or suffering through something like "I Know," but it doesn't have any real stand-out songs for me. Which is weird because it's like 95% Steven but the world is a mystery

Conventioneers through to Helicopters is almost ALL standout tracks

Baby Seat in particular is awesome

LITERALLY A BIRD
Sep 27, 2008

I knew you were trouble
when you flew in



Honestly I literally don't understand why I don't like it as much as all of you guys do. It's clearly something wrong with me

Captain Hotbutt
Aug 18, 2014

Hello, I'd like to humiliate some hussies and I'm in a hurry.


Small, very-specifically Canadian BNL trivia:

MuchMusic - the MTV of Canada - used to have a videobooth on the corner of their building (called "Speakers Corner") where you could put a dollar or whatever into it and give a short rant/performance/video request/joke that they would show on air or between ads. I'm sure they had to filter out a lot of crazy people and bad requests and terrible things just to scrape half an hour-ish of programming a week, but it was kind of punk-rock/indie/grungy cool for the time.

Barenaked Ladies crammed into the booth and performed, and it was a massive success for them: kind of a viral video before the internet. After that, every band/stand up comedian on the planet would shove themselves into Speakers Corner and try to hawk their show or album. MuchMusic even began holding special performances by established acts in the booth as a sort of "acoustic set" thing.

It's kind of amazing how the personality and enthusiasm of those early songs still shines through to this day: Here's a clip of their performance which starts at 0:22.

Old man rant time: MuchMusic moved towards a more celebrity-based, reality-TV kind of thing in the 2000s, and they removed the street level set up of Speakers Corner, taking it specifically to industry events/exclusive backstage parties where Will Ferrell etc. could annoyingly riff. That sort of thing didn't have the same DIY Canadian charm as a Wayne's World-era Mike Myers swinging by randomly and being cute.

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Overminty
Mar 16, 2010

You may wonder what I am doing while reading your posts..



So I decided to listen to Gordon based on this thread and the fact that the end of the first track segues into happy hour has me sold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfDoPEN7n5k

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