Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lock the Cellar Door! - Talk Dirty To Me by Poison

Metal bands in from the '80s are frequently referred to as "hair metal" bands. This is not meant as a compliment. It implies that the band is all about image and appearance, not about the music. In reaction to this, bands that wanted to be taken seriously like Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth (how these bands expected to be taken seriously with the most laughable names possible is another question) dressed in jeans and had unruly eyebrows. Of course the dudes in Metallica were just as image conscious as the guys in bands like Cinderella, Warrant, or Ratt, but since they weren't trying to look like rock stars we're supposed to pretend that they got dressed each morning without thinking about how other people would interpret their appearance.

Poison is considered one of the most hair of the hair metal bands. Much is made of the fact that the drummer, Rikki Rockett (Real name: Rikki O'Roxx McRockett. Management said it was too Irish.), used to be a hairdresser. So what? Does that mean he is gay and thus Poison is not a real metal band? What about Judas Priest? Their lead singer is gay and they are one of the most metal bands around. Do they mean that he had a job normally held by women? Joan Jett rocks harder than most metal bands and she is a woman so that can't be what they mean. I think we're just supposed to know that being a hairdresser is bad due to innuendo and subtle winks.

I hate that shit. Poison rocks ass.

Talk Dirty To Me by Poison:

What is the theme of this video? Poison are bad boys, but not too bad. Poison is just bad enough to be fun, but not so bad that anything bad happens. This is perfect. The message of the song is that Poison really wants to have sex with a woman, but the sex is consensual and monogamous. Poison wants to get drunk and party, but they won't shit in your closet or anything. As a result Poison appeals to everyone and is pretty much the perfect rock band.

The video opens with two old people sitting around watching a Poison video. Makes sense.

The phone rings. Apparently it is Poison's singer calling for their daughter. They like him.

The scene shifts to the singer on the other end of the line. He is smiling because he is talking to a woman who wants to have sex with him.

Apparently this makes him a bad boy. Guess what, dudes, women like to have sex too.

That pointless introduction over, we get to see two members of the band high-fiving whilst spitting beer into the air.

Awesomely pointless.

This video has a lot of synchronized moves, which I love. Here the singer, guitar player, and bass player all kick in unison.

We also get a lot of close-ups of the drummer. This video does a good job of showing us all the band members and giving them a chance to have some fun.

The drummer has two people holding snare drums behind him. He alternates between those and the one on his drum kit.

The drummer also does some ridiculous arm flailing.

The drum part for this song is pretty basic so he gets to have some fun with it and show off. Look at his toms, too. See those blocky faces painted on them? The drummer is quite the entertainer. He's having fun and wants us to have fun, too. Isn't that what music videos are all about?

The singer has his microphone on a stand, but the stand is not connected to a piece to put on the floor. This allows him to do synchronized moves with the guitar player and drummer with the microphone as his instrument.

When he's not doing that he is jumping on top of one the other band members.

There's a lot of grabbing and hugging in this video. It's like everyone always really wants to be in the shot.

Just like this:

The band is on a huge stage, but they spend half the time jammed together. I love it! It makes it seem like the band actually likes each other.

The drummer has a hard time moving around, but he tries to make his arm movements interesting.

Fascinating arm movements there, dude.

The bass player tries to compete by performing interesting leg movements.

Now is the time for the guitar solo. Poison correctly understands that most metal guitar solos are terrible. Check out this guitar solo to see what I mean. So they do two things. First, they keep it mercifully short. Second, the solo has an actual melody. Melody! In a pop song! I know, right?

The guitar player plays the first few notes on one guitar and then throws it away.

Don't worry! He has a spare guitar behind him.

He does the inexplicably common running-around-in-a-circle-while-on-the-ground guitar move.

Poison does not hesitate to use cliched moves like this. The reason this is a cliche is that people love it. So why not do it?

While writing this blog there is one thing that I have discovered is my real love in music videos. That is people falling down accidentally. The drummer stands up to hit a cymbal and falls off his drum riser.


The final chorus includes some guitar fills which the guitar player plays while everyone else jams into the shot with him.

The thumbs up makes us think that the video is over.

It is not. That is not ridiculous enough.

Instead, the band has two huge fireballs shoot up while they jump off the drum riser.

Now that is an ending.

In the movie Amadeus, Salieri points out to Mozart that he didn't even put a big crash at the end of his songs to let the audience know when to clap. Poison does not make that mistake here. And why wouldn't they do that? They are unabashedly entertainers. Everything they do in this video is meant to be entertaining. So many other bands aren't willing to admit that this is their goal, but it should be. That is why Poison is so good. They never do anything bad just to prove their artistry or musicianship.

This is also why Poison doesn't look ridiculous today in the way that Dokken or Yngwie Malmsteen do. They just get up there, have a good time, and talk dirty to us. And I love it.


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