Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hump Day Hot Ticket: Lipstick “Cha La Head Cha La”

Lipstick and their mascot, Mr. Cool

Usually whenever the terms “hair metal” or “glam metal” are mentioned, it garners an almost embarrassed reaction, like a shameful secret that no one wants to admit. Yet there is no denying that glam-metal enjoyed its fair share of popularity during its ’80s heyday, whether people want to own up to it or not. Like many other fads and fashions from that era, it may look silly to us now, but there were reasons why people liked it. For all its over-the-top campy approach, hair metal was good old-fashioned escapism. It wasn't trying to change the world or make any statement more deep or profound than having a good time. Sometimes, that's all the world needs, and for a while, hair metal fulfilled that on a musical level quite nicely.

A lot of the things that made the genre so much fun can still be appreciated today; and one band that is proudly waving the spandex flag and bringing the party back into rock music is Lipstick: a self-described “theatrical rock” band from Nashville that celebrates all the outrageous grandiosity and tongue-in-cheek humor that gives hair metal that endearing cheesiness that never takes itself too seriously, yet amasses a certain loyalty from its audience that you don't really see anywhere else. Represented by a giant cat mascot named Mr. Cool, Lipstick writes feel-good tunes that hearken back to the carefree days when you were only seventeen and didn't need nothin’ but a good time. Although their music has so many of these throwback qualities, Lipstick's songs are also in the here and now: one of the songs from their last album is an ode to Conan O'Brien and their shameless self-promotional wish to one day perform on his show.

Another modern element that Lipstick brings to their glam-styled sensibility is their love for anime, something that the hair-metal bands of the past certainly never wrote about! But, as “nerd culture” has gained more traction over the last couple of decades, and metal bands have more openly embraced their D&D-playing demographic, the lines between genres have crossed. Where once it would have been considered “wimpy” or “uncool” for a glam band to ever admit they preferred playing video games to visiting the strip club, now they unashamedly show off their comic book collections and Star Wars memorabilia.

Bringing me to this week's video, Lipstick's latest offering is a cover of “Cha La Head Cha La”, the theme to Dragon Ball Z, the anime series that has spawned a string of video games. The music video itself is quirky and fun: vocalist Greg Troyan is seen flying through the air, and at one point meets up with a guy in a weird-looking mask, at which point they start fighting and shooting beams from their hands. There are flames, explosions, and a giant dancing cat in sunglasses. Good stuff. I am not sure if this is supposed to be a reenactment of the actual Dragon Ball Z theme, but it's so much fun to watch that I really don't care (I suppose I could hunt down the information online, but somehow I don't think I will find anything else this entertaining). However, I did realize how much music videos sorely lack epic boss battles complete with dancing feline mascots these days. That's one thing even the glory days of MTV didn't have going for them.

For more information on Lipstick, visit their official website.

Special thanks to Rob Bradley for his vast knowledge of all things DBZ.

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