Music: The Presidents Of The United States Of America
To clarify, The Presidents Of The United States Of America have no actual presidents in their band.Just so we're clear.The Presidents Of The United States Of America - also simply known as The Presidents - are an Alternative Rock band, formed in Seattle in 1993, who went on to release six albums and be twice nominated for Grammy awards. Their style combines the frenetic pace of Punk Rock with Pop, Grunge and Country Music influences, which made them slightly atypical of the Seattle scene. They're currently made up of vocalist and "basitarist" Chris Ballew, drummer and vocalist Jason Finn with "guitbassist" and backup vocalist Andrew McKeag; Dave Dederer was in McKeag's position until he settled down to raise a family. The "basitar" and "guitbass" are actually regular six-stringed guitars that have been modified: one is a regular guitar with two bass strings, and the other is a guitar with three strings, with both tuned to C#.Originally, the band played their music with a primitive drum machine (as heard on their early demos) before Jason Finn joined. They released their debut, Self-Titled Album in 1995 on PopLlama Records. The record, on the strength of memorable singles like "Lump" and "Peaches," gathered such a following that it was rereleased on Columbia Records later that year, and was certified triple platinum. The follow up, II, was certified gold and didn't match the sales or the critical praise of its predecessor. After three years of touring, Ballew decided to spend more time with his kids and called it quits on the Presidents with the release of Pure Frosting, which combined new material with live tracks and demos. Notably, this record contains "Cleveland Rocks," which became the theme song for The Drew Carey Show.The hiatus didn't last long, and the band reformed in 2000 to release a new single, "Jupiter," and thus a new album, Freaked Out & Small. It got good reviews, but sold 25,000 copies, and the band dissolved again only to reform again in 2004 to release Love Everybody, and later These Are the Good Times People in 2008, both on their indie label, PUSA Inc.Their new album, Kudos To You! was released in February of 2014, released via PledgeMusic and preceded by the video for "Poor Little Me."The group have had a multitude of side projects, most notably Subset, a supergroup with Sir Mix-a-Lot whose album never wound up being released.
"Scrolling to the trope list, gonna eat a lotta peaches..."
- Anti-Love Song: "Last Girl On Earth," detailing the protagonist's horrendous view of his girlfriend, is this trope in spades. That is, until the second verse where it turns out the protagonist actually does have feelings for said girl.
- Bizarre Instrument: The basitar and guitbass.
- Book Ends: The first track of II is titled "Ladies and Gentlemen Part I" and the last track on the album (other than the hidden track) is titled "Ladies and Gentlemen Part II". The two songs have the same melody and slightly different lyrics. (The difference is that "I" is an introduction to the performance while "II" is a goodbye to the audience.)
- Cover Version: Their most famous being Ian Hunter's "Cleveland Rocks," used at the theme song for The Drew Carey Show. They've also done The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star," MC5's "Kick Out The Jams," and The Young Fresh Fellows' "Rock N' Roll Pest Control," the latter of which was featured in an episode of Futurama. They even did the Sex Pistols' "Problems" as a bonus track on a later album, as well as, of all things, the theme from George of the Jungle for the live-action movie.
- Epic Rocking: From II, the five-minute "Puffy Little Shoes."
- Filk Song: "Can't Stop Catchin' 'Em All," a song written to promote Pokemon Black And White.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Fuck California" is an upbeat, catchy little number about - what else - their bitter hatred for California. They even name specific towns.
- Listing Cities: ...which makes the song an enthusiastic subversion of this trope.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: II.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Mostly a 4, sometimes a 5.
- Motor Mouth: The bridge on "Back Porch." Especially live!
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: With the "basitar" and "guitbass", they've pretty much averted this, dividing bass between the lead singer/guitarist and the rhythm guitarist.
- Non-Indicative Name
- One Woman Song: "Vestina" from Love Everybody.
- Performance Video: "Mach 5" parodies this trope mercilessly.
- Precision F-Strike: "Fuck you, kitty, you're gonna spend the night......... OUTSIDE!!!"
- Repurposed Pop Song: The band rewrote the lyrics of their song "Supermodel" and released it as "Supersonics", a tribute to Seattle's (now non-existent) NBA franchise.
- Rock Trio
- Self-Deprecation"We're not gonna make it (oh no!), we're not gonna make it
Cause there's a million better bands with a million better songs...
- Step Up to the Microphone: Dave was lead vocalist in "Superstar." Both Dave and Jason get a verse to themselves in "Toob Amplifier."
- Studio Chatter: The song listed above, "We Are Not Going To Make It," has a false start where they muck up a take, keep rolling and start over (somehow, it seems appropriate).
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Carolyn's Booty."
- Word Salad Lyrics: Okay, they're not Beck weird, but they're still pretty weird.
Well, okay, there's this.