12 December, 2008

Pop Culture and Why I'm Sad

If I never have to work in an office with community music again I’ll be very happy. Today the office decided to take a break from the classic rock staples (I actually like a lot of classic rock, but every man has their tipping point. Upon hearing Stairway 4 times in one day I’m ready for Zeppelin to pull a Hindenburg) and we ventured, hipsters that we are, into the land of today’s hits on XM.

My God, what a complete load of crap. I swear that 8 out of 10 pop stars must be tone deaf. You know how I know this? Their producers got so tired of listening to the awful vocals that they immediately unloaded all of the reverb, manipulation, and digitalization they could muster from their considerable arsenal and successfully migrated the singer to a musicality just shy of Wall-E. As awful as this sounds, some poor soul had the gargantuan misfortune of producing said crap, necessitating long hours of listening to the original, unadulterated version of what passes for vocal skill. By the way, the other 2 out of 10 songs were ballads sung by angry white dudes who need some Cloraseptic or a cough drop something fierce. Come on buddy, you’re telling your girl that you love her in poetry that isn’t exactly Shakespeare; I’m reasonably certain she doesn’t want you yelling at her while you do so.

Speaking of those Shakespearian lyric masterpieces, apparently if you can’t figure out how to complete a musical phrase with enough words, just throw a Na, na, na! or a Hey! or a Hey! Na! in there to make it all good. I also noted that the emotional depth of our haunting lyrics was unlikely to drown a small insect. Case in point:

Girl I know, mistakes were made between us two
And we show our ass that night even said some things weren't true
I can't go and haven't seen my girl since then
why cant it be the way it were
cause you were my homie lover, and friend

I wanna make up right na na na
I wanna make up right na na na
Wish we never broke up right na na na
we need to link up right na na na

Hey, that verse doesn’t seem quite right. Surely he did not intend to say “…the way it were”, unless of course he desperately needed a word to rhyme with “lover” in the next line. He obviously felt he couldn’t get away with a random “Er?” seeing as how he’s already been pretty liberal with the "Na, na, na’s". As it turns out, there may just be some confusion as to the lyrics in this case. Two other founts of lyrical knowledge on the web construct the same verse thusly:

Girl I know, mistakes were made between us two/too,
& we sure, our ass that I even said somethings weren't true,
why'd you go? I haven't seen my girl since then,
why can't it be the way it were,
cause you were my homie-love-girlfriend...

Girl I know (know, know)
Mistakes were made between us two
And we show (show)
Our acts that night, even said some things werent true.
Why'd you go? (go)
I havent seen my girl since then (then)
Why cant it be that way it was?
Cause you were my homie, lover, and friend

I feel that further commentary would only lessen the golden humor to be mined from these three paragons of 21st century American courtship literature. While I’m smiling on the outside, I am, much like the Joker of Batman fame, crying on the inside. Won’t you join me for a weep?


clark pooh said...

First: a raspy voice left raw can in my mind be somewhat haunting and beautiful.

Case in point I just bought the three CD set of Tom Waits, Orphans; Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards. It is wonderful, and trust me no one need touch it up it is raw and wonderful, also poetry while not on the level of Dylan Thomas most defiantly with the other Dylan that people actually know. Who by the way also has a raspy if at times not incoherent voice.

Second; it’s pop what do you expect, the stuff is just $hit.

At best it is nostalgic. Debbie Gibson for the old that want to remember their tight rolled jeans and who’s The Boss t-shirts, or whatever the flavor of the months is for the kids who want to look back at last weeks party after the chem. Final and wax philosophical about olden times.

Invest in earphones, other people music always sucks. I don’t know why, but it does. If you hear someone say “oh that’s my jam, turn that up.” Then you should leave. It won’t be something you yourself finds even slightly jam or jelly like. It will suck and if you spend the time reading in the bathroom until the song is over it will be time well spent.

On a side note, I know work with women in the office. I hate this, they will never shut up. I don’t care what you are wearing. I have a wife at home who I enjoy talking to. You are a useless bag of flesh that is inhibiting me form doing my job because you are discussing the club, restaurant, guy, or movie you just had. For Christmas is some one would give these women a nice tall glass of “Shut the F&%k up.” It would be very much appreciated.

Matt said...

Yeah, unfortunately I think earphones would be frowned upon in this office. Thus, I suffer in silence, whether it be Classic Rock, Coffeehouse Acoustic Emo Crap, or Top 40. I'm all for a good raspy voice, and Tom Waits certainly qualifies, but a bad raspy voice trying to sing a love song with horrendous lyrical qualities is cringe inducing - especially when that attempt is adored by enough people to make it a top 10 single!

I'll try not to be too harsh though, I'll readily admit that if I were Radio King for a day I would likely be marched to the guillotine by my office cohorts. Then again, I find constitutional monarchies exceedingly cool and lament the loss of heraldry in modern living. Prince tried to revive it but we know how successful that was...

clarky pooh said...

i make no one in the office listen to me, i wish i could muzzel some of my co-workers. i also have very little problem with a silent work environment. if fact with musical choices of others put into effect i perfer it. if i want to listen to your fav. crap-o-la i will come over to your house, this is an office please treat it as such.

Matt said...

Agreed. At least today we've got Christmas tunes going before our office party - I'm a Christmas music fanatic. The only annoying part is that XM recycles their playlists 3-4 times a day. We can't even program an 8 hour block without repeats? Come on!