If Semisonic (see Top 5 Songs I Hate #4) had an influence in developing their melancholy, pathetic sound, it most certainly had to be Christopher Cross and his sad nautical epic “Sailing”. First off, I like sailing. I’ve been sailing. I’ve been sailing that resulted in a near disaster. I would rather experience that 10 times over than listen to this song. If I was listening to this song while sailing, I would run that boat aground. The stock drum track and his abuse of chorus is unforgivable if not criminal. Cross’s near monotone drone is akin to some kind of obscure acoustic torture technique. With enough exposure, the listener is ready to admit to national security secrets he/she knows nothing about just to make it stop. Puncturing one’s own eardrums, while drastic, would be completely understandable. Even just thinking about his voice gives me a headache and causes blood to leak from ears. Listen… if you must.
While known as Jefferson Airplane in the 60’s, they acquired quite a good reputation and following musically. In an attempted to re-brand, continue their relevancy in the 80’s, and admittedly after some changes in their line up, they updated their name to Jefferson Starship. They led their return with the Casio Keyboard inspired 80’s anthem “We Built This City”. It would have been far better for their reputation and music in general if this ship had been grounded. With a sound and beat better suited for the closing credits of the worst 80’s movie ever, one can only feel uncomfortable while listening to this song. The same kind of discomfort one feels (hopefully) when one hears a story of cousin’s marrying. Again I point to some lyrics to prove my point. “Who writes the wrecking ball in two wild guitars” and “Marconi plays the mambo” are obviously penned by the Shakespeare of our time [insert sarcasm emoticon here]. To reference Marconi, who stole the concept of radio from Tesla, is a crime in and of itself and a topic for another time. Overall, it’s just word salad presented on a plate of bad music. There is no direction or cohesion whatsoever. The video takes it to another level. Complete with a Lincoln Memorial statue that comes to life, the video is even less cohesive than the song itself, if that is at all possible. The fact that this band could write, record, and perform this song with any level of seriousness and without going into hiding after, especially in light of the band they once were, is mystifying. So without further delay…
While the 80’s was fraught with it’s own issues, the 90’s were much more so an abysmal void of music. Let’s face it, when you start the decade off mourning the death of Freddie Mercury and Mick Ronson, it’s not a good sign of things to come. And even though I was not a huge fan, Kurt Cobain’s death did nothing to help the situation. The lack of talent in the 90’s is perhaps best exemplified by the song “Closing Time”. It is basically four minutes of constant whining which seemed to be the standard of male bands of that decade. While Dan Wilson stated that it’s a song about impending fatherhood, you’ll forgive me if I call total bullshit on that. With lyrics like “one last call for alcohol” and “I know who I want to take me home”, it’s difficult to not take it literally and think he is really sobbing in his beer after yet another night of going home alone to his hand, vaseline, and kleenex. In either case, stop your friggin crying and move on. In a likely attempt to come across as deep, emotional, and complex, he only succeeded in coming off as a pretentious baby who feels way to sorry for himself. The song literally, not figuratively, makes me nauseous. Now, it’s not to say the 90’s had nothing to offer. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, and Garbage with Shirley Manson who probably has more balls than the members of Semisonic combined. However, it was the music of Semisonic and those like them we were hit over the head with in that decade. The fact “Closing Time” was nominated for a Grammy as Best Rock Song further proves to me those award show foundations have no clue. So, without further delay, I give you “Closing Time”.
To begin, I must state that this is inspired by a similar undertaking by my friend Jim Vukich. OK, I’m just plain ripping him off. After reading his, I thought this would be fun and therapeutic. Where to start with this train wreck of a song? First, my choice of “Talk Dirty To Me” will not in any way surprise my friend Jim nor my other other close friends. At the same time, it will be no skin off my back if my opinion on this angers those who like Poison. I am indeed a child of 80’s metal and while there was some good and a lot of bad, this band and in particular this song, represents the worst of the worst. Make up and hairspray aside, there is no substance to this song at all. To call it unoriginal or hackneyed would be a compliment it does not deserve. The music is formulaic at best, the lyrics lampoon an aspect of great sex making it almost cartoonish. C.C. Deville as a guitar player lacks taste and structure. His bends and dive bombs fall short and his solos never sound like they fit in the song. For a band and song that is supposed to portray fun and the ultimate good time, I can only feel embarrassment; for them and while listening to it. I could really use any of their songs for this, but “Talk Dirty To Me” is the prime example from their collection and the most damning evidence that they made their fame via their antics, make up, and hair rather than any musical talent. The final nail in the coffin is that there is a lawsuit alleging that this song was stolen from another band C.C. Deville was with (http://www.metalsucks.net/2011/11/17/poison-may-have-stolen-some-of-their-songs-after-all/). So they couldn’t even do well with a stolen song. I would really like to not post a link to this song, but in keeping with Jim’s format, here you go…
Next time, an example of why the 90’s were an even bigger void of good music and worse than the 80’s.
I get that autocorrect can’t be perfect but it is still quite strange. Strange as in what words it has in its arsenal.
It’s completely non-productive that it does not include the days of the week.
It’s irritating that it tries to substitute “duck” for, well… You know.
And it’s extremely creepy that when I type “fetish” it wants to change it to “fetus”.
What if our current form of government is, at the same time, the best thing out there and hopelessly broken?
(I know this is my music page, but this is too long for a Facebook post and I don’t have a socio-political blog… Yet?)
The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. What started out as a great and effective paradigm could have just naturally run it’s course. It’s conceited, narrow minded, ignorant, and lacks immense foresight to think that our form of government could work well indefinitely without a major overhaul if not being replaced completely. This is true for most form of government; Monarchies, pure socialism (which looks good on paper, but doesn’t work in practice), etc. all have had their chances and did not survive. And while broken, our country is still a better place to live than many other countries that are ruled by dictatorships and puppet leaders (another issue for another time). It is narcissistic to think that another, better form of government has not been developed or does not exist yet. It could be a hybrid tiered form of government with a socialist working body that addresses the needs of the public only and a Capitolist administrative body that oversees? It could be something entirely different yet to be developed or perhaps someone already has but feels it is futile to pursue due to the strangle hold our current system has. So long as the old guard are in place and the public perpetuates their existence, power and this myth of having a choice in government, we will never know if something better exists. The country is its own worst enemy.
Ideas like term limits for congressmen/women are definitely needed and a single six year Presidential term I also think is a great idea. And what if it’s too late? What if these are just temporary fixes delaying the inevitable; more band aids that can’t fix a bleeding system? I have no faith in either the government nor our businesses running programs like universal healthcare or Social Security. The government has become corrupt and inept while banks/big business are corrupt and greedy. Both wind up hurting the public.
Banks run amuck, unwatched, utilizing shady business practices which leads them them and the public to financial trouble (practices that if John Q. Public public tried to use, these same banks would put their foot down and say it can’t be done). Then the government bails them out, the big wigs gives themselves raises, and still screws over the little guy. Politicians from the most conservative Republican to the most liberal Democrat are working for the banks and big business, not for you and me. They are just a collective overinflated egos taking turns being pimps and whores in bed with each other (I apologize to workers in the sex industry for demeaning your trade by comparing you with politicians or impugning you in any way. Seriously). And those who don’t play ball will never get any real power to effect change. Big business still operates oversees taking advantage of those workers, reducing jobs here, and neither party has or will do anything about it except give the public a lot of lip service. Corporations stripping and damaging the earth finding new ways to screw it up. Yes, things like extinction of a species happen without people and we are accelerating those things. Even if the world is fine in the immediate future, it won’t be for your descendants. Government keeps taking away money and benefits from important public services like Police, Fire, and EMS. The government keeps spending money to try and fix problems elsewhere in the world (misusing, underpaying, and disrespecting our troops in the process) without batting an eyelash yet throws a hissy fit when it comes to spending money on better education or feeding our starving children. They took 10 years to pass The First Responder Act to cover medical costs for those responding on 9/11?!? Ten years!!! That should have been passed immediately. And they still left out cancer saying it couldn’t be linked. They spend gobs of money, time and/or resources on a failed “war on drugs” which has done nothing to decrease drug abuse and perpetuates the myth that a marijuana is a gateway drug more dangerous than chemically unnatural pharmaceuticals. Yet real threats like rapists and child molesters get subpar sentences or have their cases swept under the carpet. There are numerous more examples of ineptitude, gross failures, and hypocrisy I’m sure. These are the characteristics of a broken system.
In the end, ALL the politicians and pundits lie to the public and most of the public eat it up like a shit sandwich disguised as a Kobe beef burger with all the fixings*. They spin everything until it’s anything but the truth and people who are extremely smart all the sudden get dumb and swallow this political dogma whole. And every fourth year, they pull a lever (literally or figuratively) expecting change they will never see.
I see a lot being said that we are getting soft as a nation. I don’t disagree. Most of it centers around things like every kid getting a trophy just for participation in sports (wrong and a very small piece of the issue) or bullying (which has gone to extremes like everything else in this country. We need to both prepare our kids to defend themselves AND do everything possible to stop bullying in the first place. Seriously folks, stop being counter productive by zoning in on half the solution). I think there is a far more pressing example. Thomas Jefferson said, ” I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”, and as politicians on both sides are fond of quoting our founding fathers, I find it relevant to reference a quote they seem to never mention. The most blatant example of how we have grown soft is that most of thin country would rather keep the status quo than risk a revolution that would upend and revamp the government. While it’s obvious the politicians don’t want this as they would lose their privileged lifestyles as could the rich, many of the public has become complacent and are afraid of risking what creature comforts they have. I can understand that, perhaps even share that to some degree. While I’ve never actually considered being a revolutionist, that day may be coming, and if it starts without me, I know what side I’m fighting for.
* As a side note, if you were someone who routinely ordered Kobe beef in 2012 and prior, you were duped by the food industry and government as real Kobe beef was not allowed in the US before very late in 2012. Sorry, again you bought a lie.