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Turn it off! Turn it off!

August 17, 2011

There comes a time in every blogger’s life when he just doesn’t have anything worthwhile to write about. Maybe he hasn’t eaten any amazing sandwiches lately, or tried out a new online music service, or had a crisis of conscience, or gone computer shopping, or read any good books. Maybe he saw a decent movie last weekend, but wouldn’t really have anything to say in a review that hasn’t already been said.

So our blogger turns to other recent experiences for inspiration. For this blogger, there is one recurring theme from the last couple of weeks. For whatever reason, I have heard a LOT of songs on the radio that I absolutely cannot stand. For my terrestrial radio needs, I listen almost exclusively to the local “classic hits” station. It’s basically a classic rock station that also inexplicably plays Black Crowes and late period Aerosmith. Most of the time the playlist consists of inoffensive rock hits. You’ve got your “Take Me Home Tonight” and your “Sussudio” and your “Mississippi Queen.” Sometimes you’ll hear “Southern Cross” or “Jesus is Just Alright” (“ohhh, yeaaahh!”).

I’ve even gotten into a couple of songs and artists I never really liked before. Joe Cocker’s version of “The Letter” is pretty great. And I enjoy the aforementioned “Jesus is Just Alright” by the Doobie Brothers despite not having a single religious bone in my body. I’ve also developed a taste for the Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight.” Also, apparently if I like a song but have never known who recorded it, it’s pretty much always Supertramp. Some of this stuff I like, some of it I don’t really like but will tolerate. I can put up with the Black Crowes and Bon Jovi. (Bon Jovi? “Classic rock”? Seriously?) I can even put up with the endless Steve Miller and hearing Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” once every hour.

John Cougar Alowishus Devadander Abercrombie Mellencamp

John Cougar Alowishus Devadander Abercrombie Mellencamp

But then there’s the really bad stuff. I’m talking about songs that, when they come on, I will literally climb over elderly people and small children to shut off the radio:

“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett — I really can’t stand this guy and do not remotely understand his appeal. His lazy-ass songs are on par with bad 80’s hair metal. “Margaritaville” is a particularly egregious example. A song about getting drunk and doing nothing. Great. I know about a dozen high-schoolers who have written that song.

Clapton’s cover of “I Shot the Sheriff” — I hate this song in and of itself, but my main beef has to do with its inclusion on a classic rock station instead of the Bob Marley original. I mean, Eric Clapton is “classic rock” but Bob Marley isn’t? Really? That is not to say that I like the Marley version any better; I don’t. But Clapton’s famous cover is painfully white and utterly lacking any soul or groove of any kind. Just like Clapton’s career post-Dominos. ONOHEDI’INT!

“Piano Man” by Billy Joel — Everybody has at least one song that they hate but know all the words to. “Piano Man” is that song for me. I know every cheeseball lyric, which is a large part of why I will rush to turn the song off. Because much like Cartman and “Come Sail Away,” my brain will not allow me to proceed with my day until I’ve heard it through to the end. There are actually people who like this song so much they will sing along, loudly, in a crowded bar when it plays on the jukebox. I want to stab those people in the neck.

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen — I know Bruce has cred. He’s hugely popular with a pretty wide spectrum of music fans. They can disagree on which albums are superior, but a lot of people just generally dig him. I’m not the biggest Springsteen fan in the world. I don’t own any of his albums and probably never will. I don’t hate the guy or his music as a rule, but “Born to Run” is just godawful. I get that it’s about getting the hell out of New Jersey, and that’s pretty funny. But lines like “just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims / and strap your hands across my engines” (and Springsteen’s delivery thereof) grate on my last nerve. Others may disagree.

Anything by John “Fucking” Mellencamp — No explanation necessary.

  1. Porter permalink
    August 18, 2011 8:41 am

    I’m totally with you on the Boss. Never understood his appeal. To quote the Dead Milkmen: “We’re going to drag Bruce Springsteen by his ass through our streets/By the time we’re done the Boss will look like a side of meat.”

    About Jimmy Buffet (should be pronounced like the Golden Corral smorgasbord and not the investor), well, I don’t want to defend him exactly — but he did write this one song, “Railroad Lady,” that Willie Nelson covered on “To Lefty, From Willie,” that was pretty awesome. But in defense of Buffet’s awfulness, it could’ve been that Willie made it cool and the song on its own isn’t all that great.

    • August 19, 2011 7:03 pm

      Holy cow. Did you just quote City of Mud? That’s the rarest of references. I love it.

      Now if only we’d called this site Wiseguyville…

  2. Lloyd permalink
    August 26, 2011 8:55 am

    Mellencamp was better before he added the “Mellencamp,” when his name was just John Fucking.

    • August 26, 2011 12:00 pm

      I still maintain the best real-life band name I’ve ever heard is “John Cougar Concentration Camp.”

      • Paul the Geek permalink
        August 31, 2011 1:58 pm

        Or REO Speeddealer (who changed their name to “Speeddealer” after the REO boys freaked out.)

        And, of course, there was Jack Black’s band in “High Fidelity” (before they settled on “Barry Jive And the Uptown Five,” previously “Sonic Death Monkey”): “Kathleen Turner Overdrive.”

  3. Paul the Geek permalink
    August 31, 2011 2:03 pm

    PS: The radio station mentioned here also insists on playing Aerosmith’s version of “Come Together” instead of the Beatles’. WTF?

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