Monthly Archives: June 2013

Musical Guilty Pleasures

Per the request of my most loyal reader and most diligent commenter, I have compiled here for you a list of musical guilty pleasures. Before I do that, of course, I need to subject you to more of my banal, bombastic, blather by telling you that musical guilty pleasures are really defined by who one is. For example, if a teenage girl tells you that she likes One Direction, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash. However, I am a six foot, 280 pound bear of a man with a shaved head and a goatee. If I told you I like One Direction, you’d be surprised since I look like I just walked off the set of “Sons of Anarchy.” Oh, and by the way, I DO like One Direction. HA! Read on. Commence musical guilty pleasures:

“Candy”-Mandy Moore-2000-
This sounds like a total cop-out but I like the beat in this song. It is really a well thought out bass line with it as well which is surprising for a pop song. Oh and I pretend Many Moore is singing to just me when I listen to it. Shut up! I’m bearing my soul here dammit!

“Life is What you Make It”-Mishelle Bradford-Jones-2001
This is really a feminine sounding song but I cannot stop myself from enjoying this as the perfect salve for the slashing sting of a bad day or when I’m feeling vulnerable and in the mood to take in a romantic comedy.

“What Makes you Beautiful”-One Direction-2011
See Above

“Starships”-Nicki Minaj-2012
To be honest, I wouldn’t have given this song the time of day if I didn’t have a massive crush on Nicki Minaj. I love her costumes, I love her attitude, and, most of all I love her caboose. Read “The Naked Ape” and you’ll understand.

I should be appalled by Kesha’s very existence but, for some reason, I cannot bring myself to despise her even though I should. Something about the voice that just draws me in.

“Better Off Alone”-Alice DeeJay-1999
This song has no substance. It was probably made by pressing buttons and speaking into a big box. It’s techno! The lowest form of musical life! This requires almost no musical talent!! Why the hell did I download this?! Gah! I don’t know either but I just like it. It’s guilty pleasures, people! Don’t make me dissect it too much!

Well, that does it for now. As you know, my musical tastes are quite refined (I think I can almost hear you rolling your eyes) so I cannot think of anything else that would meet the criteria for a guilty pleasure. Should I stumble across another one, you’ll be the first to know. . .if I feel like posting that is.


We Miss You

Michael Jackson_300

Country Music is Dead

Switching around the dial as I often do today (while at stoplights of course and not whilst driving; that would be idiotic) I stopped for a while on what has the audacity to call itself a country music station. Apparently, to call yourself a country music station means playing an endless succession of Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and Taylor Swift songs.

However, on this particular day, a Garth Brooks song came across the air waves. Having listened to the previous crap on the air, hearing a Garth Brooks song was like driving a Bentley after being accustomed to a Honda Civic. It then occurred to me that country music is dead. Real country musicians like Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams and, yes Garth Brooks (to name a few) have been replaced. Now, country fans have to settle for Gretchen Wilson, Kenny Chesney and (God Help Us) Toby Keith. Musicians like this are to country what Taco Bell is to Mexican food. In other words, they’re more “country inspired” than actual country music.

And, come on; Keith Urban? Really? He’s not even American! That’s like a gangsta rap group claiming to be from South Central LA and really being from a much more tame part of the city. . .well, aside from Cypress Hill I mean. Anyway, Keith Urban THIS.

Rascal Flatts? Give me a break. They’re a good band but it’s a stretch to call them country. They’re much more of a rock group.

Putting on a cowboy hat, saying “y’all” and singing about Miller Lite and John Deere tractors do not a country artist make. They make a poseur, certainly, but the country artists of today don’t deserve to carry Dolly Parton’s bra.

I don’t deserve to either-despite how much I’d like to.

Wu-Tang Clan-“Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuttin’ ta F*** Wit”-1993

“There’s no place ta hide/once I step inside
Tha Room;
Dr. Doom;
Prepare for the BOOM.”

That’s how this song starts out and the listener remains gripped for the remaining three and a half minutes thereafter. The Wu-Tang Clan showcases their pure, lyrical talents in this song. If you have never listened to any Wu-Tang before, I would recommend starting with this one before going through some of their grittier offerings like “Shame on a Ni**a” (which is on the album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) along with the above captioned piece) “Duck Seazon”, or “Protect Ya Neck”.

While the song (and really the whole album) is not well-produced by any definition, I think the imperfections really add to the authenticity of the piece. The snap clap beat in the beginning of the song really promote a mental image of 9 guys standing around a trash can fire in a parking lot on a frigid New York winter afternoon rhyming, honing their craft, and expressing themselves.

While I think a remastered version of this album would be a tremendous gift to the fans, even if that ever materialized, I would always listen fondly to the original version because I think it really is a conduit for fans to experience what Wu-Tang Clan’s music is all about.

DJ Khaled f. Kanye West & T-Pain-“Go Hard”-2007

I used to think Kanye West was a huge douche. I used to think he was the typical punk studio gangster very much like the Eminem parody that was shown in the movie “Phone Booth.” However, after I listened to his work in the above captioned piece, I realized how wrong I was about Kanye West.

For someone to spit from the heart like he did in this piece cannot be faked. He really showed that he is not the manufacturer of pop garbage. Indeed, he showed that he is really a smart businessman. Certainly the pop garbage is what sells and that’s probably why he does that with horrible crap like “Extra Terrestrial” and “Heartless.” People like me who like a more aggressive sound with an edge are in the minority. Therefore, I’m not surprised that “Go Hard” was not mass produced.

Given that, I’m glad that I stumbled across “Go Hard” since it allowed me to experience Kanye West and see a new side of him. I’m looking forward to the prospect of another offering like this from him.