Seriously, Road Noise > Current Pop Music

On Tuesdays I go over to Mike’s for boardgames and while we’re building churches to win the favor of the Pharaoh or whatever his wife is usually in the next room watching American Idol.

Now, when I say I don’t listen to music on the radio, people never believe me. They think I mean that I don’t listen to most music on the radio. Or some music. Or that what I mean is that I don’t listen to music on the radio very often. Some even think that what I mean by “I don’t ever listen to music on the radio” is “I often listen to music on the radio and therefore know all about this song you’re trying to tell me about.” The truth is, I don’t listen to music on the radio. Period. If I’m in the car — which is the only time a radio is on near me — I listen to CDs or NPR or, more often than not, nothing. I say this to point out that I really have not followed popular music and the trends within it for some time.

Therefore, I was unaware of just how prevalent the Cult of Whitney and Mariah had become. It seems that the only way to sing a song (especially if you’re a woman) is to sing every note around the one you’re aiming for. Folks love this crap.

A couple weeks ago there was a theme night on American Idol: Rape the Beatles. It was rendition after stunningly godawful rendition of Beatles’ songs, all done in this style. “Penny Lane is in my ears and in my ey-YE-ye-yeyeye-ye-YE-es…” They were all terrible, but some of them garnered high praise from the judges. This week the Beatles were spared, but more songs I was familiar with were butchered.

One person did a version of “Alone” by Heart. This song starts off slow for the verse and then gets yelly for the chorus, like a lot of Heart songs. It was obvious that the person singing had no idea what to do during the slow, quiet parts. Once the chorus kicked in she knew it was time to belt that shit out for the fans out on Saturn, but until then she just had to wait for that moment. Oh hey, there’s a video of it on YouTube. You can see what I’m talking about.

Now, this is nothing to be ashamed of, Ramiele. Even the Diva Goddess herself, Whitney Houston, had this problem. In her smash-hit shriekage, “The Greatest Love of All”, if you listen closely, you can hear that Whitney herself can’t WAIT to get to the shouty bits. Check out the 1:08 mark here in this video.

My point here is: you kids pull your pants up.

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8 Responses to Seriously, Road Noise > Current Pop Music

  1. Mrs. Mancer says:

    I think your whole “No really, I don’t listen to the radio” spiel has become less necessary due to these here whatchacallem ipoddy thingums. Hardly anyone under a certain age listens to the radio.

  2. Kevin Church says:

    Do we have to get off your lawn, too?

  3. Dave says:

    Tell it to Dan, Mrs. Mancer.

  4. pronoblem says:

    You actually watch American Idol? You gotta be kidding me! You expect your readership to click on a Youtube link to watch some of this nonsense? A pox on you!

    I don’t think I will ever own one of those ipoddy thingums… The radio in my car is always dialed to WNNZ AM for NPR and the one in my bedroom to WHYN FM for Coast to Coast. When I was in college all of my new music exposure was via the library in the radio station… now I have the internet with many great band, label and magazine sites to sample new music… then there’s word of mouth from friends and record store employees. Commercial radio does not exist as far as I am concerned. Though, for some time I volunteered at the local LPFM station WXOJ. I still would like to do a show so I could offer people something good to listen to.

    When I was in high school I had a job as a packer at a warehouse for Hallmark Cards… they piped in top 40 radio all day to please the employees. It was a commercial radio station from Connecticut, I forget which one. I asked if we could change the channel occasionally and management told me flat out “No”. I quit. In my exit interview when asked why I said, “If I hear Got My Mind Set On You or
    Sweet Child O’ Mine one more time I am going to kill somebody”

  5. Albatross says:

    A few things occur to me after reading all of this. It occurs to me I don’t really know almost anyone who regularly listens to commercial radio, and I haven’t since before I could drive. And I listen to a lot more of it than Dave – I catch The River maybe 10% of my car time. I don’t even know what’s out there. I also don’t think that’s the least bit unusual. Isn’t it marketed to 12 year olds? It’s not even something that occurs to me.

    And I agree with the Mrs. Mancer – despite the fact that I don’t personally have one yet, it seems MP3 players are making the radio model even more obsolete while exposing people to wider and wider and wider styles of music. I think it’s great.

    As for American Idol – is it even pop music? One of the only things I know about pop music is that Lil Wayne is hot. We teach these production seminars to high school kids and they all wanted to pretend they were Lil Wayne. Later, I found some Lil Wayne online. Lil Wayne sucks. But whatever. I don’t feel qualified to place American Idol along some representative scale of anything, because I’m just not familiar enough with it. Oh, Hannah Montana. Found out about her last month.

    I think there’s probably great pop music out there, just like anything else. I don’t know what it is, but I also don’t know what it isn’t.

    I also thought it’s pretty damn funny there’s a warehouse that gave it’s packers exit interviews. I worked in a number of warehouses and factories, and they were nothing like that. Must be that special something about Hallmark.

  6. pronoblem says:

    Of course there’s great pop music… you just don’t need radio to listen to it.

    Maybe it was something special with me rather than Hallmark? Didja think of that? Hallmark was strange… It was a very large company and yet family owned. Very touchy feel-y… There were weekly awards for perfect scores in audits in a lottery where there were as many as three winners with 100% accuracy… $100 in gas, comp day, gift cert to some chain restaurant (seemed like a huge expense to me for a bunch of people sticking cards and stuffed animals in boxes). Free fountain soda at lunch break… Music piped in. They spent a lot of effort on trying to make people happy working there (makes sense that on the exit end they’d do this) and it paid fairly well for a high school job. I hated it. Yes, there was an exit interview… I might have bailed on that too, but I was hot for my boss…

  7. Albatross says:

    Free fountain soda? How cheerful! Did you leave her little cards everywhere?

  8. pronoblem says:

    Not cheerful at all… I was sure that they put drugs in it, so I never drank it and I was the only one that hated the job… everyone else was “Yay! Go Team!” all the time. Therefore my suspicions about the drinks and the music being some sort of Ludovico technique were amplified. Anyhow… yeah, strange environment that was for such a slack and brain dead job. Though, I’ve witnessed stranger. As far as the boss, I think Rick beat me to it, else I might have stuck around longer just for that…