Thursday Three: Music Edition

April 27, 2012

Everyone and their mother is covering this song.

I’ve come to realize that the subject of music is a lot like politics and religion: You shouldn’t bring it up unless you’re willing to open yourself up to a LOT of judgment. And since I judge people a lot, I should be willing to take as much as I can dish, right? So let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way now.

1. I like pop music.

There, I said it. Go ahead, crucify me if you care to, but “pop” is short for “popular.” And I like to listen to popular stuff because it appeals to the lowest common denominator. It’s meant to engage everyone, from little children who don’t know any better to adults who should. And yeah, I get pop music is rarely substantive in any way since most of it is just talking about the shit that goes down in the club.

HOWEVER, art at any given period is a window into the culture. For example, the conservative music of the Classical period (I’m talking about the period between 1750 and 1830) shows the mindset of the people at the time, which was restraint. When you analyze Classical music, there’s an emphasis on order and hierarchy. Between 1750 and 1830, social norms were such that adhered strictly to a moral code based on order and hierarchy, ergo the music reflected that.

So what does pop music say about our culture today? Obviously that we are a people that like to get drunk and have sex with randoms simply cuz they gots swag. And hey, if that floats your boat, then that’s cool. (In this case) I’m not judging. As long as the music has a catchy hook, then keep doing what you do.

2. There are some Glee covers that are better than the originals and some Glee covers that suck.

Another controversial one. Look, I heart Glee like there’s no tomorrow, and I own every album released so far. Usually, there are some songs that are just so much better than the originals. For example:

  • “I Feel Pretty/Unpretty:” mashup of “Unpretty” by TLC and “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story
  • “She’s Not There” by The Zombies
  • “Blame It (on the Alcohol)” by Jaime Foxx
  • “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

Don’t get me wrong. These covers aren’t better because the cast isn’t more talented, but  mostly because of higher production quality/auto-tune. In the case of “Teenage Dream” however, the cover was incredibly well arranged, and Katy Perry just can’t compare to an a capella group with actual talent. But in the same vein, there are some Glee covers that suck. For example:

  • “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green
  • “The Only Exception” by Paramore
  • “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  • “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

The reason these mostly suck is because the originals were JUST TOO GOOD to begin with. In the case of “Forget You,” Gwyneth Paltrow just can’t/shouldn’t EVER sing. And I mean ever. Never ever ever ever. Additionally, you can’t cover a rap song with kids who can’t rap. You just can’t. You’ll kill the song faster than the audience can kill itself. At least give the audience a head start.

3. I don’t get why the Internet hates Nickelback.

I really don’t. I’ve tried. I’ve tried to make myself hate them, but I can’t.

The thing is, yeah, I understand that their songs can sometimes be really contrived, and sometimes they try too hard. And yeah, I get that sometimes Chad Kroeger’s voice can grate on someone’s nerves like stale parmesan. And okay, I get that they use the same three chords in every one of their songs.

But let’s face it: Not all of their songs are crap. Like “Photograph.” That was the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. “How You Remind Me” was the anthem of my formative years. And there was that one song about road head that made me giggle every time I heard it because it was just so ridiculous.

I guess I like that about Nickelback. While also being relatable, they can also be ridiculous and kind of over the top. I don’t mind it so much.


Adulthood. Oh boy. Also, I moved.

April 16, 2012

Aside from the assloads of people commenting on my Hunger Games post (and the occasional Ron Paul post), I haven’t been doing much on this blog. Sorry! I plan on bringing this sucker back, and it’s going to be BETTER THAN EVER.

Okay, so in other news: I moved! That’s right. I moved from the north Texas ‘burbs to a small town in the deep south working as a reporter for a newspaper. That’s pretty much as specific as I’d like to be on the Internet. I mean, you already have my name. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME, INTERNET?!

As for the place…the town is pretty sweet. Everyone has been super nice in helping me get acclimated. Maybe it’s just because it’s the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone else, but I feel very welcomed. But a couple of things I have noticed so far:

This state has a really weird political disconnect. And what I mean is, all of the local elected officials are democrats, but all the national officials for the state are republicans. It’s very odd. I guess it’s kind of like New Jersey having a republican for a governor while all of its senators and representatives are democrats. But I have a funny story about the politics here. During my first couple weeks here, I met the head of the county government. He was a really nice guy. Very personable and very welcoming. One of my first conversations with him was about politics — particularly national politics. He told me he was a democrat and that he voted for Obama in 2008. He also told me that he believed Obama was doing a great job. And then he said:

All the republicans in the House are racist.

THAT’S WHAT HE SAID. I shit you not, he believes that all the republicans in the House are racist, and that’s why they refuse to work with President Obama. It took everything inside of me not to laugh my butt off when he expressed this belief because he had this really serious expression, and I knew it would be a mistake to do anything but nod and smile.

But really. I never, ever, EVER in my life expected an OLD WHITE DUDE FROM THE SOUTH to pull the political race card. It may or may not have made my day.

Southern gentlemen still exist. And it’s awesome. Case in point: I went to a karaoke bar last night with four of my girl friends. All of the tables were filled, so we stood by the bar with our drinks, waiting until a table opened up. Twenty minutes into our night, we spotted an empty. We wandered over there and sat ourselves, but there were lines of shot glasses and packs of cigarettes still on the table, so we weren’t entirely sure that the people previously sitting there weren’t planning on returning. But we were in heels, so we sat anyway.

Sure enough, ten minutes later one of the guys who had been sitting there came back and noticed that his table had been commandeered by five women. We apologized and offered to give him his table back, but he shook his head and said, “No, of course not. Ya’all are women. I should have offered it to you in the first place.” What a gentleman.

Adulthood isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. No, but really. I know I bitch more than anyone about how much it sucks to be an adult and have responsibilities, etc., but now that I’m living on my own in a fabulous apartment with an amazing job in an interesting town, I don’t think it’s so bad. The tasks that used to stress me out now only give me a sense of purpose. Like finding affordable renter’s insurance, or switching my license. But to be fair, I’ve switched my license so many times within the past two years that it’s almost become a hobby for me.

But what I really kind of dig now is the routine, and I don’t have to worry about my family fucking up my routine. For example, I go to work at a set time every morning. I spend my Saturday mornings and afternoons cleaning and running errands, then I spend my Saturday evenings out with my girls. And then I spend my Sundays being as lazy as humanly possible. This is the first time I’ve had an adult routine, and I really like it.

However, I can’t live without the Internet. I spent the first couple of weeks here without Internet, and let me tell you: I was ready to throw in the towel and move back home.

It’s almost sad how dependent I’ve become on the Internet. But honestly, I don’t want to go back.