Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another foray into the Top 40 wasteland

It’s been a few months since I last brought you the wretchedness that is Top 40 radio in America. There’s a reason that I listen to either talk radio or a select few bands from my younger days; Top 40 pop music sucks, by and large.

So, every so often I take an hour or two, listen to the dreck they pass off on us, and then remind myself of why I don’t listen to this shit in the first place. But don’t take my word for it—go watch/listen for yourself and see that I’m not smoking catnip.

Cash Cash – There’s a Party In Your Bedroom

Damn you, MySpace and You Tube. Thanks to you, anyone with a Casio keyboard they picked up at Best Buy can be a star. They look like an emo Jonas Brothers and sound like sugar-coated Daft Punk, with syrupy lyrics and an even more syrupy delivery. Halfway through, you expect the lyrics to segue into Jermaine Stewart’s 80’s crapfest “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”.

LMFAO – I’m In Miami Trick

Just what we needed…an updated equivalent of Trio’s “Da Da Da” for the new millennium; full of tinkertoy electronic blips and meaningless blathering lyrics. Actually, the original, non-radio version has “Bitch” instead of “Trick” as the lyric. Another product of the internet generation of iTunes and MySpace. Around the 2-minute mark, I’m ready to jam a steak knife in my trachea.

Soulja Boy Tell Em – Kiss Me Through The Phone

The annoying fellow behind that fuck-awful Crank That Soulja Boy (DeAndre Ramone Way) is back with some more repetitive babbling coupled with a bubblegum chorus sung by someone else who actually has a halfway pleasant voice. That still can’t save this song. Should have been called “Annoy Me Through The Radio”.

Lady GaGa – Love Game

The pride of Yonkers, 23-year old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta has been inescapable the past few months. This song follows up the hit singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. Excellent basslines and production are the saving grace, because the lyrics really leave you scratching your brain-case, and this song is no exception, with the inane lines “Let’s have some fun; this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.” She sticks weird glitter chunks to her face, dresses like a cross between a stripper and a flapper, and has a really good voice when she actually sings. Kinda like Madonna 30 years younger and without a petting zoo full of kids and Kaballah.

Jeremih – Birthday Sex

When the hell did Moet champagne get relabeled Mo-weezy? I included two links to the vids because there seems to be two versions of the song, one a slower ballady mix (the official video) and then the uptempo version I keep hearing on the radio. Jeremih Felton seems to have a bright pop future ahead of him. He reminds me a bit of a young Kanye West without the narcissism. However, the bridge (“Girl you know Iiiiiiiiiiiiii, girl you know Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”) grates on my nerves really fast, as does the chanting of “Birthday Sex….Birthday Sex….”. Yeah, kid, we get it. We all like to get laid on our birthday, but not too many of us feel we gotta sing about it.

Pitbull – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)

I actually kinda like Pitbull. I liked his last single, too, “Krazy” with Lil’ Jon. It’s really bouncy and dancey and clubby, which I like. The only real thing I don’t like about this mix is the “ping” noise in the background that reminds me of submarine sonar. I liked it enough at first but after a few listens it gets old. I wonder how many of my friends in the sub community cringe when they hear that? I’m guilty of not being able to understand the non-English lyrics, but they still sound cool. Pitbull (Armando Christian Rafael Pérez) hails from Miami so I’d assume it’s Spanish, but the beginning of the video shows a hottie wrapped in a Brazilian flag, so it might be Portuguese. I dunno; I speak German. Go figure.

Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

The Peas are so far batting a thousand with this new album of theirs, The E.N.D. The first single, Boom Boom Pow, is everywhere on the radio, a great dance track that my buddy Chris said reminded him of the old Miami Bass Wars of the 80’s. You can’t escape the song, which is sad because now I turn the radio off when it comes on. It took less than 4 weeks to ruin it for me. This new rack is a 4:54 long microparty. You can’t help but bounce up & down, even while outside in the yard washing your car…oh, wait; maybe that was just me? This should be the quintessential party track of this summer.

We interrupt crappy Top 40 radio to bring you an important announcement!

This morning I saw something truly astounding, simultaneously on both MTV and MTV2. They were playing videos… yeah, no shit! I’m used to seeing vids in the morning on VH1, before they start to play non-stop repeats of faux reality bullshit shows at 9AM, but this was new….they were calling the shows AMTV and AMTV2, just a block of morning wakeup videos. I only got to see a couple clips before 9:00 rolled around and the bullshit non-video, non-music, crapfests began anew. The three I remembered:

Sean Kingston – Fire Burning

Two summers ago, you couldn’t escape this kid’s song “Beautiful Girls”. In fact, I wrote about it. (
Two summers later, he’s back with another inescapable track full of dancey beats and quasi-reggae deliveries. It gets old fast. The video, however, is a cavalcade of images, each about 2 seconds or less in length, with various energetic young folks doing dance moves that make me miss being 21 again, back when the Earth had just finished cooling and I still had the moves. I’ll probably hate this song in about another week or so.

Passion Pit -- The Reeling

Wow…we just got sucked back to 1986. This is like an electronic Cocteau Twins song, a wall of synth noise and vaguely unintelligible high-pitched vocals. Video looks like some college kid’s art school thesis project. Up and coming Next Big Thing, Passion Pit is a band from Cambridge, Massachusetts (home of Harvard and MIT). They’re currently the darlings of the indie & new music crowd. Sadly, being named the Next Big Thing by the British music press is usually the death knell for anyone. Just say they’re the next Oasis and they’ll be gone inside of a month.

Dave Matthews Band – Funny The Way It Is

Wow….Dave chunked up a little in the face…smoked too much weed and got the munchies I think. Looks a lot like Andy Kaufman here, or at least like Jim Carey playing Andy Kaufman. A pleasant enough song, but for me it’s easily forgettable. The video looks like spliced together concepts from Peter Gabriel’s heyday in the late 80’s and early 90’s. All that was missing was two dancing chicken carcasses.


j summ said...

this is why i have sirius. riding around 10 hours a day in the car listening to this crap would have me eating a 40 cal slug with draino chaser in record time.

The Lightning Man said...

I hear ya'. I have about 50 Sirius channels through my Dish TV, and I love to listen to 22. We tried Sirius in the car but couldn't get a stable signal after 3 days and said to hell with it. I had a quickie free trial of XM in my car for like 10 days and loved it; just gotta get it back. I may just get the dual receiver instead.