Sunday, November 23, 2008

Never Is Too Soon

As a connoisseur of bar trivia, I'm often subjected to the playlists of shithead trivia emcees with the sort of inflated sense of self-importance that ONLY emceeing bar trivia can warrant. "Ah, look at them. Bending to my every whim. I ask questions--THEY answer. At my command they get up and walk over to me, drop their answer in the bucket. Sometimes they even ask me if they got it right. They need me. Ah, what ho! My 'TrivMix' shuffle has made its selection. Let us bask in the arbitrary roulette of the shuff--and indeed life--by pantomiming the shaking of a Polaroid photograph during the appropriate bars of 'Hey Ya'." And then of course every sorostitute in the bar has to say "OH, girl I know every word to this song!" when "Baby Got Back" comes on. Newsflash: So the fuck does everyone.

I've been to trivia nights at at least a half-dozen bars, so I don't think this stereotype is particularly unfair. Suffice to say that no matter the bar or host, the setlists are staggeringly similar. It's a very specific kind of suck, as you may know. It's the kind of songs--like "Baby Got Back", "Hey Ya", or anything by Journey--that are almost impossible to hate because of their silly/endearing qualities, but damned if we'd ever listen to them willfully. And, frankly, we wouldn't lament it if we never actually heard them again.

WHICH brings me to the meat of this here post: Songs that, frankly, I'd be OK if they were to never reach my ears before I croak. We all burn out on songs or records, leading to extended shelving periods. I'm not talking about that. That scenario usually results in a rewarding rediscovery down the line. We're also not talking the obvious stuff that floods the airwaves--your Nickelbacks, Fall Out Boys, Mileys, etc. They're not worthy of discussion.

We're talking songs that have been wrung dry of all effect; that provide no utility other than background music at lame parties and, of course, trivia nights.

Bon Jovi - "Wanted Dead or Alive"
I'd like to point out that I think Bon Jovi sucks. Whenever I hear a Bon Jovi song, I can only see one image: Tico Torres, clad in weightlifting gloves, spinning his drum stick between every snare hit. That's it. Except when I hear "Wanted Dead or Alive". Then I think of the most contrived song ever written.


The Gourds - "Gin & Juice"
First of all, it's not by Phish motherfuckers. Secondly, the Gourds are a bad-ass group. I have a feeling they'd be all right with never hearing this either. The song is just too antiseptic and polished for my tastes. And the knowledge that it's hailed as an anthem at frat parties everywhere (Hey Brody, check it bruh, black people music without the black people!) is incentive enough to throw it on the trash heap. A much more worthy white guy covering a rap song can be heard here.

Any and All Beach Music (Especially "Carolina Girls")
As a 20-something in South Carolina, I've been obligated happy to attend at a handful of weddings in the past year or so. Why, you ask, does South Carolina come into play? Because it's a state that actually considers 'beach music' to be a viable genre. If you're unfamiliar with beach music, just imagine the Golden Oldies collection was unceremoniously butt-raped by Jimmy Buffet after a night of shag-dancing and Margaritas. Hits include "Under the Boardwalk" and "I Love Beach Music", but if I was pressured to choose one beach music song to eradicate from the face of this planet, it'd be the crap-a-thon "Carolina Girls". Giving privileged Charleston girls a further sense of entitlement via a trite tribute song is the last thing we should be doing.


My choices are in. Howsabout you?

1 comment:

Thomas said...

In a perfect world, here is my abbreviated list.

1. All Star by Smash Mouth
2. Maroon 5
3. "Southern Rap"
4. Eminem
5. Kid Rock
6. "Dude" Rock
7. Barry Manilow
8. Celine Dion

I'm afraid those may be too obvious.

But I will throw this out there...

Free Bird. It will never be the same.