I’m often amazed how rarely people listen to the lyrics of songs.
I mean… Y’all do know that Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero is about a woman who’s rubbing one out after watching old movies all night, right? I mean, she’s not looking for someone to save her, she is looking for a guy who will give her a good hard fuckin’ like she’s never had before.
Really! Actually LISTEN to the lyrics. She watched Thor: The Dark World and wrote this song as a result (Bonnie Tyler is a Time Lord btw)
Semi-Related: Who the hell is Ella Mae Bowen and why was she allowed to make such a shitty SHITTY cover of this song?
What I always find interesting about Christmas music, is that people are willing to listen to genres that at any other time of the year they wouldn’t touch with a barge poll. People who hate crooners will slap on a Bing Crosby record. People who aren’t normally country fans will put A Garth Brooks Christmas on the CD player. People still have CD players, right? I don’t, but I assume people do. I’ve always found it interesting that people will forgive a genre or artist they don’t normally like, because of a Christmas song.
Let’s be clear on this, I’m the sort of person who people look at and say “Of course, you WOULD listen to Manhattan Transfer.” But I don’t actually listen to them. Except, of course, I have their Christmas album. There is nothing so remarkable in that. I have about 200 Christmas albums, all told. Don’t judge me. I went through what can only be described as a period of my life. I made so very many, many Christmas Mix Tapes, and I needed A LOT of material for those tapes. You don’t know what hell is until you find yourself trying to sort 2300 songs looking for THAT ONE that fits perfectly, only to find Neil Diamond staring back at you.
It’s just odd, that during the month of December, everyone walks around with an expanded idea of what music should be and men open their shut up hearts freely to accept music genres that died out before they were even born.
OTHER THINGS I FIND ODD!
Now these are obviously self-selecting things, and none of them are set in stone or being handed down as rules. They’re just trends I’ve noticed. I probably have an exception to each of these in my collection.
If you’re listening to a country singer, the secular songs will be the bouncy “Fun Country” style song and the religious one will be the slow, reserved song. And there is usually only one or two religious songs on a country album.
Only Jazz or R&B singers sing the song “This Christmas” like it’s been set aside for them. Same with Christmas Time Is Here, no one else will cover it. Also, 7 times out of 10, Jazz songs that are religious are instrumentals. They’ll sing the secular songs, but not the religious ones. There are a lot of religious songs though, more than most other genres.
New Age musicians (By which I mean adult contemporary instrumental) LOVE them some obscure Christmas songs. Mannheim Steamroller, for example introduced me to several songs I had never heard and only rarely hear now. While contemporary Celtic musicians go for songs so obscure, I’m not always convinced they’re really Christmas songs. But since most of them are in some form of Gaelic, I can hardly call them on it. Also, since the songs are almost painfully beautiful, I don’t feel inclined.
Rock and pop tends either to go for the very traditional or a complete opposition to the idea of traditional. You either get Smashing Pumpkins on their very best behavior, or Blink 182 talking about going after carolers with a baseball bat. Quite frequently this is because a Christmas Album is an easy way to fill out a contractual obligation. Sometimes you’ll get someone who fully makes the music their own. See Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets for an example of this. Some people are trying, some people aren’t. Look for the group albums, where people are contributing one song and you’ll have a better time for the most part.
ANYWAY, just some thoughts I’ve been having.
EDIT I forgot to mention. If someone wants to do an intense, rocking number, it’s probably going to be Carol of The Bells. That one has a repetitive beat like tune that can easily be adapted to that purpose.
I have a friend who occasionally marvels at the fact that we are in fact, friends. She really liked The Lord of The Rings movies, and I hated how Peter Jackson raped Tolkien’s corpse on screen during Return of The King (in the back, during Legolas’s Mario Moment on the Oliphaunts, you can just see it). While I love a good Kurosawa movie, she mostly liked that I liked Yojimbo, rather than liking it for itself. She was a big fan of Game of Thrones and as you remember, I found it misogynist, overly rapey and despite what some people had told me, about as historically accurate as a Mr. Peabody cartoon. Also, too many characters suffer from To Build a Fire Syndrome, but that’s not important right now! She really didn’t like Sherlock Holmes either, but I love her anyway.
We also don’t agree on what makes good music. She favors things from the more industrial period of the 90s, while I’ve been known to spend a whole day listening to jazz and Celtic music. We don’t actually spit on each other’s choices of music, but we tend to be attracted to different kinds. I think we might find common ground on Jack Off Jill, but I’ve never really discussed it with her. At some point, I probably should.
That’s not the point though. The point is that we’re still friends, despite all these differences. We do have some overlaps in our interests, but there have been times when this friend has asked how she and I can be such good friends when we never seem to agree on anything. She hasn’t asked that in several years though, so either she understands how we can be friends, or she no longer cares. It did seem to bother her for a while though, particularly since she understands that art was one of only three things I actually think are important enough to take seriously. Of course, the fact that she also understood fine art helped. It’s nice that someone can sort of understand that I have a love of both Bruegel and Bosch along with Mondrian and Rothko, while kinda hating Picasso. And besides, anyone who can shoot down my joke about The Nut Gatherers and is able to look at that painting without seeing the inherent lesbianism is someone able to be my Best BFF Forever. Yes, I know, that was the joke!
So where am I going with this? No, really, where was I going? I have totally forgotten.
OH YES! I remember now… The point of that long ramble was that some six or seven years after we first met, we are still close friends. We have shared some music back and forth on occasion, we have traded some movies and even some books, but mostly we just spent time together. We’re both pretty good at listening, and at talking. We tell each other things, we enjoy one another’s company, we are friends. Despite all the interests in other things, we’re pals.
Syd and I have almost no reading material in common. Of all the hundreds of books Syd reads in a year, not one of them are ever written by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, or even Rex Stout. How does a person go around not reading Rex Stout? SRSLY! As retaliation, I don’t read any oh her books about girls with psychic connections to talking horses. And yet, we’ve been together for… I dunno, 15 years? That sounds close. No! Wait! It’s got to be 18 years. 1994-2012, that’s 18, right?
In here, we start to get in on our main point. I don’t need to like the things you like, nor do you need to like the things I like, for us to get along. We can get along without having to agree on music or paintings, or even TV shows. In fact, as the only two shows I watch with any regularity are Good Eats and Mystery Science Theater 3000, it’s probably for the best if we leave TV out of this. We don’t have to agree on movies, or food, or books, so long as we agree on being able to stand one another for more than seventeen minutes, then we can get along.
That’s how it is for me anyway. I got used to the fact that no one, not even nerds, would ever be into all the things I’m into. It’s just not ever gonna happen. Even if I did one day find a fellow Nero Wolfe fan, they would probably not share my love of cheap horror films. When I find that Cheap Cinema fan I’ve been looking for, she won’t be able to understand my physical need to sit around and watch movies where Japanese people in period dress stand around and talk at each other, sometimes for up to three hours at a time without taking out those swords and killing each other. And so on, and so forth, and it goes on like this too.
Thing is, that’s a good thing in my mind. Yes, there is more here though, than simply accepting that nobody likes the things I like. There is actually elation to be had here. If you’re not into the things I like, there is a possibility that you’ve never tried them. Actually, in my case, there is the distinct probability you’ve never tried at least three of the things I list as my ten favorites. Most people have never listened to Blues Traveler, Prince, Acoustic Alchemy AND Nightnoise. I’ll find something new to you and give you an album to listen to. Just as likely, no matter how wide my musical net has been cast, no matter how many things I’ve heard, there is very likely some band you like that I’ve never been exposed to. I’ve been listening to Alesana lately, because a young friend gave me a couple of their CDs. I’m not going to become their biggest fan, in fact I should be waving my cane and demanding they get offa mah lahn, but I can admit that there is something there. These young troubadours are not entirely without merit.
I like being introduced to new and interesting things, and I like being able to share interests with people. One of the nice things about having a friend who is into, for example, French Action Films, is that they can tell you which ones to watch. They can also tell you which ones best exemplify the genre, which ones to avoid, and which ones are the best even though they’re transgressive. Often, the best movies in a genre are the ones that transgress the rules. If you’ve never listen to Punk, a pal who knows which bands rock the hardest can be a great guide.
The other part of this though, is that even if I don’t actually like your music, choice of movie, or books, I can still like to watch you enjoying them. There are few joys so great as watching someone’s eyes light up when they talk about their favorite band/movie/book/work of art. Particularly if you’re interested in pursuing a relationship with that person, you can tell pretty quickly if you’re going to like them depending on how they talk about such a thing. If you want to know what reaction to have, I love excitement and delight over superiority and hipsterness. The reason I gave Alesana a chance was that the girl in question was so dazzled by her love for this band that I figured I just HAD to see what the fuss was about. Her enthusiasm carried me along far enough to give them a fair shake. After all, even if you’re hating the band, you can like just being with the person who enjoys it. You can even start to see the merit in the thing that brings your friend such pleasure. This is about me liking you, being with you, wanting to see you happy. If I really love you, and of course I do, then my main interest will be wanting to see you enjoy yourself. That will often turn the tide, and bring me at least an appreciation of this thing I don’t get right now.
tl,dr – Sometimes, you really can love something enough for both of us.
Today I saw Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and WOW! That’s a vapid, stupid, childish song. Why hasn’t anyone killed her for not writing a song about the horrors of Darfur? Seriously! I don’t know if you know this, but pop music is SERIOUS! FUCKIN’! BUSINESS!
It must be, because everyone, but everyone is calling this the worst pop song EVAR! And why shouldn’t they? Wait, what’s that? It’s written by a 13 year old girl? GOD FUCKING DAMNIT! KILL HER NOW! Everyone knows that thirteen year old girls are expected to talk about the most weighty and important of topics. No one would ever suspect that a thirteen year old might not have a grasp of more important subjects than this. I mean really, she’s 13, where is her deep and personal story about being raped by the neighbor’s dog on the night of her senior prom? Oh, right, SHE’S ONLY THIRTEEN! She hasn’t been raped by the neighbor’s dog and she isn’t old enough to have had her senior prom.
Seriously, shut the ever loving fuck up. You sound like a bunch of old cunts stand on your porch, waving your colostomy bags, telling kids with their syncopated rhythms and lack of respect for their elders (no matter how fucking stupid they are) to get off your lawn. You don’t just sound old, you sound old, stupid and out of touch. It’s clearly singing for another generation that wants to hear that sort of thing. Everyone does autotune these days, guys. Didn’t Britney get a Grammy for autotuning up the ass?
I’ll admit, I don’t love the song, but then I’m also no fan of The Bieber or much of anything else floating around the mainstream recently. The last new thing I liked was Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson. The point is that music like this is aimed at a specific category, sorry if that category isn’t you. Get over it, The Kids (of which YOU are not longer a member) are into different things. People bitching about this sound like the assholes who complain about Twilight because “How dare some bitch steal vampires and werewolves from guys?”
Now, I’ll grant I don’t actually like the song. I think it’s kind of crap. However, I’m old enough to be this girl’s father, and as a result I don’t need to like it. I’ve got Prince, Catie Curtis and Acoustic Alchemy (which is a combo that has caused people’s head to pop) so I don’t really need this sort of thing. I’ll admit though this is a fairly inane song, with some amazingly stupid lyrics…
You know what else sounds stupid? You know what other song has lyrics that sound inane and moronic?
Yeah, I fuckin’ said it. Stupid, inane, full of the sort of idiotic claptrap that I’ve always hated in pop music. And by the way, the tune SUCKS!
In fact, I tell you what. Go find the Billboard Charts for any of the last 50-60 years. NOW! Find me a year when something vapid and stupid WASN’T in the top ten. I tried, I couldn’t find any. in 1993, Whoomp! (There It Is) by Tag Team was number two, Runaway Train by Soul Asylum was 22! The year before, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit came in at #32 and End Of The Road by Boyz II Men was #1.
So if it won’t hurt your geriatric knees too much, could you climb off your high fucking horse? If you don’t like the song, fine, neither do I, but could we PLEASE stop pretending like this is the end of music as we know it? Music ended on February 3, 1959 when it died in a plane crash with The Big Bopper. OR! It didn’t die at all and still goes on and who gives a fuck if this song or that song tickles your G spot? You like a song, listen to it, you don’t? Well as George Carlin once mentioned a radio has two knobs on it, one turns it off and the other one changes the station.
I’m seriously fucking sick of listening to man-children complain because the world moved on and is pandering to people younger than them. It’s not all about you, and there is going to be a lot of things that are popular that you won’t like. You should have learned this back in Jr. High. I know I sure as fuck did. Grow the fuck up and get on with your fucking lives.