Thursday, May 28, 2015

And just a reminder, Luke Bryan doesn't even have to suck.

I liked this song so much when it came out in 2009. It's funny, listening to it now you could lump it in with all the laundry list, country trope truck songs. But this one still resonates with me. It's a nice-sounding song, and all that stuff wasn't as cliché 6 years ago. I put it together with Jason Aldean's "Amarillo Sky."

Come back, Luke. You too, Jason.

What is THIS mess?! ~ Women in Music Edition

Well, it definitely isn't truly outrageous.

It's probably no surprise I watched the hell out of Jem and the Holograms growing up. I loved girly pop music, and there was even an edgier, "bad girl" band, the Misfits. (Well, edgy by 80s cartoon standards, anyway. I thought they might be loosely based on the Runaways.) This show was tailor made for me, and it ran constantly in syndication after school so I saw every episode probably 5+ times. It was kinda stupid, but it was a fun kinda stupid. Y'know, like the 80s.

So... does this trailer look fun? In any way, shape or form? It looks like your standard, generic teen melodrama crap with Jem's makeup slapped on.

The world doesn't need a Jem movie. Fans who grew up on the original show don't want a boring teen movie, and teens won't even know or care about the source material. So who is this FOR? It's the same problem I have with all the nostalgic crap they've been putting out. Either make it really fun and campy like the Brady Bunch movie back in the 90s, or just, I dunno, COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS!

Speaking of girly stuff... apparently the country music industry runs entirely on women's hormones. I did not know this. Perhaps we should alert the Department of Energy about this wonderful alternative energy source. We could save the world, Captain Planet style!

Oy. So yeah, I had the misfortune of reading this: Oh goody, another "gate." From now on ima turn all the Watergate shit into Motel 6, so we'll just call this #salad6. Okay? Okay.

So seriously, WTF is all I have to say about this. Because this is not about music. This is about image. This is about people living sad lives, and selling a fantasy to them. And apparently, the fantasy business pays well. Look, this is something that's always existed. The Beatles sold sex appeal. So did Elvis. But they were also really talented musicians. Hell, it used to be that playing good music actually made you sexy, not the other way around! I mean, does anyone actually find Mick Jagger attractive when you take music out of the equation? Luke Bryan is like, the anti-Jagger. He's a mediocre, should-be middle tier singer who got rocketed to the top by hormones. (Seriously, someone should consult NASA about this shit.)

I only skimmed the article because it made me angry and sad, but I didn't see anything in there about women not liking the sound of women's voices, or even preferring the sound of men's voices. So is the bottom line even about music anymore, or is it really all about Luke Bryan's tight-jeaned ass? (Get it, "bottom" line? GET IT???)

I'm only one person, but I'm a female music fan, emphasis on MUSIC, so I'll try to speak for other actual fans who share my gender. I LOVE good male country voices, I'm not gonna lie. Many of my favorite artists are male, and it's entirely based on their music. Nothing soothes me quite like Alan Jackson singing. But I'm also a fan of female artists from way back. From Madonna, Dolly Parton and Cyndi Lauper in the 80s, to 90s alt-power pop like Letters to Cleo and Veruca Salt and country artists like Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, to Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandi Carlile today.

A true music fan isn't gonna care if a man or a woman is singing, as long as the song is good. If it speaks to them. Image has always been a part of music, though more in pop music than country, traditionally. But when image becomes interchangeable with music, which is what appears to be happening now in country, we get crap like FGL and Luke Bryan shoved down our throats. They're the Twilight and 50 Shades of music. Calculated, disposable garbage.

Fellow women... WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! We are better than this. There's nothing wrong, in itself, with hormones or fun or guilty pleasures. If buying a Luke Bryan record brings you genuine joy, go for it. Listen to it, feel good, run free! I'm not the music police. I've admitted my love for "Timber" and some other pretty sketchy crap. All I'm asking is, if music gives you that good happy feeling in your soul, if it's more to you than wallpaper, don't let people like this salad guy dictate what you listen to. If you enjoy some of what's played on the radio, awesome. BUT, when I see a song shoot up the charts that even fans are scratching their heads over, that to me signals a breaking point. It's basically, "I don't like this, but I'm gonna buy it anyway." Is this from misguided loyalty? Perceived lack of choice? Laziness? Some of each?

This is why, for all their greedy short-sightedness, I can't totally blame the People in Charge. Cause so-called music fans are buying music they don't actually like, instead of finding something new to like. Maybe even *gasp* a female artist! But everyone who is responsible for this clusterfuck, YOU SUCK. Some of us want to hear the many overlooked female artists (as well as the overlooked males like Aaron Watson and Chris Stapleton!) A reeeeally good first step would be, y'know, NOT BUYING SOMETHING YOU DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE AJDHDHFDJDJVFVKVK!!11GAWD! I mean, would you buy an ugly shirt just because it was in your favorite store? Or an ill-fitting pair of jeans?

No, no, these are comfortable, really... *passes out*

Even if the People in Charge systematically remove females from radio for some he-man woman hater's club bullshit, you don't have to go along with it. Female artists are NOT hard to find. Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, Brandi Carlile (not country per se but a good, rock-edged singer-songwriter), hell, go back and buy some of the old 90s country too. If I can find this stuff, anyone can. I'm lazy as hell and I hate that I can't turn on the radio and hear music I like anymore. But the internet makes it pretty easy, so there's no excuse for BUYING MUSIC YOU DON'T LIKE JUST BECAUSE IT'S THERE. That's right, allcaps AND italics. I'm serious about this shit.

And why the hell is country so different from pop? I'm gonna guess it's majority women buying Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor records. And Taylor Swift. Imagine if pop radio never played any of them because "women just want to hear Justin Bieber and One Direction." Pop music, which has generally been dumber than country (though not so much anymore), seems to be a lot smarter on the industry side.

Also? Lettuce is the most boring part of a salad. You've gotta drench that stuff in salad dressing to make it palatable. (I guess tight jeans are the salad dressing in this metaphor? Yeeeah, I can't possibly make that metaphor even dumber than it already is.) Comparing something to lettuce is like comparing it to tofu. And I'd point out that tomatoes are juicier, but I'm not onea them girl crush lesbians. *snerk*

IN SHORT: I think happier people buy better music. They don't need the image and the fantasy, just the songs. So who do you want to market to? Never mind, I know the answer. Whatever makes money. So a better question... who do you want to be?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Okay, two things about *groan* "deflate-gate."

1. Maybe this is too logical or something, but if deflated balls* make for more... winner-y football games, why not just change the rule so everyone can do it if they want? Then it's even and there's no cheating. Problem solved!

2. So this "gate" business, this all springs from the Nixon "Watergate" scandal, right? Okay. So, you realize Watergate is the name of a hotel, right? Adding -gate to something doesn't make it mean "scandal." It doesn't mean anything at all. It's a hotel. What would have happened if the Nixon thing went down at the Ramada, or a Motel 6?

*I have, at least, learned to type "deflated balls" without sniggering softly to myself. It's the small victories, folks.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Feel Good Friday

Because good music is timeless. Really, it is. It's one of the few things that actually is timeless.

So why has mainstream music become more disposable than ever? Why, when most of us care about the quality of our clothing, electronics, and even food (which is literally disposable lol), do we care so little about the quality of our music? Something created to nourish our souls? While it's easy to blame the big, soulless music labels, and I certainly do blame their short-sighted idiocy, I think it comes down to the consumer. If you buy crap, they'll keep making crap. Cause all they care about is money.

Is the problem more that the music industry ONLY cares about money now, where in the past there was at least some concern for quality? Is this what the download age has brought upon us, this desperate scramble to recoup money lost from album sales by beating ever-fleeting trends like dead farm animals? Or is the bigger problem that consumers have lowered their standards so much that crap has become the status quo? It's a chicken and egg thing. Which came first? And how do we break the cycle?

I don't have any answers. What I do have, on this lovely Friday, are some timeless tunes.

70s - my go-to song to just relax and forget the world:

80s - 1989, the start of my favorite time in music, ever:

(watching that made me tear up. can we ever have that kind of excitement back in country music again? I even miss those shirts lol)

90s - anyone remember this one? One of my favorite feel-good songs:

2000s - the song that brought me back to country music:

2010s - two songs from this year, because I want to focus on the fact that timeless music is still being made:

I am really digging this track from ZBB's new album. I had no idea I even missed country music from the early 80s, but he captured the sound quite well. This is gonna be one of my top summer songs, and not just this summer. This is a sit out on the porch with a glass of lemonade (hard or not :)) and feel nothing but the music and the breeze kinda song.

Bates Motel

This show has become one of my favorites. Vera Farmiga better win ALL the TV award thingies.

I'm finding the Dylan/Caleb storyline every bit as compelling as the Norman/Norma one (especially now that Dylan/Emma is part of it). Dylan is my new Jesse Pinkman. I seem to like the "criminal with a heart" characters lol. Here's what I'm puzzling over: what did Chick have to gain by sending Dylan and Caleb into certain doom? He wasn't going to get paid. Did he think serving up two strangers would pay off his debt to those people? Not only is that cold, it doesn't make much sense either. And there's no way Chick didn't know. Chick strikes me as someone who knows everything, including government documents, the Colonel's secret recipe, and what the fox says.

I'm glad to have an exciting show like this now that Breaking Bad is over. I'll be starting Better Call Saul soon, as well. Always need more shows. :)

I've said it before, but as gawdawful as the last 5 years of mainstream music have been, TV has been mind-blowingly good. Music needs outlets like AMC or HBO that care about actual artistic freedom and integrity, not just these big labels running everything for their bottom line. Yes, there are independent labels, but that music doesn't get nearly the exposure that these TV shows do. Music is broken.