Wednesday, July 29, 2015

dun... dun... dun... another one bites the dust!

Oh, Easton Corbin. I tried to give you a chance, I really did. I knew "Baby Be My Love Song" was a step down but dangit, you just sounded so good I had to give you credit for at least trying. And honestly, it's a decent little summer song if you turn your brain down a little.

Then I read this: Easton Corbin to Release New Single “Yup”

Yup. Yupyupyupyupyup. First of all, isn't this about the 17th song called "Yup" in the last two years? Well let's see, there was a "Yeah" and a "Yep,"* so I guess we needed to fully explore the concept with "Yup."

*oh pardonnez-moi, it's "Where It's At (Yep Yep)." ... That's actually worse.

Country music's current songwriting team:



Truly fine wordsmiths. I'm waiting for someone to really break the mold with a song called "Mmmhmm."

Or how about, "No?" Just no.

So how's the song? Well, it's a song called "Yup," so...



Eh, his voice still sounds great. Other than that.. yup. Let's see what Easton Corbin had to say about this masterpiece of songcrafting:

"I’ve known about it for two years,” Corbin says of the tune, which was penned by Shane Minor, Wade Kirby and Phil O’Donnell Hank Hill, Dale Gribble, Bill Dauterive, and Boomhauer. “I’ve gotta tell ya. They played it for me and at first I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s a pretty good song.’ I kept listening to it over a couple years, and finally I was like, ‘You know what? Maybe I do need to cut this thing.’ The cool thing about this song is it’s so different for me. It’s just really a different personality piece … It’s a simple song, but it’s very well-written. And I think every guy and girl can relate to it once they hear it.”

Translation: "I resisted recording this dumb sellout song for two years cause I have some standards. Then I was like, aw hell, everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't I? The cool thing about this song is it's so different for me, it's really beneath me but I like money. It's a different personality piece because it's not my personality at all, it's someone else, maybe that Dustin Moore guy, I dunno. It's a simple song, and I think every guy and girl who listens to mainstream country radio will buy it because they're stupid."

THE END!

To be fair, it's not the worst thing I've heard, it's just that he can do so much better. I'm so tired of artists dumbing themselves down for radio. I will still listen to his album, cause I think he's very talented and most of his music has been up my alley. I'm a little nervous about the album being titled About to Get Real - judging by what I've heard so far, About to Sell Out would be more accurate.

Mainstream country radio has become such a horrid infectious disease of stupid. All these artists I got into - Easton Corbin, Randy Houser, Eli Young Band, Chris Young, Brett Eldredge - these guys are all really talented and capable of making great music, and I've watched them all descend into dumb radio crap. Without a lot of success, I might add. No one wants to hear Randy Houser waste his amazing voice on crap like "We Went." I don't wanna hear Easton Corbin yell "Yup!" or Joe Nichols say, "I was like yeah, yeah." Leave stupid to the masters, like FGL. I expect better from the rest of you.

Yup.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Does chart success even matter?

Reading the SCM review of the new Ashley Monroe album (which I hope to find time to delve into today), it of course mentioned the odd dichotomy between Ashley's fame and relevance, and her failure to find solo success on the charts. You could say something similar about Kacey Musgraves. And while this seems to be hitting female artists the hardest, it's definitely not limited to them. Look at Aaron Watson. Look at Chris Stapleton, for pete's sake, who's written tons of big hits for other people, but can't get radio play with his own work. Why? It's too good, is the only answer I can come up with. It's too country.

Maybe it's time to stop giving a rip about charts and radio and just focus on the music. Ashley, Kacey, and Chris are all famous. They sell records and draw crowds for their shows. Their fans are likely true fans, not fairweather trend-chasers. If anything, I'd argue their kind of fame is more sustainable than that of someone like Cole Swindell or even FGL.

I'm gonna go back in time and away from country music to make my point, but I think it's still relevant. I'm focusing on classic rock because I know a lot more about it than older country music.

Jimi Hendrix never had a big chart hit. "Purple Haze" was not a number one song, or even close to it.

The Grateful Dead didn't have a big chart hit until 1987. And that was it. All their classic 70s stuff? By some peoples' accounts, it doesn't even exist!

Led Zeppelin had a few top 10 hits. A good feat for most bands, but we're talking about Led Zeppelin, arguably the biggest and greatest rock band of all time.

The Rolling Stones had many hits, but only one top 10 hit off their greatest album, considered by many (including me) to be one of the greatest rock albums ever, Exile on Main Street.

So there you go. Some of the best and most famous, classic music of all time didn't exist on the charts. The albums did, but not singles. Album sales matter. Ticket sales matter. Individual chart hits? Seems about as relevant to a musician's career as a Grammy.

Alan Jackson's new album will likely be a big success. Folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s who loved 90s country will be clamoring for it, and probably many younger fans who actually like country music as well. I doubt any of the songs will get much radio play or chart very high. And all I can say is, who cares? I'd rather keep company with Led Zeppelin than see my name next to Luke Bryan, or Disco Duck (which was a number one hit in the 70s), or the Osmonds, who had more top 10 hits than Jimi Hendrix and the Dead combined.

This is the day I officially stop giving a shit. Because in the big picture, it clearly doesn't matter. Buy the music you love, buy t-shirts, go to shows if you can. History will remember what was good and forget the forgettable. History doesn't care about charts, which are so often more about what's trendy than what has lasting appeal. At this point, I would sincerely take a lack of radio play and singles chart success as a compliment. It sucks, and I'd like to see that change, but it's also nothing new. Maybe it is in country music, but definitely not in popular music as a whole.

THE CHARTS ARE IDIOTS. AND ALSO KIND OF JERKS.

Feel Good Friday ~ Alan Jackson and Maddie & Tae

"You Can Always Come Home" - A beautiful, warm song from the master of beautiful, warm songs. And fitting too, since AJ is one of those artists whose music always feels like "home." Amidst the desperate bleating cries of "evolution dammit!!1", Alan Jackson sounds as soothing and country as a mountain stream. The new album isn't earth-shattering, it's not gonna change the world. But it's a good, solid AJ album, which in today's musical climate is pretty earth-shaking.



Everytime I hear something I think qualifies as GOOD country "evolution," I'm gonna post it. So far, Maddie & Tae have struck a nice balance between heartfelt music and modern pop sensibilities. You're probably not gonna hear stone-cold country on the radio anymore, but it's sure nice to hear beautiful female harmonies again. I've missed that since the sad departure of the Dixie Chicks. And wow, a song that's actually about something other than Dixie cups on dirt roads. (Seriously, who cleans up after all these bro-country parties??) I'm guessing Maddie & Tae grew up listening to a lot of Dixie Chicks records, and that's exactly what we need right now.



I was gonna write something here about other female artists who unfortunately aren't having the same chart success as Maddie & Tae, and why charts might not even matter at all, but I think it calls for a separate post. I think it's important.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Feel Good Friday ~ Michael Jackson

My favorite MJ song. Have a funky Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TBT

For classic songs I love that aren't "feel good" songs.

Today, my favorite George Strait song. And that was a tough choice. This one just kills me every time I hear it.



And a very close second. My favorite fiddle part on any song, ever. Gives me chills.



And while these aren't "feel good" songs, they do make me think of Miranda Lambert's quote: "When I hear ’90s country, I feel happy. I feel like something takes me back to everything I grew up on and why I wanted to be a country singer in the first place. And it just puts me in this great mood. Even if you’re listening to “Better Off in a Pine Box,” somehow you’re in a good mood, you know?"

That definitely applies to these (80s) songs as well, and really any song that hits you, happy sad or in between.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Aaaand a slight addendum to my condo music post. Cause this blog is always evolving.

http://mrsrowsdower.blogspot.ca/2015_07_01_archive.html#3473844721123527198

Worthless Headline of the Day

*sigh* Is it Feel Good Friday yet? No. No, it's Worthless Wednesday.

"Ariana Grande Won't Be Charged in California Doughnut-Licking Incident"

California Doughnut-Licking Incident needs to be the name of an indie band NOW. Quick! Go!

Worthless... magazine cover of the day?

Wow. When I was growing up, Rolling Stone was pretty much my music bible. I haven't read it in forever, but ANY last vestige of respect I had for it just blew up in an explosion that would make Michael Bay scratch his head and say, "hey, can you tone it down a bit?"

As I passed the Walmart checkout magazine stand, AKA where brain cells go to die, I briefly saw BOOBS and the name KIM on the cover of Rolling Stone. I didn't see who it was so I'm like ummm, Lil Kim?? Has she been remotely relevant in the last 10 years? Then the horror of knowledge hit me. Lil Kim would have been more relevant, in that at least she made music at some point in her life. No, one of the vile K-named people, who as far as I know have never made a lick of music in their lives, is on the cover of what was once a music magazine.

Oh wait, she's married to that egotistical bleating robot Kanye West. Well, I guess that qualifies her!

I can't even properly snark about this as I'm legitimately angry. Rolling Stone may have worn away its integrity over the years, but this reeks of actual death of culture. The watchmen have officially fallen asleep at the door. I'm not sure which is sadder - that they're so desperate for readers they need to put that attention whoring hag on their cover, or that putting her on the cover is what's perceived as bringing in readers. This is a sad new low. I am sad.

One question remains: however did they manage to snag an interview with the elusive Ms. K? What a coup! I mean, it's not like she's in every headline and magazine and everywhere all the time...

Oh, shit. She's omnipresent. Is Kim Kardashian... God?

MICHAEL BAY TIME


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This. THIS is the #1 country song this week???



This is... nothing. This is the absence of matter. This is album filler, at best. I almost turned it off at the opening "hey girl." I probably should have.

First of all, if this dude's ever even listened to "Fishin' in the Dark," I'll eat bait. This is the kind of uninspired shit I'm talking about. This guy's just saying words. They mean nothing. He feels nothing. This is NOTHING. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??!!!

The vocals are overproduced and awful, the music sounds like the same backing track to every other goddamn song, I know I shouldn't be shocked by this anymore but you know what? I find "Kick the Dust Up" a more viable hit than this because at least it's a curiosity. This is just boring. BORING!

Love You Like That, huh? There, I fixed it.



John Michael Montgomery sings every single note like he means it. This is what I'm missing.

What Luke Bryan can't say

What Luke can't say: I make boring, generic music for boring, generic people.

What Luke can say: I don't sing about doing drugs and lying in the gutter!!! I'm not an OUTLAW I just like to chill with my bros ok?? OK is that ok with you YOU HEARTLESS COKE-SNIFFING BASTARDS??? *sob*

Uhhh... who asked you to, buddy? Little out of left field, dontcha think? COUNTRY MUSIC = DRUGS. I mean, I don't recall ever listening to Garth or Clint Black songs and thinking, "Needs more cocaine references. This ain't country!" Or hell, even Luke's own music pre-"Country Girl Shake it for the Woodchucks." There's a reason you didn't have to be defensive back then and make flailing statements about drugs, Luke. Your music was solid. Now it sucks.

I don't know why the bros are getting so belligerent about their terrible music that they keep doubling down on stupid, but I have an idea.

Deep down Luke knows how bad his songs are, but he can't say that. He sounds like a cornered animal. The best he can hope for is a distraction, no matter how ridiculous it is. Anything to keep the focus off the real issue of how much his music sucks. So let's talk about country singers who had some drug problems back in the 70s or something! Cause sure, that's relevant!

I'm gonna take it as a positive whenever someone who makes awful music says something defensive. Yeah, maybe this dumb shit will get his army of dumb fans to rally around him like a wounded puppy, but I'm just happy he feels defensive at all. Cause that means something is rattling his cage. Maybe the feeling that his days are numbered? It's mid-decade now, and I bet even the lazier fans are starting to tire of the same three chords and the same three words (truck... girl... beer) over and over. It's funny, how unreceptive I think these fellas will be to any "evolution" that doesn't play into their bank accounts. "Evolution? Whoa man, I never said I wanted that!"

And for anyone dumb enough to actually go along with this argument ("Yeah, I don't like doing drugs and lying in the gutter either! I just like chillin with my bros! Right on, man!" *chugs a Miller lite or whatever shit beer these clowns drink*) and not understand the opposition - imagine you live in a neighborhood of beautifully restored homes, with blooming gardens and sprawling green lawns. Each home is different and has its own character.



Who wouldn't want to live there?? But then a bunch of corporate creeps who care NOTHING about aesthetics or integrity or anything at all but lining their wallets, decide to tear down every one of these homes and build boring, generic condos, effectively erasing the history and beauty that came before.


THIS is today's "country music." A glass and steel monstrosity. That's not ok with me. And it has nothing to do with wanting new music to sound like "the past." The only way I want it to sound like the past is to put some damn heart and personality and originality and character into it! CONDO MUSIC SUCKS.

See, when people say they want music to be "like it used to be," most of us don't mean the same sound, necessarily. What we want is the same quality. I feel like this is misunderstood, perhaps on purpose. It's not, "Oh the good old days! Woe! Change!" It's more like, "stop being lazy dumbasses and make music that feels like something again."

EDITED TO ADD: If you like generic-country and want to keep building those condos, that's fine. Just find a vacant lot or an abandoned warehouse, like hick-hop did. You don't have to tear down my house to build yours.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Aaron Watson

What I wish I could hear when I turn on the radio.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The end of this review is really spot-on about music in general.

http://channelawesome.com/regretting-the-past-metallica-st-anger/

Never been a big Metallica fan so I'm not posting this for the review, but his commentary at the end really struck a chord with what's happening in country now. Fans buying music they know won't be up to par just based on the "brand name". Sound familiar, Luke Bryan? I understand "brand loyalty" to an extent, but someone who doesn't even care to discern between good and bad isn't a "fan" anymore. They're brainwashed.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Feel Good Friday

Something different today. 5 albums that changed my life:

5. Go-Go's - Vacation

Once I graduated from the Smurfs and the Chipmunks doing terrible country covers, this was the first "big girl" music I ever bought. :D I was 9, and it was on cassette. I'm pretty proud of my 9 year old self, because the Go-Go's are damn cool and I still love this album today.




4. Queens of Country - compilation

This collection of classic country songs by women had a huge impact on me, and is one of the reasons I'm so adamant about women having a voice in country. I don't think anyone who listens to this could disagree.


1. I Fall to Pieces - Patsy Cline
2. Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
3. Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue - Crystal Gayle
4. Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeannie C. Riley
5. Can't Even Get the Blues No More - Reba McEntire
6. Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
7. Once a Day - Connie Smith
8. End of the World, The - Skeeter Davis
9. Stand by Your Man - Tammy Wynette
10. Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
11. Heartbreak U.S.A. - Kitty Wells
12. Sweetest Thing, The (I've Ever Known) - Juice Newton
13. Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone) - Tanya Tucker
14. Tell Me a Lie - Janie Fricke
15. Lesson in Leaving, A - Dottie West
16. I'm Not Lisa - Jessi Colter
17. Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
18. Are You on the Road to Lovin' Me Again - Debby Boone



3. REM - Murmur


Early REM is the best "alt" rock ever, in my not so humble opinion. Melodic, driving, garage-type rock with an occasional twang. Completely original and a major life-changer for me, as I had never really considered "alternative" music my thing until I heard REM. Then I bought all their albums. :D Their later stuff lost that driving rock sound I liked so much, but you can't beat their 80s stuff. Their EP Chronic Town, released before Murmur, is actually my favorite but I'm keeping this to LPs only.

EDIT: a small note about REM. I dug this band so much that in around 1988, my mother, grandmother and I took a road trip from Denver, CO to Athens, GA. I did not get to meet the band as they were out on tour, but we saw tons of cool sites and got some cool stuff. Somewhere there exists a photo of me in front of Michael Stipe's house, petting his cat. It was black. :D Somewhere a photo also exists of my 70something year old grandmother, now deceased, standing in front of the old church where REM played their first show, now demolished. Life is beautiful sometimes.



2. Miranda Lambert - Kerosene


As I've written before, the early 2000s was a dry period in country music for me. The whole Dixie Chicks mess (they were my favorite band at the time), some of the really tone-deaf stuff that came out after 9/11, I needed a break. Miranda's debut album was exactly what I needed to bring me back in. This album was like an answer to my prayers. If you like Miranda but haven't been a fan of her latest stuff, go back and listen to this again. You'll remember everything you loved about her. I consider this to be one of the best country records ever, not just by a female but by anyone, and Kerosene one of the very best singles.

THIS, to me, is a perfect "evolution" of country music. This doesn't sound like the 70s, 80s, or 90s; it doesn't sound like anything else at all. Just original and beautiful music with a distinctive, authentic voice, and enough of an edge to make it stand out. This is timeless.

Everyone knows the singles, so here's a gem of an album cut.



1. Garth Brooks - Ropin' the Wind


omgomgomg nothing ever has or probably ever will change my life the way Garth Brooks did, and it was this album that really pushed me over. In the early 90s I was very much into pop music, some early hip-hop, some alternative, I was all over the place. Garth and a couple other country acts had been on my radar as "intriguing," but it wasn't until I saw him perform "Against the Grain" live on tv that I was hooked. Maybe "electrified" is a better description of what I was. I immediately bought this album and his two previous ones (which I think are equally good). But it was Ropin' the Wind - and specifically "Against the Grain" - that made me a country girl for life. THANK YOU GARTH BROOKS. I can't imagine my life without great country music.


Silly headline of the day

"Bubba Watson: Golfer to Paint Over Confederate Flag on His 'Dukes of Hazzard' Car

Watson made the announcement via social media on Thursday. "All men are created equal, I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee," he wrote."

k but ummmm... it's still called the General Lee. You're gonna have to change its name to General Confusion. *dies*

I'm surprised they haven't outlawed the name "Bubba" yet...

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Now more than ever, we live in a time where things exist solely as product, for no organic reason or any reason at all other than PROFIT. We live in a time where art is product. Or what was formerly at least partly art, is nothing but product. I'm not gonna say most pop music was ever high art, but there was some creativity there. Some originality. It didn't always feel like an algorithm designed just to sell records.

That's right, I grew up in the 80s, the age of Material Girl and Wall Street, and I'm calling YOU greedy and corporate, 2015.

Now country music, to me, is a lot like soul music. It's rootsy. It's real. It's important. It comes from the human condition, from a place inside us that most of us can relate to, at least a little. Pop music is about fun, but country music is about life. Or at least, it used to be. Mainstream country music is the biggest lost art out there right now.

So it honestly hurts a little when an artist I have some respect for says dumbass stuff like Darius Rucker did:

“I think the people who are sitting in their living room doing those, ‘Let’s take country music back’ blogs and all that stuff, that’s crazy to me. No one’s saying that about rock & roll, and no one sounded like the Beatles since 1960. No one says that about R&B, and no one sounded like the Commodores since 1970. All of those genres of music are supposed to evolve, but to those people country music is supposed to be Hank Williams Sr. — and that stuff is great and you can have that. But I think the great thing about listening to country radio is you have all different kinds of country music. It’s the pop country music for some guys, it’s the really country [sound], and even that bro country stuff that’s out. It’s just a little bit of everything, and obviously the fans are loving it.”

That's just too much misguided shit for me to wrap my head around. Is he contractually obligated to say stuff like that? Is he contractually obligated to record stuff like "Homegrown Honey," which btw might be the WORST of all the mainstream, high-charting bro country songs? This is something some b or c-lister would record and cross his fingers and pray it becomes a hit out of sheer dumb luck. This song is so far below Darius Rucker he musta used a parachute to record it. O SNAP.

Darius has always been an artist I've liked but not loved. He has a voice that melts in your mouth, but doesn't always showcase it as well as he could by recording kinda MOR stuff. But it was still good. There's nothing in the Hootie catalog I don't like, and "Old Man & Me" remains one of my favorite 90s rock songs.



Good song. And while this ain't country, I daresay it's countrier than most of the stuff on "country" radio.

I've enjoyed most of his country stuff, it's not the best or countriest music I've heard by a longshot but it's quality. He has a voice that pulls you in. He's always seemed like a likable guy, too. He has a gift, and like many others before and since he has chosen to squander it on LCD garbage. And then make a statement that there's nothing wrong, it's all alright, it's just "evolution." I'm so sick of that damn word.

I don't "expect" country music to sound like anyone or anything but country music. It can sound like Hank, sure, or Garth or Tim or Kacey or Dixie Chicks or pre-Homegrown Honey Darius Rucker. I even accepted Shania as an "evolution" of country, cause she kinda was. I just didn't want everything to sound like that. Country can sound like something I haven't heard yet and can't even imagine. I welcome natural evolution of music. What I don't welcome is forced "evolution" to make a damn buck. What's happening now is not a natural progression, it's shameless pandering to trends.

I'll accept that FGL and Sam Hunt are some kind of musical evolution, more of a pop one than country but that's beside the point. What I can't stand is all the copycats, all the same song over and over that doesn't even sound like it was written by human beings who have ever experienced life. They might as well be writing a technical manual for all the personality they put into it. It's bad enough when it's c-list coattail riders but when so many artists I respect are doing it, I just despair. They should be righting the ship, not helping to steer it into an iceberg.

And for those like Darius who are for some reason towing the bro company line: If you really like this music, I don't want to take it away from you. I just want my music back.

My Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Songs

These are all currently on my iTunes. To be fair, most of these are on my exercise playlist, not the kind of thing I would sit down and listen to. (For me, that would generally be something like Kacey Musgraves, Alan Jackson, ZBB, etc.) But they're there, and it amuses me that they are. So here we go. In no particular order, except for #1.

10. She Ain't Worth It - Glen Medeiros and Bobby Brown
Just because it's Glen Medeiros. You know, the uber cheesy "nothing's gonna change my love for you" guy with the video that looked like a late night ad for a dating service. But it's actually a pretty fun jam in the vein of "Poison," and Bobby Brown kinda redeems it.

9. Come on Over - Jessica Simpson
I'm not a fan of Jessica Simpson or most of her music. But her "country" song turned out to be just the kind of pop music I like. Go figure.

8. Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker
I don't actually feel the least bit guilty about this one, even in light of Darius Rucker's latest missteps. And hell, who isn't misstepping these days? It's like one big blooper reel from Dancing with the Stars. Anyway, Wagon Wheel. I'm guessing this has been maligned so much because it's seen as like, a corporate co-opting of the song? Which I get, I guess, but that's a little too hipstery for me. All I care about is how it sounds, and this sounds good to me. More on Darius Rucker later.

7. Fancy - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
This is terrible. TERRIBLE. What is wrong with me??? Well to be objective, I think the chorus is pretty catchy, classic pop and I do like Charli XCX. And I don't think Iggy Azalea is a bad rapper. I wish she'd tone down that grating, overdone accent because I actually enjoy her flow. This song is about as guilty-pleasurey as it gets, but my main surprise is how long it's lasted for me. I fear it has become a staple of my exercise list. God help us all?

6. God Made Girls - Raelynn
I think I wrote a damn novel about this silly, fluffy song already. You either like it or you don't. I think it's charming, has a few positive messages, and is overall harmless despite the "pretty skirt" line. It's okay for girls/women to indulge their ultra-feminine side when they want to, and it's okay to appreciate its effect on men. Natural, even. I also don't think this is bro-country.

5. Have You Seen Her - MC Hammer
I can't tell you why I enjoy this cover so much, other than "Have You Seen Her" is just a good song. I think this is one of those inexplicable nostalgia things. I grew up with this and it still evokes something positive in me. I don't even think this is bad, I just feel guilty that I only have the cover version of this song despite enjoying the original as well. Silly nostalgia goggles.

4. Leave the Night On - Sam Hunt
Yep, this bad boy made my summer playlist for the second year in a row. Abandon all hope? Honestly, the only bad thing about this song to me is the decision to call it "country." This is the kind of pop music I miss, and I can't feel too guilty liking it just because it's mislabelled. I guess Sam Hunt is "country" cause he's from Georgia. Gee remember that great country band, REM? lol. Not a big fan of anything else I've heard from him, but this song just hits that summer sweet spot for me. Oh, and "House Party" did remind me of my long-lost affection for Kid n Play. So yay?

3. Watermelon Crawl - Tracy Byrd/Refried Dreams - Tim McGraw
Silly, dumb songs from two of my favorite 90s artists. What can I say? Nostalgia makes for some pretty bad taste. I think all the great songs I have from these two more than makes up for it though. And at least it's not "Truck Yeah."

2. Timber - Pitbull feat. Kesha (I think she dropped the dollar sign? lol)
Yup. Uh... yup. I actually have two Kesha songs, but I think Die Young is genuinely good. This? It's mindless fun. And one time out of ten, I need mindless fun. I guess that's why Pitbull exists, because I can't think of any other reason why he would.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

I Wanna Be Rich - Calloway
Ah, 80s excess. I like how he equates being rich with "love peace and happiness." LOL? Unlike "Material Girl" I don't think this song is particularly self-aware, making it a guilty pleasure just for the lyrics. The music is bouncy and fun, which is of course why I like it.

Get Some - Lykke Li
This is actually a cool song with a great hook, but I just can't sing along with "I'm your prostitute, you gonna get some" without feeling guilty. It did inspire one of my favorite blog posts ever, though. http://mrsrowsdower.blogspot.ca/2013_04_01_archive.html#2317458234935781857

Johnny Cash - Jason Aldean
AT THE TIME this really wasn't a guilty pleasure, but a decent rock-country song with a kinda 80s heartland vibe. I did not know the horror that was to come. I still find this listenable, despite Aldean putting Johnny Cash's name in his mouth where it does not belong.

Dukes of Hazzard Theme Song - Waylon Jennings
... No wait, this is AWESOME. Please don't make me remove it from my iTunes, ridiculously far-reaching PC goons. THIS is what's wrong with us, people, taking something that is completely logical (removing the confederate flag from gov't buildings, sporting events, etc) and carrying it to its most stupid, illogical conclusion (taking an innocuous 80s tv show off the air because a car had a confederate flag on it). Well done, dumbasses. This is why people hate political correctness, which actually HURTS some good causes. There's a difference between making today's world a comfortable place to live for all its people, and ridiculous unnecessary whitewashing. pffffft.

Right, guilty pleasure songs. See, this is why I need them!

And number one...!!!

1. Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
This is the ultimate in guilty pleasure songs, folks. It's terrible. There's nothing to like about it really, not even a refreshing blast of chorus like "Fancy." Yup, this is worse than "Fancy." Why do I listen to this? How can I stand to see Gwen fall so far from Tragic Kingdom, one of my very favorite albums of the 90s?

I have no idea what this song is about, but she appears to be a 35-year old cheerleader doing a sort of chant-rap, which isn't particularly bad but the whole thing is just "huh???" It's like if "Shake it Off" was nothing but the terrible, terrible "rap" part. I guess both songs pay massive tribute to Toni Basil's "Mickey," another 35-year old cheerleader but with an undeniably catchy song. This is no "Mickey." What it is, is one of those indefinable things that just grabs you and works its way into your skull, like an earworm but I'm gonna call it a "brain crab" cause that sounds even nastier. :P I don't know or care what a hollaback girl is, I don't know why a little part of me gets fired up when this comes on my playlist, I just know I have to come to terms with it. And so I have.