Friday, April 22, 2016

Feel Good Friday ~ Cage the Elephant

The rest of my music report is coming. Want to listen to a couple more albums first. I let the Sturgill album cut in line. :) But it's really good!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Quarterly State of Music, part one - "No."

I haven't sat down and talked about music for a while, mostly because of the reason mentioned in previous post, but also because -

Current mainstream pop and country is BORING. BORINGBORINGBORING.

I've been busy enjoying some music I actually, y'know, enjoy, which I'll touch on in part two. But let's get the shit out of the way first.

Luke Bryan's new song is called "Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day." Aww shit son, someone amped up the "country" to 11!! Damn, and I thought "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" was a cheesy song title.

There's actually a top 10 country song called "Snapback." An ode to a damn hat. Now I miss "Red Solo Cup." It might be an ode to a piece of plastic, but at least you can put a beer in it instead of some bro's douchey head.

The rest of country is either boring AF or actually good, so onto pop.

"Work" - Wow, if this doesn't embody the dull drone that pop music has become, I don't know what does. I can only guess this has stayed at #1 for so long by default, like when you hear an annoying noise for so long you start to tune it out. Like your neighbor's leaf blower. I am officially renaming this song "Leaf Blower." And that's the last I'll ever think of it again. Next!

"7 Years" - Apparently, the way to have a big hit in 2016 is to rip off "100 Years" by Five For Fighting. From 2006. What's next, that "you had a bad day" song?

Zayn is not a name, but I like that it's almost "zany." Haven't heard the song, don't care.

..."Panda?" Somebody wrote an ode to Pablo Sandoval and his belt-exploding gut? Awesome!

Umm this Fifth Harmony bullshit is awful. AWFUL. How did we let this happen?

MIKE FRIGGING POSNER has a top 10 hit, speaking of "how did this happen?" I haven't heard it. The buzz is it's actually not bad, but I heard the same thing about Bieber's current shit. I think my not-bad-o-meter is tuned differently.

Charlie Puth might be the literal worst. WHY is this person famous? My shoes would be a more interesting popstar than this.

And finally... "No." Well, I'll give Meghan Trainor one thing: she's not boring. She gives me solid ranting material pretty much every time. So allow me a moment.

"No" is probably her worst song yet. Yes, I know she did "Dear Future Husband" and "Marvin Gaye." Ironically, "No" is the perfect response to "Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on." But you know what it's not? It's not the "feminist" anthem you probably think it is, Ms. Trainor. See, "feminist" =/= "bitchy." Nor does it equal "controlling" or comparing your sexuality to "a dog without a bone," but we've covered those atrocities already. I don't think I've ever seen anyone try SO hard to be "feminist" and "empowering," fail SO HARD, yet still have so many people buy into it!!!

I don't go to clubs. Never have, except to see a show with a date, or a country bar for line dancing or karaoke. The whole "hook up" scene is as foreign to me as Siberia. I don't even know what "clubbing" entails, exactly. I'm all about music, and club music is shitballs on toast. That said, I understand a woman might want to go out with her friends and not have guys hitting on her. I really do. But, unless the guy's being a total jerk, does it really hurt to turn him down politely, instead of that mean girl crap? Guys are actual humans, you know. And you're not in high school anymore. And bitchiness is not empowering. I don't know where that ever came from. People respecting each other is empowering. Sigh. Okay, let's break this shit down.

"I think it's so cute and I think it's so sweet
How you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me
But let me stop you there, oh, before you speak"

That's right, she didn't even let him speak. Maybe he wanted to know where the bathroom is! Maybe he wanted to tell her a knock knock joke! Maybe he needed medical attention! But we'll never know now, will we, Meghan. Geesh.

"Nah to the ah to the no, no, no
My name is no
My sign is no
My number is no
You need to let it go
You need to let it go"

Considering you didn't even let him open his mouth, I think you're the one who needs to let it go. He's just standing there, confused and wishing he'd approached literally anyone else. Also he might be bleeding.

"First you gonna say you ain't runnin' game, thinkin' I'm believing every word
Call me beautiful, so original, telling me I'm not like other girls"

But he didn't actually say any of those things. This song is based entirely on assumptions. Look - I don't wanna sound like I'm "blaming the victim" here - but she's not even a victim because the guy didn't even open his mouth and his medical alert bracelet is possibly going off now and GEEZ, if you're really SO DAMN SICK of guys talking to you in clubs, maybe it's time to take a break from going to clubs? Maybe check out the planetarium, or youth night at church? Yes, of course a woman should be able to go anywhere she wants without being harassed, but this song does a damn good job of showing no harassment whatsoever. It's really off point, is what I'm saying. Like I was thinking, "hey, this would actually be interesting if it was a response to the whole "Blurred Lines"* thing - like, "no blurred nothing, just NO." But there's no sleazy guy saying "I know you want it" here. We don't know what he was going to say, we're just meant to assume that GUY = JERK. And that doesn't work. And it sure as HELL isn't "feminism."

*Blurred Lines, a song whose only good lyrics are "woo!" and "hey hey hey."

And that brings us to the most befuddling line of all:

"All my ladies, listen up
If that boy ain't giving up
Lick your lips and swing your hips
Girl all you gotta say is
My name is no"

Umm, speaking of blurred lines? "I don't want a man, so imma do shit that men find alluring just to be a bitch, tee hee!" SCREW. YOU. And finally -

"I was in my zone, before you came along, don't want you to take this personal"

How could he take it personal? He didn't even say anything! If he does though, maybe it's because you're jumping down his throat like a spoiled, catty teenager. "Don't take this personal" is the "Nah, I'm just playin!" of this song. It's meant to soften the edge, say "see I'm not a total bitch!" but it does just the opposite by being so obviously transparent.

A woman, a person, has every right to say no in any situation. But it's also natural for men to approach women, and not get a reaction like it's the most offensive thing EVAR!!!1OMGCOOTIES!1! I exist because my dad talked to my mom in a bar. There's a biological imperative here, is what I'm saying. Let's all just respect each other, and maybe you'll even end up meeting someone nice. Or not. But there's nothing wrong with keeping an open mind, even just a little. Sheesh, I never thought I'd miss "Call Me Maybe." But at least "maybe" sounds a bit more mature than "NOPE. NOPENOPENOPENEOPE. *sticks fingers in ears* lalallaala I can't hear you but I'm gonna shake my hips at you neenerneener!" Seriously, fuck this song. YOU JUST MADE ME SAY "CALL ME MAYBE" IS MATURE BY COMPARISON FUCK.

Meghan Trainor just keeps cementing her position of everything I hate about young women today. Come on girls, you're better than this. Really think about what she's saying, not just how the shallow "empowerment" makes you feel. Because it's designed to make you feel, not think. Which can be fine in pop music. But this isn't even well done, there's zero substance here; it's the Bratz doll of empowerment. Yeah, I'm probably reading too much into a stupid pop song. But it's what I do. Sigh. And like it or not, popular music does affect culture.

Oh, the sound of the song. Well, she's moved away from the 60s into a... late 90s-early/mid 2000s pop/r&b vibe? Like Destiny's Child kinda? Which isn't necessarily bad, but man does she not pull it off. Meghan Trainor is not Beyoncé. Yeah, you heard it here first. Nothing but bold statements on this blog, folks. But yeah. Bringing that sound back could be a breath of fresh air on the charts, but not this way. This is awful, and already a candidate for my worst hit song of the year.

But, at least she's not boring. *coughRihannacough*

Feel Good Friday - Crash Kings + Paramore

I haven't posted in a while. Nice weather + baseball season = welcome respite from social media.

These songs played back to back on my walk yesterday, which put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. (The Jays beating the Yankees contributed to that as well.) ;)

I might have used this one before, but it's one of the best songs I've ever heard. Seriously, a shot of pure happy energy.

One of my favorite, and most underrated, Paramore songs. I like this better than any of their hits.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Walking Dead season finale

I've seen a lot of criticism of TWD's cliffhanger finale, and it's both deserved and not deserved IMO.

The episode itself was great. Full of tension and suspense and everything you'd want it to be. I felt the cliffhanger was actually earned in this episode, both in the buildup and by it being a season finale.

If anything cheapened the episode, it was the Glenn fakeout earlier in the season, which was easily the worst thing the show has done. And also whatever the heck happened with Daryl the previous week. They've gone to that well so many times now that even when it is earned, it feels cheap. Which is too bad, because I thought it was a strong episode. Basically the criticism is justified not for the finale itself, but for the season overall. So I will just take it for what it is, and hope they save the cliffhangers for truly pivotal episodes in the future.

As a SPN fan, I'm still adjusting to evil John Winchester. JDM is making it a pretty easy sell though. Damn. I need to watch some season two SPN to feel warm and fuzzy about him again. Fun side note: JDM is only 11 years older than Jensen Ackles, and 16 years older than Jared Padalecki.

I think Negan's victim has to be either Daryl or Michonne. Most articles I've read narrowed it down to those two or Glenn, but apparently Glenn was his victim in the books so I seriously doubt they'd do that. It could be Daryl after the fakeout last week. Michonne would be more of a surprise, and also a horrible gut punch to Rick. We know that it's not Rick or Carl from what Negan said, but what if it's the woman who's basically been Carl's mom for several seasons and now Rick's partner? Feels like foreshadowing? I hope I'm wrong because I really like Michonne, but I'd also have to give the show props for killing off a main character.

Also? I'm glad they stated it would be a character "beloved" by many, cause I've been worried Eugene was gonna die this whole season and I'm pretty sure he's only beloved by me lol.

It's gonna be a long 6 months.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Feel good Friday, zombie edition

You know an odd reason I think Walking Dead works so well? It's timeless. It doesn't pander to any demographic, because by its nature, it really can't. It appeals to a wide audience because it's life boiled down to its essence. There are no trends, no buzzwords, nothing that will make it seem dated as fuck in 5 years, in a world where things are dated increasingly faster all the time. There's nothing in it to alienate any group of people, except those who are turned off by zombies eating guts, of course. By not trying to be cool, it's adopted a very timeless sense of cool. This is why the original Night of the Living Dead still works too.

People are kind of more interesting in a zombie apocalypse, is what I guess I'm saying. They're trying to find their humanity rather than escape from it. As scary as it is, I enjoy watching the simplicity of that world.

And I'm scared as hell what's gonna happen this week. :(

Also, they play some DAMN good music.