Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Songs By Musicians I Hate

I try to give musicians a fair chance most of the time, especially since my teenage hatred of the Beach Boys and Patsy Cline turned out to be case studies in musical stupidity. Most of the time, when I find one good song by a musician, there are usually several more just lurking around the corner, and it’s time for me to reevaluate them. However, there are some bands that are so fucking repulsive that the only natural response is snarling hatred, but they still managed to squeeze out a song that I’ll admit is good. This is a list of a few of these bands.

Aerosmith: Sweet Emotion

This one is almost like cheating, since I loved this band as a teen. However, this is one of those instances where, with every year that passes, I hate them more and more. Every single song of theirs that I ever liked is now a bunch of derivative, macho, dick-waving bullshit to me. Their songs are by-the-number shitrock, with lyrics which sound like their were written by an excited teenager in between fits of masturbating. If I hear the intros to Walk This Way, Love in an Elevator, or Livin’ On the Edge, I just start getting angry, like Bruce Banner being called a “faggot” or something. In addition to have a ridiculously large catalog of second-rate garbage, they also have the ugliest fucking musician in music history as their lead singer. Fucker looks like he should be on Oprah describing how he survived a chimp attack, not fronting a million-selling rock act. This is the only band that I’ve ever regretted enjoying. Fuck, I’ll still defend Megadeth for having some great songs.

And yet...Sweet Emotion is a great fucking song. The intro builds a great atmosphere and the guitar playing kicks my ass all over the place. And the chorus, which is nothing more than “sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet emoooooooooootiooooonnnnnnn” is also perfect. Of course, because it’s an Aerosmith song you still have their signature shitty lyrics and adequate singing, but the solo that ends the song makes up for it. The song is just too good to be theirs, and is.

To be honest, it was a toss-up between this and “Dream On,” but that song is so different from the rest of their catalog, and Steven the Schmuck actually sings that one well, that I opted for this one. Sweet Emotion actually makes more sense, because it sounds like an Aerosmith song, whereas Dream On sounds like an anomaly in their catalog.

Limp Bizkit: Nookie

Speaking of dick-waving bullshit, here’s probably one of the most hated bands of all time. This band is so fucking hated that I honestly don’t know a single person who’ll admit to ever liking them in the first place. I’ve even heard people swear up and down that their fame isn’t even legit, that record companies duped the record-buying public into enjoying these assholes. I would never go that far, since you can’t force the majority of people to enjoy something that they don’t, but they apparently did take part in some shady, underhanded bullshit in order to get exposure. I don’t fault them for that though, since you have to gain exposure somehow. I will fault them, though, for being a bunch of obnoxious retards who helped popularize one of the most idiotic subgenres of all time: Nu Metal. Since everything bad that can be said about this band has been said better by others, I won’t go any further here, but I have to add that any musician not named Snoop Dogg who puts out an X-rated video deserves all the hate they get.

That said, I have to admit that Nookie is one of the most insidiously catchy songs I’ve ever heard. The funky bass, the rapping, even the moronic chorus all work, making this probably the only song that I am truly, legitimately embarrassed about liking. Well you know what? Fuck you guys. If you can ironically like hair metal and other shit, then I can unironically enjoy Nookie, even though everything else this band put out is like rubbing broken glass in your ears. The only bad thing about Nookie is that stupid “like a chump, heeeeey” part. But you know what? That also works in the context of this song. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go weep in a corner, since I know that now I’ll never be accepted by the scenesters.

Britney Spears: Toxic

Poor Britney Spears. She started her career by making it socially acceptable for men of all ages to jerk off to underage girls (and even creating an environment where someone like Perez Hilton can post panty-less upskirt photos of an underage girl and get away with it, because that underage girl dresses like a skank onstage), and is now known mainly for being crazy trailer trash. Her status in the entertainment industry is such that making fun of her is akin to still making Monica Lewinsky and John Wayne Bobbit jokes. I was always annoyed by her, but after her mental collapse I started feeling bad for her, and I think that picking on her now is kinda like beating up Dave Pelzer. Hasn’t she suffered enough shit talk? Regardless, her music was always atrociously bad, boring pop. In her quest to become the new Madonna, she forgot about having a passable singing voice and the ability to change with the times. While the majority of Madonna’s style changes have been idiotic (except for the boner-inspiring Like a Prayer era), they were always at least interesting. Britney just took the “whore” thing and ran with it. Come on Britney, do Mormon-chic or something!

As yawn-inspiring as her music typically is, however, Toxic is amazing. I first heard it when I went to the beach with the love of my life, and my immediate thought was, “this is Britney Spears, but it sounds this a remix or something?” When I came home and listened to it on YouTube, I was shocked. Here was Britney Spears, with an honest-to-god great song. That little high-pitched screech in the hook, that beat, that testicle-exploding surf part, even her singing clicked. This, in combination with her head-shaving, umbrella-waving, weight-gaining downward spiral made me seriously consider going back and re-evaluating her work. Then I heard her early hits again and was instantly bitch-slapped back into reality. Those songs still suck, but Toxic is brilliant, and maybe one of the best pop songs I’ve heard. That’s right, fuckers. I went there.

The Righteous Brothers: Little Latin Lupe Lu

There is no decade more viciously stroked than the 60s, which is both considered “the greatest decade EVER” for music and “the only decade that music was good” by insufferable snobs. One of the most important of the important names of the 60s (for me) is Phil Spector, now unfortunately known more for shooting people and wearing tumbleweeds on his head than for the jaw-droppingly amazing body of work he produced. I love pretty much everything this fucker ever touched, EXCEPT the fucking Righteous Brothers. These “blue-eyed soul” schmucks pumped out some crappy, schmaltzy hits that wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t played over and over and over and over and OVER by radio stations. The songs themselves aren’t inherently bad, they’re just fucking boring, by-the-numbers crap, which somehow even manage to sound worse when backed by Phil’s wall of sound. It’s like Phil was one of the Iron Chefs, and the ingredient he had to work with was “dog shit.”

So how the fuck did they pump out Little Latin Lupe Lu? It just doesn’t make any sense. This song grabs you by your short hairs and drags you to the dancefloor, and it has a full, delicious sound that somehow makes their voices sound good. When it starts getting wild at the end, you’re almost ready to forgive them for those horrendous fucking ballads they recorded. Then you realize that those ballads made enough money for both brothers to swim in Olympic-sized swimming pools full of cash, cocaine, and naked groupies, so your forgiveness means less than nothing.

Kanye West: Gold Digger

I know that this is safe, that everyone says it, that it means nothing, but fuck it: Kanye West is one of the worst fucking people alive. Everyone else on this list is annoying, but Kanye deserves a savage beating with a baseball bat covered with barbed wire. He’s an obnoxious, spoiled child of a “man,” who treats the world like it only exists to feed him an unending stream of attention. He talks shit about books and reading, then has the nerve to “write” a book of his little words of wisdom, as if what he has to say deserves to be nestled snugly next to Confucius’ Analects. If I had to choose between punching him or Osama Bin Laden in the face, I would seriously have a hard time with that decision, and honestly, I think the 9/11 wives would be similarly conflicted. He’s that much of an asshole. Oh, and his music? Just as fucking atrocious. God damn I fucking hate this guy.

And then there’s Gold Digger, a great rap song. I like the “I Got a Woman” sample, I like the beat, and even though it’s typical woman-hating bullshit, the lyrics are also pretty decent. Kanye’s rapping isn’t great, but it’s good enough for the song. I really, really like this song, and that’s all I’m going to say because giving Kanye any more credit is just going to make me so mad that I’ll have to scream into a pillow or something.

Honorable Mention: Sublime

I hated Sublime so much in the past, but I’ve eased up on them and will now admit that they had some decent songs. Enough of their songs are good that I can’t put them in this list, even though everything else about them makes me throw up a little.

Almost made the list: No Doubt

I like the song “Just a Girl,” but not enough to add it to this list. Gwen Stefani is probably the worst singer to ever release an album (this includes William Hung), and her voice is so bad that I can’t in good faith defend it for just one song. The song is pretty catchy, but not nearly enough to get past that voice. Fuck Gwen Stefani is what I’m basically saying here.

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