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July 30, 2003

I forgot about Starship

How could I forget Starship from my 10 Worst list? It hit me tonight that not only did they produce three of the worst synth-rock songs (We Built This City, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, and the slightly less awful Sara), ALL THREE HIT #1.

Grace Slick is probably what Janis Joplin would have been if dear Janis hadn't bumped into her old heroin pusher that faithful night. Think about it. Janis Joplin scoring a couple of gold records in the latter half of the 80s for songs that drown her voice in synthesizers and underutilize her voice. Even more frightening: her elder bisexual diva image in the mid 90s, the obligatory duet with Melissa Etheridge, the dance remixes, the farewell tour with Cher, oh dear Lawd... I'm shuddering.

Posted by dylan at 11:07 PM | Comments (3)

July 25, 2003

10 Worst Songs of the Last 25 Years

Having done the 100 best songs of the last 25 years, we should look at the 10 worst songs of the same period. I'm only doing ten because I can easily list 100 songs I hate (c.f. the entire Michael Bolton catalog), but I want to filter for my good (or bad) perspective and only get the ones that are truly, truly abysmal. BTW, I throw down the gauntlet to the Rev to produce a more cringe-inducing list.

So, in reverse order:

10. God Bless The USA, Lee Greenwood -- I know I'm going to get hate mail for this. Wrap every songwriting cliche in an American flag and you still wouldn't get something half as self-serving as this song. Our national anthem, though a drinking song and a hastily written poem, can be eloquent and poignant if you choose it to be. "God Bless America," played into the ground the last two years, is a good ol' fashioned Broadway singalong showstopper. "America The Beautiful" is probably the closest thing we have to a traditional anthem, vague and hymnlike it may be. "God Bless The USA" is none of these -- it's a pandering, cliche-driven piece of glurge. And yet, it's only #10....

9. We Are The World -- The problem started when they recorded this song after the American Music Awards. The talent you're going to assemble from the audience of the AMAs is going to produce some treacly song that will be completely unlistenable twenty years later. Completely unlistenable. Just try to imagine Frank and Sammy doing this at the Sands as a duet. And the idea that the 50 or so people who are in the room are "the World" just boggles my mind.

8. She's Like The Wind, Patrick Swayze -- Why do they let actors near recording studios?

7. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus -- You want to know when country music officially died? 1992, when "Some Gave All" bowed at #1 on the pop albums chart. It's that damn hook, built to bore into the heads of 5 year olds and truckers As a footnote, this is, I believe, the song the late Jonbenet Ramsey is dancing to in that beauty pagent tape.

6. Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley, Will To Power -- Why? Why attempt to merge a decent rock ballad with one of the greatest rock anthems and then have the audacity to run it through a karaoke machine? Would anyone attempt to do that to Beethoven? Oh yeah, forgot. Well, they'd never do it to Rachmaninoff! Yeah, forgot about Eric Carmen.

5. Baby Don't Forget My Number, Milli Vanilli -- They have to appear somehwere on this list, right?

4. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias -- This never should have been allowed to happen, EVER. If Willie had to list every girl that went in and out his door, it'd probably take a 7 CD box set.

3. When A Man Loves A Woman, Michael Bolton -- A few years ago, I was having dinner with some friends, and the Desert Island Discs question came up: Which $number albums would you take if you were stranded on a desert island? I listed mine (that's another post) and it came around to the accountant friend of mine. He proceeded to list EVERY Michael Bolton album. I realized why accountancy never appealed to me. On the song... Percy Sledge should be given a shoulder-launched TOW and tickets to the next Bolton concert.

2. Barney's Theme Song, Barney the Dinosaur -- It's beyond inane, it's downright insidious and stupid. Barney tells kids to be docile junk food consuming couch potatoes, but it's OK, because we're a happy fat family! I mean, look at Barney's paunchiness. No wonder the dinosaurs went extinct -- if it wasn't the coronary heart disease, it was the type 2 diabetes.

1. Songbird, Kenny G -- Truly, truly, this is everything that is wrong with music. It's one Coltrane lick cooked like an English vegetable until all soul, all flavor is gone. It's so nondescript it's used on every Muzak system in America. It didn't spawn the "smooth jazz" movement, but it's the flagship for that whiteified garbage. And this guy made GOBS and GOBS of money off this song, because middle-aged secretaries and managers listened to it so much on Muzak that it burrowed into their Precious Moments buying brain and demanded that they buy the damn album. Finally, how many commercials have you heard this in? Enough to make me wretch. If this song had a bit of bite, it would be classified as a weapon of mass destruction. It doesn't, though, so it can't be considered psychological torture to play this 24/7 at GTMO. Makes me wonder if the ICRC will start shipping this in their POW kits.

Posted by dylan at 07:30 AM | Comments (7)

July 21, 2003

Baby Workout

I'm in the market for a good health club. Suggestions welcome (respond using comments) -- but I have some stipulations to consider.

1. I live in Broadview -- between Crown Hill and Northgate. I don't want to drive a long way to work out, because then I just won't do it. So, north of the Ship Canal, and, for that matter, within 10 minutes of 105th and Aurora.

2. No meet markets. I mean it. I'm married. I hate being scoped by either sex. I mean, I ain't much to look at, but I'm not interested in getting a job in the bathroom or a twinkie in the city.

3. Good equipment that's well maintained -- stationary bike, treadmill, rowing machine. If they have a pool, at least 25 meters and a pool staff that doesn't think green is a pool water color or swimming in chlorine bleach is good for you.

4. Less than high pressure sales pitch. I expect they're going to try and sell me the Su-pur-Delux(TM) package. I just don't want oily salesmen telling me about their personal porn collection or how they gave it to the ditzy girl up front or which girls from 90210 they'd like in a threesome. (Yes, this happened to me.)

5. Hours. I need something that I can do at 9pm at night. I just do better at night.

So, your ideas are more than welcome. Just don't say that the Gold's Gym at 100th and Aurora is the place for me. I've heard some very bad stories about that place....

Posted by dylan at 03:18 PM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2003

Say it loud, I'm back and I'm proud

Lot of dead air there, but I'm blogging again. I'm working on a mini-site for out California vacation right now and hope to have it up by the end of the weekend. Some good news, too, Our good friend, D, has received a new liver and kidney and is recovering well. We are both very thankful for that. On my health front, I had an outpatient deal featuring a photography session of an internal organ; all is well and I'm doing well.

Posted by dylan at 01:30 PM