Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Music is my life. Or at least a big chunk of it. I listen to music. I sing and play. I used to write and perform. Like most failed musicians, I work in music now. Also, like most failed musicians, I'm pretty sure I know enough about music to expertly critique it.

I am a bit of a music snob, but not in the usual way. I like all genres and listen to just about everything. The trick is to judge that thing on it's own merit. Brittany Spears can never compete with Bizet. She probably couldn't even pronounce Bizet. But she is good at what she does. Or, at least, she used to be.

All this leads to my love/hate affair with 96.1 The Pig FM in Memphis. They play a huge variety of music, pretty much everything except rap and classical. If they did, they would be the Best. Station. Ever.

I don't always like the songs they play, but there is so much variety, it is worth waiting it out for 2 minutes. That being said, I have come to some conclusions through my recent listening.

1. I don't like Jimmy Buffett, but now at least I get it. He is a jingle singer. He writes really simple, catchy songs that are easy to sing along with when your are drunk. There is plenty of room for audience participation. And that is what most people want, to feel like they are part of something. No matter how absolutely inane and trite it is. And it is.

2. The Cars v. Rick Springfield. In case you have never heard them back to back, don't. I adore The Cars and think they are highly underrated. As much as I loathe Springfield, I was able to at least accept him as a product of his time. However, recently I heard The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl" followed by "Jesse's Girl". I now know that Rick listened to that song and completely ripped it off. Rick Springfield. You are dead to me, sir.

3. Fuck folk singers. We as Americans have taken too much crap from folk singers. I am sick of us wading through so many Peter, Paul and Marys in the hopes of finding a Bob Dylan. Puff the Magic Dragon is dumb. The fact that it is considered a FOLK classic, not a children's classic just proves that Americans can't be trusted.

4. As much as I hate to admit it, there are some Dave Matthews songs that I think I might like, if only Dave Matthews didn't sing them. However, I have learned that the only thing worse that a DMB song, is one performed live. He sounds like a cross between Carol Channing and the creepy old pedophile from The Family Guy.

5. Everyone fails. Even The Beatles recorded crap music. (Thanks a lot, Ringo.) But that doesn't mean we have to listen to it. Can we all agree that just because Ray Stevens was popular for 20 minutes in the 70's doesn't mean we ever have to acknowledge his music or existence again? Can we also agree that if Ray Charles records the amazing definitive version of 'What I Say' that I never have to hear Jerry Lee sing it? Let Jerry Lee be good at being Jerry Lee. Stop fucking up R&B classics and go drink something. I'm willing to let him coast on 'Great Balls of Fire' forever.

6. Let's be done with the Doors already. Seriously. Listen to the Doors live and you will notice that even the audience is sick of them. Jim has to yell at them to listen. Let's just admit we all got high and got tricked into believing this stuff was deep and move on. No shame. No blame. Just move on.

7. Most parody songs sucks. Especially 'political' satire songs. You know it. I know it. Quit encouraging them.

8. The Tina Turner recording of Fool in Love feature Ike Turner and The Ikettes is one of the greatest songs ever put on vinyl. Prove me wrong.