Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What Becomes A Classic?

What turns a hit song into a classic?

Very few hits can keep a listener's interest for a few months, let alone years or decades. Yet there are those anthems that, although played repeatedly, retain the magic to make one want to listen again and again.

Varying intangibles includes production quality, musicianship, vocal style, lyrics and choice of instruments.
The constant factor in all of these songs is their widespread emotional connection to a mass audience. Classic songs have a simple message that has universal appeal.

They might be cliches but songs like "We Are Family", "Satisfaction" and "Respect" are classics for a reason. These songs encapsulate feelings we've all shared.

From the steely determination of "I Will Survive" to the youthful exuberance of "Twist And Shout", the free spiritedness of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and the stylish romance of Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight", classic songs connect us to our own feelings. And when played to a group of people, help bond them together.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gene Simmons' Family Jewels

Gene Genie

'Family Jewels" is another reality show featuring a washed up rocker and his family. Although Gene Simmons is way more coherent than Ozzy Osbourne, he much less entertaining. Gene wasn't the best looking guy as a young man and time hasn't done him any favors in that department. My advice- keep the makeup on ALL the time!

In case you've forgotten, Gene Simmons used to be in a rock band named KISS that used to make records. The fact that they haven't done anything of note since CDs were invented hasn't stopped them from continuing to capitalize on their past exploits.

Thanks to a juggernaut of a marketing machine, Simmons' addiction to fame and and a refusal to fade out gracefully, KISS has continued to remind us of their unseemly presence.

Like the once believed to be extinct coelacanth fish, KISS should have become a petrified artifact eons ago. They are currently in a tie with The Who for most number of irrelevant reunion tours by a band on life support.

On 'Family Jewels', we get to watch as Gene mugs for the camera, repeats tired sexual innuendos and beats every last shred of notoriety out of the dead carcass of a career he's been dragging around for the last 20 years.

Sorry, Gene. I'll take an unintelligible but loveable Ozzy over a braggadocios, former Rock God turned Ozzie (Nelson) any day.

For pure, white trash revelry, I prefer Dog The Bounty Hunter- now that's a show!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The "Wussiest" Music Of All

Check out Blender Magazine's recent list of the 111 "Wussiest Songs Of All Time"

Blender, the self proclaimed defenders of good music, hit the nail on the head for the most part. Except for some glaring oversights.

The sickeningly sugary, ode to parental over-attachment, "Butterfly Kisses", was strangely absent. And unexplainably, "Shiny Happy People" by REM was ranked #1, yet "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 didn't even make the list.

Shame on you, Blender. While REM may no longer be as cool as they once were, by not slamming Maroon 5, you just encourage them to subject us to more of the same flaccid drivel in the future.

"She Will Be Loved" lyrics...

I don’t mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved
She will be loved

Sung in a falsetto voice usually reserved only for Eunuchs, pre-pubescent choir boys and Michael Jackson, this song makes "Mandy" sound like "Enter Sandman". This omission is a gaping error for which the staff at Blender should be forced to listen to the complete Kenny Rogers library repeatedly!

PS While we're ripping "Wuss Music", the list failed to mention Michael Bolton even once. Does this mean that Blender considers his music a gift to modern culture? Not likely.

It's more likely that the former mulleted dynamo has fallen so far off the pop radar screen and become so insignificant that he no longer even makes a dent on "Worst Of" lists.

And that's good news!

Happy Listening,