Music that irritates me
Zac Brown Band - "Chicken Fried" (heard pretty much anytime I ever go out)
I think hip-hop kind of hit a wall with that Soulja Boy tune, "Crank Dat"...notice how there hasn't really been a huge hip hop single since? Well, commercial hip hop has always been pretty dumb and simple, but you cannot possibly dumb it down anymore than Soulja did, and as a result there was almost nowhere left to go. I really hope "Chicken Fried" does the same with this horrible rock/country hybrid that's been polluting the airwaves since the first time Garth Brooks ever picked up a guitar. I cannot explain people's fascination for a song that essentially beats the same stupid hook into the ground over and over, except maybe it's the Soulja Boy thing all over again. At least Soulja was funny.
Kid Rock - that "Sweet Home Alabama" remake (heard once on TV, just about everywhere since)
There's nothing wrong with writing a song and hoping it'll be a hit, but it really bugs me when someone decides "I want a big hit, but have absolutely no ideas whatsoever". So Kid Rock decides to steal one of the most recognizable and overplayed riffs of all-time and write a song so banal that the money line is when he rhymes "doin' funny things" with "smokin' funny things". I guess we should blame the ghostly remains of Skynyrd more than anything - hell, they even toured with the guy. Can't we go back to a time when everybody hated Kid Rock?
Johnny Cash - "Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Folsom Prison Blues", and "A Boy Named Sue" (heard at every bar ever)
Geez, for all the moaning the old-timers did about digital jukeboxes, it sucks that in the end it's still the same guys playing the same four Johnny Cash songs over and over again. I have nothing against any of these tunes, but I guess in Manitowoc, if you ever go to a bar, you have a 75% shot of hearing at least one of these songs, a good chance of hearing them all sequenced next to each other, and if you stay long enough, you're guaranteed to hear one (or more) of them twice. Didn't the man have any other songs? I like Johnny Cash - he's cool, had a great voice, wrote plenty of good tunes, but isn't he about the least original jukebox selection at this point?
The "Sunday Night Football" jingle by Faith Hill
Because nothing gets you in the mood for football like a country singer belting out like a diva! What are we supposed to say? "Hell yeah, this rocks, and I want to nail Faith Hill!" She's a pretty girl but not exactly a bombshell. Did they realize that this show is almost exclusively watched by groups of guys, whose minds are focused squarely on "football" and not "sex"!? Couldn't we just get a montage of the cheerleaders instead?
Cher - "Believe" (heard at a Subway)
This might be the most influential pop hit of the 90's, and for that I give it a big "fuck you". Cher catapulted to the top spot on the charts with this song mostly because of the then-strange vocal effect now known as "auto-tune". I remember the producer of the track saying something about how it was just a vocoder, knowing it wasn't true but not wanting his secret out. Maybe he was on to something - the last few years have become the era of the pop star who can't sing, and auto-tune is pretty much entirely to blame. And still, how many of these new pop songs (actually, it's mostly hip-hop, which is so devoid of personality now that it basically is just modern pop) were better than "Believe"? That's the scary part - "Believe" got it right! And I hate it for that.
Alanis Morissette - "Hand In My Pocket" (played on a jukebox)
You know, I always assumed Alanis was actually pretty clever when it came to irony; her song "Ironic" was about things that were just bad luck and not really ironic at all, which in itself WAS pretty ironic, don't you think? But hearing some of the songs from Jagged Little Pill now, it strikes me just how unclever she really was (she did have a song called "Head Over Feet", after all) - pretty much all of her lyrics were awful and one-dimensional, and in the end, it's really hard to explain how this sold 15 million copies and spawned a ton of hits...she doesn't strike me as any different than any other marginally talented female singer-songwriter, and her voice is obnoxious to boot. Maybe in 1995 this would okay, but where does it all fit into the world of 2010? Who actually has nostalgia for this stuff? You don't really hear Third Eye Blind anymore and they at least had talent and much better hits. Yes, I will cry about it.
U2 - "Where the Streets Have No Name" (heard during a World Cup promo)
I really like the World Cup and all that goes with it - you can be patriotic without getting into a marathon debate session, and you get to learn lots of cool stuff about the different nations of the world. This year it's in South Africa, so for a promo they decide to show the natives dancing and performing tribal ceremonies to...music from U2's #1 hit album The Joshua Tree. Look...I like the song, I like the album...but isn't this exploiting the South African people just a little bit? Like...we want to show you some African culture, but not too much, since apparently South Africa has absolutely NO good music. Isn't this the time to learn about other countries' cultures instead of trying to convince us that the South Africans are just like us in their love for classic rock?
T-Pain - That "apple-bottom jeans, boots with the furrr" song (and everything else like it) (heard at all sorts of parties and the *ahem* Manitowoc nightclubs)
We know that rappers these days are basically no-talent hacks, but geez, does it have to be so dull?? I can't remember a damn thing about this song besides the vocal melody, which is so one-note it might as well be in Morse Code. Even the metaphors are so played out it makes me want to chuff..."Lick that lollipop, oooooOOOoooooh". We need to ban Auto-Tune for good.
Ke$ha - "Tick Tock" (heard on the Simpsons!!!)
Look, I have enough reasons to hate this song...not just that it's inescapable, but it is one of the most legitimately obnoxious radio singles in recent memory, it's done by someone with a dollar sign in their name, and it's almost a complete rip of another inescapable tune (Lady Gaga's "Just Dance"), except Kesha doesn't even have the voice. In essence, it's also kind of a rip of a tune by Justice, called "TTHHEE PPAARRTTYY", which was also very obnoxious, but it seemed almost intentionally so (right down to the title) and was even a little bit brilliant because of it. Either way, to see this used as the intro to the Simpsons with the characters lip-synching to the lyrics has to rank as one of the Simpsons' lowest points; maybe even the lowest. Since when did the Simpsons embrace banal pop culture instead of mocking it? Since when were they shameless enough to pull stunts designed solely to rile up the internet crowd and become a bullet point? Since when do the Simpsons use ideas so stupid they could have fallen out of Seth McFarlane's garbage bin? Do they care about what people will think of the episode a day from now? One of the great qualities of the classic Simpsons was that it was careful not to fall into any trends or make any blantant pop culture references so that the episodes would hold up over time. Hell, even the song is already dated - who makes references to P.Diddy in 2010? The guy hasn't had a hit in over ten years!! Or what about "we kick 'em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger"...the dude looks like a corpse!!
Asher Roth - "I Love College" (heard on the radio last night)
This was the dumb party jam of 2009, so who knew that in today's modern world of 2010, you'd still hear it randomly on the radio? (and I do mean randomly as I almost never listen to the radio anymore) Come on, whose college experience was like this? Asher's not the kid we hated because he was better than us...he's the kid we hated because he's completely unlikeable. He can't rap, he sure as hell can't write, and he only got famous because he had the questionable sense to sample the "Say It Ain't So" riff. Look, I understand it's a party tune, but why, even in the dumbest and wildest frat parties I've ever been do, did this song sound so undeniably lame? "Fresh-MEN! Fresh-MEN! Keg-STAND!"
3OH!3 - "Don't Trust Me" (heard pretty much everywhere)
Let's get one thing straight - I do admire Brokencyde. Here you have a band that takes every teen emo stereotype and pushes it to maximum obnoxiousness, creating videos that are nearly impossible to sit through for even half a minute. They're almost perfect in their unlikeability. Scale that back a little, and you get plain obnoxiousness. Case in point, 3OH!3 - formerly a bunch of low-talent kids with a stupid band name, now a bunch of no-talent kids with a hit. A hit that basically comes down to two things - one, a use of the word "fuckin" that's front and center, guaranteed to be abrasive since it's bleeped out nearly everywhere, and two, a stupid Helen Keller joke. In 2009, people! Helen Keller jokes! One more question - who the hell produced this thing to be, like, the loudest song on the planet? It starts clipping in the first few seconds, when it's just the guy talking!