“Do I frighten you?”
“Do you want me to?”
And that’s what love was, in the time… of rock . A time when men were men. Long of hair, tight of pants, they’d stand shirtless back-to-back and wail their guitars into the screaming night sky, calling the Devil and chicks in equal measure. Actually, it was probably more about the chicks looking back at it. The above quote is from Wayne’s World after all. Excellent.
Also, remember Tia Carrere?
A lot of childhood time is spent being driven around to various places whilst your parents inflict their musical tastes on you, I presumed as punishment for being so small and needy. So on the way to school, soccer, cub scouts, Black Panther militia meetings etc. I was subjected to the unsubtle warblings of an Opera-based phantom and various 60’s and 70’s “best ofs” on cassette. Did you know, that the answer to “♫ Do you know the way to San Jose ♫?” is “♫ Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa♫”?
It was awful. It wasn’t until I acquired a Walkman at age 12 that was I able to finally drown out how “birds suddenly appear, over there, over here” or something with ice cold gangsta rap.
How could old people music be so universally terrible? In my mind, music quality was logically a linear evolution, with each successive year generating successively better music. Thinking it through to its obvious conclusion, by the time of my 30th birthday, music would be so transcendent (groin-grabbingly transcendent even) that we’d simply pass out in a puddle of drool in front of our CD players. Little did I realize:
Oh, I know. In these very pages I’ve decried pointless nostalgia, but music has to be the exception. Nicky Minaj. She doesn’t make any sense. She took a legitimately great novelty rap song about big butts, and somehow made it gross. An introductory star turn on a Kanye song, Monster made a very big impression, which she then undid with a follow up guest verse on a David Guetta songy-type-thingy. Check it:
“Banging the drum like dumb-dee-dee-day. I know you want it in the worst way.”
Are you fucking kidding us, Nicky? Such filler nonsense is what you mumble when you forget the national anthem, or the name of the person you’re singing Happy Birthday to. You know what that says about you? It says that someone hired you to contribute your artistic, linguistic talent and you just went “…meh” and the producer said “Whatever…” and now it’s a song forever. Forever. And as for you, David Guetta. You’re the worst man I know…
In the 80’s, man discovered ‘electronic’ music, and, using keyboard solos, flavored songs of the time with various ‘bworp’, ‘sirens’ and ‘pew!’ noises before it was realized it wasn’t adding anything good (See “Miami Sound Machine” or the “Friends” episode where Ross shows off his “sound”). The experiment was largely abandoned for near two decades before “EDM” officially became a thing and a terrible Zac Effron movie.
Not to sound like a curmudgeonly old man called ‘Horace’ or ‘Moses’ with an onion on my belt (because it was the style at the time), but EDM music of the Guetta, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Flume, euro-looking-guy wearing a headphone over just one ear headlining a Las Vegas club is, best I can tell, ‘bees’ attacking an ‘Autobot’, or a ‘dial up modem.’ Over the top, instead of verses, the vocalist now repeats simple refrains in – if they’re not auto-tuned for some reason – a squeaky voice like they’d just inhaled helium up in the club.
The squeaky voice effect was first done by speeding up the playback of real singing, resulting in the children’s novelty band, cartoon and film series “Alvin and The Chipmunks.” Chipmunk voices used to sing about getting a hula-hoop for Christmas, but now they’re used to sing about bitches. No. If EDM were an ice cream flavor, it’d be “Pralines and dick.”
And that’s why I miss my rock. My grunge, man. With riffs. The Pearl Jamming, Stone Temple Piloting, Red Hot Chili Pumpkin Smashing Fighters of Foo! That roaring, purposely under-produced rawness with an edge, that only comes from bands started in a garage, not an iPad.
Smoke rises once more from the mountain of doom…the shadow takes shape in the darkness of Mordor; the hour grows late and Justin Bieber is making a comeback.
Only rock will save this world. Where are you Bill and Ted!?Until next time, “Be excellent to each other.”
#partytime! #excellent! #mosttriumphant #69dudes!