Komedy Koven

Thursday, May 02, 2002
I heartily concur
with Jonathan's picks.

"Deals dope out at Denny's, keeps a table in the ba-hee-ya"

I mean, c'mon, what kind of self-respecting drug dealer "keeps a table" at Denny's?

These are the songs that I hate so much I would shove a wire hangar in my ears if I thought it would make the pain go away. Songs I wish I could erase from history. Recordings which, like so many creeping vines, choke the very life out of me. Some tunes you might be suprised to find absent from this list, such as Starship's 1985 hit "We Built This City," have some shred of value in my eyes (in this case, the song is so hilarious it wins a few points, not least for the fake piped-in crowd noise, a la "Spirit of Radio" by Rush). Novelty songs don't count, either, nor does "Metal Machine Music." So please, by all means share your most-hated songs and any oversights on my part, but keep these requirements in mind. So, here we go:

(10) Welcome to the Boomtown - David & David (1986)
Hard-hitting gritty urban realism? Is it a coincidence rap finally had its big crossover success the same year? At least "Walk on the Wild Side" had a sense of humor and a sweet bassline...here we get 5 ½ minutes of incoherent groaning. Apparently the key to successful songwriting is to leave the consonants off the end of every word.

(9) The River of Dreams - Billy Joel (1993)
I think the gospel chorus meshes nicely with Mr. Joel's cruel overenunication. I'm sure his spiritual quest was very important to him, but it's not like we haven't heard the river metaphor 400 times already, and honestly, who gives a shit? It's hard to give that shit when faced with this flaccid mid-tempo faux-ethnic "up with people" number.

(8) Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Great White (1989)
Representing all bad hair metal, Great White wins the prize for basing their entire career (and two album titles) on this Ian Hunter (ex-Mott the Hoople) tune.

(7) Informer - Snow (1993)
Canadian reggae? I'll go blame a licky boom-boom down.

(6) tie: Desperado -The Eagles (1973)/Witchy Woman - The Eagles (1972)
Clearly Don Henley is a man of great perceptive powers that he has brought us these powerful and moving character sketches. The entire Eagles catalog could be listed here (not to mention the solo careers of Glenn Frey, et al), but these two win for sheer blandness and that time-honored rock tradition, the "evil woman" theme.

(5) In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins (1981)
I don't care if he tattooed the lyrics on a rapist's chest in front of 10,000 nuns, this song still puts me to sleep. Overplayed and overlong.

(4) Everything written by Diane Warren and performed by anybody (1983-present)
How much of a hack sell-out do you have to be to cash in on this soulless hit-machine? I guess Steven Tyler is still paying off his rehab bills.

(3) tie: Black Velvet - Alannah Myles (1989)/Keep Your Hands To Yourself - Georgia Satellites (1986)
Thank God that Uncle Tupelo gave "roots rock" a good name in the 1990's, because there was a whole hell of a lot of vomit crusting on the shores of American rock music in the 1980's, as represented by these god-awful tunes.

(2) Summer Girls - LFO (1999)
Sure, there's been a whole lot of shitty teen pop in the last few years, but to me this sums it all up: "New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits/Chinese food makes me sick." Worst couplet ever disseminated. Not to mention the generic watered-down hip-hop beats, acoustic guitar processed beyond recognition, and bland white losers at the mic.

(1) Muskrat Love - Captain & Tennille (1976)
This is, really, the apex of what went wrong with pop music in the 1970's, and why punk is so neccesary. Willis Alan Ramsey's lyrics aside, if you've ever heard Daryl "the Captain" Dragon's bizarre squirting synthesizer part you probably haven't had a good night's sleep in over a decade. So precious it hurts. It hurts in my pants.

runners-up :
The Living Years - Mike + the Mechanics (two words: children's chorus)
Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground (why would God let this happen?)
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion (easy target, but a skull-boring one)
Rock On - Michael Damian (this song does not rock)
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (sorry, folks)
Hotel California - The Eagles (only the Gipsy Kings have been able to make this song sound good)
Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers (see "In The Air Tonight" above)
Girls, Girls, Girls - Jay-Z (he got Q-Tip, Biz Markie, and Slick Rick in the studio, and let them do nothing more than chant "girls, girls, girls." this from the man considered today's greatest rap artist)
Bad Company - Bad Company (and "Ready for Love" - these guys are almost as bad as the Eagles)
Candle in the Wind - Elton John (especially the Princess Di version)
Student Demonstration Time - The Beach Boys (Mike Love gets topical and embarrasingly white)
Jack & Diane - John Cougar (it does have handclaps, but I don't want to hear the phrase "suckin' on chili dogs" ever again)
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Elvis Presley (you can well imagine)
and I know this will offend, but I truly wish that Duran Duran had never been more than a character in "Barbarella"

vid muzik grrl
Music Made the Video Star
Atari was into some crazy shit back in the day. Case in point, the Atari Video Music system. Playing video games is so passe man, just pass the doobie and twiddle the knobs to the grooves! Then Atari flirted with holography, creating a prototype holographic tabletop game called Cosmos that sadly never made it to market. All these discoveries have renewed my obsession with video sampling. I need to get my hands on this junk so I can make effects like this and this all in realtime baby.

Sunday, April 28, 2002
Americans, beware!

I just came across a website that confirms a long-harbored suspicion of mine: Canadians, while seemingly polite, are actually bent on world domination.

When you're done looking at that, here are some Fun Facts about Canada, courtesy of thoughtviper.com.

Lit up like a Christmas Tree

Warning: Not actually funny. But pretty cool. A photo of the earth at night, courtesy of NASA.

we take off our pants... so you don't have to.