Your favorite band sucks.
It’s true. I’ve heard them on the radio. They’re awful. Completely forgettable. Oh, sure, you think they’re great now, but wait a couple years. Get a little time and distance between you and your iPod and see how you feel about your shuffle mix then.
I’m an XM subscriber. I grew tired of corporate radio and its carefully chosen, focus-grouped playlists, cookie cutter formats, and annoying deejays. I wanted something different and XM was that. 100+ channels of unique programming that followed me anywhere I went.
Plus, they dropped the f-bomb on the comedy channel. It was pretty sweet.
In the middle of November, Sirius and XM merged and while I’m willing to give the new arrangement some time, everything I hate about local radio seems to be back with a vengeance. Except that I’m paying 13 bucks a month for it now.
Here’s what I don’t get, and why I think your favorite band sucks. If you move in with your girlfriend, your collection of stuff gets bigger, not smaller. So, by extension, If XM moves in with Sirius, the playlists should get deeper, right?
But they haven’t.
XM used to have a station that played ‘classic alternative’ music, which, as a genre, really makes no sense, but whatever, it’s there. They have since combined with 1st Wave, Sirius’ classic alternative station, which is really the ‘New Wave 80’s’ channel. At first it was fun. I grew up in the 80’s and so did my wife. We tuned in to 1st Wave, knowing it was one of the few channels we could listen to with our daughter in the car. They played bands we hadn’t heard in years, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Cure, and The Pretenders. I kept listening over the next couple of days, surprised and embarrassed by the number of songs that I knew, happily humming along until I realized something…
A lot of the bands that I liked ‘back in the day’ SUCKED!
First of all, I never EVER thought that Duran Duran was alternative. Jane’s Addiction was alternative. Early REM was alternative. Duran Duran was pop. Bad pop. Listening to them now, absently singing my own lyrics (…her name was Rio and she dances in a van…) I am struck by just how bad Duran Duran was. They were awful. Beyond horrible. Take an ice pick, hunt down Simon LeBon and stab the living daylights out of him kind of bad.
That’s the kind of epiphany you have when the playlist repeats every 12 hours or so, which is amazing considering the programmers have at least 10 years of material to pull from. All the songs of the 80’s reduced down to the 150 most representative. Yikes. Flock of Seagulls. Thompson Twins. Dead or Alive. Kajagoogoo. Fucking Bananarama. With such a seemingly limited number of artists/albums at their disposal, 1st Wave ends up playing a lot of B-sides from one hit wonders. If I don’t like ‘Der Kommissar’, what are the chances I’ll like anything else from the Falco oeuvre? How about a dance mix of U2’s ‘New Year’s Day’? Sure, why not. What’s an Irish Catholic, tired from a long day of blowing shit up, do to take a break? Clubbing. Makes perfect sense.
And so reality set in. The music of my youth sucked. All of it. Everything from New Wave to Hair Bands. Yeah, Hair Bands. Bad boys all dressed up in spandex and leather and rouge. How is that not gay? Seriously, they look like hookers. Transvestite, Hollywood Boulevard hookers. Tranny Rock. Boy George sucked cock and he didn’t look all that different from the guys in bands like Ratt, Cinderella, or Warrant. They all looked like they might just take the chrome off a trailer hitch. Would you like a hummer with your ‘Cherry Pie’, sir? Uggh! Put them all on a small club tour with Great White and try to set the night on fyre!
Suck. Suck. Suck.
A decade’s worth of sequins, shoulder pads, and big hairdos. And synthesizers, lots of synthesizers and keyboards. Why? To this day, the only keyboardist to ever find himself knee deep in beave is Ray Manzarek, and most of that was Jim Morrison leftovers. Despite the Nascent Techno-drivel undertones of the late 80’s, the rest of the decade was an entire generation of music shaped by the tastes of John Hughes, and he had horrible taste. Forgettable, dismissible, disposable music.
Quick Trivia: Do you remember Simply Red? If so, you and I make two. The sad truth is that no one is sitting around missing Simply Red.
The 80’s. My music. Awful, horrible, painful pop music.
No different than today.
In 20 year’s time, you and your friends will sit around trying to remember who sang that one song and in doing so you’ll realize how interchangeable the bands of your youth were. Was it Oasis or Maroon 5 or Fallout Boy? What world did Jimmy eat? Then you’ll get a big chuckle out of the Ashley Simpson lip-synching debacle on SNL, or maybe it’ll be the elaborately goofy dance choreography of the hippity-hoppity acts. All those dudes grabbing their junk, singin’ bout bitches, whilst them bitches gyrate wildly in the background. Sure, you’ll look back on it fondly, but at some point you’re going to sing some inane Coldplay lyric (might I suggest “No one ever said it would be so hard/ I’m goin’ back to the start/ Ahhooooooooooooooooo/ Ahhooooooooooooooooo ) and wonder how the hell that guy ever managed to marry to Gwyneth Paltrow.
That is, if you’re not doing so already.
Your favorite band sucks. Remember that, kids.