Recently by Chris Morgan

Hit Parade: Meghan Trainor - "All About That Bass"

There are a million songs about how women should not be obsessed about their looks and to have self-esteem and they are all probably better than this one.
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Taylor Swift's time back atop the Billboard Hot 100 was a bit short-lived. I think. Maybe it was atop the charts for years. Time seems to lose all meaning when it comes to the pop charts, and Swift's omnipresence doesn't help that. Now, the number one song in this great nation of ours is some thing called "All About That Bass" by somebody named Meghan Trainor. I do not know who this is. I did go to high school with, like, seven people with different variations on the name "Megan." That doesn't seem relevant, but it's all I've got. Jesus

Hit Parade: Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off"

Taylor Swift is back at #1. God help us all.
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There is a circle to this life. The very first edition of Hit Parade was on Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" or whatever that song was called. Now, Ms. Swift is back atop the charts with a song called "Shake It Off." This will be the second Swift song I have ever heard. One time I saw her on FOX's New Girl. She did not sing. Hey, didn't Swift used to be a country singer of some sort? All I've ever heard from her is two pop songs. One, which I'll call "Back Together" was kind

Hit Parade: Magic! - "Rude"

I'd rather hear "Jammin'" for the millionth time than hear "Rude" for a second one.
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Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," featuring noted Roman numerals enthusiast Charlie XCX, earned its place in the song of the summer conversation by being the number one song for all of June and most of July. However, at least for one week, it has been knocked from its perch. Taking Azalea's place is a song called "Rude" by a band called Magic! I am not excited about them. They just have an exclamation point in their name. The excitement is built in. I've heard tell of these Canadian lads and their musics, mostly negative I must admit, but I have not heard

Hit Parade: Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX - "Fancy"

The fun summer jam potential is slightly limited by Iggy declaring that she's still in the murder bidness...
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Talk of the "song of the summer" is beginning, and it wasn't likely that the smooth, soulful tones of John Legend were going to be ruling the day at barbeques and pool parties and box socials and whatever the kids are up to these days. Now, there is a new song atop the charts, "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX. Now, if you have read Hit Parade with any regularity, you know how things go with me and the pop music. Generally, I have little, if any, knowledge or experience with these artists. I'm too busy making knowing references

Hit Parade: John Legend - "All of Me"

a pretty sounding song about love that isn't too mawkish or clunky or inane. I can live with that...
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Man, people loved Pharrell Williams' "Happy." Truly, it was the song of spring. For a whopping 10 weeks, it was the number one song in America. I did not like it, but lots of people did, and I am not one to rain on parades, or wedding days for that matter. Now, a new song emerges atop the Billboard Hot 100. John Legend's "All of Me." I have some knowledge of Legend, because he appeared on Stephen Colbert's Christmas special many years ago. He sang a love jam about nutmeg. So, I figure he is some sort of soul/R&B ballad

Hit Parade: Pharrell Williams - "Happy"

Maybe Pharrell Williams should stick to producing...
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The last couple of songs to sit atop the Billboard Hot 100 have not been, admittedly, terribly good. By which I mean they've been bad. They've been irritants to my very soul. I could use something that I can enjoy. A song that can make me, if you will, happy. Well, fittingly, the new top song on the charts is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Before listening to this song, I was of two minds on it. On the one hand, Williams' bona fides are legitimate. He was recently the pregame performer at the NBA All-Star Game, and it was a

Hit Parade: Katy Perry featuring Juicy J - "Dark Horse"

Not one of Katy Perry's better efforts, chart success notwithstanding...
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I must purge "Timber" by Pitbull and Ke$ha out of my brain. This house must be clean. Also, I'm still behind on number one songs. I never did get to Eminem, but I was a teenager in suburban Detroit during his heyday. I've had plenty of Eminem in my life. So, today, I shall turn to the song currently topping the charts: "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry, featuring Juicy J. I've heard Ms. Perry before, having listened to "Roar" for this project. I remember it as being fairly banal, by the books grrrl power stuff. Will "Dark Horse" be different?
Here's the thing about time; it is not infinite. As such, sometimes things fall to the wayside. Like keeping up with the luminaries of modern popular music. When staying on top of the hits is not your top, or even a top 10, priority, you can find yourself left behind. This is to say that it has been a little while since I've written a Hit Parade, or listened to a Billboard Hot 100 number one song. I've missed "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna, "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha, and "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J. Man,

Hit Parade: Lorde - "Royals"

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Pop music is a young people's game. After a couple week's of her (surprisingly solid) "Wrecking Ball" atop the charts, the 20-year-old Miley Cyrus has been replaced by the 16-year-old Lorde and her song "Royals." I picked up this information through osmosis, for the record. I have not heard any of Lorde's music. I think she is from New Zealand, where Peter Jackson, director of beloved movies such as Dead Alive and the King Kong remake, and I know she is but a child. She was on Fallon the other day, but I did not watch, for reasons I am

Hit Parade: Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball"

Lost in her antics and the hysteria that followed is a pretty good song from Miley Cyrus...
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Well, here we are. After a couple weeks of Katy Perry's grrrrl power anthem (and shout out to boxing references) "Roar" being atop the charts, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" is the number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Now I've got to deal with this nonsense. What have I gotten myself in to? I've never heard a Miley Cyrus song, although I certainly have heard a bunch of inane stuff in recent months because she is very popular on the internets. I listen to the Girls in Hoodies podcast, and they love her. I've made my thoughts on Billy

Hit Parade: Katy Perry - "Roar"

Katy Perry's "Roar" isn't the worst #1 of 2013...
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While most people like to believe the world is a beautiful, redeemable place and that, all in all, things are going to be alright. In truth, the world is a brutal morass that we sink ever deeper into until we receive the sweet release of death. War. Famine. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." This is reality, chumps. For 12 weeks, 12 god damn weeks, that song was at the top of the charts. That's three months! This is not why we can't have nice things, it is why we don't have nice things. However, for the first time in far too

Hit Parade Classic: Jason Derulo - "Whatcha Say"

Mediocre and a product of the lesser musical proclivities of the time...
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Robin Thicke and friends continue to dominate the top of the charts, so I am dipping back into the history of the Billboard Hot 100 for another entry into Hit Parade Classic. Once again, I am heading backwards through time until I find a song I haven't heard of at all. This time out, I head to the week of November 14, 2009 for a song called "Whatcha Say" by a person called "Jason Derulo." It was only number one for a week, and then it, and Derulo, disappeared. Seriously, I have never heard of this guy. It is important
If I have learned one thing from Hit Parade, wherein I listen to the top songs on the Billboard Hot 100, it's that most of these songs are pretty bad. If I've learned two things, the second thing is that there isn't a ton of change atop the charts. In the entire year of 2013, which is more than halfway over, a total of six songs have been number one, and two of those songs were by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has been the top song for a while, because people hate themselves and don't feel

Hit Parade: Robin Thick featuring T.I. and Pharrell - "Blurred Lines"

Just know the lyrics are horrendous and this song is terrible.
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I should, in theory, write about Robin Thicke. After all, his song "Blurred Lines" has wrested the number one song title from not one hit wonders Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. I didn't know much about him heading into listening to this song. I hadn't heard any of his work. I listen to MaxFun's International Waters podcast, for I am an erudite gentleman, and in doing so I heard tell of a music video of his that leads me to feel that he is, in the parlance of our times, a total douchebag. I also knew he is the son of
Weird Al Yankovic is an interesting figure in the world of pop culture. This is a good thing, as otherwise writing a series of essays cataloging his entire discography might have been viewed as a somewhat less than necessary quest. Perhaps more than any other musician, he personifies his medium. On the other hand, that medium is comedy songs, many of which are parodies of existing pop songs. He sings of food and TV shows and movies and, occasionally, Santa Claus going on a murderous rampage. Weird Al has always existed on the fringes of the music business, or at
"And Alexander wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." - Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock This is it. This is the end. Today is the final part of The Weird Al Chronicles. At least for now, I suppose. In 2011, five years after releasing Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al Yankovic released his most recent album, Alpocalypse. It won't be his last. Not just because he still wants to work, but because he is under contract for one more after this. Will he release one of those albums that artists sometimes do when they want to stick it to their
Weird Al's Poodle Hat sort of got lost in the shuffle of life, even though it is a solid album. However, a few years later Yankovic found himself back in the zeitgeist with 2006's Straight Outta Lynwood. This is, perhaps, mildly surprising when you dig into the logistics of recording the album. Apparently Weird Al wanted to include a parody of James Blunt's atrocious "You're Beautiful" (there's a half-formed Songs We Wish We Could Forget on that number collecting cyber dust on my computer) entitled "You're Pitiful," but then it got nixed. The album was delayed. In the end, Straight
Well, this is surprising. I did not see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis having any staying power. I presumed "Thrift Shop" was a novelty single, and not just because I thought it was awful. I mean, it's a dude rapping about buying stuff at the thrift store, and, let's face it, the fact he was a white guy rapping made it feel even more like a novelty song. However, it would appear I was incorrect in this prediction, because here we are living in world where Macklemore is fronting another number one single in these United State of America. This newest
OK folks, we are entering new territory in The Weird Al Chronicles. Not because Poodle Hat, Weird Al's 2003 album, is his first of the new millennium. That's an arbitrary dividing line. It is because after 1999's strong Running with Scissors, I have essentially no knowledge of Weird Al's output. Before listening to it for this project, I had heard exactly one song off of Poodle Hat. However, this album is also sort of lost in the shuffle of Yankovic's career. It came four years after his last album, which was quite popular. Maybe Al had some troubles adjusting to
Last time around, when I was discussing Weird Al's Bad Hair Day, I talked about how it was the quintessential Yankovic album of my childhood, the one I owned, so I was quite familiar with it. Well, 1999's Running with Scissors happens to be the quintessential album of my brother's childhood, and it was the one Weird Al album he owned, so I am fairly familiar with it as well. These two records are the two I had heard in their entirety before starting this quest to go through Weird Al's entire discography. So, I bring a lot of knowledge

Hit Parade: Pink featuring Nate Ruess "Just Give Me A Reason"

You have to earn your gratuitous punctuation!
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Sorry, Bruno Mars. Your time atop the Billboard Hot 100 did not last very long. Already, we have a new chart topper. Pink now has the nation's top single, although it features some guy named Nate Ruess, and it is called "Just Give Me A Reason." I am familar with Pink, who apparently spells her name with an exclamation point instead of an "i." I will not indulge this affectation. I know Ke$ha, Ms. Pink, and you are no Ke$ha. While I have heard of Pink, I had never heard any of her songs in their entirety. I know at
This is it. At least, for me this is it. When I begun this project, I talked about how everybody has that first Weird Al Yankovic album. The one that introduced you to him and his particular brand of comedy songs and what have you. Given how long Al has been around, and how many albums he's released, there are a lot of potential introductory albums for folks. This is the one for me. Bad Hair Day, released in 1996, three years after Alapalooza, is the first Weird Al album I heard. It's the one I owned. In fact, I
A new song is finally atop the Billboard Hot 100, and for the first time in quite a while it isn't some internets propelled one-hit wonder. Maybe Macklemore (and Ryan Lewis, let us never forget Ryan Lewis) can come up with some other popular gimmick song, perhaps about all-you-can-eat buffets in Las Vegas, but I doubt it, and Baauer and the "Harlem Shake" will soon perish from this Earth. Now, an established artist with at least some gravitas has the nation's number one single, and it is the guy who had the top song before the one-two punch of "Thrift
While embarking on these Weird Al Chronicles, I realize I haven't really paid much attention to the big picture. I've just been focused on each album that I am currently writing about. It wasn't until prepping for this installment that I realized how far I, and Weird Al Yankovic himself, had come. Alapalooza is Yankovic's eighth album. That's a lot of output. However, more to the point, it came out in 1993. Weird Al Yankovic, his self-titled debut, came out in 1983. If I can do some quick math, that's 10 years. That's a decade of albums, and he was
After UHF and the soundtrack, Weird Al took a few years before getting to his next album. This makes sense. After all, co-writing and starring in a movie, while also having to write songs for it and adding more songs to the album bearing its name, is probably fairly time consuming. Plus, who knows how the fact that UHF was a box office failure may have impacted the process of generating a new album. Unlike pretty much every sports writer even, I'm not going to try and pretend like I know what's going on in somebody else's head. However, eventually

The Weird Al Chronicles Part VI: UHF

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When I began this project of going through the entire Weird Al Yankovic discography, it did not occur to me that the soundtrack to UHF would show up. However, the album is listed within his discography, and it is indeed a full album of Weird Al songs. Well, it's an album of Weird Al songs and a couple of bits from the movie of the same name. So, it shall be covered. Plus, this way I get to talk about the movie UHF, which is even more up my alley. While my writing on music has been largely limited to
When last we left Weird Al Yankovic, he was releasing Polka Party to limited response critically and commercially. He needed to bounce back, and with his fifth album, Even Worse, he managed to do so. The album is bringing the comedy, and the parody, before you even open the cover. The title is a play off of Michael Jackson's Bad, and the picture on Al's cover is of him aping Jackson's attire and pose from his own cover art. This is the first time Al extended his parody humor to his albums title and artwork, but it's not the last

The Weird Al Chronicles Part IV: Polka Party!

A footnote in the Weird Al discography...
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Polka Party!, Weird Al Yankovic's fourth album, sort of has disappeared into the muck and the mire of Al's long, storied musical career. When VH1 decided to do a Behind the Music on Weird Al, and as far as I can recall it is the only episode of that show I have ever seen (I did watch The Simpsons episode "Behind the Laughter," but that is neither here nor there), one of the down moments of his story was the relative failure of this album. That's what happens when you have somebody on your show that hasn't had torrid love

Hit Parade: Baauer - "Harlem Shake"

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Man, how about that internet? It is becoming increasingly clear as I indulge in this process how much the internet is responsible for what reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100. More than that, it's about the YouTube it would seem. Psy's "Gangnam Style" never made it to number one, but I get the feeling people loving that video on YouTube is a bit part of its rise to number two. Macklemore feels like an internet phenomenon as well. Now, a song that isn't even all that new is the top song in the land, and I can guarantee

The Weird Al Chronicles Part III: Dare to Be Stupid

Weird Al takes on Madonna and continues to hone his craft in his first album that doesn't bother to drop his name.
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Even though it was his second album, Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D felt like the first true Weird Al album. He just kept churning out the material in the early days, as in 1985 he released his third album, and for the first time Weird Al made the bold decision of not including his name in the title. Instead, he christened it Dare To Be Stupid, the rare Weird Al album named after a song on said album. It picks up where his last album left off in terms of quality and continuing to develop as an artist. Or, should

The Weird Al Chronicles Part II: Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D

The journey continues with the second album in Weird Al's lengthy discography.
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Soon after I had finished and submitted the first entry in this series, a tale about Weird Al Yankovic's self-titled album, guess who was a guest on Ken Plume's A Bit of a Chat podcast? No, it wasn't former NHL journeyman Jamie Macoun. It was the man himself, Weird Al. Thanks to that conversation, I learned some things about Al's first album that were enlightening. Mostly what I came to find out was how rushed and low budget the album was. In essence, Weird Al Yankovic was Al and company's shot at a record deal, but first they had to

The Weird Al Chronicles: Weird Al Yankovic

The start of a series of articles that will delve into the albums of the one, the only Weird Al Yankovic.
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It all started simply enough. The head honcho of this website, Josh Hathaway, was a guest on my podcast. We were discussing music and what have you, when I made a fairly basic, self-evident statement, not unlike saying "The sky is blue." That statement, boiled down simply: Weird Al Yankovic is an institution. For decades, Weird Al's music has persevered, and he keeps on keeping on, generating new fans with his particular brand of parody and humor based music. His career is fairly unique, and he may just be the hardest working man in show business, now that James Brown

Hit Parade: Thrift Shop - by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Wanz)

So many bad jokes packed into one song but the joke's on us; this is the #1 song this week
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Heading into this project of listening to the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, I wasn't prepared for how long most of these songs end up atop the list. Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" was the number one song for all of January's charts, and two weeks of December as well. Sure, it was a genuinely good song, but how did it remain that popular for so long? Don't people get tired of it? Sure, I imagine new people stumble upon the song week in and week out, but not that many. Do radio stations just keep

Hit Parade: Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven

Try though I might, I couldn't find anything to not like about this song...
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Rihanna's hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 didn't last all that long, despite her best efforts to garner attention by flighting solo on a transatlantic mission or whatever it is she was up to. Now, a gentle man named Bruno Mars and his song "Locked Out of Heaven" reign supreme. I knew less about Bruno Mars than any other Hit Parade subject heading into this particular endeavor. That includes Carly Rae Jepsen, but that's only because I got to her so long after the fact because how could the song of the summer go unremarked upon?

Hit Parade: Rihanna - Diamonds

America, you're better than this!
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Oh America. You used to be so beautiful. Then, you made Maroon 5's "One More Night" the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 for NINE weeks straight. What man would want you now? In the (admittedly short) time I have been writing these Hit Parade articles, "One More Night" is far and away the worst song I've had to listen to, an irredeemable piece of garbage of which I have nothing positive to say. Now, on this Thanksgiving week (in America, who cares about Canada) I am giving thanks for a new song atop the charts. That would

Hit Parade: Psy - Gangnam Style

This latest phenomenon is mildly annoying...
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Maroon 5's atrocious song "One More Night" remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the fourth week in a row. However, there is a song that has been sitting at number two for a few weeks that I thought I could discuss. It is a song that, as far as I can tell, has captured the zeitgeist. It's a song I thought would eventually hit number one, and maybe it will. I read something about it being the most liked song on YouTube, or some such nonsense. The song in question is "Gangnam Style" by some gentleman named Psy.

Hit Parade: Maroon 5 - "One More Night"

This song has nothing but terrible singing, stupid lyrics, and awful music. Other than that, I'm cool with it.
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A new name finds itself atop the Billboard Top 100. Well, that is to say there is a new number one song, but it is by the band Maroon 5, which has been around for a while, and has probably had number one songs before. Their song "One More Night" is now the top hit in these United States of America. I'm mildly familiar with the band. I've heard pieces of "Moves Like Jagger" when sporting events go to commercial. I know Adam Levine is on that show The Voice, alongside Christina Aguilera, some gentle man named Blake Shelton, and

Hit Parade (Farewell to Summer Edition): Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"

The song of the summer...?
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This week, the dance between Taylor Swift and Flo Rida continued, as Swift once again took the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." So, I want to take the time to discuss the song of the summer. The song in question is "Call Me Maybe" by a plucky upstart named Carly Rae Jepsen. This is, evidently, at least a somewhat officially title, as I am fairly certain I saw somewhere that Billboard had deemed it the song of summer, given it's popularity over those months. This seems reasonable, as "Call Me

Hit Parade: Flo Rida - "Whistle"

Stop me if you've heard this one before...
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After two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, Taylor Swift has been deposed. The new song atop the chart is Flo Rida's "Whistle," which was the song that was number one the week before Swift. So Mr. F. Rida has taken back his usurped throne. It's all very exciting. Much as was the case with Ms. Swift, I have never heard a Flo Rida song before this. I have heard his name, and I have laughed, because it is ridiculous. I mean, in a sense it does work, because it implies he rides flows. Plus, Florida is both a state

Hit Parade: Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

It's #1, but is it any good?
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I long ago lost touch with the pop music zeitgeist. It wasn’t a matter of disdain but merely disinterest- a lot of the music, in the occasional bits and pieces I hear, does not really strike me as something I want to dig into. Like most adults, I found the music I liked, and mostly stuck to it, not really venturing out of my self-administered zone. The last time I paid attention to what was hip with the kids was when I was a kid myself, watching TRL and getting all riled up about them playing stuff like Britney
To understand MC Hammer is to understand parachute pants. They are showy, they are silly, they were briefly popular, but that was fleeting and now they’ve more or less disappeared, only to reappear on VH1 to be lampooned by people. Of course, parachute pants are just a oddly baggy and shiny garment, whereas Hammer is a human being, making his descent into the world of bankruptcy and television’s The Surreal Life (where he officiated Corey Feldman’s wedding) much more resonant. Briefly, thanks to “U Can’t Touch This,” and perhaps a bit of “Too Legit to Quit,” MC Hammer was on

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Huey Lewis and the News' "The Heart of Rock and Roll"

When did Oklahoma become the heart of rock and roll?
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There have been a litany of songs written about, well, how music is still going strong. I am a fan of that as a subject of a song, because, after all, I enjoy music and am well aware that every year excellent new music comes out and will continue to do so until the dystopian future that Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” predicted comes to fruition. As such, musicians writing odes to their craft tend to be songs I like, though of course, as with everything, execution is important. In the minds of many, the execution of Huey Lewis and the News’

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy"

We all know it's a joke but is anyone really laughing?
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“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred is a joke. I mean a literal joke, of course. The song is thoroughly facetious and ironic. It is purposefully silly and vapid. I presume most of the people, if not all of the people, who don’t like this song realize that. They know it is supposed to be a humorous, perhaps even satirical, song, albeit one that lacks more of an edge in favor of over the top declarations of sexiness. My God, the sexiness! Alas, there are probably some people who don’t get the joke, as the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for
Truman Capote was a writer who was kind of a dick. He wrote a novella entitled “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which inspired a movie starring Audrey Hepburn (who has an awesome name but is an overrated actress) and George Peppard (who was Hannibal on The A-Team). In the movie, Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, which is a ridiculous name for a character (even if it isn’t her real name), a woman who is, shall we say, a courtesan. It’s not that good of a movie, and it features Mickey Rooney in one of the most unbelievably racist roles in the history of

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Ricky Martin's "She Bangs"

Truth hurts: this song stinks...
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Ricky Martin is a gay male. This is not a big deal. Sure, it took him a long time in the public eye to admit it, but that’s not exactly egregious. It’s not like he was one of those people who went to the point of getting married and having kids to hide his sexuality. No, he just performed lousy songs about getting with ladies that, in retrospect, smack of the lady who doth protest too much. It’s not that Martin is gay that makes these songs bad. Stephen Merritt has made a habit of having people sing songs told

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

Arenas and stadiums are no longer safe havens...
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Not since “Macarena” has a song so thoroughly infested sporting events like Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Sure, there are other sporting event staples out there, but they’ve stood the test of time. Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Rednex “Cotton Eyed Joe.” OK, so that last one is awful, but at least it mildly amusing in its awfulness. Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” on the other hand is one of the most annoying songs I’ve ever heard. It doesn’t just lack quality. It isn’t just stupid. It genuinely irritates me to have

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Starship's "We Built This City"

We all know it's bad but is it really *that* bad?
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When I was in high school, there was a grassroots campaign to get Starship’s “We Built This City” to be our class song. I was all in favor of it, because even at the time I realized that a high school graduation isn’t something that deserves reverence, and because the other two choices were Green Day’s “Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)” and Eve 6’s “Here’s to the Night” and both of those songs are awful. Unfortunately Eve 6 won out, but since it was a vote held by kids I’m not going to get annoyed with the people that

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby"

Go buy "Under Pressure" instead...
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Vanilla Ice is one of the most ridiculous people in the history of time. I almost feel compelled to declare that a fact rather than an opinion. It is hard to separate the song “Ice Ice Baby” from all the goofiness surrounding it and the man behind it. Granted, some of that ridiculousness finds its way into the song itself, but there is so much more absurdity surrounding Mr. Robert Van Winkle. I mean, just the name Vanilla Ice is amusingly inane. Sure, he wanted to broadcast himself as a white rapper (and his reworking of Wild Cherry’s “Play that

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Spin Doctors' "Two Princes"

Too much of a bad idea...
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I have two positive memories related to Spin Doctors. One involves Hank Venture asking Dean Venture, “Can’t you hear the road calling little miss, little miss can’t be wrong?” The other involves Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia handing a police officer a cassette tape regarding corruption labeled “Spin Doctors Mixtape.” Also, at the time he’s acting like Serpico. Obviously, the issue here for the Spin Doctors is that neither of these things involves their music. Is there a good reason for that? Let’s let their much maligned but once popular “Two Princes” speak for the band. The premise

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Los Del Rio's "Macarena"

You’re almost more disappointed in people for liking it than in the song itself.
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“Macarena” is thoroughly bizarre. Well, more to the point the Macarena, the dance that goes along with the song by Los Del Rio, is bizarre, and I suppose even more to the point the fact that it became such a prevalent fad is what really, truly baffles me. Why this song? Why this dance? And, for that matter, why anything? I mean, for starters, this song is in Spanish for large portions of it, including its title and the chorus. Granted, America is, to coin a phrase, a cultural melting pot (feel free to use that) but it is also

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Aqua - "Barbie Girl"

Are they serious?
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Before embarking on this quest, I had never really, truly listened to the lyrics to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” Now that I have, I would like to say for starters: Holy crap. I managed to read this song in two (very, very) different ways. In one way, this song is a scathing satire, and for that at least interesting. In the other way, it is a creepy, repulsive, and misogynistic song. Allow me to explore both options. First, and more palatably, the notion that the song is satirical. The “Barbie Girl” in question is a reference to the well known doll

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart"

Talk about a 1-hit blunder...
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 Billy Ray Cyrus could have been a pop culture footnote, and there would have been no shame in that. Were he just “That guy who sang Achy Breaky Heart” people might snicker at remembering that song, or perhaps laughed at the image of his ridiculous mullet. Maybe they would have done both. Still, that’s not exactly a tarnished legacy as a musician or a human being. He could have just folded into the morass of musicians who flickered in our collective conscious and was gone and, honestly, he would have been more successful than most musicians could ever hope to

Songs We Wish We Could Forget: Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy wit' It"

A hit that really missed...
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Will Smith is a huge movie star, one of the biggest of his era. He owes it mostly to his charisma and the fact he’s managed to put himself in projects with big marketing machines behind them, but there is no doubt that he is in and of himself a draw. Plus, it’s not like he’s a bad actor or anything. He’s solid in drama, and he does lighter fare very well, where he can play off that aforementioned charisma and crack wise while punching aliens in the face. Of course, before he was Will Smith the movie star he

Jukebox Junkyard: 4 Non Blondes - "What's Up?"

Did the video kill the song or did Linda Perry?
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I’m just going to get this out of the way before I get to the song: 4 Non Blondes is a lousy name for a band even if it delivers what it promises (though it also appears that at the time all four members of the band had died hair). Of course, in the end what is most important is that a band sounds good, but if you have a ridiculous or otherwise poor quality band name, it can easily act as a blockade to people who might like your music. I believe in a simple approach to naming a

The Jukebox Junkyard: Europe's "The Final Countdown"

Is the joke on us?
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To fans of sports and the late, bereaved television show Arrested Development, Europe’s “The Final Countdown” is a song they are quite familiar with. You would probably be hard pressed to find somebody who couldn’t recognize its synthesizer hook and, despite its less than celebrated state in the modern era, aside from ironic appreciation, it was an exceedingly popular song when it was released, reaching number one in many a country and number eight in the United States. Now? It’s the song that plays when G.O.B. Bluth goes about his over the top machinations in his magic act, and the