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A rude awakening

August 4, 2010

I live in California. Ergo, I live in traffic. This is a fact — for all Californians.

We all cope with our living situation differently. Some of us listen to the radio, others listen to Mix CDs/regular CDs/books on tape. Some of us zone out and get into accidents, and some of us just take the goddamned bus.

I choose to listen to music. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget my CDs at home, and I am forced to listen to the radio. On days like these, by the time I get to the office, I understand perfectly how people like VanGogh could willingly slice off their own ears. It makes sense. Especially if your other option is listening to the latest “pop sensation” by Drake … or any of those other tools.

When I am without a CD of any kind, I usually jump around several radio stations, often to no avail. Every time I click a button, I am accosted by some mashed-up, auto-tuned, passionless piece of shit, and I quickly discover I’d rather sit in silence and listen to the honking and profanities being shouted across the pollution stained freeway than listen to anything by Jason DeRulo.

And when I say Jason DeRulo, I mean all modern music. And I think it’s okay to do that because they all sound the same: shitty.

I truly discovered just how bad the music of today was a couple weeks ago as I was driving to work. I had settled on one radio station because it was playing a semi-acceptable Kelly Clarkson song (Lord help us), and as the song was playing, I drifted off into thought (because, of course, the song was so boring it couldn’t hold my attention, yet the song wasn’t bad enough for me to change the station). I didn’t know how much time had passed (as I was in a self-induced coma), but suddenly, something jerked me back into the present — it was an atrocious song.

The lyrics were so fiercely horrendous that they were able to pierce through my daydream so forecfully that my immediate knee-jerk reaction was to bludgeon the radio with my fist, and, in so doing, turn it off altogether.

I heard the lyrics: “Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow, honey got some boobies like ow, ow, ow.”

I didn’t (and still don’t) know what song that was, and I don’t know who sings it. All I know is that after I heard it, I became furious, frustrated and desperate.

All of these thoughts swirled around my mind at once:
1. At my age, my parents were listening to the Beatles. THE BEATLES.
2. The person that wrote those lyrics is making money.
3. This song is on the radio, which means that other people probably listen to it — and like it.
4. There is no way that I — from my car — can strangle the man who wrote this song.

And there were others. But they are too profane for this blog (which reeeeally is saying something).

And this experience that I have just related to you all has happened numerous times since. It’s happened so many times that I am now legitimately afraid to turn on the radio because I don’t want it to happen anymore. At this point, 0I know now that any time I turn on the radio, it will just end with me feeling frustrated, angry and desperate.

Today’s music has got me feeling so low. And why? Why must it suck so badly? All the rock bands sound the same. Pop, R&B, rap and hip-hop can’t even be considered music anymore. There was a time when R&B meant the Temptations! They sang songs like My Girl, and Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. Today, in the R&B category, we have J. Holiday, whose biggest hit is his “love” ballad called, Bed. Here is a lyric:  “Wanna put my fingers through your hair, wrap me up in your legs, and love you till your eyes roll back.”

What the fuck? Is he fucking her into a coma? Is this romantic? Am I missing something?

Yes. I am missing something. I miss the way music used to be.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 2:33 pm

    Testify, Emilia! Testify!

  2. August 4, 2010 3:43 pm

    That atrocious song you wrote the words to was “OMG” by Usher. Sadder than the fact that Usher used to churn out amazing, heartfelt pop songs like “Burn” is the fact that he probably felt he had to spew shit like “OMG” in order to keep up with the slut-pop bonanza that is the radio of today, raped by “artists” like Ke$ha and 3Oh!3.

    I totally agree with every word of this… But taking an even less decades-in-the-past approach, look at the pop from only ten years ago (our adolescent prime). No, it wasn’t rock/pop music that changed generations like that from the Beatles, but it was far better pop than we have today. Then began my obsessions with Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne, and N*SYNC and Destiny’s Child ruled the airwaves. Are they as famous and noteworthy, or do they have the same legacy as the Beatles? Absolutely not. But they undoubtedly had more substance and talent than the shit heads we hear blasting everyday from the car radio.

    If only Damn Straight could get some airplay, popular music as we know it would be revolutionized!

    Also, check out “25 to Life” off the new Eminem record “Recovery.” Similar sentiments as this blog, and it’s also friggin’ fantastic.

  3. taylor permalink
    August 4, 2010 4:07 pm

    …well now I feel weird knowing what that song is…

  4. Nick permalink
    August 4, 2010 4:09 pm

    Yeah, I had to switch to mostly listening to talk radio in the car a while back (also has to do with being all music’ed out by the end of the day). AM 1150 is good until about 10 pm on weekdays, but like all talk radio there are way too many commercials…

  5. August 4, 2010 6:21 pm

    Well, thank goodness the big labels are going down in the next ten years and music making for profit and profit alone will finally be a thing of the past (hopefully). In the meantime, there’s plenty of good internet radio out there (although that doesn’t really help your car problem).

    AND (shameless plug) I hear Ms. Maura is releasing a fan-friggin-tastic EP in October – perfect for car listening!!

    • emiliab9291 permalink*
      August 4, 2010 6:55 pm


  6. Gus hastalis permalink
    August 5, 2010 1:56 am

    Agree. Sadly agree with every syllable of this post and can only hope that the domination of the airwaves with this creatively bankrupt stuff will inspire others to respond musically and banish them from the air.

    I was wondering whether this music signals something much darker in our society. The dominant music usually tells us something about the wellness of our pop culture. I wonder,for example, what the musical rage was near the fall of the roman empire.

    Great post.

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