90 Songs, 30 Days: Day 13 – A Song that is a Guilty Pleasure

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have complimentary tastes in music, we are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian, Matt and Lis proudly give you their 90 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 13 – A Song that is a Guilty Pleasure

Brian: I’ve mentioned this before, but Chuck Klosterman has aptly pointed out that the modern use of ‘guilty pleasure’ is just an easy way of copping out of something you enjoy but don’t want to own up to.

…People who use this term are usually talking about why they like Joan of Arcadia, or the music of Nelly, or Patrick Swayze’s Road House. This troubles me for two reasons: Labeling things like Patrick Swayze movies a guilty pleasure implies that a) people should feel bad for liking things they sincerely enjoy, and b) if these same people were not somehow coerced into watching Road House every time it’s on TBS, they’d probably be reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Both of these assumptions are wrong.

So.  What is TRULY a guilty pleasure akin to Klosterman’s examples like snorting coke in a public restroom and sex with your enemies?  For the sake of this post, let’s call guilty pleasures “Something you enjoy although you know it’s bad for you.”

Pop music, even if you loathe it, does not constitute self-destructive behavior.  On the other hand, NOT listening (or following) pop culture further isolates you from others.  Modern media is increasingly scattered and what little commonality we have left with strangers is based on lowest-common-denominator entertainment and internet memes.  Being actively against pop culture music simply isolates people into smaller and smaller sub-groups.  We’re at the point now where you need to coerce your friends to listen to/read/watch the things you enjoy just so you have something to talk about.  (Not that the joy of sharing your passions is a bad thing, just saying).

So.  Obscurity is self destructive. Ergo, flash-in-the-pan side projects are pleasurable, fleeting, and ultimately bad for your social health.  So.  Here’s a song from Ugly Cassanova, a footnote of a band comprised by members of Modest Mouse, Holopaw, Califone, The Black Heart Procession, and Red Red Meat.  Don’t like them too much.

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Lis:  When looking at my frequently played list, many people (Matt and Brian included) would probably consider most of them guilty pleasures. This was a difficult post to come up with something – especially following Brian’s judicious report. So, I’m not thinking about it too much, and going with a song…more specifically an entire band…that when I say I like them, I am usually met with ‘Oh, really?!’ Pause. ‘Oh, you’re being serious.’

Kings of Leon – Closer

Blah. Blah. Prima donna douche. Blah. Blah. Whatever.

I have an affinity for angsty southern boys with strange idiosyncrasies (e.g. all their album titles have five syllables). Add in that I’ve been spending near equal times in Nashville versus Chicago as of late, and here we find ourselves. Go ahead and judge me.

I picked Closer b/c even with the overt bass line, I find myself completely captivated by the drums. Nothing quite like some spastic car-dancing and steering wheel drumming to help with my morning commute.

(Editor’s Note: Matthew is not being super douchey and playing with his teeth – he’s screaming into the pickup.)

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Matt: Straight off the bat, I want to point out that we haven’t posted in awhile due to my lagging. I apologize. Don’t blame Lis or Brian. It’s all my fault. Kbye.

Psych! I’m still here, y’all! All joking aside, it’s time to get serious. Serious about guilty pleasures. To me, a guilty pleasure is more than something you like but want to hide from others. My guilty pleasure is something I love, but it also contains elements of things I constantly complain about. Basically, any of my friends could take my guilty pleasure and throw it back in my face when I complain about bands relying on “pop sensibilities” to sell records. They could point out how I’m being hypocritical when I say easy music is for people too lazy to put any effort into the music they listen to. Because my guilty pleasure is easy music. It’s jangly. It’s banal and simple and made for head bobbing in a Saturn while on your way to a mall. But fuck it, because I love The Jealous Sound, and I will defend them to the death. Hearts, Jealous Sound (and Knapsack).

60 Songs, 30 Days: Day 12 – A Song From a Band You Hate

Seeing as the writers of aDeadKid have some complimentary tastes in music, we are taking a shot at the popular Tumblr survey “30 Songs in 30 Days” list.  So get ready for a shitload of name-dropping and youtube clips as Brian, Matt and Lis proudly give you their 60 90 Songs in 30 Days…

Day 12 – A Song From a Band You Hate

Brian: You can learn just as much (if not more) about someone by asking what they hate rather than asking what they like.  People are very particular on what they admit to liking, while most categorize what they hate in wide, indifferent swaths.

Why do I hate the band I hate?  It’s because they embody something in music that I feel is intolerable — bad music disguised as “important” music.

What you have in the band I hate is a group of film school grads turned recreational bohemian dips, dropping LSD and putting to music (obnoxious music) the clichés you overhear from a table of drunk philosophy/lit undergrads speaking loudly on purpose

This group is fronted by a vapid (though certainly glamorous) instrument-less “singer” whose fans failed to notice his embarrassingly trite lyrics (not to mention an aggressively obnoxious organ) while he affectedly pranced around stage and/or rolled on the floor in leather pants.

Inspired by both Brechtian pomp and their altered perceptions via mediation (but mainly drugs), they masqueraded what could be some of the worst pop songs ever written as some sort of shamanistic vision quest.  Meanwhile crowds piled in to see how fucked up a lead singer can truly get before he up and dies… and then he died.

Close your eyes and listen to what amounts to a lounge singer’s fever dream.

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Lis: There are a handful of bands that I dislike. Maybe it’s because I just don’t ‘get it’, other times it’s because I’m not the intended target demographic, but no band instigates more involuntary eye-rolling and my gag reflex than The Black Eyed Peas. There are a lot of reasons to hate The Peas. To name a couple, there’s the band members’ insistence to punctuate their names or Fergie’s bladder control problems. However, the one that sums it up for me is the unabashed declaration that the following song took 5 minutes to write and the self-admission that ‘it wasn’t like my best lyrically’.

My Humps

Yeah, this song won a Grammy.

[Editor’s Note: I was tempted to link to Jeff Tweedy reciting My Humps for a book launch party at The Hideout, but I don’t want to deny anyone of the full effect of the original experience.]

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Matt: Since I basically don’t like anything, it is easy for me to come up with a ton of bands I hate. However, I only get one shot at this, so I want to make sure it’s the band that I absolutely loathe more than any other. I hate the culture surrounding this band. I hate the singer’s voice. I hate festivals and Alpine Valley and hemp necklace trades and bros eating grilled cheese sandwiches. Faux-bro-hippy-jam-jazz-? Fuck all that. You have too many useless members! I don’t think I have to say much more before I present…