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Today while cleaning out my room for a good ole’ fashioned garage sale (we sold one thing by the way, a Limp Bizkit CD), I found some old relics from my preteen-to-early teen years. You know things that are important to a growing boy’s voyage into manhood like Penthouse issues, family members autopsy reports and Jim Thome Phillies jerseys.
I knew that some of this shit needed to be sold ASAP but I had a bit of a nostalgia trip. This of course got me to thinking about what I loved and hated about being a 7th-to-9th grader. Like a fine wine, some memories end up getting better while like a unrefridgerated Four Loko; some get way worse.
I thought about my music tastes back then and I decided that I have to come clean on some things. I’m very open-minded when it comes to music. I’m down with Vampire Weekend, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, New Order, the Strokes, David Bowie, Television and ‘Ye. I’m part-wannabe hipster, part-douche, part-WASP. So really just full douche. At times though, I do tend to have a “holier than ‘thou” attitude regarding other people’s music tastes. If someone tries to combat me, I make sure they don’t get a word in edgewise and just start yelling so they stop. I never lose arguments.
But I gotta get some things off of my chest. The songs that are about to be listed aged worse than (you know what too easy saying Renee Zellweger) hmm…., Whose Line Is It Anyway episodes.
I’m not going to link these songs to YouTube clips because fuck that. I’m just going to admit this flat out.
10. Good Charlotte – The Anthem
I was a big Good Charlotte fan in 6th grade. Huge actually. I think when you went on my MySpace page, The Young and the Hopeless immediately blasted while your screen froze waiting for the page to load. I did a project on them even.
Good Charlotte was perfect for me. They wore mascara and nothing but black clothing, however they sang pop songs so I didn’t have to worry about dressing that way to fit in. Good Charlotte was punk for kids whose mothers bought them polos and cargo pants that zipped off into shorts. Popular enough to not be a weird kid for liking them (for some reason there’s always a 12-year old who loves the Misfits) but “edgy” enough to say “I don’t listen to solo pop stars”.
However, just as I got into them; I got bored. I was getting closer to high school age, and wasn’t as angst-y (or wannabe angsty) anymore. I just had no friends which I was cool with (laughs while unfriending people who won’t notice). Anyway, this song just sounds so cheesy when you consider the turn Good Charlotte took. “I don’t wanna be youuu”, :proceeds to date Hilary Duff underage then Nicole Ritchie:. I cringe listening to this, I only keep it on my iTunes as a reminder that life can be worse.
9. Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
For some reason I loved this song. I never watched American Idol, but I heard a cover by David Cook and loved this song so much I DOWNLOADED THAT too. I do enjoy cheesy 80s songs, but this one just sounds so….bad.
The reason why this is on the list too is because frankly, I still listen to this on the rare occasion. If you love Hot Fuss by the Killers, as I do, then you almost have to appreciate this. But anyone who claims to say that this is a great song (“better than the shit the radio plays today”) would’ve HATED this song when it came out and called it “typical mainstream shit”. I hate people like that.
8. Aerosmith – Cryin’
I’ve grown to really hate Aerosmith. Aerosmith seems like a bad parody of “Dad Rock” and Steven Tyler dresses like a guy who Googled “How To Be A Rock Star” and mixed it with “How To Look Like A Transylvanian Sex Offender”. He’s the junior varsity crossbreed of Mick Jagger and gym teachers who play Rock Band.
Anyway, this song was big on my playlist and one point and the Limewire version I downloaded was about as quiet as a drone attack (author’s note: I don’t know if they are quiet or loud so let’s just say that my version is fucking loud). It’s a cheesy rock ballad with a big guitar solo that is supposed to make this song sound good. I can picture a Dad just going to his too-old to be driving around together to the supermarket son “this part just SHREDS”.
7. blink-182 – Adam’s Song
I LOVED blink-182 until the last year or so when I just felt like I outgrew them. Don’t get me wrong, Dammit and What’s My Age Again are some of my favorite songs and I still love Feelin’ This. I’m not going to pretend I never listen to them because they are still important to me.
One song that got old quick though is Adam’s Song. It’s subject matter is sad, yes I can’t deny that, but there are some horrific lines in this. “Remember the time that I spilled the cup of apple juice in the hall” which is just fucking stupid until the whole “please tell Mom this is not her fault” makes you feel horrible for hating it.
Adam’s Song had to be the result of the record label going, “okay guys getting a little too old for diarrhea and streaking; be a little bit deeper” and Mark Hoppus thinking its either talk about getting drunk or teenage suicide. I love Mark Hoppus, who might appear later on this list, but this is something we could’ve done without.
6. Busted – What I Go To School For
For reasons I’ll never figure out, I got into the old Jonas Brothers/blink-182 copycat boyband Busted from Britain. I can’t explain how, in 2009 of all years, I stumbled upon them but I listened to that shit daily. Some songs are legitimate catchy earworms, everything else is “you are 17 and should not be listening to music associated with 10-year old girls”.
I guess I just thought since I was the only one who listened to them or heard of them, I was cooler. I can’t tell you why I did the things I do.
5. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
This was my favorite Christmas song growing up. Now each year, I hate it more and more. I love synths, I am actually OK with Christmas music as since I’m an atheist; that’s what the holiday means to me. I’m aware how little sense that made. I just wanted to tell you that I NEVER PUT CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS.
Anyway, I love the Beatles but it was either this song or Imagine and I’ve already discussed how much I hate Imagine. Christmas songs, much like soundtrack songs and novelty ones; should never be included but I find this to be a disservice to Sir Paul. It’s chorus is mind-blowingly annoying and its devoid of any charm. I don’t care if you make a Christmas song, I think everyone should (even Jewish artists) but why does the backing synths sound like they were copy and pasted at the last minute?
4. The Police – Every Breath You Take
For some reason people are still whipping out the whole “YOU KNOW ITS ABOUT A STALKER” fun fact like no one in the fucking world doesn’t know that. In twenty years, someone will hear Pumped Up Kicks and go “ya know, its about a school shooting listen to the lyrics”. Some people should self-immolate.
I’m not sure how I feel about The Police. I think they are cool in a way, even if Sting tries to turn every song into an extended hiccup, but I loved this song, now I hate it. I’m ashamed that this was legally downloaded and used in school projects. Its just not good. I’m surprised people thought this was a love song because these lyrics aren’t exactly metaphorical. It’s pretty cut and dry what Sting is singing about.
It also gave us Puffy rapping over it.
3. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
Obvious choice. Again though, its not the fact that everyone knows this song that kills me its how much I loved it. Songs like this are solely made for television finales and the last song at the bar before I go home alone. Everyone sings it, and then you don’t hear it again.
But I played the shit out of this song. No excuses.
2. Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
Holy shit, I played this song way too much on my iTunes. This is in the same boat as Don’t Stop Believin’ and this is almost worse. This song sucks. It is about a three-year old Caroline Kennedy. It’s made by Neil Diamond. Boston LOVES this song.
That’s a lethal combination. Boston should not like anything that I like except Rob Gronkowski and the Kennedy family. I even hate Mark Wahlberg, and I wasn’t even sure he was from Boston; it just sounded like someone with a Boston accent trying to pronounce Mac Walker. I know now this. Neil Diamond is a shitty version of everyone from Elvis to Tom Petty to Billie Joel to anyone. He’s horrible. You should not like him. If you are over 50, get back into the Grateful Dead or Jimmy Buffet. Neil Diamond is totally stuck in the character of Neil Diamond by the way. I bet he BELIEVES he’s Neil Diamond.
But I played this song, yelled BAH BAH BAH by myself in my room and clicked repeat. Joke is on me.
1. Kanye West – Gold Digger
I respect that Kanye is proud of his early work. But every time I hear it, I just think of popped collars and the sagging cargo pants fad. I think of skateboarding and the word “mad” as a synonym for “very”.
Gold Digger was the perfect “first real rap song I bought” for a guy like me. But since I’m a dumbass, I genuinely thought that the lyric was “broke a broke”. When I first found out that it wasn’t, I quickly took my headphones off and looked around on the track team bus to make sure no one heard that word. I was convinced I was breaking some suburban rule.
Kanye West has ventured into such cool shit the past six years, that anyone who says “I only listen to his old stuff” are people who think its funny to share the whole “Kim Kardashian has been married to more people than people who died of Ebola” meme. Then pretend they don’t know who the Kardashians are. If you can actually listen to College Dropout or Late Registration in entirety; then you need to buy Yeezus and lock yourself into a room for 48 hours.
Also, artists trying to parody current pop culture are always about three months too late.