Sunday, February 14, 2016

There's something I've been putting off doing for about a month now.

And here it is.

A few weeks ago I got my issue of Rolling Stone in the mail, and this was on the cover:


Apparently "The World's Hottest Band" is a group of four naked white boys called 5 Seconds of Summer. Now, I think I've heard a snippet of this band before, and if memory serves, they fucking suck.

But, I told myself that I should just give them a fair shake. And in doing so, I endeavoured to do this: I would go to YouTube, type in the band's name, and listen to the song that has the most views, in its entirety, and then comment on it.

* * * * *

The song that filled this bill, with over 168 million views as of right now, is called "She Looks So Perfect." Here's the song in question:



*deep breath*

*slow, pained exhale*

0:09 -- Right off the bat, guaranteed gold: the wordless concert-ready sing-along. "Hey-eyyyy-ey-eyyyy!" Goddamn, what is with bands and this shit these days? I blame you, Mumford and Sons. Only, you use banjos. But, same deal.

0:28 -- Oh, isn't that cute, the singer has a lip ring. And you sound like you've been autotune'd out the wazoo. But, it also sounds like you're auditioning for American Idol.

0:42 -- The quiet pre-chorus. Oooooh, anticipation! The chorus is just gonna, like, explode, and stuff!

0:45 -- ...which it does.

0:53 -- Wait, did I just hear the word "underwear?" Lemme back this up.

0:50 -- "You look so perfect standing there, in my American Apparel underwear." Hold on. Did I get that right? I unfortunately need to hear this a third time.

0:50 (again) -- Oh jeezus, I did get that right. This is just so cheap. Did they get money (or, at the very least, free gitsch) from AA for this blatant product placement? And, obviously, he's describing her wearing his undies, and we all know what THAT means. FORNICATION HAS OCCURRED.

1:15 -- Is this what passes for a guitar solo? One, you can barely hear it, it's drowned in more "hey-eyyy-ey-eyyy"s; two, I suck at guitar and I could play this; three, he's really sellin' it on the video, isn't he? Oh, he drops to his knees and somehow plays a solo less interesting than that found in "The Chemicals Between Us" by Bush.

This is painful. Oh lordy, this is painful. But, I must soldier-on.

1:25 -- You sons of bitches. That's kids sitting there, bored, in a PHYSICS CLASS. Joke's on you, assholes! There are no girls in physics. Your video is factually inaccurate.

1:40 -- This whole verse is just very confusing in terms of the imagery in the video. (Musically, it's just as boring as the rest of the song. Why does the drummer play 16th notes on the floor tom the whole time during the verses, instead of using the hats like a normal person would? What mood is he trying to create here?) There are two fat, lonely people in a diner, one booth from each other. Clearly they're meant for each other, because surprise, they're the only fat people in the whole video! And, jeezie creezie, girl in physics class, put your fucking shirt back on.

1:47 -- And now the fat guy ripped off his pants, GOB Bluth-style, and is dancing. What the hell is going on here?

1:51 -- The fat woman is down to her bra and panties. Oh, look, we're inclusive of all body types... for 2.2 seconds in total, and then, now, back to the hot people you want to see strip off their clothes for some reason.

1:57 -- please be over 18, please be over 18, please be over 18, girl who ripped off skirt... I mean it's "Physics 101" on the board, that means a university class, right? pleasepleaseplease.

2:13 -- So the point of this video, I think, is that this song is so good, everyone will take off their clothes and dance around. Well, friend, no song is that good. (Except one.)

2:22 -- The quiet interlude. Damn, I thought this went out with '90s alt-rock. Then again, I don't listen to much new stuff, especially mainstream music like this pop-punk BS. Hey, I mistakenly typed "poop" instead of "pop" just there before backspacing. Freud, have at it.

2:38 -- THIS IS THE PART OF THE CONCERT WHERE YOU CLAP ALONG, TEENYBOPPERS (before your mom comes back to pick you up)

3:01 -- Suburban mom with stripper moves. Noice.

3:16 -- Midget!

3:20 -- Oooooh, boys, are you gonna strip down now? *fingers crossed*

3:25 -- NOOOOOOOO!!!!

* * * * *

The verdict:

This song was exactly what I expected it to be. It's perfectly engineered to sound catchy to a 12-year-old, who will buy the album, the poster, the t-shirt, and the concert ticket. Plus, it includes a lot of the modern tropes: wordless sing-along part, mastered to be as uniformly loud as possible, and nary a shred of musical talent to be found. Congratulations, 5SOS: you lived down to my every expectation.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I picked up a King Crimson album recently and haven't sat down to listen to it yet.

Sincerely,
An old coot.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My mom says I'm a catch.

...and I'm not just quoting Nada Surf's biggest hit here.


Actually, my mom has never said that. We don't talk about my romantic life, or lack thereof. Frankly, I don't know if she thinks I'm bangin' everyone here, or because I never talk about anything, bangin' nobody here. Also, thinking about my mom thinking about this makes me uncomfortable, as does typing all this.

My friend Alison, who I think is pretty cool, has actually described me as a "catch." Her opinion holds a lot of weight with me. So, I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

I've had female friends and more-than-friends ask me, "How the hell are you still single?" (Not humble-bragging here, I swear.) I realize it's meant as a compliment, but honestly, it makes me feel even shittier about my romance skills.

Why am I still single?

What's wrong with me?

Am I going to die alone?

If I'm such a fucking great score, why am I doing such a shitty job advertising that?

Shouldn't that advertise itself anyway?

I've been relatively successful at most of the things I've tried to accomplish in my life: school, job, living arrangements, travelling experiences, attempts at masonry. But, these are solo pursuits -- and my Great White Whale remains romance.

Valentine's Day is coming up, too.