Thursday Thunderdome: Guilty Pleasures

You all know how this works; two things enter, one thing leaves.
We'll start off with something easy: Godawful music.
I think everybody enjoys music -- but the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of people out there who only really enjoy it on a surface level. That is, they base their preferences off things like -- How do the lyrics make me feel? Does this song has a good beat or not? Can I go to jail for acting like a groupie with the three whiteboys with afros singing the Disney song even though I'm 30 years older than they are?

Thinking that tends to drive the rest of us batty trying to figure out how some of these ultra-popular songs actually end up that way.

Add to that sprinklings of other factors like "being a musician" or "wanting good music to actually feel authentic and special" and it's easy sometimes to think that you're the only one on the planet who has the clarity of vision to clearly see that Jimmy Buffet is indeed the devil, and that anyone who listens to his music and enjoys it is clearly being influenced by agents of evil.

See, there comes a point in life where those of us who choose to elevate our love of music into an unhealthy obsession passion separate ourselves from those who simply let their emotional responses tell them what they like and what they don't.
In other words, you aren't born a music snob -- You have to grow into it.
Which means at some point or another you were just another little kid cabbage patching to every song with a beat that came out of the stereo in your mom's living room.

Honestly, we've all liked bad music at some point in our lives. What's more -- living in this modern world means that not only you, but most of the people you've ever known and loved have grown up enduring endless albums, movie soundtracks, ladies nights, and school dances featuring music from what might just be the worst couple of decades of bad music that history has ever known:
The Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties.
Disco. Rap Metal. Pop Country. Hair Bands. Screamo. White Rappers. Tori Amos. The list goes on and on. Even some of the music that you yourself love ends up being the type that other music snobs hate. It's a vicious circle of over-animated singing, self-indulgent guitar solos, lame political commentary, and fake teen angst that we all must navigate on our way to the musical promise lands we seek.

But the sad thing is, no matter how "evolved" your musical tastes become -- you'll always be a victim of your times.

In other words, you can be the world's foremost expert and connoisseur of 18th Century Opera and it still won't do you a lick of good at Karaoke night, where every asshole in the place is just dying to be the one to jump up on stage and belt out Billy Joel's "Piano Man" or anything Neil Diamond ever wrote. Songs you can't stand, but still somehow know the chord changes and lyrical hooks to.
Bad Music exists.
Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. You can feel it's force all around you; here, between you, me, the tree, and the rock -- and sometimes, regardless of how much you want to resist -- it sticks to you. We call these songs guilty pleasures. The songs you like that you really wish you didn't. The ones you'll sing in the car, but only when you're driving alone.

But as we all know -- sometimes a popular song is a force too strong to resist. Sometimes you're put in situations where you have no choice but to get used to a crappy song. A long elevator ride. A job with piped-in muzak. A sexy blonde who really likes a particular band, and even though you might hate them -- going to that concert might just be the ticket that gets you somewhere else.
Horniness leads to dancing. Dancing leads to the impression that you
kinda like this song too. That impression leads to a phone number.
A phone number leads you to front row seats at the friggin' Dave Matthews Band!?
So the question before you is this: Which of the two songs listed below would make you more likely to pretend you didn't know me? Which awful song from my past that I used to kinda like (and probably still have on a CD or mixtape somewhere in my collection) is so utterly horrible to your ears that you'd rather claim temporary friendship amnesia than be associated with the dork who actually knows all the words to these songs??

Jane Child: Don't Want to Fall In Love

Dokken: Dream Warriors

Here are the rules: First, you can only pick one song. If you hate them both, you have to pick the one that you hate the most. If you kinda actually like one of them, feel free to say so -- but understand that you'll be standing up on that wall with me when the axe comes down.
But don't worry -- we won't be going alone.
Because the final and by far most important rule of the game is this: In order for your vote to be counted, you must also name one of your own awful horrible songs first. That is, when you comment on what a complete loser I am for liking "____________" you have to give us the name one of your guilty pleasure songs too.

It's gonna be like group therapy, Yakusa style. There's gonna be a lot of shouting, sake drinking, and then we'll all slice the shame of liking these bad songs away like pinkie fingers lopped off in dishonor.
Bring the pain, bitches.
[Listening to:  Social Distortion"Bad Luck" ]


Jaeme said…
Holy shit I hate that first song. And I'm not even a music snob. I theoretically know what bad music is, but I listen to it and love it all anyway. So now it's time for my confession, though nothing should surprise you:

Paul McCartney- Scissor Sisters
Afternoon Delight- Starland Vocal Band

And also...I am the asshole who always wants to sing Neil Diamond for the crowd. Especially after a couple of drinks.
unMuse said…
okay so Dokken gets my vote. I can't believe that's something people admit.. then again. I have 4 words for you..

unMuse said…
oh and "Get me out of Jail".. Petey Pablo. (but I'm less embarrassed about that one.)
Alix Lakehurst said…
Jane Child had all that cool hair but I'm sure wherever she went she got tangled in something. There is no way she could man those controls with all that crap--she'd erase the fucking tapes.

I had to do my 10th grade cheer-leading dance to that song. It was a horrible experience. I was then crying about Princess Di Wearing a New Dress.

But Hex there's no contest! It goes to Dokken cause I loved hair, spandex and metal. According to the video so did all the cool hot chicks! And I still walk that way down the street and flip my hair right before I get into a big rig.

Me-Oh shit, pick a Madonna song. But I'll do two, an I'm sure I'll come up with a million more because I was a soft rock lover (still am)....Two of Hearts (by Stacy Q) and Come Sail Away by Styx.
I don't know why but when the guitars start playing I go into a frenzy and think, I'm in heaven.
Alix Lakehurst said…
I read that wrong. I would run screaming if I saw Jane Child in your collection.

My only one bad song is Two of Hearts by Stacy Q.

Everyone loves Styx--You better stifle Ediths! And oh aren't there so many Ediths. You lucky magnetized dog you.
Werdna said…
I went through the worst phases of music snobbery. I recently broke off those shackles thanks mostly to Girl Talk. Because while I hate Biggee Smalls and Elton John, when Gregg Gillis puts them together I'm crazy happy. And I can't be snobby about I've shot right past Indy Rock Pete ( ) and right on into some kind of music neutrality.

I actually like both of those songs (Jane Child and Dokken). So I'm with you when the axe comes. I'm not married to them, they aren't currently on my iPod, but I'd listen to them.

I will do terrible things to songs at karaoke (Kah-rah-oh-kay), especially box style karaoke. And I will get in front on 10,000 nerds and sing Born to Be Wild with the Hard Rock Karaoke Band. Just so you know who you are dealing with here...

I'm trying to think of the most shameful stuff in my collection... and I really couldn't come up with much. I'm sure some of it is embarassing to someone...
Werdna said…
Oh and I like Christina Aguilera's music. Almost all of her songs...

including Genie in a Bottle

there I said it.
Werdna said…
Finally: Bad Luck Social Distortion? Love it. That might be the best song to come on the jukebox in any pool hall anywhere.
Jonathan Dennis said…
Can't stand Dokken at all.

Guiltiest Pleasure? Give me a moment to check the Ipod. Probably the Best of Asia. But I love that guitar solo at the end of Heat of the Moment.
whatigotsofar said…
I'm reading this blog from a computer with no speakers. And I don't recognize the first song by it's artist or title. (That's a good thing, right?) And as for Dokken, well that's just wrong. And this is coming from a guy who has every Tesla album and still listens to them. Tesla. Let that sink in a bit. Tesla.
I guess I have to make my vote later, when I'm on a different computer. But until then, think about this: the seventies rocked. I don't care how bad disco was and still is for you. The wonderful music from that decade supercedes all the wrongs of disco and Captain & Tenille. Because I've got two words that I can say to make you change your mind about the whole decade. Two words, to make you eat your words.

Frank Zappa.

Actually, I'd say Something/Anything? instead, but I think you're more of a Zappa guy than a Rundgren guy. Either way, I can't sit idly by and let you crap on the decade that gave me the best music I've ever heard.
Maria said…
Dream Warrior. Because I just don't like Dokken. At. All.
Then again, a secret very guilty pleasure of mine is that I have a Falco album (or possibly two) that I can sing along with. But not often.
Heff said…
I actually saw that Dokken video a few weeks ago on some metal video show when I was up WAY past my bedtime, so "Dream Warriors" would classify as a song I hate to admit I like. The song is ok to me but the video and band image was ridiculous. That Jane Child song is HORRIBLE. Excellent choice.
Hex said…
Jaeme -- Wow. Afternoon Delight. I'm standing here next to Dokken letting people throw pies at my face and you throw down with the Starland Vocal Band?

That's hardcore.

Unmuse -- I feel like I'm gonna have to say this a lot, but I was a kid crazy about playing guitar when Dokken hit it big, and as awful as they are -- George Lynch rips.

But much like "Don't Stop Believin" you get that one reaaaallly terrible song, and it's like a little chip shows up in the paint, and as you peel it back -- you suddenly start to realize that the thing you thought was kinda cool (Journey) is actually really, really crappy.

Unmuse II -- Who?

Alix -- Children Dancing to Jane Child sounds like the name of a horror movie.

As silly as they seem now, Dokken fit really nicely for a short while into that whole LA hair band thing, which I grew up loving and still have a secret place in my heart for.

Unfortunatley, I can't say the same for Two of Hearts. That song is.. pain.

Werdna -- Genie in a Bottle.


Jonathan -- See here's the thing, there's really no doubt that even in the bad music universe of hair metal, the band Dokken really did get two extra scoops of the horrible.

But even so, there was a time when it kinda worked for me (and there are still some songs I like) -- but then when they released this particular song, even I was like, "Oh man ..really?"

Wigsf -- There was this one summer in highschool where I worked on a landscaping crew, and we blasted Tesla's second album every day. Tesla rocked.

Secondly, look at the title of this blog. You know I'm a Zappa guy. One of the biggest musical influences I've had in my life.

But I think you're kinda misunderstanding me here. I'm not saying the whole decade was bad, I'm saying that bad music from the seventies was especially bad. Honestly, for every Peaches en Regalia there were like 10 Me and You and a Dog Named Boo's.

It's like some kind of equal and opposite reaction that ended up getting really out of balance during those 10 or so years.

Maria -- I always hated that people somehow got the idea that "Der Kommisar" was a Falco song and not the work of the band After the Fire. I liked Rock Me Amadeus fine, but he made more than one album? Really?

Heff -- I remember being a kid trying to learn the solo to this song, and then working on singing it as I was playing -- and at some point I was like "Dream Warriors!? What are they talking about??"
Narm said…
Oh man I hate the first one. The Dokken song at least has comic value.

I don't know why I am doing this but - I rock out to that damn Kelly Clarkson "Since U Been Gone" song.
Hex said…
narm -- Kelly Clarkson!? You just wrote a post on your site about Ted Nugent, and you're coming at me with Kelly Clarkson!!?
whatigotsofar said…
Oh, I forget to write my guilty pleasure song. (I was off on my I-love-the-70s tangent.)

White Town's Your Woman.
Werdna said…
You think you know a guy, eh Hex?
unMuse said…
@ hex - you'll have to follow this link for the youTube of Petey Pablo. He's a rapper.

The song has a meaning for me and a groups of girls who all went to jail overnight (or less) for a DWLS in a few months.

(another guilty secret about that song? i have a drunk video of going down the highway scream-singing it.)

but I just went through my iTunes, which admittedly has a lot of bad stuff on it that I can't let go - like billy joel. We've discussed my love (and your complete disagreement) for the Eagles and Don Henley. There's also the Kansas.

(Am I reading this right? I'm supposed to be sharing bad music that I love, right?)
Hex said…
WIGSF -- I had to youtube to figure out what that song was first, but that's not the worst tune in the world. I mean, it becomes the worst song in the world after abotu 2 minutes in, but other than that... *lol*

Werdna -- you know my actual music collection better than a lot of these folks, so if you keep my secrets, I'll keep (*cough cough ..Matthew Sweet *cough*) yours.

Unmuse -- it just might be my third beer talking, but that Petey Pablo song wasn't all that bad. Kinda silly, but not horrible.

However, there might be a misconcepton here -- I love Billy Joel. It's just that there are multiple Billy Joels, and many of them flat out suck. Piano Man Billy Joel, Uptown Girl Billy Joel. River of Dreams Billy Joel -- those guys can suck it.

But 52nd street, Glass Houses, and The Stranger were the first LP's I stole from my mom's collection and played over and over and over. Old school kinda rock and roll Billy Joel owns.

But yeah -- I hate the fucking Eagles, man.
unMuse said…
lol well, I'm not that insistent about it.
Monster said…
Late to the party.

Sign me up with the Dokken bashers, wow that's terrible.

But I'll go toe-to-toe with anybody that wants to diss "Can't Stop" by After 7.

We are diggin' on we, after all.
Werdna said…
I might be seeing Matthew Sweet (who now weighs like 280), this week.

I know shameful...
Satorical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satorical said…
Ixnay on the ane-Jay ild-Chay.

I happen to like To Love You More by Celine Dion.

Hex said…
Monster -- I think you have a point, because all of the sudden "Can't Stop" is stuck in my head.

Werdna -- I net he does a good show, but if he didn't get to "girlfriend" within like the 1st five songs I'd be the a-hole chanting for it, like that old Simpsons episode where BTO is on stage and the lead singer is like, "We're gonna play some new stuff" and Homer cuts them off and says, "Shut up and play Takin' Care of Business. TCOB - NOW!!!"

Satorical -- Celine Dion. You mean, like the Celine Dion? Please tell me you're talking about an indie band I've not heard of with a cool ironic name. *lol*