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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pop

Pop! It's the sound of a burst bubble or balloon......a festive object flashy to the eye but also characterized by a very thin surface stretched to the maximum over nothing but air. Everybody loves them even though there's not much substance there. One of the more pernicious perpetual pitfalls of being a somewhat snobbish iconoclast is that anything “pop” is by definition “popular” and therefore, disdaining the plebian isolates one from the widespread camaraderie of gushing over Lizzo. In other words, it’s a lonely place when one is repulsed by most “things popular”.

Some of my least favorite commonplace things regularly directed at crowds that seem to work for everyone but me are:

1: "put your hands together for......." (I am always torn between wanting to shoot myself or the person saying this)

2: Asking for a response from an audience but encouraging the response to get louder. (Here it's simply a desire to shoot the person doing this.)

3: References to people I'm somehow supposed to know even though none have ever accomplished anything I would consider important. (I just roll my eyes at such absurd celebrity-worship.)

4: The recent pop trend of calling songs ‘anthems’. If you do this, please stop. If you play the piece and a group of people of a singular ethnicity don’t stand up waving a flag, it’s not an anthem......so shut the fuck up.

But enough of these peeves. Let’s talk a bit about “pop music” in general and halftime shows specifically. Recently or should I say, “currently” on the LSF there is a thread that I have been commenting on regarding the recent Super Bowl Halftime Show. Spanking enthusiasts are effusing over J-Lo and Shakira’s butt-gyrations and I suppose I can muster some sympathy….. but only some..….but then again I am blessed with my Rosa whose posterior is akin to a galaxy in comparison with the mere lunar-like orbs presented by these celebrities. Shakira’s ass might as well be attached to a boy, and Lopez’s butt has definitely slimmed down from what I recall it being like in her prime. 


But if slim is your thing then well dive in, but for me that pool is too shallow. (I don’t want to break my neck on that plunge, thank you very much) 

But this isn’t about gluteal magnificence, it’s about “pop music” :



Remember ‘Fat Bastard’ from the Austin Powers movies?  



Well, that’s my take on pop music. We are all different ages, cultures, preferences, etc. and as such we all grew up with our own ‘brand’ of pop music we adored as teens. I won’t lie. I did too. But…...eventually I grew up. And for me, after learning more about music, I realized that the ‘pop music’ I felt nostalgia for was just as shitty as anyone else’s. Pop music is essentially crap music. It’s appeal is not in its quality but in its familiarity. And like Fat Bastard stated about farts…..”everybody likes their own brand”. 

In order to qualify each major musical genre in ‘pop’, I hereby offer the following helpful chart:

40’s “Crooning” : old shit, but the kind that if you’re older, you appreciate because it slides out of your ass quite comfortably....sometimes with a little olive oil lubrication.

50’s Doo Wop:  the kind of shit you get after too many ice-cream sodas and pizzas….not as bad as a hangover shit, but shit nonetheless.....mindless lyrics with a beat.

50’s/60’s Rockabilly: the shit you get from too much moonshine and pork rinds.....keep a towel on the seat of your pick-up.

60’s psychedelic: this IS the kind of shit that happens when you’ve over-indulged on way more than just too much booze. 

60’s folk/protest music: the kind of shit that results from over-exposure to a combination of incense and tear gas.

70’s electronic rock: this is like a shit you think is a revelation at the time it’s happening only to wipe your ass later and flush what really just turned out to be shit.

70’s disco: diarrhea…….the shit you think is never going to end….but thankfully eventually does.....and then inexplicably comes back!

80’s: shit wrapped in a headband.

80’s Techno: Imagine what would slide out of Sonny’s ass in “I, Robot” if it defecated.

90’s grunge: just like a strong Seattle roast will get you moving in the morning, this crap isn’t much different…...though possibly less hygienic, as if you didn’t take time to wipe properly afterwards.

Rap/Hip-Hop: Definitely shit….just a bit darker that day.

Post-2K “Disney-pop” ( as exemplified by Swift, Levato, and other ex-Disney child stars) Shit that is sprayed with deodorant and packaged as wholesome.

Whatever-the-hell-else-you-want-to call-it “pop”: Since I’m not sure what you might be thinking of, I just simply say: “Shit”.

And that’s the bottom line….running right along your underwear…...a brown streak from front to back, top to bottom. Shit all the way. So let’s not argue generationally over whose shit smells better.  It’s all just different types of the same thing, be it light tan or  dark umber, knobby or smooth, buoyant or a stinker-sinker…..none of it is Mozart. And don’t be fooled by music critics for pop magazines that get all pompous about every note and stylistic departure. They’re just trying to sell you. After all music is big business and a business can’t be big without advertising of one sort or the other. People drink Coors light based on advertising alone...because it tastes like yeasty piss….(and I would know) and it is still a top seller. 

So, all that said, let’s get back to halftime shows. This (link) lists all of the halftime shows from the first until today. As you can see from the list there are many years where the show featured a marching band alone or a band along with some singer or singers. The choices ran the gamut from the old to the new. And then in 1976 the show featured a pop band rather than a marching one. Up With People. If that choice wasn’t a foreboding omen of things to follow, I don’t what choice would be. By the 90’s the halftime show as showcase for either a career comeback or a current headliner was routine. Whoever got picked, the other generation quibbled.


The very first Super Bowl Halftime Show......not a single "wardrobe malfunction"!

Maybe they should be singling, "The hills are alive........."

Recently, marching bands have sometimes still been a part of the show…..but always with a featured performer. Why? Those performers have plenty of venues to be seen and heard.  And I've read that a lot of performers don't WANT to do the show. So let halftime be halftime. Give it back to the brass and drums alone!

11 comments:

  1. Couldn't disagree more on this one, on multiple fronts. :-)

    (1) I'm not very familiar with Shakira, but watching her gyrations was about the only thing I found enjoyable about that Super Bowl.
    (2) I was in a marching band in high school. Now, *that* was shit music, and I really wish I'd found a better use of my time.
    (3) I can find some gems in just about musical era, and some songs become popular precisely because they are good. Of your list, the only ones where I have a hard time identifying anything I like are 40s crooning (I wanted to slit my wrists over Christmas every time a fucking Bing Crosby song came on the radio), 50s Doo Wop (with a few exceptions), and techno in most forms from any era. I feel like my tastes span many generations, though I am concerned I am becoming a grumpy old man given my categorical rejection of most rap.

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    1. You SAY you disagree but your post proves my point. In reverse order: You defend certain genres and disdain others. Other people will love those you've criticized and slam the ones you like. Everyone is smelling their own brand. I will say that I never pictured you as a disco fan. You do always surprise me. ;-)

      I don't know what school or band you were part of but both my biological son and my step-son were both big band participants, playing multiple instruments before graduating. Any inferiority here is a direct result of talent, money, experience, and the director's vision (or lack thereof). On the scale of the top schools or military bands featured, those factors diminish rapidly. And no, I don't pop in a marching band CD to dine or relax with but I also have greatly appreciated the best moments I've experienced in their proper venue.....like say a parade or halftime show.

      As for Shakira's ass? It's not horrible, just a little on the small side. But the game? What were YOU watching? I went in rooting for SF though they are not my favorite team, and I still enjoyed the closeness of the game and the effort that went into the turnaround and win. ;-) Just an opinion though. I am certainly not an avid football fan.

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  2. I like football for its strategy, emotion and athleticism (even though it is unconscionably violent) and I love women shaking their booties.

    After getting over the patriotic/religious/crass commercialism of the Superbowl, I settle down and really enjoyed it. The halftime show was over the top, but I loved seeing both women shake their bottoms. Would I have preferred if they were a little heavier and dressed slightly different or chosen different music? Yes, for sure.

    I was until a month ago) a raiders fan, so I had mixed feelings about the outcome of the game. But the halftime show was the best ever and I am not going to nitpick.

    Best,

    -Rosco


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    1. Thanks for the input, Rosco. I loved this line: "After getting over the patriotic/religious/crass commercialism of the Superbowl, I settle down and really enjoyed it" Yeah I agree there. But you left out the hypocrisy. Take for example the assertion that the Super Bowl is ostensibly a family entertainment event for the young to the old and couple that with J-Lo doing her ass shake......WITH her daughter there! Makes you wonder why she didn't dress HER up in matching Mommy/daughter dominatrix outfits and have her spread HER legs and wiggle her ass for the close-up camera along with her? Well, I guess there's always next year. LOL

      But I am glad you enjoyed it and even appreciate that so far I can feel honest about my original observation that when it comes to most things a majority of people enjoy, I will seemingly always be the exception. When that guy came out in the all white outfit with the sequins on his face and mugged into the camera I literally burst out laughing in front of my friends who were watching the game with me. So I guess I was entertained.....just not in the way intended.



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  3. no comment on the superbowl action. but i loved loved loved your descriptions of the various decades of music! great stuff!

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  4. mmmm majorettes with their knee high white patent leather boots

    bring back marching bands

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  5. Crimson Kid (C.K.)February 9, 2020 at 8:46 PM

    Actually, I like multiple types of music, although only what I consider to be the good songs of each type. However, as a 'baby boomer' I do tend to generally favor music from the 1960s and '70s the most, since I'm more familiar with it--hence my favorite Super Bowl halftime performance being by Paul McCartney, fourteen years ago. I even like band marches too, if I consider them to be good ones.

    As I stated in the LSF forum discussion, I personally enjoyed the 'booty-shaking' halftime performance of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, featuring their semi-bare bottoms, which I found to be quite attractive--still, I'd agree that it's hardly any kind of family entertainment, which the Super Bowl ideally should feature in its halftime show.

    Since as a Rams fan I intensely dislike the 49ers, I ended up being quite gratified by Super Bowl LIV's thrilling fourth-quarter comeback by the Chiefs. I'm certainly glad that Patrick Mahomes plays in the American Football Conference... --C.K.

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    1. "-still, I'd agree that it's hardly any kind of family entertainment, which the Super Bowl ideally should feature in its halftime show."

      Yep, that's pretty much my point. Pole-dancing at a halftime show? Do it at your concerts where it would be more appropriate. Not sure if you saw my response to Rosco above, but what message is J-Lo sending to her daughter?

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    2. Indeed, and to many thousands (possibly even millions) of young girls who idolize her?

      The issue is that the NFL predictably is focused on the 18-to-34 age demographic, not on preteen and early-teenage children, who have much less purchasing power.

      Still, Jennifer Lopez could at least avoid bringing her young daughter along to view her mother's pole-dancing, booty-shaking halftime performance in person. Parenthood has certain responsibilities, however it appears as though 'J-Lo' isn't embracing that concept... --C.K.

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