Excuse me while I polish this saddle for my high-horse.
A while ago, back in the mists of ancient 2009, I made an episode of a rather underfinanced web series called Brain Jooce. While the ten or so episodes I actually produced weren’t of the highest quality, and contained many uninformed opinions on things of which I have since redacted (Grant Morrison, I’m still apologising today) there is one opinion piece to which I still hold entirely.
“I Know You Want Me, by Pitbull – it’s that annoying doof-doof music that’s on the radio currently. I hate that song. It’s an absolutely terrible song. Little melodic dissonance, very little variety, very little lyrics. The lyrics are the main thing that get me – they are completely terrible, and he just forced a whole bunch of Spanish words – mostly numbers – just for the hell of it at the end. Why is there Spanish numbering in the middle of a crappy English R’n’B song?”
Upon reflection, that opinion should’ve extended to the artist himself as well as his snot-rag excuse for a radio tune. His “songs” – if one can call them that – are nothing but him growling about how awesome he is, and the video clips contain nothing but a bald American twat wearing douchebag sunglasses and maintaining the idea on-screen that women are merely bikini-clad trinkets to be played around with and whored to everyone else like they’re the latest Call of Duty installment.
I won’t go too much further into detail regarding my musical dislike of Pitbull – although, for the record, New York and Miami hardly qualifies as “international love” places, mate – but I will say this at large: modern music is fucked.
Similar to the television post I’m working on as well, music seems to have become very homogenized. You’re hard-pressed to find anything these days that isn’t samey, poppy or shitty on the radio, and even the really good bands are starting to dry up creatively when it comes to stamping out an album for another million or two every year. Every time I’m in the car I just hear the same song sung by about fifty different performers, usually involving sex, foul language, drug culture, break-ups, hook-ups, lots of money or declaring that people are losers if they don’t have what the singer does – usually, all in the one song.
What baffles me is the way these artists appear to make umpteen millions from creating samey dross every week. More people will line up for a Rihanna or Britney Spears gig than they would for, say, bands like Trocadero or Metric or Muse. News reports are always quick to go in-depth into the musical influence of Chris Brown’s latest ode to beating up his girlfriend rather than analysing the heart and soul of a Christina Perri track. All the time it’s just looking at the same entitled, spoilt trashcan singers and their David Guetta-wannabe DJs making stupid fucking tracks that all sound the fucking same.
It’s bullshit. Utter, utter bullshit. I don’t want to see tween band One Direction try to take centre stage before I can get my armed hitmen squad in there to take them down. I want to see the next Rolling Stones come up as the revival of rock and knock out the Kings of Samey, Nickleback. I want to see internet performers like Malukah or Miracle of Sound go up against shitfests like Carly Rae Jepsen and Kanye West and come out on top because their music has more variety than a six-pack of crayolas.
I want to see some goddamn variety.
I’m probably overdoing this, but after I read last night that Pitbull had been chosen to do music for the new Men in Black film, I went off. Is this really what we want as the music of our generation? A bunch of same-sounding, monotone electronic bleeps and squeaks masquerading as music? Is that what we want to hear as “retro” at our children’s Year 12 Formals, and say, “Ah, yes, your mother and I first kissed when dancing to Ke$ha’s Take It Off. That was a magical moment.”?
Would it scare you to know that I’m even more vitriolic than this towards TV?