December 11, 2005
Unfrozen Caveman Listens to the Hits
I think our taste in pop music often freezes in our early twenties - shortly after we graduate from college. It did for me, I still like the Talking Heads and the Eurythmics, although my biggest weakness is unabashed pop, preferably done by girl groups like this.
I recently acquired some more pop music and other downloads. What did I download first?
Internet pr0n? Nope. I’ve never been “visual” that way.
Since college, I’ve only listened to pop sporadically. I enjoy it, but I don’t listen to the radio and generally play pop as background music. It makes tasks like cleaning and exercising go faster. There are a few more recent songs and artists that I discovered on the way, most of them inextricably linked to the situations and times I heard them rather than their intrinsic merit. Erasure Stop in ‘89 when I danced with American Festival Ballet; the DJ at Emerald City the only gay bar (at least the only one I found) in Boise, played it all the time, Deee-Lite because in ‘90 everyone was listening to Groove is in the Heart, Liz Phair because Amy played it in the car on the way up to Vermont in ’95, Sheryl Crow’s My Favorite Mistake in ’99 because it was what played over and over again on VH-1 during the time in my hotel while I was doing the Pacifica Choreographer’s Project, Enrique Iglesias’ Rhythm Divine for the same reason when I was in Copenhagen for the Bournonville Festival in ’00. I Miss You by Björk because Shasta used it in her act. Pop music is a timeline.
As time goes by, I get more and more out of touch with pop music. I downloaded a song by Green Day and one by Coldplay because I wanted to see what those crazy young folk are listening to nowadays. It’s probably as good as anything I listened to in college, but pop music is the emblem of a generation. It doesn’t matter how good or bad it is; it’s not my music and my music isn’t yours.
My relative ignorance of current pop makes me like Unfrozen Caveman or Woody Allen in Sleeper. I finally listened to Alanis Morissette, only a decade too late. Wow. She’s like an adolescent Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction. Whoever the schmuck was in You Oughta Know oughta be glad she didn’t kill and cook his pet bunny.
Other random Unfrozen Caveman observations.
Paradise by the Dashboard Light sounds a lot better and funnier now than it did in 1977. That’s probably because being 42 in New York City is a lot better and funnier than being 14 in Mamaroneck.
Truly Guilty Pleasure: Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Pop Goes the World by Men Without Hats!
Still angry, still relevant: Holiday In Cambodia by the Dead Kennedys. I’m still amused by the Dr. Seuss reference. Come Again by the Au Pairs – (sorry, no link) with the single most belittling line to the sensitive heterosexual male, “Is your finger aching, I can feel you hesitating?”
And it’s got a great dance beat.
Posted by Leigh Witchel at December 11, 2005 10:04 AM
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Where can you download the Bugs? I'm very, very serious -- What's Opera, Doc is one of my favorite things in the pop culture world.
And the Peanuts vid is insidious.
Posted by: sandi at December 12, 2005 1:27 AM
Shocking! There's still lots of great music being made, you just need to keep an open mind. I for one would kill myself if I had to listen 24/7 to classic
rock, a/k/a "the music of your life" for baby-boomers like me.
P.S. Give the Coldplay another listen - although truth be told, I liked their earlier albums more than the most recent, "breakthrough" album.
Posted by: Your wicked stepmother at December 13, 2005 11:50 AM
I don't think you CAN download What's Opera, Doc, but I did order the second golden collection of Loony Tunes for a friend of mine specifically because What's Opera is on it. It was only 40-something on Amazon.
Leigh, you are playing with my head; some of your links open in a new window and some don't. :(
Paradise by the Dashboard Light is an all-time classic. Meanwhile, you list a lot of stuff that I know well, and much that I know not at all. Is it the different cultures in which we grew up, or is it that, no matter how much I try to pretend you're the same age as I, you are in fact five years younger? bah, humbug.
Meanwhile, I have to say that you have left out my all-time favourite - but then, I suspect that you never hit the discoes the way I once did (difficult though that may be to believe).
Donna Summer: MacArthur Park. Gawds, but I love(d) that song!!! ;)
Posted by: Grace at December 15, 2005 10:55 PM