Tuesday, March 03, 2009
It's Not That It's Too Loud, Per Se
So 101.1 went from the River to Movin' and failed spectacularly, quickly, at changing from an eclectic mix of music to light, office-friendly dance and hip hop to an FM sports station, and for the first time in a very long while, I had to change the presets on my truck radio.

Because they kept sending me mail flyers, I changed it to 107.7, an actual Top 40 station. I say this because it plays the Top 40 countdown on Sunday mornings still. I thought that was an anachronism, but I guess it's still around.

And I've been treated to this particular piece by Lady Gaga:

And I hearken back to what Ramon, a night manager, said to a younger stocker as they finished up work one morning. He didn't understand how they would be able to sing or rap to the same songs in 20 years time the way he could still sing old R&B songs.

I spent the day echoing Ramon to everyone I spoke with. "How the heck do you sing along with that? Puh puh puh poker face. Muh muh muh muh my puh puh puh poker face." I also laid into the whole thematic girl power manipulation of men thing, kinda as though every song on the dance radio top 40 was equivalent to Dion and the Belmonts singing "The Wanderer" with a lot of sampling and synth.

But then it occurred to me: 20 plus years later, I can still sing to this because I played the 45 single over and over again:

In my meager defense, the M/A/R/R/S is far superior because it features laser blasts in the audio and space race footage in the video.

But I guess it's a matter of not understanding these damn kids or not steeping myself in Top 40 music enough yet.

If the Belmonts ever sang "The Wanderer," it was on their own; Dion was backed by the Del-Satins on that track.

Frighteningly, I remembered "Pump Up the Volume."


But the real question is, Charles, did you own both on 45?

Ever notice that the really crappy pop songs nowadays almost invariably have a crappy, Euro beat to them? Boom chic, boom chic, etc.

How did a generation raised on hip hop forget that nothing helps a song like a good, varied, syncopated bass line? With a little variation?

God I feel old.

By the time M/A/R/R/S/ came around, I was buying (sigh) 12-inch singles.

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