Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Musical Musings of a New Wave Kid

This post is not about my rather extensive (and altogether geeky) collection of musical boyfriends, but rather the sudden explosion of the video that has been dubbed in some circles as the "Worst Video Ever", Rebecca Black's 13-year-old tribute to the weekend, "Friday." Behold, but be warned that I didn't make it through more than 15 seconds of the video, due to an overload of Auto-Tune.

My love of Auto-Tune The News aside, I just can't take that much flat, monotonous, obvious Auto-Tune. If you're still not quite sure what Auto-Tune is, let Weird Al explain it. Because really, who doesn't love Weird Al saying "shawty"?

But is "Friday" the worst video ever? Doubtful. I grew up during MTV's 1980s heyday (I used to glitch our old VCR into unscrambling the MTV signal from our cable company when some local parents complained about the channel and had it blocked - this was oh, about 1982 or so). I also know that my beloved proto-musical-boyfriend Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was the real brain behind the music video industry when he invented PopClips. So, I've seen my share of crappy music videos in my life. I've also seen videos that never fail to make me grin like an idiot.

I was a pretty lucky kid musically. My sister, who is seven years my senior had a great collection of late '70s rock and pop in her collection, such as E.L.O., Queen, Van Halen, ZZ Top as well as some absolute stinkers, such as The Hooters, but I've almost forgiven her for subjecting me to that so often. I was able to get into New Wave right on the front end, before I even knew what New Wave was. I asked for Culture Club and Cyndi Lauper albums for my birthdays. Granted, I liked my share of crap, like that godawful Starship album in the late '80s, but everybody liked it back then. Still, by the age of 13 or so, my taste in music had gone well past the pop music on offer to kids my age and was listening to They Might Be Giants, and my all time favorite band, XTC. I snuck out of bed to watch PostModern MTV and by the time I was 17, my beloved Andy Partridge would sometimes guest host the show. I adored The Smiths and Morrissey, jangled right along with R.E.M. and sneered down my teenage nose at New Kids on the Block and other popular bands. (while blissfully unaware of the irony of loving The Monkees for the exact same reasons my peers loved N.K.O.T.B.)

I have never stopped listening to the bands I loved at 13. I have never stopped loving the bands I loved at 13. But I'm really glad that when I was 13, we didn't have Auto-Tune.

1 comment:

  1. I hate Auto Tune. But that OK Go video was epic. :D

    And yes, Weird Al saying shawty is about as funny as it gets!


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