One of my favorite columns on all of the interwebs is Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon Dick Joke Jamboroo that runs every Thursday during NFL season. One of the recurring segments in that column is “Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall.” I could compose a playlist under this banner that’s roughly 2,000 songs long as my iTunes is chock full of the work of Pantera, Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Strung Out, Thrice, and about a hundred others. No one wants to read this playlist.
The segment immediately following in the Jamboroo is “Embarrassing Song I Like That Will Not Fire You Up.” This is a much more interesting construct. So, in the spirit of the Jamboroo, and in opposition to Hart’s Spring Into Spring Playlist, which you’ll read later this week, here’s E Dagger’s Songs That Will Not Fire You Up. Feel free to point and laugh, or treat this as a makeshift Confessional where you admit to sharing my goofy taste.
CJS had a rendezvous in Vegas last year in April and our hotel had some sort of pool party while we were there. Being mildly hungover and probably bloated as hell from the MGM Grand’s buffet, which is how you put your best foot forward at a pool, amirite?, the DJ was not totally appalling. He mixed in a couple rock tunes with some decent club jams and managed not to annoy three very musically bitchy dudes with his choices.
So “On the Floor” comes on and these two well-toned and well-groomed gay dudes start rocking out hard. This was their JAM. Gay dudes are like hot chick catnip, so half the girls in the pool area join them and an impromptu dance party breaks out leaving your CJS crew to watch with slightly creepy and leering smiles on our faces. It was a fun spontaneous moment, and there was flesh gyrating everywhere.
Since at the time I had no idea what this song was or who it was by, when I got home I literally spent an hour and a half trying to figure out what it was. The only thing I could remember was the dude listing off a bunch of places “Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza straight to LA, New York, Vegas to Africa!” I could remember like half of those, and not in order, so I was typing random places + dance music into Google. Lady E walked in on me searching this out and thought we were going on vacation. Nope. Just your husband looking up club jams.
Britney Spears – “Toxic”
Who can say no to this song? With that hook, it’s impossible. The best part is that the hook is the very first thing in the song. Britney and the cabal of whoever the fuck diabolically composed this earworm knew what they were selling, so they put the good stuff front and center. Dun, Dun-dun-dun, Dun-dun-dun BEEYOO WEEYOO! I spent approximately 10 minutes pretending I hated this song when I was all snotty about music in college, but gave up in futility shortly thereafter. I don’t give a fuck. This song rules.
Good Charlotte – “Lifestyles of the Rich Famous”
While in Austin for Geek Bowl, I stopped by one of the quirky independent shops on South Congress and picked up The Encyclopedia of Punk by Brian Cogan, the best, smartest and most entertaining book about punk rock I’ve ever read. From its entry about Good Charlotte:
“Good Charlotte is ultimately included here as a warning for other bands. Their first two albums actually have a few great pop-punk tunes, some as good as anything Bad Religion put on their major label releases. But the music that followed was no more than a crass attempt to use their Hot Topic look and some ultra-slick production to drag the kids from the Vans Warped Tour into dance clubs. Having proved their poseur cred, they also put too much stock in a brief commercial trend that ultimately deserted them. Good Charlotte is the Dorian Gray of punk: they look great, but their now-aged portrait painfully resembles Fall Out Boy.”
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” is from the height of the Good Charlotte douche bag craze and probably second most recognizable song of their whole oeuvre next to only the diabolical “Anthem.” And I listen to it all the fucking time. I have no pride.
Ke$ha – “Take It Off”
Ke$ha, by all accounts, is awful. She’s filthy looking, sings auto tuned crap, panders to teenagers by singing about Jack Daniel’s and drunk texting, and worst of all, it all feels wildly inauthentic. Yet, there it is right in my iTunes embarrassing Kelly Clarkson and… Oh God!… Katy Perry, (WHO AM I?) who are her neighbors. How I came to enjoy this song will tell you about all you need to know about my life in its present state.
I saw Ke$ha perform “Take It Off” on The Today Show’s summer concert series on a day off from work and liked it so much I decided to download it.
Yep, that’s me. I should just make that sentence the entirety of my info page on Facebook.
Destiny’s Child – “Bills, Bills, Bills”
I very secretly loved Destiny’s Child in high school. I still do. So much talent it’s ridiculous. They’re like the ’96 Bulls. All those girls can go. And this song is totally underappreciated in their canon. Wicked sassy!
Creed – “My Sacrifice”
Without question, the most embarrassing selection on here and not simply because Creed is fucking terrible and Scott Stapp is a massive tool, but even worse because of why I like it. Pretty much because of this video, and this video alone. Say anything you want about the WWE, one thing they’re better than almost anyone else at is creating video packages that pay tribute to themselves. I haven’t watched wrestling on a regular basis in more than 7 years, and this video still gives me chills. I may stray from it, and I’ll likely never fully come back, but the WWE will always be part of my soul. Only something rooted as deeply as my history and love for professional wrestling could cause me to have affection for a Creed song.
Amazingly, this video set to Kid Rock’s “Lonely Road of Faith” is even better, but since, surprisingly, I think that Kid Rock song can stand on its own, Creed’s WWE video earns its spot on this list.
Justin Timberlake – “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane”
This one used to be a super secret love of mine, but then Justin Timberlake turned out to be funny and charming and awesome, and most of my friends turned out to be closeted John Denver fans. So this is fine to like out in the open, I think. It most definitely will not fire you up though.
Skee-Lo – “I Wish”
No explanation necessary. You’re singing it right now.
Hello. I wish I was a little bit taller / I wish I was a baller / I wish I had a girl / If I did I would call her / I wish I had a rabbit in a hat, with a bat, and a 64 Impala.
If you’re white and between the ages of 25 and 40, you love this song.
Sabrina – “Umbrella”
True story: I was in an Off Broadway Shoes buying some new dress shoes when I noticed the lovely song on the stereo wafting lightly through the air of the discount shoe clearing house. I thought, “This is lovely sentiment. What is this? Is this Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella?’” <now that it’s raining more than ever / know that we’ll still have each other / you can stand under my umbrella / you can stand under my umbrella> “Hey, it is! I should go home and download this.”
Home I went and download it I did. And now I’ve got this beautiful song about friendship with any of whatever attitude it had stripped away and whitewashed by Sabrina, whoever the hell that is. And I couldn’t be more pleased about it. This song is pure rainbows.
Color Me Badd – “Thinkin’ Back”
I’m late on every trend, so I never get in with the good bands, I’m always stuck with an also-ran as my declared favorite. I missed Pearl Jam and Nirvana, so my favorite grunge band was Bush. In elementary school I ended up with Color Me Badd, who, looking back on it now, were awful. Not only was the music schmaltzy and just plain stupid in parts (a line in “I Wanna Sex You Up” is “We can do it til we both wake up,” which, what?), these guys didn’t even the good sense to be good looking. Look at those guys. Yeesh.
Two additional notes apropos of nothing: 1) I used to play dodgeball in the darkness with my friend Tommy growing up while listening to this song. It’s the only one that’s even remotely listenable to anymore. Preferably in the dark. 2) Remember when these guys were on 90210? Funny.
Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours”
If you ask me what the first thing I think of when you say “Jason Mraz,” my answer would be “hats.” That goofy fedora trend from, like, three years ago, I attribute (probably wrongly) to him. What’s definitely not wrong is that he wears that stupid hat all throughout this video, which, aside from part of the video taking place at a skate park (Hard to imagine skaters rocking out to Jason Mraz), is literally the only thing that bothers me about it. This song is just so goddamn sweet, I go weak and have to sit down when I hear it. And fuck it, as long as we’re doing this list, I might as well tell you that when Salwon got married and this was their first dance, I got a little misty. They’re gonna be so happy…
George Michael – “Too Funky”
This one makes no sense, even to me. As far as George Michael goes, this is probably one of his weaker offerings, and this video is trying so hard to be sexy, and failing. So, he’s like, a cameraman at this fashion show? And since when is George Michael an LA Kings fan? And why is that Anne Bancroft quote from The Graduate punctuating various points of this song? What the hell does “too funky” even mean? Smelly? Kinky? Quirky? I need answers! Why do I still like this song?!
Slaughter – Shout It Out
Of all the hair metal lead singers – Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, etc. – Mark Slaughter (so it’s not just a clever name) definitely had the most high-pitched and screechy caterwaul. It’s like he’s really cranking up the attitude when he belts out the almost self-parodying party hardy lyrics of “Shout It Out.” If you close your eyes while you listen to this song, it sounds like Jim Breuer doing his hair metal character from a late 90s SNL episode. So with all that said, why do I like this song? Answer: ??? It’s association with Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, maybe?
Statler Brothers – Flowers on the Wall
Speaking of movie associations: Here’s a harmless pop country song from the 60s that Butch Coolidge sings along to in Pulp Fiction right after he blows away Vincent Vega in his apartment and right before he runs over Marcellus Wallace with his car. And I fucking love this movie, so my adoration for all its individual parts should surprise no one. So why is my love for it somewhat scandalous? Probably because my dad hates this song almost as much as he hates Creedence Clearwater Revival. And man, does he hate them. And until more recently than I’d care to admit, his approval of things held an enormous amount of sway over my tastes. Regardless, I like this song. So there, Dad! Nyah!
The The – This is the Day
And let’s complete the movie reference trifecta with this one that concludes Empire Records. Despite my warm feelings for this song’s reminding me of this movie I adore and my willful disregard of its too on the nose significance to the characters at the end of the movie, I still loathe this band’s name. The The? Gag. Congratulations on naming your band something that everyone always and forever will roll their eyes at whenever mentioned in conversation. If you dare read the About page on this band’s website, you’ll likely suffocate from the level of bullshit pretension with which this guy describes his own music. It makes The Killers look like Rodney Dangerfield.
Union Underground – Across the Nation
New millennium cock rock! Punch! Thrust! Growl! I have a weakness from time to time for crap like this. I go on Rob/White Zombie binges for weeks at a time. Every once in a while the mood will strike me for System of a Down. And about once every two years I get a bug up my ass to listen to Powerman 5000. Liking this goofy aggro-high school mosh pit bullshit shouldn’t be a surprise. Even less surprising should be the fact that I became introduced to this song thanks to WWE Monday Night Raw. God, I’m awesome. <hangs self after writing this article>
Consider yourself fully not fired up. Or if you inexplicably are… wanna hang out?
20 Mar 2012 E Dagger