When my buddy Van Der Sweet told me he was opening a blog I was intrigued. When he told me he wanted me to guest post I was unsurprised. It's a music criticism site, of course I'm in. Well, to be fair, you could have removed the “music” part and replaced it with pretty much anything and I'd still be in. But I digress. I read through what VDS and the team have up so far and I'm pretty impressed, so I showed up today to give my two cents' worth on a music video near and dear to my heart.
Okay, not really. It's closer to my colon. You'll see what I mean.
Today's offering comes to you from Jordan Roseman, better known to the listening public as DJ Earworm: a San Francisco-based “mashup artist” who has achieved worldwide fame thanks to his allegedly clever “United State of Pop” remixes featuring the Billboard Top 25 most popular songs of the year.
There will be a moment of silence for our good friend Originality, murdered by unimaginative DJs like Earworm. While it's entirely possible to be original and innovative in an electronic music format, that's not what this is about. At all.
Don't believe me? Check out the Best of 2009.
All right, let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?
First of all, I am apparently so far out of the loop when it comes to modern music that I actually had to look up the Billboard Top 25, because I recognized roughly ten percent of the featured performers (I almost wrote “musicians” but I try to avoid typos).
Of course nobody can miss the Black Eyed Peas featuring that skank who peed herself that time, or the creepy dude with the fake nails and the God of War lightning bolt drawn on his face (wait, that's a chick? Did we ever get a final word on that? Actually, never mind; I don't care).
Also figuring prominently was Taylor “I'm Gonna Let You Finish” Swift and Billy Ray's daughter. I know this because when I first watched it I had to ask a friend the identity of the attractive girl with the guitar – and yes, when he told me it was Hannah Shitting Montana I died a little inside and felt an overwhelming urge to go door-to-door in my neighbourhood identifying myself as a dirty old man.
It was nice to see Jason Mraz featured briefly towards the end; he's a very talented guy even if that song of his is overplayed to the point that hearing it makes blood gush from my ear canals. And I was pleasantly surprised to see the Kings of Leon represented amidst a sea of boring corporate hip-hoppers.
But otherwise I was lost. Let's go through it with my trademarked arduous attention to detail. Ready?
0:02. Oh goody, I hate it already. Pop dance music sucks.
0:19. Who's the guy with the magic-fire hand and the ambiguously-homoerotic posse?
0:42. How did that Gosling guy from Breaker High manage to score a record deal?
1:02. Look! It's a real band with instruments and everything! Sadly, this is the last we'll see of rock and roll in this video. Speaks to the state of affairs (*shameless plug*) of current music, doesn't it?
1:05. Is that broad making out with the dog?
1:14. I don't know who's wearing the Communist teeshirt, but this has always bugged me. Communism was not cool, is not cool, and never will be cool. Don't believe me? Go ask the Russians, or the Chinese (if you can somehow contact them). Want to be edgy? Come out wearing a swastika teeshirt. I'll see you at the public lynching.
1:32. Since when does Justin Timberlake ever touch a legitimate instrument, let alone a piano?
1:50. Anybody else confused as to the suddenly-religious message? “I found God”? This video has gone a long way towards convincing me God doesn't exist.
1:53. Oops, I was wrong. Rock and roll makes another appearance. Still not enough to offset the suck.
2:03. Man with drum on head, haphazardly beating it with drum sticks. Somehow I imagine he's hearing exactly what I'm hearing. Want to trade places, Drum Guy?
2:18. Thanks Lady Gaga. We didn't get enough of your puh-puh-Pokerface the rest of the year.
2:25. Why is Fergie channeling Lady Deathstrike? Look bitch. Overly-detailed acrylic nails didn't make us forget about Gaga's questionable gender, and enormous fuckoff claws are not going to make us forget about the pee incident.
2:28. Oh good. Now all the Jersey Village People have hands made of fire. Flaming Jagerbombs, anyone?
2:36. This image calls to mind galloping on horseback. Was this the intent?
2:42. I'll admit to being impressed that DJ Earthquake managed to shoehorn a song about blowjobs into the tone of this song, which tries valiantly to be uplifting, but Flo Rida scares the shit out of me. Look at the size of that man! I'd probably blow him if he asked, just to avoid his rage.
2:57. Does anybody else think the pseudo-white guy in BEP is even scarier than Flo Rida? He looks like my grandmother.
3:05. Jason Mraz is not enjoying this nearly as much as he looks like he is.
3:19. I paused this and looked at it for a half hour, and I still don't know what those people are doing. They look like survivors of a very sexy shipwreck having an orgy in a life raft.
3:20. Hip Hop Lion. What? For a split second I thought Pedo Bear was making a cameo.
3:26. Dusting furniture made out of hot women. At this point – sure, why not?
3:38. Man unimpressed with pillow. Uncle Alex unimpressed with the life choices that led him to write this article.
3:43. I bet she doesn't even need those glasses to see. Fucking hipsters.
3:58. Miley Baggins has finally made it to Mount Doom and now she's going to throw her guitar into the pit. A grateful nation applauds.
4:04. The 80s called. They want their shitty graphics back. Your sunglasses suck.
4:09. Oh, fabulous. Now Hip Hop Lion is playing basketball. Way to avoid obvious stereotyping of Africans. (That's a twofer.)
4:13. Damn, she's not at Mount Doom at all. She's in a valley. Hopefully she's pointing at the bomber flying overhead swooping in for a live-ammo practice run.
4:26. “Life is beautiful”. That's definitely what I took away from this video.
4:35. Whew is right, Guy I've Never Heard Of. I spent a full five minutes thanking every major and minor deity I could think of that it was over.
Wow. That was unpleasant. A lot of people are going to give DJ Earwig a lot of credit for putting this montage together, mostly because the average dullard who listens to this kind of music is going to be awestruck at how he managed to get all of them in the studio to re-record their vocals in the same key. I don't give a lot of Lady Gaga fans credit for intelligence, obviously.
Let's talk about auto-tune for a second. On second thought, let's not – we've had quite enough of it here. Congratulations DJ Earwax: you've stolen T-Pain's crown for Most Egregious Use Of Autotune Ever. It's a tool designed to correct minor inconsistencies in vocals, and while I'll admit this list adds up to a hell of a lot worse than “minor inconsistencies”, there is such a thing as too much. This is too much.
And now the tune is automatically in my head forever. Well played, DJ Earthworm.
Frankly the bit at 2:48 where that hipster girl holds up the “sorry” sign should speak for almost everyone on this list. DJ Earfuck (I'm reaching at this point) managed to blend the shittiest of the shitty into a gigantic shit smoothie, and the masochistic voice that lives in my head is throwing its fist in the air and giving Mad Props. The rest of me just wants a drink. Going down, down.
Alex James is the head writer at State of Affairs and can regularly be found there, expelling rage and ego to his throngs of adoring fans, or else at the bar. Today: bar.
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