Rant 4 - Crimes Against Music
There are many immutable facts in life. Two of the best known are of course that you will die and before doing so you will pay taxes. This leads me to believe that if we ever conquer death it will be through the efforts of the taxman rather than scientific or medical research. But I digress....
A slightly less popular fact is that sooner or later you will, to a certain degree, turn into your parents. This will of course be vehemently denounced by any self-respecting teenager or twenty-something, but eventually, when the rashness of youth mutates into the more mature "I'm too tired to give a #@~$%&£ anymore" attitude of us thirty-plus oldtimers, you will one day listen to yourself make some ridiculous statement(s) that effectively wake you up to a cold, hard reality. Congratulations, you have become that which you once despised: An opinionated old bugger.
I have to admit however, that when it comes to music I have always been an opinionated old bugger. My early teen years, for instance, were spent avoiding disco like the plague and loudly voicing my disdain for it to all who dared play it in my vicinity. I like to think time and society's 20/20 hindsight have vindicated me on the disco issue.
So, being well practiced in speaking my mind regarding musical abominations and having very recently reached the ripe old age of 38, I have absolutely no qualms about drawing up a little list of people that I think should be incarcerated for wanton crimes against music:
Defendant: Craig David
Public enemy numero uno.
Charge: Quite possibly the most spineless, insipid, stylistically challenged slush I have ever had the misfortune to hear. This guy makes Barry Manilow sound like a thrash metal band. Even my mother wouldn't listen to anything this drippy.
Sentence: Aversion therapy. Forced to watch re-runs of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no hope for parole. Ever.
Defendant: Westlife
Charge: Vile, pre-fabricated, talentless, sugar coated rubbish. About as entertaining as a nose blowing contest but with less substance. Actually you could substitute pretty much any manufactured boy band for Westlife as they're all equally guilty of infecting the airwaves with dreamy drivel.
Life imprisonment in the "Institute for the Criminally Inane".
Defendant: Whitney Houston
Charge: A rutting Wildebeast with a backup band; nails on a blackboard are more pleasing to the ear. If a gangrenous leg wound had a voice, it would sound like this.
Sentence: 352,239 hours of community service as a lavatory sanitation technician.
Defendant: Celine Dion
Charge: Annoying enough to be the opening act for the rutting Wildebeast (see above), it's people like Celine that give Canada a bad name. The ship in James Cameron's "Titanic" wasn't the only thing that sank in that movie. After hearing Celine Dion's theme song my will to live hit the bottom of the Atlantic hours before the pride and joy of White Star Lines.
Sentence: Build life size, fully functional replica of Titanic from toothpicks. Singing forbidden until complete.
Defendant: Elton John
Charge: Pure unadulterated schmaltz with an appalling hairdo. Oooh, listen! Can you hear that kids?! That's the sound of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe spinning in their graves every time "Candle in the Wind" is played.
Sentence: The afterlife will take care of Mr. John for us. I can picture it now: A small room with a princess on one side, a shapely blonde Hollywood actress on the other, poor old Elton right smack in the middle and an endless stack of "Candle in the Wind" records. His suffering will be legendary, even in hell....
Defendant: Britney Spears
Charge: Poor Ms. Spears is actually a victim of record company greed and stupidity and therefore guilty only by association. Her music isn't that bad and she does redeem herself by virtue of the fact that she looks damn hot. I think we can let her off with a slap on the wrist - this time.
Sentence: 72 hours of community service - at my place. I'll even cook dinner if you promise not to sing.
Defendant: David Gray
Charge: Dreary, depressing dirge. I have to restrain myself from reaching for the razor blades and sleeping pills whenever he comes on the radio.
Sentence: Heavy doses of Prozac followed by shock therapy and forced viewing of Barney the Dinosaur episodes. Worked for me anyway.
Defendant: Lionel Ritchie
Charge: Rolling Stone magazine said it best years ago: "Commabore". Please wake me up when Lionel stops trying to make a comeback.
Sentence: Someone just slap him. Hard. Repeatedly.
Defendant: Oasis
Charge: Wannabe Beatles with mediocre one tempo songs and whiny vocals. Unfortunately the closest thing to a rock band England had for some time so it wasn't difficult to understand why they became so popular. You could almost tolerate them if it wasn't for the fact that the Gallagher brothers are such annoying little twerps with all the maturity of a couple of 5 year olds and less social skills and intelligence than houseplants.
Sentence: Confiscate the brain cell that Noel and Liam share and donate it to something that can put it to better use. A houseplant, for example.
Defendant: All Saints
Charge: Some crimes are unforgiveable. The All Saints version of the Chilli Peppers' "Under the Bridge" is such a crime. Gee girls, did ya know you were singing about kicking heroin addiction when ya covered this?! Nope, didn't think so.
Sentence: Fortunately for us the Saints went their seperate ways. This doesn't give them any amnesty for their heinous crime however. Since one of them is now dating one of the above mentioned Gallaghers I think she is obviously being punished enough. As for the other two, rehabilitation as amusement park attendants at Jacko's Neverland ranch may be their only salvation.
Well that should do it for the moment. I'm sure this list will grow to great lengths in the years to come but I think this is a good starting point and should serve as a warning to other would be musical criminals. Oh, and Britney? Don't bother packing before you come over and leave your mom at home. I don't have that much Jello....
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