It’s a bad time for music. Consider what modern music has working against it: Things like the Fray, Nickelback, Gwen Stefani, and Sean Kingston fester near the tops of the charts. Some studenty band called the Plain White T’s has slimed that song every freshman plays in his dorm while he’s ineptly fingering his guitar into heavy rotation. Kanye West has rereleased Daft Punk’s “Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger” with some illiterate rant over it and called it a new song. 50 Cent’s new litany of rape threats and ignorant boasts will spatter the shelves in September.
It gets worse. It hits a comical rock bottom as of today. Apparently, MTV (still pretending to have something to do with “M”) has a show about horny teenagers on it called The Hills. It’s impossible to discern whether this is a reality show or prescripted fare involving said horny teenagers, but whatever the formula, it’s rich with drama and petulance. Somebody on the show was dating somebody else or something, and now he’s dating one of the other prostitots on the show and hates the first one or something. Whatever — if you’ve been in high school, you’ve been there yourself, but now it’s suddenly broadcast-worthy. Anyway, the tramp festival, not satisfied with its D-list celebrity status, pretends to have talent and drops this steaming pile. Remember when Yaz’s “Situation” was its own song? Of course you don’t — that was 20 years ago, and MTV’s short attention span doesn’t reach back further than eight minutes, so the fact that this is already a pre-existing song won’t occur to anyone who hears it. One of the adolescent hookers from The Hills delivers the standard lackluster, overproduced vocal of MySpace-grade poetry that’s radio’s stock in trade, and a few minutes into it, her gel-headed choad of a boyfriend decides he’s a rappist and erupts into tumescent self-worship, extolling the virtues of his VIP spot at “the club” and… well, I don’t know. It’s all gibberish. I’d be doubled over with mirthful tears if I didn’t know that these people think this is a real song and that it’s going to be all over the place in about two weeks.
Has music just given up?