American music

So, tonight as I fed my kid and worked him up for a good night’s rest, I found myself shackled to the couch watching the Radio Music Awards. I’m embarassed for us all.

I don’t like to comment too much on pop culture because I’m afraid weasels and the like (what with all the popping and all), but such musical insanity drives me to the keyboard for the third time today.

In the past, I’ve been known to be called a musical elitist. That usally comes from people who try to explain to me that Jessica Simpson really is a misunderstood artist and should be recognized for the additions she’s made to the collective consciousness of American music listners. In truth, there have been times in my life that I have shunned music simply because it is popular. For instance, I have this voice I do that sounds like Rob Thomas making tongue kisses with the lead singer of Creed while Eddie Vedder gives them both a shoe-shine.

Or something like that.

But, most people will give me this: I know good music when I hear it. Even if I don’t particularly like a genre, I’ll admit if someone is a good artist or performer. Frankly, no one comes to mind at the moment, but I’ll gladly take requests for my opinion (because, as I hear it, everyone wants to know what I think…or is that, how much I drink?).

With all of this in mind, yuo can imagine how absolutely puke-in-my-pocket disgusted I was by the expectorations from the stage of the RMAs tonight.

A few thoughts before I go back to considering my other online adventures (and no, I don’t mean American women GIs in Iraq porn, either–although I did look at it and those are some ugly naked women).

Ashley or Ashlee or Ash-head Simpson is what’s wrong with America

Now, I’m the first person to defend people with large, unattractive noses. However, let’s consider this: She gets popular by be related to somebody famous. She takes her lack of talent to superstar level, then blows it on national television by getting busted with the popular recording industry’s dirty little secret: None of these talentless tarts is actually singing. Then, on live TV, she blames her band for it. Then, when given a chance to redeem herself the next night, she sounds like Gwen Stephani meets Marge Simpson. Then what does she do? She blames acid reflux. Get somewhere by being a relative of a famous person, fuck it up, blame somebody other than yourself for it. The American fucking way. The only decent thing she could do now is just go off and be like Paris Hilton–famous for the simple fact that she’s famous.

It’s that kid of shit that just depresses the hell out of me. I go see local live bands with people who can actually sing and harmonize live. They make enough money to put gas in the van. And this bobble-headed hoedown queen is making millions. Suck my nuts.

Sorry about that.

Damn! I like the way you move, but everybody in the house is getting tipsy. Hey, ya, what the hell was I saying?

Back when I was in the ‘hood, an OG from way back, yo, hip-hop was all about one thing: Rappers rapping a rap about how good they are at rapping. Either that or busting a cap in whitey’s ass (that’s Whitey DaLuca, but I was out of town that weekend). There’s been a shift in recent years though, I’ve discovered. Now, instead of rappers rapping about how good they can rap, so-called recording artists have found the formula to sure success: Find one phrase and repeat it over and over again. Now, I’m not saying this hasn’t been done before. I mean, for Louie’s sake, “Louie, Louie, oh baby, me gotta go.” Still, learning the lyrics to hip-hop or R&B songs now is like memorizing a fortune cookie. “Hay YA! Everybody in the house say ‘Confuscious say I like my bitches drunk!'”

If you use that, Usher, I want my fucking royalties.

Honey, you’re going to have to hold on a second. Gretchen Wilson just took her shirt off

When Gretchen Wilson took her shirt off, I had to stop myself and sing that

“Confuscious Say:” song for a second. I’ve never been much for waify women, so that little country girl’s body is alright with me. Nice voice, too. Bet she’s really singing. Here’s the thing though: She got famous with a novelty song. That’s always the first nail in any artists coffin. Sad, really. I could go for seeing that lady in some more body suits.


I stopped watching after the first hour. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Just like John Stewart should be commended for putting the 24-hour news station in their place, Elton John should be commended for calling out lip synchers.

I just don’t have the energy to keep up with all of it anymore.

That’s why I’ve become obsessed with programming my own station on Yahoo!’s Launchcast. If you have broadband and are any sort of music fan, you need to do this. It’s free and barely cluttered by ads.

And if you want to listen to good music, just search for “otisbdart” on Launchcast and listen to mine (that is if you like Americana, jam bands, blues, world music, and old rock. Otherwise, I’d just remain in your little hole of lipstick lipsynching ladies of laziness. Or some other alliterative phrase that makes it sound like they suck).

Okay, I feel better.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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