Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Guilty Pleasure

We all have them. Those things we enjoy that we wouldn’t tell our hipster Portland friends.
My top 5 Guilty Pleasure songs are:
1. “Mamma Mia”  -  ABBA
2. “Come On Eileen”   -  Dexy’s Midnight Runners
3. “Hot N Cold”  -  Katy Perry
4. “Semi-Charmed Life” Third Eye Blind
5. “Don’t Stop Believing”  -  Journey

And for God’s sake, don’t get me started on movies… That’s a whole other hideous list.
    Now, you have to keep in mind that I’m a bit of a music snob, and that I take great joy in listening to/finding obscure bands, etc…  The “I Found Them First” Syndrome. Yes, one of those people who don’t like it when bands they love become successful and get radio-play.
    So, for those of you that know me, you can see how deeply confessional this list is for me.
    I suppose the question I pose is “Why?” Do I enjoy hearing these songs because I have some referential point in my past that has become completely associated with these songs?  Well, yeah. Maybe. I’m pretty sure that’s the case with “Mamma Mia”, cause I automatically think of “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” when I hear it. - (See? Don’t get me started on movies….)
    Quite possibly, it’s just the catchiness of the song. In fact, I would say that’s probably 75% of the Guilty Pleasure. After all these years of hunting around for atonal, progressive, pretentious, indie-rock - Maybe I all I really want to hear is a good pop song. And I would say that qualifies as every song on this list.
    Now if I’m in a bar with my bandmates or (God forbid), other friends in bands, I’m not going to put a Katy Perry song on the jukebox and then proclaim to everyone that “it’s my jam!”  On the contrary, if one of these songs comes on overhead, I’m much more likely to sit there quietly and secretly enjoy it while finishing my beer.
    So what is the fine line between the Guilty Pleasure and Terrible Music?  Well, that would require another entire blog’s worth of discussion - and I’m not going to go into it here. What I will say on this point, is that you’ll notice nothing on my list, (nor in my entire CD collection), receives any airplay on CMT. And we’ll leave it at that…
    If I’m correct in my ponderings, I’d say that the Guilty Pleasure is an entirely subjective and individualized phenomenon to each person.  It also seems possible that we don’t have a choice in what becomes our Guilty Pleasure, being that it’s a combination of our past experiences and whatever we deem as ‘pleasing’ to our ears.
    So what do we do in this mass populace with crabby music snobs, (like myself), surrounding us? Well, suffice to say that even the most hardened music snob has some awful pop song that they dearly love, even if they won’t openly admit it.  So, I say turn up that atrocious Fergie song on your car radio and sing along at the top of your lungs…. Cause who really cares what the other drivers think?  They can’t hear you anyway. And believe me, I’ll probably be in the next car over, singing along with that irritating Third Eye Blind song….
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