Random Music Thoughts

January 15, 2009 at 8:42 am (Music) ()

I found myself listening to Wonderwall by Oasis this morning on my way to work.  It’s a song that I was sort of peripherally aware of when it was first released (I was, after all, only about 10).  I got it from Amiel, who is much more of a 90s child than I ever could be.

It made me wonder whatever happened to that whole genre of “whiny British man” music.  When did it get replaced with “angry old American man” music?  If given a choice, I’ll take whiny over angry any day.  Some American bands also have the rather annoying habit of writing songs about how awesome America is…because soldiers rock or something.  I’m kind of thinking of bands like Three Doors Down here – they were fine when they had songs like Kryptonite, but I really dislike all their more recent stuff.

(Mind you, I’m as patriotic as the next citizen of this country, but the self-congratulatory “we’re the only place that’s actually free” really gets on my nerves.  Especially when it’s said by conservatives who are totally okay with, oh, the Patriot Act or Guantánamo.  Because taking away my civil rights and institutionalizing torture totally makes me more “free.”  Whatever.)

Anyway, it’s reminded me I rather miss Brit Pop.  It’s so ridiculous and silly, and thus so much more fun than music that takes itself seriously.  A few weeks ago, Amiel found this really ridiculous British children’s video on YouTube that featured a dancing Gummy Bear.  It was singing, “I’m a Gummy Bear, in a Gummy world…” to the tune of “Barbie Girl.”  How can you not appreciate that?

I also heard City Hall by Vienna Teng.  It’s from her most recent album (I believe it’s called Dreaming through the Noise or something like that).  Now I’d heard this song before, but never listened to it especially closely until this morning.  It suddenly dawned on me that this song is totally about a same-sex couple driving to San Francisco to get married back when the mayor declared same-sex civil unions legal (or whatever it was that happened awhile ago).

So now I have to wonder…is Vienna Teng a lesbian?  If that song was autobiographical, then she must be awfully frustrated by Proposition 8.



  1. Kristan said,

    What Three Doors Down song are you referring to, out of curiosity? I’ve heard their stuff appropriated for patriotic purposes, but I can’t think of one specifically that seems designed to espouse patriotism… I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just curious which one!

    Hmm, interesting question about Vienna! I don’t think she is…? When she was touring in Pittsburgh a couple years ago, she mentioned living with her bf, anyway. But she also says she often writes about things she reads in the news — like that’s part of her daily inspiration routine — and her close friends.

    However, it could all be a giant cover up!

    Also, her 3rd album was, imho, definitely not as good as the other 2. 😦

  2. Mary said,

    I forget the name of the Three Doors Down song, but it’s not terribly recent. I think it might be called “Love Me When I’m Gone”? Either way, the music video is basically footage of soldiers doing various things intended to make the viewers feel proud of them and/or sad. It beats you over the head with the message “we’re really patriotic!”

    I decided I was completely done with that band after I heard that song and saw the video. The video annoyed me, and the song wasn’t even all that good (plus, all their songs were starting to sound exactly the same).

    I don’t like her 3rd album as much, either. It seems to have a lot of songs that are kind of disjointed and weird, and I don’t really like listening to them because I can’t figure them out. The lyrics make no sense, and the music isn’t catchy enough for me to overlook that.

  3. redknight38 said,

    Well, we’ve talked about this, but Brit pop is big in the Philippines. For some reason, we got a lot more European music than America does. This means a lot of silly Scandinavian rock bands like Michael Learns to Rock (with a sound from circa 1989) and a whole lot of Brit pop. S Club 7 was big in the Philippines as was a band called Steps, with the most ridiculous song ever written, “5, 6, 7, 8.” It came complete with ridiculous dance. In fact, you might like this one because it seems to be about cowboys and Texas or the West or something.

  4. Kristan said,

    Well the Plain White T’s just came out with “1,2,3,4,” so now we’ve got the whole measure counted out!

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