Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Juxtaposition Radio...Ga Ga...

So I'm driving back from the mall having picked up the rest of the kids school supplies (didn't they bring most of this crap home with them back in June?) with the radio turned on.

I only listen to the radio here in Buttkick, mostly because I'm never in the car long enough to get into a cd. It's like one and a half songs and you're there. Unlike Toronto which was a lot of personal mix tapes. And as opposed to LA where Books On CD passed the time during the one hour each way commutes.

And a song begins on the local FM rock n' roll station I usually have cued up...the kind of station that has ads like:

"We don't want listeners with good taste...we want listeners that taste good!"

Booyah! You get the picture...

Anyway, the song is a new one from Nickelback - 'Rock Star' - see it/hear it here and a lyric excerpt:

"'Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunnyWith her bleach blond hair
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar"

There it is in a nutshell. I kept waiting for the twist, or the irony to kick in...but it didn't happen. It was a simplistic three chord progression stating the obvious...I wanna be a rock star.

The next tune was 'Man In The Box' by Alice In Chains. See/hear it here and a lyric excerpt:

"I'm the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Wont you come and save me...
Save me

I'm the dog who gets beat
Shove my nose in shit
Won't you come and save me...
Save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut"

A kickass guitar riff...anquished vocals...a song about BEING a rock star, sung by a man royally f*cked up by all the trappings. Layne Staley had a bad heroin and cocaine habit. He didn't eat. And partied with models. He lived the dream described by Nickelback...and now he's dead. Overdosed in 2002.

Now Nickelback is catagorized as Grunge or Post-Grunge on several music download sites. Give me a break. On the other hand, Alice In Chains IS grunge - early 90's Seattle...no arguments please. Pretty black and white.

"Rock Star"

"Man In The Box"

Juxaposition Radio...

Did the dee-jay plan this? I severely doubt it since, as I pulled up to the house, the first words out of his mouth when the song ended merely trumpeted loudly an end of summer 'sexiest male swimsuit contest' being held at a seedy north end bar.


SONG & ARTIST? - "So don't become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don't know or just don't care
And just complain when you're not there
You had your time, you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour..."

p.s. How long did it take me to get home from the mall?


Crashdummie said...

See, music does & is the answere to everything *lol* But I guess most ppl never actually listen to the lyrics which is a pitty... They are missing out on something.

How long it took for you to drive? Dunno, too long? ;)

Systemaddict said...

I'll assume it took you about 8 or nine minutes to get back home.

If those were the two songs you listened too.

As for the post-
Nickleback is from Vancouver, so I applaud them for breaking out the way they did- but man...oh man. Their candy-pop rock is about as soothing to my ears as a sledgehammer.

Layne Staley was far too gifted for his own good. It caught up with him like it caught up with Kurt Cobain in many ways. They weren't there just to be rockstars- they were there to write songs, and all things that should entail. And what it entailed for both Kurt and Layne was a lot of pain, which unfortunatley they couldn't ever be rid of.

It's not really about what the musicians are in it for. It's what they leave behind with their message. I can't help but look sadly at the world of music when it's dominated by people who's only perspective on life seems to be how much money they can make. I don't care if you've come from nothing- there's more important messages to deliver to the people whoms backs you stepped on to reach the top.

Kelly J. Compeau said...

While my musical tastes run more into ecclectic world/goth/new-age/rock fusion, Nickelback is very radio-friendly and easily digestable -- and I don't have a problem with that. I really like their music and hope to have them perform on my show someday.


Systemaddict said...


It would seem that Napsters co-founder and Myspace have gotten together to- sell some music, via myspace users.

Offer artists the tools to sell, sell, sell...

Only a matter of time.

This myspace plot thickens.