Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oldies but Goodies: Why the "A.T. 40" Sucks

This last week, I yet again got fed up with "America's Top 40". I don't know why, but I can only take it in small doses. If it get it in large doses my brain starts to shrivel up, and I start to get less smart, so I try not to OD.

I have a tedious desk job that requires me to stare at the computer screen the whole time. Naturally, I and my co-workers turn to online radio stations or other music streaming players to keep ourselves from going insane. I listen to the "Top 40" stuff on occasion, but it always ends up numbing my brain, and I have to find something a little more... stimulating. I almost always turn to "old" music, which usually means classic rock of the 70's and 80's. Mostly the 80's. Those usually get me back into my groove, and I don't feel like I'm going to turn into a vegetable.

Anyway, this last week, I saw a commercial on TV with the background music being "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter." I remembered hearing it when I was younger and was somewhat pleased that it was on a modern commercial. I have no idea what the commercial for. So the other day, I was in my familiar trance from the repetitive beats and 4-note songs of the "A.T. 40" I needed something else to listen to, and didn't feel like listening Led Zeppelin, or Black Sabbath, or Styx, or Bon Jovi. And then this song popped into my head. "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter." I had heard it a lot when I was just a young one, because my siblings and I weren't allowed to listen to the "A.T. 40," and now I know why. Its not necessarily that it's bad music (though often it is), its that it requires very little talent, and numbs your brain. Anyway, I turned on Spotify, and searched for it, and found a playlist of 60's music. I listened to my original search, and then kept listening to the playlist. At first, I didn't really think anything of it, because I didn't know the songs that came after it, but then this song played:

It may not sound like it's a smash hit, but of all the songs from my childhood that I heard, this song is the one that sticks in my memory most. We would sing it in the car and at home, and would hum it. Even more recently, I have caught myself humming it. I loved, and still love this song. I still don't know if the guy is talking about a person, or the actual wind, and that's part of why I like it so much. It makes you think. Good music, that is, REALLY good music will stimulate your mind, and get you thinking. For me, it got me thinking about my earlier years, the road trips where my siblings and I would sing in the car and very likely drive our parents crazy, and just dancing like crazy people to any upbeat song that came on the radio, or that our parents would play on our top-of-the-line tape deck/turntable. I miss those days. I miss when music was decent, even what was then the Top 40, and that didn't really need to be filtered, or turned off around small children. I miss when my dad would turn on the radio in his truck with just me in there with him, and he would tell me that "this" is rock 'n roll. And he wasn't ashamed to like it, and didn't need to worry that it would corrupt my impressionable mind. Why can't we have music like that anymore? There is music that I like today, that I would not get caught dead sharing with my 4-year-old son. I would be ashamed that I even like it. We need more music like this:

This blog doesn't get out to many people, but if it somehow gets to any artists out there, or people who want to write to music, I challenge you to write music that is catchy, clean, and cranial. Make us think, stimulate our minds, not just our bodies. Its great to have stuff to work out to, but there's a serious lack of stuff that will get my foot tapping, and keep my mind active too. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Our generation is not happy with the music that we have produced. We crave better music, with better lyrics, and more talent involved. Show me an artist who can do this, and I'll show you an artist who will enjoy success to the fullest.