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Music Picks

Music Myopia: Disease or Blessing?

And three ways to celebrate it.

By Thom Wong 25 Oct 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee.

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Noisettes: may the dancing never end.

The current issue of the British Esquire features a small section on accessories where Tag Heuer, the watch manufacturer, is asked to choose its favourite watches... and they are all made by Tag Heuer.¹

I find myself falling into the same rut. I know the music I like, and where to find it, and I'm more than happy to tell you about it from the cloistered walls of my cell. And, speaking from the ripe old age of 31, I find the problem of musical myopia worsening; a friend echoed this sentiment when he realized that every song he included on his seasonal compilation was an artist he'd read about on Pitchfork.

In the interest of good music journalism and in not getting too out of touch with the kids, I sat down recently and consumed an hour of top 40 radio. Who am I to reject it outright? But -- have you heard what the kids are listening to these days? To borrow a phrase from John Mayer, it's the sound you hear while you're throwing up.²

The current number one song in America is a word-for-word description of the dance that you're supposed to do while listening to the song. The confusingly named "Soulja Boy Tellem" makes like an aerobics instructor as he takes you through the "why you crank it" and "Superman," which is all well and good until you realize he's doing all those dance moves on "bitches" and "hoes." And just in case you missed his point, he says "hoe" 30 times.

On the other hand, it's a pretty catchy song.

Another popular song is by Fergie. Perhaps you've heard of it -- "Big Girls Don't Cry." It's easily the worst cover song ever -- it doesn't sound anything like the Four Seasons.

Fergie is amazing for two reasons: one, she's routinely listed as one of the sexiest women ever, despite not even being the sexiest transvestite in Vancouver; and two, she's become more annoying than Celine Dion. I can't wait until she has her own fragrance and we can all smell t-a-s-t-y.³

What I've bought recently with my money:

I wonder, if the kids knew about the Noisettes, and if the kids listened to them, would they party without death or hate or anger, and would the dancing never end? Would they stop listening to My Chemical Romance?

Radiohead's In Rainbows is the best $0.01 I've spent in a long time. I'll justify my digital thievery by buying their $80 box set when it comes out in December.

Ferraby Lionheart is a really thin, well-dressed man who sings songs with trumpets and accordions going off in the background. He also makes the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon drive in the fall.

Read: Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero by Fred Chao.
Watched: HBO's Flight of the Conchords, the first six episodes.
Ate: Beard Papa's cream puffs, now in Aberdeen Centre.

¹ I suppose Esquire might have asked them to choose their favourite watches from their own line. How this is helpful information for you, I have no idea.
² Mayer said this about Jewel's "Intuition." It remains one of the funniest comments about a song I've ever read. He might make terrible music, but John Mayer is a funny, funny man.
³ French for "like fish."

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