Dec 312012

It’s not much of a surprise to find two relatively new players battling it out for pop supremacy in this strange year of 2012. I wish it could have been The Black Keys vs The Black Eyed Peas but the latter mercifully didn’t attempt any studio output this year. Hell, even 40 minutes of heavy panting and burping could have easily cracked the iTunes top ten singles chart. Similarly, no one could have predicted the long shot success of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and FUN’s “We Are Young”. Yes, music fans wanted something “out there” though not completely out of the ordinary. We live in a culture where opening weekend box office results are the sole measure of a film’s success and where television critics fall over themselves to declare any new cable TV show the next “must see” show. In our case Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is the box office success while Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is our must see show of the year.


  20 Responses to “Song of the Year: Psy vs Carly Rae Jepsen”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    Re: Bieber, CRJ and co: at least Bobby Sherman fans have actual record albums they can hold during their nostalgic moments as 50-something grown-ups. What are Bieber fans going to fondle after 40 years of growing up, during which time they realize just how shitty his music was?

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, or to just blink (because a new video will be hot soon enough). Is this completely idiotic or a sly commentary on the ridiculousness of viral videos? (HVB, you are not permitted to immediately respond, “Yes.”)

    THIS is one of the latest viral videos. It morphed from this:

    to this:

    Please enjoy.

  3. cliff sovinsanity

    Viral videos are the new medium, yet I don’t see the profit. Popular music has always been disposable but never to this degree. It used to be that a song would first be played by a DJ in LA (or wherever), and would take weeks or months for that song to climb the charts. Now a song can be played, shared and go worldwide within a week.
    The other night I went to see the Steve Miller Band. Now, I’m sure Rock’n Me or The Joker has been played over a billion times on radio and yet it still seems more tangible than the millions of hits Psy and CRJ. Today’s internet phenoms quickly become disposable and diluted by remixes and tributes.

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    Well said, and in complete agreement.

  5. I think there could be an interesting piece called “Best Song with its own dance”

    “Let’s Twist Again” anybody?

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    In response to your questions, I’m simply holding up a mirror to the current state of music. My piece is both idiotic and a commentary, but I also hope it draws a chuckle.

  7. 2000 Man

    We stayed at a cottage on a lake this summer, and the kid that belongs to the owners had his satellite radio on the deck and tuned to the Pop station. He’s 15, so I felt a little bad for him for liking such shitty music, but I thought maybe it will change since he’s only 15. The he jumped up and down and squealed like a little girl when Call Me Maybe came on and said, “This is MY SONG! My favorite song in the world! Don’t you love it?” I felt bad telling him I’d never heard it, but I felt worse when I thought that if he loved that, there is no hope of him ever liking anything good.

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    No, I meant the “Buy My Fish” viral videos rather than your excellent thread. 😉

  9. Northvancoveman! Well, 2012 truly ended with a bang! I’m catching up after a long night with old friends, including a number of Townspeople.

  10. Please don’t use the word “fondle” in the same sentence with “Bieber,” no matter how old that kid is now, OK? Sick!

  11. Happiness Stan

    I love Gangnam Style, although the thought of attempting the moves puts me in mind of my late Grandma dancing to this

    I’d never heard of Call Me Maybe, having watched the video it doesn’t make me want to watch or listen to it again. With Psy, when that was posted on here I watched it about three or four times before going down and insisting that our eldest check it out as well.

    Record of the year, no question..

  12. ladymisskirroyale

    Ah, the great American wedding song, The Chicken Dance!

  13. Between the two, I’ll take Call Me Maybe, although I prefer the Roots version on classroom instruments:

    I’ve avoided listening to music on the radio for 15 years or so but about 3 months ago, the kids (5 and 7) started asking to listen to the pop stations. So now I know songs by Kesha, Maroon 5, Flo Rida, etc. Most of it is generically horrendous, but seeing it through their eyes is pretty entertaining. Also, for Christmas they got a video game called Lets Dance in which you have to emulate the dance moves of the characters on the screen. On New Years Eve, I must have heard Call Me Maybe about 12 times while 6 girls sang and danced along, and it was delightful.

    The pop crap from my youth was much better produced (see: Kung Fu Fighting, Brady, et al) but this new stuff has it’s place, and I’m guessing that somewhere buried in all that factory pop and auto-tuned vocals, there has to be at least one decent song.

    By the way, if anybody wants to take me on in a dance-off, let me know. I got moves like Jagger.

  14. cliff sovinsanity

    I don’t invest a lot of time with the current state of pop music, but I do keep an ear out. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that whatever top 40 music is playing is automatically shit. Ok, 95% of the time it is, but every once in a while I’ll give props to decent pop songs that are in line with past pop classics on par with the good stuff from Beach Boys, The Bay City Rollers, Raspberries, Go-Go’s etc.
    The current class of Top 40 has some who seem to get it… Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, FUN are decent lot from a bad crop. Now, I’ll never own their music but I’m not going to completely dismiss them without giving their music an honest appraisal.
    It’s worth pointing out that I’m a disciple of Chuck Eddy which means I have a certain compassion for horrible music.

  15. There was a story about this song and guy on NPR yesterday that lasted longer than the song itself and, most likely, the eventual full span of the guy’s career.

  16. Our 11-year-old boy has recently decided to add “Pop” to his tastes. It’s driving my wife and our older son, who are rock snobs like me, crazy. For the most part I’m taking a Bigger Man approach to the situation, only picking a spot now and then to say something like “You know, ‘pop'” is only one letter removed from ‘poop’.”

    For Christmas he asked me to download about 15 songs by modern-day pop artists: Pink, Gwen Stefani, Ke$ha, B.O.B., Alicia Keys, Wiz Kalifa, Brittney Spears, Skrillex… I drew the line on a couple of requested downloads based on subject matter and the artist’s overall scumbagginess (see Skrillex), but beside Stefani, whose music I’ve already found occasionally enjoyable, and my girl Alicia Keys, I was surprised that not all of the stuff he requested sucked. B.O.B. had a couple of catchy songs. Ke$ha was surprisingly decent.

    Two things make my son’s New Pop Phase understandable and bearable: 1) the kid lives for messing with people by declaring unpopular opinions and 2) this sixth grader is at least partially motivated by knowing music that the girls he’s finding himself attracted to dig.

  17. cliff sovinsanity

    Consider yourself lucky that he’s into music to begin with. At 11 most kids these days are seriously into The Avengers, Angry Birds or Assassin’s Creed.
    When I was 11 I had Disco, Devo and Def Leppard to sort through.

  18. Oh yeah, and he’s already proven his rock credibility with an in-depth knowledge of and love for singing along to the music of Bowie, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Dylan, and other classic rock artists.

  19. bostonhistorian

    I caught my nine year old singing Joe Strummer’s version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. Her mother had played it a few times in the car and she liked it well enough to learn it. She’s going to be a lonely misfit when she finds out other kids don’t like the music she likes…

  20. cdm, I think your point about seeing songs through your kids eyes (or maybe listening through their ears) is a good one.

    I controlled the car radio up until my oldest daughter turned 12. I then ceded it to her, not wanting to be my dad who never did turn over the dial to me.

    It’s now been a decade of lost control. Even if I don’t enjoy most (almost all) of what I hear there are occasional delights. And my kids have a surprisingly wide array of music on their iPods and such, thanks, I like to think, to the good roots I planted.

    One thing I’ve found surprising with my kids is how much they embrace current hip-hop/dance music and current country music. They seem so far apart and yet, my daughters especially, really like both of them.

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