Random Musical Musings On A Friday Afternoon: Billboard Top 10 Singles Chart, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, And The End Of "Country Music" As We Know It??

I'll be the first to say that I haven't read a Billboard Top 40 Singles chart in ages.  Sure, I'd see the occasional Top 10 jammed into the corner of some newspaper or website, have a chuckle at some of the names, and promptly move on with my life.  So, for shits and giggles, I decided to actually check out this week's complete Top 40 chart. Needless to say, I was shocked by what I saw.

Last time I noticed, it seemed as if every hit single had some variation of "featuring T.I. and/or Pitbull" in the title.  So imagine my surprise when I looked up the current Top 40 and saw...well, first of all the "featuring" thing is still around and has gotten totally out-of-hand.  I mean, in one sense, there's no better way to cross-market new and established acts alike, but can you imagine "Working In A Coalmine" by "Devo featuring Dee Snyder and Dee Dee Ramone"?  "Missing Persons featuring Samantha Fox?"  "Pat Benatar featuring Neil Giraldo"?! (zing again!)  Ultimately, though, it's lazy because, by now, most if not all collaborations are driven by factors that have zilch to do with music.

Moving past that, the first thing to sock me in my jaw is that Lana Del Rey is in the Top 10!   This special remix of last year's "Summertime Sadness" by Cedric Gervais (Ricky's bro?) seems to just add some of the basic stock effects from Ableton Live 9 to dress the song up a little.  Still, seems kinda fluky, though.  Is Lana now fast-tracked to be the new Dido for the hip-hop crowd?

Ah, the good ol' days...
Second thing I notice is that Miley Cyrus has two songs in the Top 20.  She also did so by herself, but since the complete split personality disorder I predicted years ago has quickly come to be, so that's technically two people. Also, either the constant public tweeting and acting out ("Take that daddy!") on major award shows is paying off...or its completely unnecessary.  My vote is for the former.

By the way, the internet seems to have finally overtaken radio as far as (sigh) major artists promoting their new single goes.  Eminem's "Berserk" has been out all of ten minutes and its already #3.  As far as the more indie stuff goes, I think it still takes a couple months for a song to transition from NPR heavy rotation to anything resembling commercial radio rotation.  I'm thinking Of Monsters and Men, Alabama Shakes...Black Keys.  Things that took awhile for the mainstream sheep to find out about but that they pretend to have known about all along.

Lorde is at #8 with...wait, who the fuck is Lorde?  Ugh, the tween-pop assembly line marches on.  Have you ever seen an industry latch onto a single lucrative business model more than the music biz has with its systematic marketing of multiple vaguely similar and complementary personalities to the current tween generation AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYTHING ELSE?

Seriously, who do you think gives the kids the money with which to buy Selena Gomez's perfume?  You don't think maybe we'd like to listen to something besides Bon Jovi (top grossing concert act of 2012 and proof that we humans are deeply flawed) or the entire country movement that is nothing more than warmed-over '80s hair metal where Brett Michaels is played by Faith Hill and Vince Neil is played by Carrie Underwood?!


Speaking of Carrie Underwood, anyone see her performing "Paradise City" at last month's CMA's? I'd say that that was one of rock music's biggest travesties, but that wasn't rock music. What's so insulting about the performance is that it was essentially a complete admission by the Country Music industry that "Country Music" is nothing more than warmed-over hair metal with the roles of Brett Michaels and Vince Neil are played by Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, respectively.  Ha, ha.  Not kidding. That performance was about as edgy as an "Up With People" sippy cup. The "Glam Rocker Dude" from Central Casting with an real-life Flying V was a nice touch. How country is that, snort?!


Lady Gaga's "Applause" is at #6 with a "down arrow" circle graphic next to it.  This is as good a place as any to say that the way Billboard displays their charts these days is ridiculous.  They didn't even give you an option to "just see the fucking chart without all the vaguely related YouTube clips in between nearly EVERY chart position.  A whopping ten chart positions per page.  But ten times that many weird symbols.  That's not a flame symbol, by the way, it's a mountain peak, meant to indicate each song's "peak position".  (slaps forehead)  So Gag's new song has bee out four weeks and seems to have already peaked?  Sounds about right.


The only reason I listened to Pat Benatar's "Bloodshot Eyes" in the first place was to remind myself how horrible that "swing blues" album she did had been and now Spotify is making suggestions based on me clicking on the track for all of three seconds.  Yet I listen to three Black Flag albums in their entirety and Spotify falls mum?

Well, that's the news and I am outta here!

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