Deep Thoughts On The 2014 VMA's: Where Did The Songs Go??

After the debacle that was the VMA's, I've seen a lot of people my age asking "Where did the bleeping songs go?"

The kids, of course, dismiss us with a mock "Hey you kids get outta my yard!", but it's a fair question.  After all, only an idiot would deny Beyonce's charisma and athletic dedication to her craft, which is, admittedly, not music.  See, she's a karaoke-level singer at best and she isn't any better looking than a lot of other mixed-race women, especially when you consider that "fart face" expression she made about 80 times during her Super Bowl show.

I laugh myself silly imagining Jay-Z trying to get that image out of his head whenever Beyoncé surprises him with a new million-dollar slice of lingerie.

By "athletic dedication", of course, I mean that she isn't actually naturally gifted at anything, so the best she can do is approach it like an athlete...muscle it, force it, and get to the top on sheer willpower.
It makes me wonder what kind of father she had.  Oh right, a shitty one who was essentially her pimp until she fired him for stealing from her.  Oops.

Maybe if he'd just hugged her a little more, we wouldn't be forced to give a shit about what she or her even-less-talented kid sister do in some elevator.

All of this drama, truth be told, is concocted for the sole purpose of distraction.  "Hey, look, Solange just unloaded an AK-47 into Jay-Z's hollowed-out pumpkin head!"  All so nobody will notice that there are NO SONGS.

Beyoncé doesn't sing, she talks and she talks and she talks.  Ever notice how those folks who have a habit of saying "I don't normally fall for such BS" are always the ones who fall for such BS?  That's Beyoncé.  Have you ever seen any video footage of her actually just listening to someone else and not just waiting for them to stop talking so she can jump in?

Same goes for Taylor Swift, who has yet to meet the older guy she can't turn into background music for making every trip to Walgreen's even more annoyingly aggravating than it has to be.  Christ, those songs are just one big chorus built around a screech and/or stutter.

Poor Calvin and the tragic tale of life after "Calvin and Hobbes".  
And Miley?  Same thing.

Mind you, I wouldn't be complaining if there were some actual songs being sung.  Being a fan of Butch Walker, Gregg Alexander and Dan Wilson back when they were struggling artists, it was nice seeing them make big money a decade ago co-writing for the likes of, well, everybody, but,m at the same time, their willingness to work with women who couldn't write, much less sing without the need for specialized digital manipulation in post-production, felt like a bit of a betrayal.

Okay, actually, it was a HUGE betrayal because it sent the message to every teenage girl who fancied herself a "rock star" that all she had to do was show up and that the rest would be taken care of for her as long as she was willing to do whatever they asked.

Unfortunately, "they" have no use for songs at this point.  If they want the sheep to clap, they just order a high note from the production department, make sure the "live mic" is off (the one that enables her to talk between songs) and cue the pyro.

Thing is, I wouldn't mind all the crass attention-getting if those pulling the strings cared enough to at least give us some songs.  The last truly great song I can think of - the kind every Miley and Beyoncé and Taylor wishes she could find - is "Since U Been Gone", which Kelly Clarkson turned into the biggest hit she'll ever have, but would have been a hit for anyone.

That tune was written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke, better known as the guys who now create much less memorable hits for the likes of Pink, Britney, Avril, and so on.  They, too, are partly to blame by so quickly casting aside their own aspirations of fame for the most superficial of fortunes.

Because the songs they've given us in the last ten years are complete shit.  Sure, they sound like songs, and have words just like other songs do, but the fact that you can practically sing along to it on first listen tells those of us paying attention all we need to know.

Today's kids are more than okay with a really weak approximations of the real thing.

Don't give us fat Elvis or Aretha (they're term, not mine), give us skinny Jay-Z and bronze Beyonce and two dozen back-up dancers.

Don't give us the Rolling Stones at Altamont, just give us Justin Timberlake in an MC5 t-shirt.

Don't give us the Samantha Fox, who actually had a decent rack, just give us a bunch of 12-year-old boys with names like Miley and Rihanna who can never quite manage to keep their clothes on whenever someone has the guts to finally ask what everybody in the room, or in front of their TV, has been thinking:


You know why every kid is constantly glued to their smartphone?  Because the unintelligible tweets of Kim Kardashian's caboose are more interesting than what passes for songs these days. 

There, I said it.

If you haven't already, go back up to the top of this post and check out the clip of Kelly Clarkson performing "Since U Been Gone" at the 2005 VMA's.  The first thing you'll notice is how quaint a roomful of kids NOT holding their smartphones up looks not even ten years after the fact.  Kelly, of course, looks pretty fresh for having just gotten off work at Hot Topic.  Notice the complete lack of backing dancers, too?  Turns out when you're singing actual songs, you don't need 24 idiots gyrating around you.


They don't even have to be new songs, they can be something like this...

Notice how the singer's dress isn't malfunctioning?  The complete lack of twerking?

Amazing how such things just seem to fall by the wayside when you lose yourself in a good song performed well by someone who, quite frankly, doesn't want you to see their goody bag.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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