Friday, December 23, 2011

The Twelve Days of Gheorghe-mas: Day Eight

On the Eighth Day of Gheorghe-Mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me:

Eight Songs I'm Loathing . . . or should be loathing, but I'm loath to say that I'm actually liking them instead of loathing them . . . 

Seven Football Stories
Six Bits Worth Reviving
Five Awesome Gifts
Four Smokin' Rock Chicks
Three Blogging Concepts (Sports, Drinking, Elitism)
Two Footie Stories
And a Doofus on a Pony

If you don't know the distinction between "loath" and "loathe," then you've come to the right place. First, I should tell you that I am a professional English teacher, and so you can trust my expertise. Second (and not nearly as important) is the fact that I learned the difference between these two words several weeks ago. This should have no bearing on my counsel. Actually, you should be pleased and impressed that I am willing to admit that I did NOT know the distinction between "loath" and "loathe" until recently . . . because I could have arrogantly and pedantically pretended that I knew the correct usage all along. I could have made you feel inferior, but I'm not that kind of guy. Il vaut mieux s'adresser à Dieu qu'à ses saints, as they say. You know what I mean.

So now you trust me. Unless I simply pretended not to know the distinction to gain your trust. You'll never know, but it's better to trust me, because I am going to make a confession. A true confession (unlike the confessions that asshole James Frey made in A Million Little Pieces).

The difference between "loath" and "loathe" is this: loath means reluctant. It is an adjective. For example, I am loath to admit that I cried at the end of Snoopy Come Home. Loathe is a verb, and it means, of course, to hate, to abhor. As in, I loathe giblets.

So what happens when you put these words together in the same sentence? You get a list of songs that I am loath to admit that I do not loathe. In other words, these are songs that by all rights I should hate, but yet I don't hate them. If they come on the radio, in theory, I should shut them off, but I don't. Instead, I turn them up. I listen to them, instead of loathing them as I should.

I should be loath to admit this to the entire internet, but I want to set the record straight (both on the songs and how to use "loath" and "loathe" properly).

The Number One Song I Am Loath To Admit I Do Not Loathe is The Eagle's Hotel California.



I try to agree with Jeff Lebowski on all matters, especially his hatred of The Fucking Eagles. Why should you hate The Fucking Eagles, man? Read this article to find out. But despite Ron Hart's ten cogently argued points, I do not loathe "Hotel California." In fact, if I hear it on the radio, I tell my children to listen carefully, and then I turn it up. God knows why, but I think this is a song with which they should be familiar. I even learned the chords on the guitar so I could sing it for them (and in a delusional state, I looked up the tab for the solo, but that shit is way too hard). Last night at the bar, when this song came on, I ceased conversing for a while and listened. Seriously.

The lyrics are a bit cryptic, and so I went to Snopes to learn exactly what they mean . . . and, unfortunately, they don't mean very much. The Hotel California is not an inn run by cannibals or a mental hospital or the place where the Satanic Bible was written. The figure on the balcony is not a ghost or Anton LaVey-- it's the janitor. The song is not a swipe at Steely Dan.  If any of these things were true, I would like The Eagles more. Apparently, the song is "an allegory about hedonism and greed in Southern California in the 1970's." Pretty boring stuff . . . perhaps the song is just one of those lucky accidents, a far greater work of art than The Fucking Eagles intended.

The Second Song I Am Loath To Admit I Do Not Loathe is Believe by Cher.



Something about the Cher-effect (Cher's voice is altered by a pitch correction speed that is "set too fast for the audio that it is processing" by using extreme settings on Antares Auto-Tune software) captured my imagination, and-- though this song is really cheesy--  the chorus still sticks with me. Maybe this because of all the Ween pitch-shifting absurdity I listened to in my twenties.

Three: Ninety-Nine LuftBallons by Nena. 



This song infected my brain when I was very young (13) and I've never been able to remove it. I like the tempo changes and I even like the part that goes: "Bomp a domp bom bum waba wump."

Four: Closing Time by Semisonic.

I thought I loathed this song until I read this insightful essay about it on Grantland, and now I am loath to admit that I don't loathe it any longer.

Five: Boys of Summer by Don Henley


Holy shit! Revelation! I've been full of self-loathing because I don't loathe this song by Don Henley-- even though Igor and I have a close source who revealed that Don Henley is a giant douche-- and now I know why! While doing research for this post, I found out that the song was co-written by Mike Campbell-- the long time guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. And I LOVE Mike Campbell, and I'm not loath to admit it! So it makes a lot more sense why I find this song both haunting and catchy, and now I'm not full of self-loathing about it. Nice work, Mike!

Six: Mr. Jones by Counting Crows

I loathe the name "Counting Crows." I also loathe all the "sha la la la" crap and the shit about the meaningful colors and the gray guitar. So the question is: why do I know all the lyrics to this ballstain of a song?

Seven and Eight: I Will Always Love You and Nothing Compares 2 U

Some confusion on my part here. These songs are both fun to sing in the shower (or in my Jeep when the stereo is broken). Somehow along the way, in my screwed up head, I combined these two songs into one. One song with a super-long mega chorus that goes: ""I ah-ah-ah-ah will always loooove you-oooh because nothing compares, nothing compares to you-ooh." I pretty much forgot that they were separate songs by different artists.

Coincidentally, they share a similar, mirror-like history. "I Will Always Love You" was written by Dolly Parton-- who is really white-- and made famous by Whitney Houston, who is not white. "Nothing Compares 2 U' was written by Prince, who is not white, but made famous by Sinead O'Connor, who is really white. Pretty cool, right? Try singing the mega-chorus in the shower, it's fun.

I hope this fosters some discussion of songs you are loath to admit you do not loathe, and I hope everyone can now properly use these two oft-confused words. Merry Gheorghe-mas . . . I have given you the gift of knowledge.

72 comments:

zman said...

Informer. Jump Around. Walking on the sun. Firework. Brian Wilson (by barenaked ladies, not the man himself).

rob said...

i celebrate katy perry's whole catalogue.

rob said...

len's 'steal my sunshine' is on my list

Igor said...

If you have not heard Brian Wilson covering the Barenaked Ladies' tune, you are missing out. I think it's on iTunes. Worth a buck for the meta qualities and the quality, even though it's a very short rendition.

Igor said...

Duran Duran is a guilty pleasure of mine. The 1980's were full of them, actually. I am seeing Adam Ant in February, and I am way more excited about the show than I should be. Bananarama does it for me in lots of ways. And I saw Morrissey in concert a few years back and it was outstanding.

zman said...

Katy Perry rhymes "boom boom boom" with "moon moon moon" but for whatever reason I forgive her. Along with every girl under the age of 11, Firework is my jam.

I will check out Brian Wilson covering Brian Wilson.

Igor said...

Around the time of my wedding, Dave confessed to me that he really liked both "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure (I love The Cure but this was an especially felchy tune) and Hanson's "Mmmbop." Surprised not to see those here.

Igor said...

Hannah Montana's "Party in the USA" is really quite listenable.

rob said...

i feel no guilt about liking duran duran. i like the cure, but i really don't like 'friday'. i'm an unabashed fan of belinda carlisle, the go go's, the bangles, and avril lavigne.

Dave said...

i'm not as loath to admist that i like the cure songs, but i totally forgot about mmm bop! if i had more room i'd have added that and duran duran's "rio." there's always next gheorghe-mas . . .

Dave said...

i'm not as loath to admist that i like the cure songs, but i totally forgot about mmm bop! if i had more room i'd have added that and duran duran's "rio." there's always next gheorghe-mas . . .

TR said...

Steal My Sunshine is legitimately great. I am proud to love that tune. Nothing gets drunk white girls going at a party like that tune. Except good coke.

Mmmbop is a tune I'll crank in my car if it's winter and the windows up. Just Like Heaven is my guilty Cure pleasure.

Igor said...

Summer of 1989. Drinking beers and watching tube with Charlie Carter. Video comes on. Charlie says, "You know, I know I shouldn't, but I kinda like these guys. They're pretty catchy."

Milli Vanilli. Oof.

rob said...

terence trent d'arby got a lot of time on my walkman back in the day

T.J. said...

My entire taste in music is most likely loathed by Dave.

Igor said...

"Steal My Sunshine" relies most heavily on a sample of a 70's disco song called "More, More, More" by the Andrea True Connection, an outfit whose lead singer was a former porn star. That song was parodied in The Simpsons, which more than once Jerry has incorporated into a blog post/comment that has made me laugh.

Moe, Moe, Moe!
Why don't you like me
Nobody likes me
Moe, Moe, Moe!

TR said...

And I'm not sure where this stands on the spectrum of songs heterosexual sports fans are allowed to like, but Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode is bad-ass. Marilyn Manson showed the potential of the tune. So did Johnny Cash.

TR said...

Thank you Cliff "Igor" Clavin.

rob said...

personal jesus is on my list of favorite songs by really gay acts, along with livin la vida loca, two tribes, and benny and the jets. depeche mode is a very underrated band.

zman said...

TR loves "What About Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something but he's loath to admit it.

Duran Duran is actually pretty excellent within their genre and I'm not afraid to admit it. Coincidentally, The National came on stage to "Wild Boys" which really got the crowd amped.

rob said...

i, too, love 'breakfast at tiffany's'. not loath to admit it.

TR said...

Zman should be embarassed he likes KRS-One, whose samples sound like an Atari 2600 after you hit it once with a baseball bat.

Deep Blue Something is the shiznit.

zman said...

I embrace the Blastmaster's entire catalog. I read an interview with him a while ago regarding the production quality of his later albums, and he said that he makes $500,000 a year making music that he likes, playing small venues, and being relegated to college radio. He also said that he could make $5 million a year if he got DJ Premiere or Kanye West to produce all his albums and to make radio-friendly music, but he would prefer to stick to doing what he likes and is happy to take home $500,000 per annum.

That said, I really wish he'd get Primo to do one more album like Return of the Boom-Bap. Just one.

Igor said...

I enjoy "Breakfast at Tiffany's" a great deal as well, despite recognizing its crapness.

Crap from the 90's I like:

"Kite" by Nick Heyward
"U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer
"Cantaloop" by Us3
"Detachable Penis" by King Missile
"What It's Like" by Everlast

Oh, and "Faith" by George Michael in 1987 was the shit.

TR said...

Blastmaster sounds like a nickname more apt for Peter North.

Igor said...

Just Wikipediaed Andrea True. She passed away six weeks ago at the age of 68.

And this is about the saddest thing I have read in a while: "After her third album failed, True briefly attempted returning to porn, but at nearly 40, she was too old for a comeback."

Rest in peace.

zman said...

Wait ... should I be loath to admit that I like "Faith"? I thought it was a given that everyone liked it. No?

T.J. said...

BreakingNewsUK Breaking News UK
George Michael: 'I'm very weak but feel great' - statement after 3 weeks in Austrian hospital with pneumonia


In other words, George Michael is dying of the AIDS?

Danimal said...

I like an n sync song....or is it boyz to men?
you are my fire
my one desire....
I like that song. I dare you to like a gayer song by a gayer band
also hero by the iglesias kid. Totally homo but I like it.

Greg said...

I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, rather than as a solo artist, and I stress the word ARTIST. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.

TR said...

I don't think we can top what Patick, I mean Greg, just wrote.

T.J. said...

NKOTB, "Hanging Tough"

mayhugh said...

I'm trying to listen to the new Arnold Palmer tape, but Evelyn, my supposed fiance, keeps buzzing in my ear.

I thought Hotel California was about the institution at which Jackson Browne's wife briefly stayed.

Dee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart. Yeah, I said it.

mayhugh said...

Or Robert Palmer. I always get them confused.

Igor said...

I am incredibly loath to admit that I rather like Creed's song "One." Ugh.

And there was a Limp Bizkit album I enjoy quite a bit.

Like Steve Perry sang, girl can't help it.

Igor said...

I think Greg will back me up on one thing: mentioning Hotel California and whether it's about Steely Dan and NOT including a link to YouTube episode 10 is egregious. Seriously, Dave.

T.J. said...

Igor, you liking a Creed song means Greg will probably never speak to you again.

Igor said...

I know. But I had to get it off my chest.

zman said...

Am I supposed to be embarrassed that I like Dee Lite? She's down with Q-Tip for God's sake!

mayhugh said...

No. No you're not.

mayhugh said...

Complete aside - shopping at Bed Bath and Body Works for fragrances a few weeks ago, I noticed that their testors have the written on them the words "I Love BBW". Is this amusing to anyone else?

T.J. said...

I think you just combined two store names into one...nicely done, Mayhugh.

zman said...

"Shopping for fragrances" sounds like a euphamism for shitting.

Greg said...

Steely Dan was known for 3 things:
1. Dark, Sarcastic Lyrics
2. Studio Perfectionism
3. And their long-running feud with the Eagles.


http://tinyurl.com/7jfxozl

Greg said...

Issue Number 2: Milli Vanilli...what is that faggot crap?

Sorry, but the real Sinatra Group is not on Youtube.

zman said...

Much has been made of all the 4th quarter comebacks this year piloted by Eli and Tebow. I suspect this is an artifact of the new passing rules. Oddly, I haven't seen an analysis on this point. Until now.

zman said...

My iPod just decided to play "Temptation" by New Order and I love it. Should I be loath to admit this?

Igor said...

No. New Order is legit.

And here is The Sinatra Group.

TR said...

Groove is in the Heart falls in with Steal My Sunshine. I even bought the Dee-Lite cassette back in the day. It kinda sucked.

Igor said...

The Spin Doctors are not as bad as people say.

"Whoever You Are" by Geggy Tah is a keeper.

Mmmbop sucks, Dave.

Dave said...

wait-- is greg serious about genesis? i am hungover and can't reliably detect irony. please explain the tone.

Danimal said...

TLC'S Don't Go Chasin Waterfalls.

I'm proud to admit mmmbop is a favorite. Not ashamed. They had another song that was pretty good too.

Danimal said...

I am home alone right now flipping thru the channels. Am watching The Kardashians. Am loath to admit that for sure. Bruce Jenner has an earring in both ears.

TR said...

Greg is quoting Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Shame on you Dave for not knowing that, if only from the book.

It's one of my favorite hooker-killing movies ever.

zman said...

Bringing it all together ... I'm loath to admit that I'm kinda into Chloe Sevigny. Don't know why but I am.

Mark said...

I will never apologize for liking Duran Duran or Depeche Mode. I actually thank my older sisters for exposing me to these acts (among others). I won't apologize for Dee-Lite either. Some songs on my list:

'Jolene' - Dolly Parton
'Ring My Bell'- Anita Ward
'Bad Romance' - Lady Gaga
'Mystify' - INXS






Oh, and I love "More, More, More". It will now be stuck in my head all day

rob said...

pocket full of krypotonite was pop candy. subsequent spins efforts suffered from hit-induced pretension and overall suckitude.

Mark said...

Also, I have the word Faith tattooed on my neck. Whenever I'm asked about it, I simply respond "I'm a big George Michael fan." The reactions I get are priceless.

rob said...

mark takes me back to early childhood, when i loved 'rhinestone cowboy', 'elvira', 'swingin'', and 'queen of hearts' thanks to my dad's preference for country.

zman said...

Mmm-boppa mmm-boppa mmm-boppa mau mau, hiiii-yo silver, away.

rob said...

now sing that to the tune of mmmbop - mashup!

Mark said...

I enjoy 'Elvira' quite a bit too.

Igor said...

No apologies ever necessary for INXS. They were one of the coolest and best liked bands of the 1980's.

"Ring My Bell"... Ah, that takes me back. 70's party circa 1992, with Buck and Hightower... doing laps in the fraternity pit wearing polyester and under the influence of some major hallucinogens. Stereo kept repeating that song and we never minded. Excellent tune.

rob said...

was in the car with the kids earlier today and 'do they know it's christmas' came on. i turned it up.

Dave said...

thanks for the allusion explanation, teej.

chloe sevigny is pretty homely in "big love."

T.J. said...

Um, ok dave...

Igor said...

"Do They Know It's Christmas" . . . best Christmas song of all time. Followed closely by Bing and Bowie doing "Little Drummer Boy."

Igor said...

The E Streeters' take on "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is no slouch, either.

rob said...

sufjan stevens' version of 'i saw three ships' is pretty excellent. it's no 'christmas in washington', mind you.

Mark said...

Christmas in Hollis-Run DMC, Blue Christmas-Elvis.

Danimal said...

Nat King Cole - White Christmas

Greg said...

Harry Belafonte has a Christmas album that has long been a staple of my house. Or parents' house. Whichever.