Loathsome Thursday

Meet Loathsome Thursday, the dark step-sister of Catchy Tuesday. We all get confronted by songs that seem fiendishly calculated in all details—dumb melody, bone-headed lyrics, sappy production, cloying singing—to send us into a sputtering, incoherent, lunch-throwing, china-smashing rage. “Wildfire” is one such song for me. Note that YouTube comments are turned off, so I’m not alone, although I will note that other postings have plenty of “greatest song ever written” comments. I will also note that this song was included in Dave Barry’s excellent Book of Bad Songs, where it was pointed out that a killing frost is a light dusting that will kill your tomatoes but not obscure the ground. No one ever “got lost” in a “killing frost” who would not also get lost in July.

I’d love to hear what songs rankle you bastards. Sometimes everything I’ve heard by certain acts gets under my skin. Jimmy Webb (who gets called a genius), Dave Matthews, Michael McDonald, America, John Mayer, The Captain and Tennille…and many more no doubt. A special chamber of horrors gets created when those people cover each other. The Captain and Tennille’s vile minor hit, “Muskrat Love,” was originally by America. Just execrable.

If you enjoy any music or artists I’ve mentioned, please do not take offense, and please continue to enjoy them. The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of Los Bastardos Reunidos Media Holdings, LLC.

10 Replies to “Loathsome Thursday”

  1. That song was on every 70’s compilation ever produced, but somehow I never heard it on the radio. Like you, I am not impressed.

    “Happy Birthday” belongs on the worst song list. It’s ubiquitous. It should only be played with a tuba and a great sense of irony, or perhaps not at all.

    I never listen to John Mayer, but get the sense that I wouldn’t like him. Dave Matthews is cheerfully ignored. I went through a phase of listening to a lot of college radio (a good source for new tunes) where i was mystified by the near-universal fondness for Death Cab for Cutie and Iron & Wine. I detest the latter especially.

    I don’t mind America but “Muskrat Love” should be beamed into an event horizon.
    The father of “The Captain” (captain of what?) was an American conductor who composed the score to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), among other projects. I think he may have had dinner at my house once. My parents were supporters of the local symphony, or knew someone, and when he rolled through town they got to hang out with him. I remember it being a big deal that they were dining with Carmen Dragon. Young Monkeystador was not invited. “Who?” I kept asking my mom.
    His non-captain son Dennis was in the Surf Punks and drummed for both the Beach Boys and the Byrds.

  2. I’ve heard one song I liked by Death Cab. I don’t remember the name of it, but it stole the riff from “Picture Book” by the Kinks, which made it pretty good. So one day I streamed the album it’s on, and there were no other good songs. So I wrote ‘em off. They should steal from the Kinks more often.

    I base my dislike of John Mayer and Dave Matthews on their radio hits. The breathy vocals of the former and nasal whine of the latter make my skin crawl. The songs are stupid too. JM has gained some respect as a blues rock guitarist. I haven’t heard any of that, but I’m unimpressed anyway. Any half-assed Clapton imitator gets overpraised. It’s a style that was exhausted forty years ago.

    I have to call America out on “Horse With No Name” too. C’mon, you’re in the fucking desert all day. Name the goddamn horse.

  3. Well you guys already know how much I love that fey asshole Morrissey. “Ah ha ha-ha-ha ha ha ha-ha-ha ha ha-ha-ha ha oh ho ho-ho-ho ah ho-ho-ho ah ha-ha-ha.”

    Other artists who send me diving for the radio dial include Erasure, Depeche Mode, New Order, and Joy Division. (Any song by said groups will do.)

    In particular, “Rock Lobster” makes me knitting-needle-in-the-ears suicidal after the first 10 minutes or so. It’s an insipid song built around a killer riff, but once they get to the animal noises I’m done.

    And then there’s the story songs of the Seventies like “Run Joey Run” or “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” Just awful.

  4. 70’s narrative songs were indeed awful. Another was the wretched “The Night Chicago Died” (link witheld out of courtesy), which was about the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Then there was “Timothy,” a tale of cannibalism. On the less gruesome front, there was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” which contained this stunning description of the ship:

    As the big freigthers go, it was bigger than most.

    Wow, really? So impressive.

    The B-52’s only bother me in certain moods. Depeche Mode and of course Morrissey I detest as well. Am I mistaken, or is his entire band trying to copy his haircut? Maybe Morrissey’s rule?

  5. There’s some stuff I have a soft spot listed here, but I’ll let them pass because it’s well-established I have bad taste in music. I wholeheartedly concur with the suckitude of Mayer and Matthews, along with Hootie and the Old Crow Medicine show types.

    I need to throw Loverboy on the pile here. I seem to be the only one who hates them to the degree I do, but I would literally hit Mike Reno with a stick, and he’s probably the only person in the world outside of certain politicians I’d want to do that to.

  6. Also Styx. That Mr. Roboto song makes me want to take whatever pill gets me out of this version of the simulation.

    1. Just heard that the other day! Laughably bad, especially the surprise ending.

      From you-know-where …

      The song tells part of the story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for “rock and roll misfits” by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM) and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young). The Roboto is a model of robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overpowering a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside its emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance (played by guitarist Tommy Shaw) finally meets Kilroy at the very end of the song, Kilroy unmasks and yells “I’m Kilroy! Kilroy!”, ending the song.

  7. But I hope this becomes a Thursday tradition and we find new and egregious offerings we’ve long since suppressed.

  8. I can actually tolerate this song and lots of other 70’s light rock hits. I believe people are calling it Yacht Rock these days.
    Fun fact… Captain and Tennile was my first concert. Some friends of my parents grew up with Toni Tennile and were good friends. We got to go backstage after and hang out with them. I was just a wee bastard back in the day and she thought I was cute, so she sat me on her lap. This set the bar for all future concerts, so you can imagine my disappointment when Thom Yorke didn’t set me on his lap after I saw them at Madison Square Garden.
    You take that back about Morrissey!!!!

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