If you’ve gone to see a power pop band in recent years, you might have noticed that most fans are pretty old. If you were ever in a band, went to clubs, spent time in an indie record store, or perused online fora, you might have noticed that some power pop devotees can be surly, limited, and intolerant. To be fair, that’s probably true of any genre, but you might expect that all those hooks and harmonies would leave power pop fans happier. Some people grow out of at least some of their intolerances. Some don’t, and this video has a lot of fun with aging sourpuss power poppers. Your mileage may vary, but I found the whole thing hilarious.
I hate the songs of Jimmy Webb. He won a jillion Grammy’s, and he’s regularly named as a great songwriter by people who really should know better (Bruce Springteen and some others). At his best, his songs are merely annoying, melodically vapid, and oozing with gooey sentimentality (his songs for Glen Campbell: Galveston, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get To Phoenix). At his worst, they are also pretentious (McArthur Park) and stupid beyond all description (Up, Up and Away, McArthur Park again). I once played Richard Harris’s original hit version of McArthur Park to my older son, who was certain I was playing him a comedy record. If you’re so inclined, above you can watch him perform what could be the worst song ever written with such bone-headed earnestness that you may find yourself wanting Anton Chigurh to walk up and do his captive bolt stunner thing on him. I didn’t even make it to the infamous “cake out in the rain” part (surely the dumbest metaphor ever devised). In a way it’s funny, but mostly not. My question to you bastards: am I incorrect? If any of you are Jimmy Webb fans, can you clue me in as to what’s good about him? Did he write some hidden gems I’ve never heard? Because based on his biggest hits, I don’t get his reputation as one of the greats at all.