Monday, May 16, 2016

the (in)defensible twenty seven ...

“In a lifetime?
Made of memories?
I believe?
In destiny!

Every moment?
Returns again in time.
When I’ve got the future on my mind?
Know that you’ll be the only one!

Meet me halfway?
Across the sky!
Out where the world belongs?
To only you and I!

Meet me halfway?
Across the sky!
Make this a new beginning of?
Another life!

In a lifetime?
There is only love!
Reaching for?
The lonely one!

We are stronger,
When we are giving love!
When we put emotions on the line?
Know that we are the timeless ones!

Meet me halfway?
Across the sky!
Out where the world belongs?
To only you and I!

Meet me halfway?
Across the sky!
Make this a new beginning of?
Another life! …”

-- “Meet Me Halfway” by Kenny Loggins … which is THE “(Dis)Honorable Mention” for this post.  But don’t worry – (nsync voice) This I promise you?

Ol’ Ken is gonna land in the top ten, of this list post …


This post … I’m almost embarrassed to write.

Emphasis on “almost”.

Because these, peoples and peepettes, are THE Twenty Seven Sh*ttiest Songs On My iPhone.

These are the twenty seven songs – all bought and paid for! – that if you were to scroll through my playlists, you would bust out laughing at seeing on there.  You would instantly mock me for having spent (at least) $1.29 / song to have the high honor and privilege of being able to listen to said song at any moment in time I felt like listening to it.

(And in a few cases, you’d just assume I was high, when purchasing said song.)

Love me or hate me, you gotta admit: nobody makes fun of me, like me.

Here we go, from what I consider the “most” defensible purchase … to the “wow, I REALLY own this … and am going to DEFEND owning it?!?!?!” track …


My defense: because of one stanza:

“So if you ever loved me?
Show me that you give a damn!
To know for certain?
The man I really am!”

I mean, them is fightin’ words!  That is “how dare you claim I don’t love you!” fightin’ words!

That … and like every good dude who’s found “the one”, he concedes the ending that everyone saw coming:

“The search is over.
Love?  Was right before
My eyes …”

Aw.  That’s just precious.  Kind of like nine year old Stevo fist pumping his excitement at some girl agreeing to skate to this song -- just ... precious.

(cue even stevo's mommy gagging at that cheezy one-liner ...)

My defense: I’ll defend anything from the 1970s that isn’t disco.  And hell, given that my favorite movie of all time is what fueled disco to the height of its popularity *, I’ll even defend disco.

But this style of music, I absolutely love.  Always have, always will.  Be it Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, or Lobo.  A song you can absolutely envision just sitting on a couch, a rolled Swisher with something other than cigar tobacco in it … I can hear it now:

“Baby?  I’d love you to want me!
The way that I want you!
The way that it should be!”

I mean, come on peepettes reading this – who WOULDN’T instantly want to (bob eubanks voice) make whoopee if some … I don’t know … just for sh*ts and giggles, let’s say some 39 year old white guy who writes for this site, who WOULDN’T instantly be attracted to that proverbial 39 year old white dude blogger, if he told you that while enjoying a tobacco like product that will be legal nationwide before Mrs. Clinton’s second Inauguration?

(Note: I might be high right now.  Just saying.)

(*: don’t worry, “Saturday Night Fever” factors into the top four on this (in)defensible list of sh*ttacular excellence.)

My defense: in the interest of full disclosure, I watched “American Idol” right through to the end.  And in the interest of full disclosure, Ms. DeGarmo covering this song in the Season Three Finale is one of my five favorite “Idol” performances ever.  (Hence it being on my track listing on my iPhone.)

Having said that … God, I love this song.  One of the great “don’t ever let your tormentor see how much they’ve truly hurt you” tracks you’ll ever hear:

 “Don’t cry out loud!
Just keep it inside;
Learn how to hide your feelings.

Fly high and proud!
And if you should fall?
Remember – you almost had it all! …”

(And yes, I know – I TOTALLY flunk the “don’t ever let those you have been hurt by, ever know just how f*cking much they’ve hurt you!” test.  Hypocrisy 101.  I could teach a thesis level course on that subject, if we’re being honest here.)

My defense: because this is one kick ass song.  I don’t give a damn that Barry “Effing” Gibb wrote it.  I don’t give a damn that it’s from the height of the disco era.  I don’t give a damn that it’s Dionne “Psychic Friends Hotline” Warwick singing it.

If Dionne’s niece is correct, that (whitney houston voice) “crack is whack”?  This this is one kick ass song.

Because it is one great “how stupid have you got to be, to be through with me!” rebuttal, to an unwanted and/or unforeseen, breakup.

“My love?  Is stronger than the universe!
My soul?  Is crying for you!
And that cannot be reversed!

You made the rules,
Yet you could not see –
You made a life out of hurting me?

Out of my mind?
I am held by the power
Of you, love.

Tell me – when do we try?
Why should we say goodbye?

Why do you have to be a heartbreaker?
When I was being,
What you want me to be?

Suddenly, everything I ever wanted?
Has passed me by! …”

My defense: I offer none … other than, I like the song.

And sadly, that is not the last time, my sole defense, will be “I offer none … other than, I like the song.”

My defense: because what I wouldn’t give, to feel this way about a girl again.

“I know it’s not my fault;
I did my best.
And God knows this heart of mine?
Could use a rest.

But more and more I find?
The dreams I left behind?
Are somehow too real?
To replace!  (Replace!)

Oh, last night?
I didn’t get to sleep at all!
No, no, no!

The sleeping pill I took?
Was just a waste of time.
I couldn’t close my eyes,
Because you were on my mind.

Last night?
I didn’t get to sleep!
I didn’t get to sleep!
I didn’t get to sleep at all! …”

(Plus, God bless -- what a great song!  (Pause).  Who's with me!  (Crickets chirping ...)  (Pause).  (Sigh of disgust).)  

Fine, let's move on ...

My defense: well first of all, it’s the "dramatic follow up” from a teenage pop sensation in Canada in the 1990s ** (played so brilliantly by Cobie Smulders for nine years on “How I Met Your Mother”).  Secondly, it’s nowhere near as good as her first “hit” as a teenage Canadian sensation, “Let’s Go To The Mall” ***.

Yet I like this one better.  I have no idea why, other than Alan Thicke in the house, yo!

(**: you have to pay attention to notice it, but "Sandcastles In The Sand" is what Robin walks down the aisle to when she marries Barney in the season nine episode "The End Of the Aisle".)

(***: my ten favorite episodes of this incredible show: (10) "Showdown" from Season Two -- because anytime you can appear on "The Price Is Right", you have to do it; (9) "Glitter" from Season Six -- because the beaver is a noble creature; (8) "Canning Randy" from Season Six -- because we all could use a frosty cold mug of Wharmpiss every now and then; (7) "The Final Page (Both Parts)" from Season Eight -- because "The Robin" is such a f*cked-up way of winning the girl, even I am in awe of it; (6) "Sandcastles In The Sand" from Season Three -- because we all love beyond reason, the first night we "just stopped watching"; (5) "Pilot" from Season One -- because who wouldn't love to receive a Smurf Penis; (4) "Something Blue" from Season Two -- because no matter how bad a hair day you're having, you can't top Marshall's bad hair day on the biggest day of his life; (3) "Bad News" from Season Six -- because none of us are ever prepared, for this; (2) "Slap Bet" from Season Two -- because anytime you can genuinely say "Porn?  I wish it was porn; that'd be less embarrassing!" when discussing your past, it's a good thing; (1) "Gary Blauman" from Season Nine -- because none of us really realize how easy it is, for someone to disappear from your life forever.  Just missing the cut would be "How Your Mother Met Me" from Season Nine, and "Ten Sessions" from Season Three.)

My defense: I offer none ... other than I love the song.

I mean, seriously, how can anyone hate this:

"Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy
Til we see the sun!
I know we only met?
But let's pretend it's love!

And never, never, never stop
For anyone!
Tonight?  Let's get some!
And live while we're young!"

My defense: I'm not sure what's more pathetic: George Michael ... or the dude George sings about, in this song.

I mean, it's one thing to be a cheater.  I don't really have much use for someone who would blatantly lie to their significant other, about their, uuh, significance, to them.  But when she's cheating on you, gives you free reign to do the same to her, and you not only refuse the offer, but you stick with your cheating partner, whose cheating you can't stop b*tching about?  Dude, get out.  It will not end well.  Either stay faithful to your partner, or have both parties agree to an open marriage.  Either way, have the balls to own what it is you want: one partner, or many.

(And thus ends the "Stevo Lecture on Morality" portion of these (piss poorly) prepared remarks.  And yes, I know – me lecturing someone on morality is patently absurd.  Hypocrisy 101 enrollment starts now.)

My defense: because it's the one song by them I'll admit to enjoying.  There are others ... but I haven't bought and paid for the privilege, of enjoying those.

This one, I did.

And I have no regrets.

My defense: because the second verse just kicks ass.  Seriously, just read the lyrics:

"Society blind by color --
Why not bound one,
To raise another?

Discrimination now on both sides --
Seeds of hate?
Blossom further.

The world is headed for mutiny,
When all we want?
Is unity.

We may rise and fall,
But in the end?
We'll meet our fate together!"

My defense: have you ever listened to the song?  It’s one epic “I love you, but … uuh … yeah … you’re just my one on the side” ballad.  Somehow, I dig that.  I admire brutal honesty sometimes.

“I don’t have the heart?
To hurt you –
It’s the last thing?
I want to do!

But I don’t have the heart?
To love you –
Not the way?
You want me to! …”

My defense: because it's a really underrated song.  I irrationally love this track.

"First, when there's nothing
But a slow blowing dream?
That your fear seems to hide
Deep inside your mind?

All alone?  I have cried.
Silent tears, full of pride.
In a world, made of steel,
Made of stone ...

(cue the peppy music now ...)

Well I hear the music!
Close my eyes, feel the rhythm!
Wrap around, take ahold
Of my heart!

What a feeling!
Beings believing!
I can have it all,
Now I'm dancing for my life!

Take your passion?
And make it happen!
Pictures come alive --
Now I'm dancing through my life!

What a feeling! ..."

What a feeling indeed!

My defense: because of all the sh*tty rappers St. Louis has unleashed up on -- I'm looking at you, Chingy -- the worst bar none is J-KWON.  (The best being Nelly, of course.  God bless it, fifteen years later, and "E.I." is still a masterpiece.  "If the head right?  Nelly there e'ry night!"  (tony bruno voice) Beautiful.)

This song is atrocious.  And I absolutely love it.

I mean, when the chorus is "E'rybody in this b*tch gettin' tipsy!" over and over again, how can you hate it?

Speaking of absolutely atrocious songs I irrationally love ...

My defense: for starters, it's off an album titled "Southern Comfort".  As someone who would live on SoCo and lime on the rocks if my liver could handle it ****, you have to admire and respect that title.

But the song itself -- have you ever listened to the words?

It's Conway Twitty, praising his ability to get a woman off with his hand. 

In other words?  It's six degrees of awesome!

"Darlin?  Don't say a word!
I've already heard
What your body's saying to mine!

You're tired of fast moves!
You've got a slow groove,
On your mind ...

You want a man with a slow hand!
You want a lover with an easy touch!
You want somebody who will spend some time,
Not come and go in a heated rush!

Baby?  Believe me,
I understand!
When it comes to love?
You want a slow hand! ..."

(****: fine, we all know my liver could handle it.)

My defense: I have none.  I mean, this song is atrocious.  It's pure 1981 at its finest.  And somehow, I love it.

My defense:  because other than "I Want It That Way" and "Bye, Bye, Bye", this is the best song of the Boy Band Era that dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

Unless it's ...

My defense: because this is one fun song!  And because who doesn't enjoy scoring the hottest girl in the club ***** or the bar for a night of, uuh, fun!

"Girl, if we do what we did last night again?
Baby, you and I would be better friends!
Don't you think it's time we went a bit further?

Every night when we say goodbye?
How can I help looking in your eyes,
Wondering why you and I never hit it.
Can we get it on?

Girl, I'm faded, but I feel alright!
Thinkin' bout making my move tonight!
I can't pretend that you're only my friend,
When you're holding my body tight!

Cause I like the way you're making him move;
I like the way you're making me wait.
And at the end of the night,
When I make up your mind?
You'll be coming on home with me! ..."

(*****: this especially applies if the word "strip", is in front of the word "club".  Man, the "Night That Will Live in Infamy" -- me, a stripper, a cripple, and a chick with a mustache nicknamed Ratty.  NOTHING says "I'm faded" like waking up spooning with a chick nicknamed Ratty.  Trust me on that one. 

I'm telling you, some network is missing out on comedic gold by not making a sitcom based on my life.)

My defense: because who doesn’t love a song about a stalker!  (Pause).  OK, fine – who DOES love a song about a creepy ass stalker?

“But night took a hold of my heart,
And left me with noone to follow.
The love that I’ve lost to the dark?
I’ll always remember …

Forever?  In my heart!
Forever?  Here you’ll be!
Know that when I’m gone?
You’ll be near to me!

Forever in my mind!
Always thought I’d be?
I’d be yours! …”

God, that is just frightening.  Or endearing, depending on your viewpoint of Stalker Dude.

My defense: (pause).  Jesus, I’m struggling at this point …

Because moments in a life matter.  That’s my defense – moments in your life, that involve people who you love the f*ck out of, that matter like hell itself to you?  Matter. 

I have a very, very specific reason this song is on that iPhone (and has been on my iTunes for almost eight years now).  This song holds the key to one of the great weekends of my life, from the last weekend of August 2008.  It’s …

Well, sh*t – it’s personal. 

You people who know me best, know that I do not believe in coincidence.  EVERY single thing that happens in life, happens for a reason.  We may never learn the reason, but it happens for a reason.  This song holds its spot it does, because of the weekend before Labor Day, 2008.

The reason why I love this song as I do?  Stays with me. 

Other than to note to one person who might read this, that said reason?  Is the only moment in time, I actually believed the bullsh*t and lies crammed down my throat, that were the two years of my life between April 20, 2007 and May 1, 2009.  It’s the ONLY moment in those two years, you made sense to me. 

Sh*t, it’s the only moment in those two years?  You actually exposed who “The Man Behind The Curtain” is … and somehow, someway, I not only grasped it … I choose to this day, to blindly forgive you for it. 

I’ll just leave it at that.


Fine – I’ll leave it at this:

“Like a thief in the night,
Who can’t get enough?
I am willing to fight –
‘Cause I’m a soldier of love!

Like a shot in the dark,
When the going gets rough?
It’s a state of the heart –
You’re a soldier of love!”

My defense: I was 9 when this song came out.  When this song came out, my mom taught 8th grade History ****** at Northwest Middle School, off of 18th Street, just north of Parallel, in KCK.

They had a spring choir deal that my mom drug my brother and I to.

The closing song?  Was this.

That moment still sticks with me.  The passion, the heart-felt emotion, this song raised in those kids.

Or maybe it’s the fact that our President (allegedly) born in (ray charles voice) Akifa, has done less for his (alleged) home continent, than Mr. Reagan in the 1980s, and Mr. Bush in the 2000s, and it’s not even a close competition.

I just love everything this song represents, everything it offers.  Deal with it.

(******: for those who wonder why I love history so much?  Blame my mommy.  No truer statement has ever been made, than the statement that “those who fail to learn from the past?  Are doomed to repeat it.” )

My defense: because it’s the most laughable music video in history.

(No, really -- you NEED to click on the link, and watch this video.  You will NOT regret it.)

And it’s one helluva song.

Because damn, what a life of regret it paints a picture of.

“We had it all!
Just like Bogey and Bacall!
Starring in our own late lead show,
Sailing away to Key Largo!

Here’s looking at you kid!
Missing all the things we did!
We can find it once again, I know –
Just like they did in Key Largo!

Honey, can’t you remember?
We played all the parts!
That sweet scene of surrender,
When you gave me your heart?

Please say you will?
Play it again!
Cause I love you still,
And baby?  This can’t be the end! …”

My defense: because if you were 16, 17, 18 in the mid 1990’s, and didn’t love Tevin Campbell?  Then I didn’t want to know you – then, or now.

(OK, fine -- then.  I love all y’all now.)

Defense Dos: "I'm Ready" is one of -- if not THE -- greatest CD of the mid 1990s.  Possibly "Back to Front" by Lionel Richie was greater ... but nah, it wasn't.  "I'm Ready" is seventy minutes of musical brilliance.

(cue "bunch" nodding in agreement.)

(cue my brother nodding in agreement.)

(cue even hover nodding in agreement.)

(God, I miss what life was in the mid 1990s ...)

To this day, this is the song on “Mixology” that any person could question when it pops up on a Chiefs Mixology … and yet, somehow, someway?

I always get at least two “I love this song!  Great call!” compliments, because it plays.

Because sh*t, these are some amazing lyrics:

“I started?
To write you letters.
But I wanted?
To be more clever!

I wanted?
To get down, and sweet talk you!

But just like a baby?
I could not talk.
And I tried to come closer?
But could not walk.

And I?  Think of it every night,
How I?  Just could not get it right!

Oh, if we
Ever come close again?
I know what I’ll say then –

Can we talk for a minute?
Girl, I want to know your name!
Can we talk for a minute?
Girl, I want to know your name! …”

(That, and I guarantee you, “bts” has my back, on the greatness of this song.  We may not agree on much … but I guaran-damn-tee you, Brent digs this song as much as I do, (gulp) twenty-two years after its release.  


(cue bts not just nodding in absolute agreement, over the greatness of this song, and cd, but openly applauding both's greatness, in five … four … three …))

And now?  We've reached the "swallow hard and try to defend this" moment in this post ...

My defense: because it’s the love theme from my favorite movie of all time.  (Pause).  Which I suppose the fact that “Saturday Night Fever” is my favorite movie of all time, is so (in)defensible itself, that I might need to type up a post defending it.

Oh, wait – I already did.  Five years ago.

 (Your counter: but you HATE the scene this song dominates so much, you stop watching the movie six minutes before the ending, to avoid it!)

My counter-defense: true.  The ending to “Saturday Night Fever” is just Zues in nature.  It’s beyond grouse.  It’s criminitely god awful.

(Again – I could teach a doctoral dissertation level course, on Hypocrisy 101.)

(john madden voice) I mean, here you have a guy in Tony Manero – the single most repulsive “hero” a movie has ever featured as said “hero” – here you have a guy who not even twenty minutes of screen time earlier is doing his damndest to rape Stephanie (his dance partner he kicked Annette to the curb for … which is the single most under-developed plot in “Fever”, save for the whole Father Frank angle that dies a merciful death about halfway through the film.  No, really – Tony is so rotted to his core, that he literally kicks the only person in his life who truly gives a sh*t about him to the curb, and doesn’t think it’s necessary to tell her she’s being replaced.  Tony Manero was truly the best.  And by “best”, I mean “worst humanity has to offer” …)

… And in the twenty minutes since said attempted rape, has:

a. all but endorsed the only person in life who actually gave a true sh*t about him (Annette), being raped in his back seat by his friends;

b. seen a friend literally commit suicide in front of him, just to get Tony’s attention;

c. seen the only person in life who actually gave a true sh*t about him (Annette), finally break free for good as they fish Bobby’s body out of the East River after said suicide, and

d. (a), (b), and (c) all occurred after he dropped multiple racial blasts at a Puerto Rican couple – not even thirty minutes of screen time after he and his boys literally beat the sh*t out of actual Puerto Ricans because they’re all violent racists -- who actually should have won the competition, the movie ostensibly spends two plus hours building to.

To say nothing of

e. spent the entire night riding the subways of New York, stoned / drugged / drunk out of his mind, pondering his next move / criminal act … and somehow, going to visit his intended rape victim, is the most sensible, logical, defensible move, that comes to his mind.

(stevo voice) Are you f*cking kidding me right now?!?!?!?!

(Your counter-response: whoa, “Saturday Night Fever” features all of this?  In a thirty minute stretch?  And only one of those moments is in your favorite top three moments of the movie?!?!?!  Maybe I should finally listen to you, Stevo, and give it a look!)

And yet somehow, someway?  (e) happens!  Because the final scene of the movie is Tony, showing up on his intended rape victim’s doorstep … and she somehow not only lets him in, and not only emotionally connects with him, but the words:

“How deep is your love?
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn!”

Cause we’re living in a world of rules,
Breaking us down,
When they all should let us be!

We belong?
To you and me! …”

Is the sound track to the moment!

(good ol’ jr voice) Good God Almighty!  As God is my witness!  Not even I could write a final six minutes, that sh*ttacular and unbelievable.

(And that, peoples and peepettes, is why I refuse to watch “Fever” beyond the scene where Annette reaches her “you earned this buddy!” moment of triumph over Tony, when she turns her back, as Bobby is fished out of the East River, with about six minutes of air time to go.  That’s where “Fever” should have ended.  Instead, we get this debacle of a finale, and somehow, we’re all good with it.)

My defense: (pause).  (Thinking).  (Really thinking).

Well, Carrie Underwood had a pretty solid cover of it on her season of “American Idol”.

Other than that, I got nothing.

Other than twelve year old Stevo got a few quality skates in with a lovely member of the (suddenly beginning to notice) opposite sex, to this epic tune:

“The flowers you gave me?
Are just about to die!
When I think about, what could have been?
It makes me want to cry!

The sweet words you whispered?
Didn’t mean a thing!
I guess our song is over,
As we begin to sing …

Could’ve been?
So beautiful.
Could’ve been?
So right!

Could’ve been?
My lover,
Every day?
Of my life!

Could’ve been?
So beautiful!
Could’ve been?
So right.

But I’ll never hold
What could’ve been,
On a cold and lonely
Night …”

Oh, Skateland on 103rd Street and the Overland Parkway ... and Shawnee Mission Parkway and Mastin.  How much twelve year old Stevo misses you ...

Speaking of missing something ... and please -- spare me the "what, your sanity!" comeback those four words leaves me wide, wide open to hearing ... because after all: you can't miss, what you never had ...

My defense: what if I told you that this epic, incredible song – which is one of my three or four favorite performances in Grammy history – came to be because a DJ in Louisville, Kentucky, was looking for one last great “f*ck you!” send off to his (now) ex-wife? 

Would you believe me?

Well you should – because that’s how one of the most legendary songs in music history, came to be, uuh, legendary.

The Voice of Reason notes that “you can never go wrong with monkeys and/or midgets”.  And while he’s absolutely correct … you also can never go wrong, with a great “f*ck you!” song either.

Which leaves the single most indefensible musical purchase I have ever made.

You can probably guess what it is.

Because I guaran-godd*mn-tee you, at least six out of ten of you reading this?

Having this song on your iTunes ...

1. Barry Manilow, “Mandy”.

My defense: just listen, and tell me this song isn’t a (will sterrett voice) jam.

“I remember all my life?
Raining down as cold as ice?
Shadows of a man;
A face through a window!

Crying in the night!
The night goes into morning …

Just another day,
Of happy people passing my way.
Looking in their eyes?
I see a memory –

I never realized,
How happy you made me!

 Oh Mandy!

Well you came,
And you gave,
Without taking!
But I sent you away …

Oh Mandy!

Well you kissed me
And stopped me from shaking;
And I need you today,
Oh Mandy …”


Not sure what the next post will be ... but hope you enjoyed this one, at least half as much, as I did writing it.  Because I busted up laughing watching these videos at least fifteen times ...

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