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Friday, July 18, 2014

My 2014 Songs of Summer

What tune will be crowned 2014's official Song of Summer?  It's probably too early to call, but there is already a long line of candidates in the running apparently.  I say "apparently" because as I read through a list of potential Song of Summer 2014 winners recently, I realized I had only heard of three of them, and of those three, I had never actually heard the entire song.  I've been off Top 40 radio for awhile now--regular readers are already aware of my love/hate relationship with the medium--so I'm sorry (?) to say my only association with these songs (i.e. the 3 I've actually heard of) are the twenty second clips they play on the podcast Who Charted?.  Before publishing this vitally important essay to the internet, however, I thought it was important to at least give a handful of the Song of Summer 2014 frontrunners a chance, so, I did, and here are my thoughts, accompanied by each song's length and how much of said length I actually made it through:

"Fancy" - Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX (song length: 3:24; listened to: 1:35): I don't care for Ms. Azalea's, how you say, "rap style?"  Does that make sense?  Her voice is irritating, the beat is pedestrian and the song is boring and draggy.  Why is this such a big hit?

"Summer" - Calvin Harris (song length: 3:53; listened to: 3:53): Typical EDM, tics off all the usual, mundane boxes.  Is this in the running just because of its title?  You'll notice, however, that I did listen to the whole thing.  Well, that has 100% to do with the song's video.  I'd be a fool to ignore the pure art of filmmaking involved in its creation.  I'm not a philistine.

"Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon (song length: 3:36; listened to: 2:17): Dumb.  But, the video is, without a doubt, the Video of Summer 2014, if that's also a thing.

"Ain't It Fun" - Paramore (song length: 3:47; listened to: 0:42): To answer your question, Hayley, no, it isn't.

"Wiggle" - Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg (song length: 3:43; listened to: 1:30): Considering its subject matter, I should be a huge fan of Jason Derulo's "Wiggle."  Unfortunately, the lyrics are silly and add little-to-nothing new to the long, proud history of hip hop booty worship anthems.

There are a bunch more, but there is only so much my tender ears can take.

Look, just because a music blog or rogue ex-Mtv VJ or Top 40 computer DJ declares one song the official 2014 Song of Summer, doesn't make it so.  I invite you to shout "Not my Summer Song!" with me when the final word comes down in August.

Oh, did you want to know my 2014 Summer Songs?  Well, I'm so glad you asked.  Here they are, with commentary if needed:

1. "Tacky" "Weird Al" Yankovic

2. Super Sonico Theme Song

I've been watching a lot of Super Sonico: The Animation (What a title!!!) lately, and the theme song just makes me happy.  As does the show itself.  I've almost finished the series.  I'll be writing an article about it that you can all ignore in the next couple of weeks.

3. Improv4Humans

Not a song, per se, but what I'm probably listening to if you catch me with my earbuds in, which is, roughly, 95% of the time.  I just started listening regularly at the start of this year, and I've been making my way through the back catalogue.  Without a doubt, one of the best comedy podcasts out there.  The clip I've included is actually one of my very favorite moments from an episode I've recommended to several people (well, people who I know are also David Bazan fans, as he is the musical guest and all of the scenes are inspired by his songs, which he plays live and beautifully).  Maybe doesn't conform to "Summer Song" structure, but, eff it, Matt Besser is awesome and his show is essential listening.

4. "Gu Cruise!" Howard Kremer

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