During a recent beer-induced conversation about shitty music, my dumb friends and I got to the topic of guilty pleasures. Everybody has that band or record they’re afraid to admit to liking. I figured it would be cathartic to admit some of my own guilty pleasures, and to ask folks from the local scene about theirs.
The No. 1 song I’m nervous to admit being into is “Lovefool” by The Cardigans. Even though I hated Baz Luhrmann’s awful adaptation of Romeo + Juliet—deal with it, girls who were 15 at the time and cried over that bullshit—I still love that soundtrack, specifically this jam.
We all know what it’s like to live with unrequited love, and I know what it’s like more than most, so the song just speaks to me.
Either that, or I have a major boner for the singer.
Sure, Radiohead is on the soundtrack as well, but I don’t always feel like descending into a deep and morbid depression, which is the reaction I have to “Exit Music (For a Film).”
Disclaimer: I love Radiohead, so nobody freak out or anything.
Kiel Gwin, a local solo acoustic act, offers her two cents: “I listen to tons of stuff I consider to be awful,” she says. “I really like Depeche Mode and other bass-heavy electronic stuff. Depeche Mode has some really well-written songs, but something inside me cringes at the ’80s vibe of it…It’s like I’m supposed to think it’s bad, but I can’t bring myself to hate it.”
No. 2 on my personal list is Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Seriously, listen to the beat on that thing, and tell me it doesn’t rule. Sure, it makes me feel gross, especially because the video features her as a futuristic Mata Hari, boning dudes so they don’t notice when she commits crimes. All the same, it’s a complex and interesting beat, perfect for dance moves used to circumvent a laser grid. I’m not sure what the lyrics are, but considering her songs are penned by fat old white guys in an office somewhere, I’m not sure I want to know.
Noah Baumeister, aka DJ Neegs (also of Man Hurls Hedgehog), says, “It’s fun to throw a cheeseball pop song into the middle of a DJ set. I like J-Lo’s ‘Play’ and all kinds of Justin Timberlake.”
Sounds like Neegs just likes pop.
“I used to be a sucker for Fall Out Boy,” he continues. “That album Infinity on High is totally great all the way through.”
No. 3 on my list goes to Hole’s “Violet.” It took me years to admit to liking the song. In fact, it wasn’t until I realized that it was probably written by Kurt Cobain that I felt OK about it.
I never would have even formulated that theory had it not been for Hole’s inability to release an album after Cobain’s death.
It wasn’t until years later, when Courtney Love started hanging around Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins, that the band put something out. But let’s face it, amazingness of Smashing Pumpkins aside, Corgan became a pretentious little fuck, and Hole’s music suffered. Well, suffered more anyway.
Even Red Cell, founder of alternative music showcase The Process, has his guilty pleasure. “I am a fan of La Roux, an English duo with only one release so far,” he says. “The album is crafted to sound just like the soundtrack to a John Hughes film, while maintaining a modern sound.”
Cell unapologetically continues, “I realize that ’80s throwback stuff is all the rage currently, [so] for once I’m a full-fledged, card-carrying member of apopular trend. Trendy or not, it feels strange to pull up to a stop sign blaring what sounds like Human League or Yaz.”
Music doesn’t always have to be a life altering, mind-bending experience. There’s no shame in liking the things you like.
Unless it’s Counting Crows. Then there’s no hope for you.
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