Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Really Bad Music I

I hear so much terrible music that I think I'll make a blog feature out of it. I don't know how frequently I'll do this, but I'll do it with some frequency, I hereby swear! Anyway, let's get it started.

While I'm on the air on CHMA, I have a habit of taking CDs at random off the shelf and ripping them to my hard drive before putting them back at the end of the evening, as a way of finding new music to play. You can only glean so much from concerts and Radio 3, after all. Once in a while, I find some absolute gold (The Magician, for instance, which I played this week, was discovered in this manner). For the most part, I find relatively average or somewhat good music which sits in my library until I find it again.

However, about as often as I find gold, I find the opposite, the 1st percentile rather than the 99th in terms of awesome. Last night, I found some of that.

The band? Calgary's Pine Tarts. The album? Their EP Faux Faves. The song? A cheerful little ditty titled 16/14, whose refrain is the lyric "She told me she was 16; she was only 14." It also includes the lyric "Said she was sweet 16 and I was sweet 27". The music is pretty standard punk fare, but with the most disgusting keyboard sounds I've ever heard put in along with it. The song does nothing for me, and it's really quite awful. I can only hope its meant ironically... but the music doesn't make up for it. No, not at all. And I'm a fan of punk music; I've broken my glasses in mosh pits. This, no sir. This is awful.

In the spirit of fairness, I'll upload the file so you yourselves can take a listen aussi:

Pine Tarts - 16/14


jesse j powell said...

Really? You despise it sonically? As well as thematically? The piano parts are my favorite thing about it, to be true. I knew that song would be a polarizer, it certainly walks the line between clever and stupid.
The title and refrain, 16/14, we hoped would trigger memories of steven harpers successful bid to change the age of consent from 14 to 16. The moronic and wrongheaded view of the sexuality behind this move is precisely the kind of mindset we hoped to poke in the eye. Pedophilia (sp?) is essentially the memetic demon-catylyst behind a frenzied modern-day witch-hunt. It is a topic that can scarcely be discussed without triggering accusational retort.
I knew a lot of people wouldn't hear anything past that refrain "she told me she was 16, but she was only 14", and that is precisely the point. There's a few more pieces of bait in there as well that you missed (re:"he liked the nazis, it's sad, but he couldn't have been all bad"), but you took the big one, so mission accomplished, if our mission was to trick morally righteous people into hating something innocent. It's about how a relationship between a yound person and an older person is almost automatically suspect in this age and place.
You can read exactly how lyrically nefarious it is below. I don't think i'll have extrapolate, but i will if anyone's got questions or whateva. I'm sad you don't dig the sound of it tho. And you had a laugh at the expense of my bassplayer! Well that's okay. Listen to "City", c'mon!
~Jesse J. Powell, voice/guitar/author, Pine Tarts.

"she told me she was 16, but she was only 14, she told me she was 16, but she was only, only 14.
Met her on the 137, and then i loaned her change at the 7-11, she was sweet 16 and i was sweet 27, I said I knew my share about hunger and detention, she told me i should read Hunger by Knut Hamsun, I said I already had, how do you know about that? He liked the nazis, it's sad, but he couldn't have been all bad. She said definetly not, those are some of the best books i've bought in a little while, i said I like your style. (chorus)
she's ahead of me in hemingway, and catchin' up in kerouac, she read all of ulysses, and got into proust right after that, she borrowed my tale of two cities, and loaned it to some kid she baby-sat, she's smarter than i'll ever be but i won't get to see cause I'm due a death-penalty, she was only, only 14. (chorus)
It's a mystery to me, how she comprehends the things she reads, with just a little life to bounce it back off of, but she says what she means, she must have ate her greens, and i'm goin straight to hell it seems, and we didn't do nothing....much. Except talk."

Anonymous said...

and the album is "faux fauves", not faux friends....

the phonetic elephant said...

Sorry for the typo, I have it listed under the right name in my iTunes, and it's now been changed in the post. And I do like the rest of the EP. I'm planning on playing either City or Etoiles on my show this Monday.

Thank-you for the explanation, though! Doesn't change the fact that I don't particularly like the song. I'm learning to appreciate it thematically, but it's still to me an aural affront.