Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the lesser-known call me maybes

From what I understand, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was some sort of bizarre cultural phenomenon. Our zeitgeist, if you will. No song, up until that point, had truly captured the ballsy essence of exchanging your telephone number with a stranger. And from it sprung tribute videos. Sing-along videos. Videos that reminded me that I wouldn’t fit in with Katy Perry’s group of friends.

But I’d beg to differ that it’s one-of-a-kind. I think that there are other great digit-getting tunes, just with much narrower audiences.

For the White Trash

Most songs about getting someone’s digits take place somewhere exotic and sexy like a club or a bar. But that’s just not real life. Where does this particular ballad take place? The unemployment line.

Did you major in Social Work? Then this song is not for you!

Our heroine, in an (extremely long) answering machine message to her bff Peggy, tells us the story of waiting in line for her “loser of a case worker,” when a total stranger (played by Art Alexakis) walks in and showers her with flattery she’s never received before.

His compliments are certainly unique: “Those blond streaks, they look so pretty in your black hair/You look cool and alternative with that disaffected stare.” Yes. Unemployment is cool.

His promises go far. A bit too far: “Hey you can be with me/Yeah 'cause I just might be the one/Who will treat you like you're perfect/Who will always make you come.”

If I were her, I’d be thinking, whoa there, guy in the unemployment line, I know we are both in the unemployment line right now, but my cousin’s a lawyer, and I hear that sexual harassment lawsuits can really pay off...

But Art doesn’t stop there! “This is gonna sound a little bit out there/This is gonna sound a little insane/I keep having the same dream/You will be the mother of my children someday.”

O_o. But how does our heroine sum it up to Peggy in her phone message? “Can you believe he said that to me? To me, of all people! I can't even remember the last time a guy took me out on a date and actually paid for it!”

Goddammit, Rhonda, if you weren’t trying to go to Red Lobster all the time, maybe I could afford it!

For the LGBT and Angst-ridden

Ugh. How much emotional attachment can you really assign to giving a stranger your telephone number? You just order them a drink at Escafe--but be careful about gender norms--not something too girly, not something too manly, maybe a whiskey sour? And then you take out your eyeliner--but do you really want to be perceived as the kind of person who wears eyeliner? Or a pen, go with a pen, if you have one. And then you write your number on the napkin wrapping their drink before you hand it to them. But be careful to put little dots between the groups of digits, not dashes, dashes are heteronormative...

I mean, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been to Escafe.

But the Quins make the whole number exchange process personal. Very personal. Crucial. A matter of life and death.

“If I gave you my number/Would it still be the same/If I saved you from drowning/Promise me you'll never go away.”

Whoa. Maybe save all of that nonsense for the second date. Beyond that, we get some kind of weird symbolism that I don’t get. I don’t even think they do. It kind of reminds me of my poetry journal from junior year of high school. EVERYTHING represents EVERYTHING, duh!

“Closed down the last local zoo/I'm gonna win the endless war/Over who kills the last koala bear/And who in death will love him more...”

Blah. Koalas are mean, anyways.

For the Manic Depressive

Michael Angelakos begins as he usually does, for better or worse, by defining his emotional state. As usual, he’s feeling fragile: “I've always felt so scared of all this needing/Everyone that I've met has been somewhat mistreated/That's how it feels when you know that something's wrong.”

Waah. But then! A trite simile! “Then you came along like a swan off of the lake/You flew across my eyes and out into space.”

What to do with this new person?! Time for important decisions! “If there's just one thing you got to remember/Is to write down your name and your phone number/That way I'll have it and we'll make something out of this mess.”

“This mess” is usually how I refer to meeting potential future mates. But hey, ladies, you gotta give it to him. At least he’s being honest.

Things quickly proceed from casual to out of hand as we enter the chorus. It had to happen sometime. “Have you seen me cry/Tears like diamonds/Down and down they fly...”

Oh god. Settle down. You just MET this person. You’re not crying. Who’s crying? Am I crying? Do you see me crying? DO YOU SEE ME FUCKING CRYING?

Oh, and here is the only relevant video regarding “Call Me Maybe.” You’re welcome.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

the 7 deadly sins of relient k

7. Thou Shalt Not Fake Your Own Suicide

It might seem like the only option right now, Matt Thiessen, but faking your own suicide is never the answer.

While the book of Leviticus does not specifically prohibit faking your own suicide, I’m pretty sure that doing so is almost as bad as having relations with a menstruating woman (which it does specifically prohibit). In an interview with Jesus Freak Hideout (Really.), Thiessen mentions that at first, his bandmate’s mom was concerned that the song was too controversial. But ultimately, they decided, whatever, Christian rock fans are cool, they’ll understand.

Just, why.

Because you’ll lose it in the lake beneath the Batman ride, duh! Wasn’t that worth writing a song about?!

As a wise friend of mine once stated upon watching a youth group attempt to steal a street sign, “Poor Christian kids. They are so confused about how to have fun.”

As anyone can tell you, Matt Thiessen dated an Atlanta alternative rock DJ (does dating the guy from a “Christian Punk” band improve your cred or remove it entirely?) and then proposed to her and then cheated on her and then got dumped by her and then wrote an entire album about her. Duh. It’s common knowledge.

On this track, Thiessen really extended his hardcore reach by calling upon his friend from Underoath (Really. Underoath.) to help him capture just how raw and screamo the whole ordeal was. The desert imagery starts off strong with mention of “dying of thirst” and “chalk on his tongue.” Man. Who knew saving it for marriage could be so...dry?!

As a UVA alum, this one cuts deep. There is no book in the world upon which I’d wish this fate. Not even my books for Death and Dying. Or Slavic Folklore.

I’m pretty sure you’d be better off getting like seven abortions.