Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Party Like It's 2009 (Everybody Dance Now)

Apparently a decade ends in the '9 year and not the following '0 year, so this decade is actually ending in just a few weeks. I'd have thought there would have been more mention of that. I remember a few years ago when VH1 was still making the entertaining-beyond-comprehension "I Love The..." series, that I always felt that the last year or two of a decade were completely incongruous with the preceding years. It was like they were more set up for the decade to come than a continuation of the former, at least when it comes to pop culture.

Now with this decade, it's kind of hard to classify it already, since we're still in it and don't have the benefit of hindsight. There was no "grunge" or "gangsta" or "New Wave" or anything distinctive. There were a few semi-movements, like the "Latin Explosion" which consisted of like five artists. But still, nothing big enough to classify the entire decade by. CLEARLY, Lady Gaga is this biggest thing this year...
...and while there was certainly a lot of dance pop in the '00s, her style is a lot different... you can tell, because now everyone is copying her style and you can recognize it, "Ke$ha sounds an awful lot like Lady Gaga." (You think her parents actually named her "Ke$ha?" You should never have punctuation in your name, except a hyphen. And even that isn't for everybody.)

It seems as if when every decade ends, we gravitate towards more dance-y pop music. I mean, the '90s SUCKED as far as music is concerned... let me rephrase that, the '90s SUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKEEEEEDDDDDDDD as far as music was concerned... I remember being IN the 90s and realizing that! Thankfully, by the end of the decade, the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys came along and began the healing process. I'm not going to say that all the ensuing pop stuff was actually good... I have a real problem believing that LFO's "Summer Girls" even really happened. I mean seriously "William Shakespeare wrote a whole buncha sonnets?" REALLY? That ACTUALLY happened? HOW?! But anyway, it may not have BEEN Shakespeare but I'd listen to that crap before I'd ever listen to Hootie & The Blowfish or Alice In Chains or Nirvana or The fucking Goo Goo Dolls or... well, we could be here all day. Yep, in my book Mandy Moore trumps Kurt Cobain. Take that, Good Taste! ("I'm craving for you, I'm missing you like candy!" Missing you like candy? What does that even mean? Don't care! Doesn't bother me one bit!)

But as rotten as the '90s were, the '70s TRULY sucked on a whole different level! It was like the suckiest decade EVER for music! I Googled it and the year I was born, 1974... SHUT! UP!!... among the top songs were "The Way We Were" by Barbara Streisand, "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks, "The Streak" by Ray Stevens and "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver. So now you know exactly when elevator music was invented. There were a few bright spots like "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra and "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5, which eventually led to the glorious wonder of DISCO!
Donna Summer was like Madonna before Madonna. She ruled the Earth by the end of the decade... even the biggest rock band around, KISS, released a disco album, Dynasty, and had a disco hit with "I Was Made For Loving You"... not surprisingly, most KISS fans' least favorite KISS song. (Seriously, you think that's worse than "Lick It Up?" That just SOUNDS gross.)
The ironic thing is I was scared as all hell of KISS. I had nightmares of Gene Simmons coming to my house, clinging to the windows and sticking out that scary ass tongue. Who knew that the makeup made him LESS scary than he is in real life?!

Then came the 80s and apparently, according to those dipshits at Cominskey Park, Disco died. Except not really. Okay, so the Village People never had another hit, but dance music lived on... Madonna, Cyndi, Michael, Duran Duran... people were still grooving... they just didn't use the dreaded D word. But by the end of the 80s, synthesized dance pop was back in vogue, thanks to a production trio from England, Stock Aitken and Waterman, the GENIUSES who gave us...
Quick aside, the FIRST time I ever went to a gay bar, in New Orleans, I drove past and "Together Forever"(Together Forever and never to part! Together Forever we two!) was playing on their giant video screen and I realized, "I'm HOME!"

I actually LOVED music in the early '90s... C+C Music Factory, Marky Mark, Cathy Dennis (who went on to be much more successful as a song writer than a singer, penning "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie and "Toxic" by Britney among others)... then Nirvana came along and ruined everything.

Then, like I said, pre-fab pop groups and singers came along and rescued us from that noise.

Ahhhh, sweet relief. (Although, I will attest that at some point, we all owned that first Matchbox 20 album... and loved it. It's not something to be proud of, but it is a sad fact. We also all tried to decide who was cuter, Rob Thomas or the guy from Third Eye Blind... ADMIT IT!!! P.S.- Rob Thomas.)

The beginning of the '00s was pretty fun, Britney, Christina, BSB, *NSYNC or N-SYNC or N-Sync or 'N Sync... whatever, etc. Then of course came the backlash. Eminem, Avril Lavigne, etc. There was that whole "The" band thing with The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes, etc. Whatever happened to those guys? I loved The Hives!

And now it's time to dance again. You could go back to last year, "Closer" by Ne Yo, "Forever" by Chris Brown... now Gaga and all her imitators. Yeah, there's other stuff out there, but nothing as huge. So, get that New Year's Eve party mix ready and don't leave off "Love Game." Let's all take one more ride on that disco stick. (Dirty!)

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