Friday, March 24

Friday Random Ten, and the How-Confident-Are-You-In-Your-Coolness? Embarrassing Music Meme Challenge.

You probably won't hear much from me until Monday -- got a New Yorker coming for a weekend visit and it's probably going to take every ounce of energy I've got over the next few days to defend Birmingham from rampant accusations of uncoolness.

But anyway, here's the Ten:

1. Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Plenty More"
2. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
3. Pet Shop Boys, "Go West" (Kevin Saunderson tribe mix)
4. Miles Davis, "So What"
5. The Police, "King of Pain"
6. Pet Shop Boys, "To the Battleship"
7. U2, "Red Hill Mining Town"
8. A Tribe Called Quest, "Skypager"
9. Starship, "Sara"
10. Public Enemy, "Reggie Jax"

Boy, talk about uncoolness. OK, I know I probably owe an explanation for #9 on the list, which may be an even more embarrassing track than "We Built This City" (which I also have, shamefully). All I can say is it's another symptom of my '80s nostalgia obsession. No, I'm not currently seeking counseling. Maybe I should.

But this gives me an idea for a meme: I know I'm not alone in having some dirty secrets on my iPod that don't always see the light of day in a Random Ten, so here's your chance to get everything off your chest in an amnesty-like environment. The meme: What are the ten most embarrassing musicians/groups/acts you have in your music collection, and how many songs by each one do you have? I figure this would be better than "ten most embarrassing songs," since a lot of you would probably just put the entire track listing for, say, Milli Vanilli's Girl, You Know It's True up there. (Don't lie. Yes, you would.) To get started, here's mine, starting with the most embarrassing:

1. Lou Bega (1)

OK, after my family went on a month-long trip to Europe the summer after I graduated from college, I made a CD of all the music that had been popular in Europe while we were over there. I still have it. It still brings back fond memories. Sue me.

2. Chris de Burgh (1)

"The Lady in Red." No, no, don't worry, I'll show myself out.

3. Nu Shooz (1)
4. Starship (2)
5. Rick Astley (2)

Let me just say this: You'd be surprised just how fun it is to walk into a hole-in-the-wall bar in Soho and find out that it's '80s night and "Together Forever" is blasting from the speakers. I'm not saying it's right, just that it's . . . not wrong, necessarily.

6. Wham! (1)
7. Swing Out Sister (1)
8. Toto (1)
9. Barry Manilow (1)

Yes, "Copacabana," remixed. It's another college nostalgia thing.

10. Wang Chung (2)

Now that I've laid this out for all the world to see, I expect at least a couple of you to do the same. I know I'm not any bigger a monster than anyone else. Well, than most people. Some people. At least one of you. Maybe.


Michael said...


I've got more Wham! than you.

Careless Whisper AND Wake Me Up (before you go-go)

Josh M. said...

A quick peek through the iTunes reveals single tracks from the following artists: Barry Manilow ("I Write the Songs"), Bette Midler ("The Rose"), Europe ("Carrie"), Hilary Duff (from a Christmas mix I made last year, I promise!), Josie and the Pussycats (yes, the Tara Reid version), Poison ("Fallen Angel"), Quiet Riot ("Cum On Feel the Noise"), Toto ("Rosanna"),... ok, I have to stop.

My favorite, though, is Frank Stallone's "Peace in my Life," the ballad from "Rambo: First Blood Part II." Choice.

Anonymous said...

I've been revamping the collection, but this conversation reminds me of the first CD I ever purchased.. not proud of it.. Spice Girls in fifth grade. I'm banking on the fact that it was the hormones acting out subliminally. Please.

Maize n Brew Dave said...

I don't see how admitting Poison, Quiet Riot, or anything relating to 80's metal is bad. But then again, my 80's nostalgia revolves around that so maybe there's something wrong with me.

Upon a mental review of my iTunes I found the following:

1. Another Bad Creation (1) - "I wanna sex you up"
2. Boston (Greatest Hits Album in full) - "Amanda"
3. Falco (2) - "Puttin on the Ritz"
4. Kid 'n Play (1) - "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody"
5. Justin Timberlake (1) - "Rock Your Body"
6. UB40 (2) - "Red Red Wine"
7. Kix (1) - honestly, its Kix, does it really matter?
8. Maria Carey (1) - "Always Be My Baby"

I'm sure if I looked it would be much, much worse. I know I've got Wham!, Wang-Chung, Toto, and Barry on there, but they've been spoken for.

And like I said, if you're counting 80's metal groups like Dokken, Ratt, Slaughter, Crue, etc., my music collection could rank as the worst ever assembled.

Just don't try to pretend when "Livin on a Prayer" comes on you don't sing along...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

1. Easy: Journey. Two albums: Evolution and Infinity. Throwbacks to high school, before Journey turned into mega-super-stars, and then blew up under the weight of their egos.

2. Weird Al Yankovic. This has been a well-kept secret till now. Sometime in the future, my son will likely have to go for therapy and it'll be my fault. When he was an infant, when I'd get up in the night or early morning with him, I'd sit in the recliner and play ?Al In The Box?, this box set of Weird Al's greatest hits. I'm so sorry, Eric.

3. Styx. And I'm not gonna tell you how many are on my list because it's worse than you might imagine. But no, ?Babe? is not one of the songs. Still makes me retch.

4. The Alan Parsons Project. Not much excuse for this one. I'll never be an Insufferable Music Snob now, and I just have to accept that fact.

5. Tiny Tim. Well, technically, he's teamed up with Brave Combo doing a cover of Stairway to Heaven. But still, it's Tiny Tim.

6. Asia. One Song: Heat of The Moment. Power pop with proggy overtones is a weak spot.

7. Corey Hart. Yes, ?Sunglasses at Night?. Well, there's a whole class of songs here, kinda. Many years ago, Rhino did a comp called Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the Eighties, and I've got most of the fifteen discs on my computer here. Lots of good stuff on there, and a fair number of overplayed klinkers like this. But this one is especially cringeworthy.

8. Head East. ?Never Been Any Reason? If you grew up in the Midwest in the 80's, you saw Head East. I downloaded this stinker one drunken night so I could play it loud. Sounded pretty good, as I remember, but it's still embarrassing.

9. Kansas. Another prog/guilty pleasure from my pre-college days. Again, too much to be proud of on my computer.

10. The KNack. Two albums: the first, and a recent called Normal As The Next Guy. I first got the album BEFORE they became omnipresent on the radio: if you can get past the overplay (and the overdone campy teen age horniness) they are a talented power pop band with a good ear for a hook. If you can't get over it, fuck you, they're not as lame as the Romantics, who are STILL overplayed, and also sold out to a beer commercial.

BTW, UB40 shouldn't be embarrassing.

and I don't sing along with "Livin on A Prayer". Cuz I can't hit those high notes, even faking it.

Anonymous said...

I thought that "Putting on the Ritz" was by Taco, not Falco. Not that I replaced the 7" with an iTunes download.

Maize n Brew Dave said...

My mistake. Taco was "Putting on the Ritz." Falco was "Rock me Amedeus", both of which appear on my iPod.

Josh M. said...

How freakin' old are you to have purchased Spice Girls in the 5th grade? When I was in 5th grade the Spice Girls were in 6th.

Don't mind me, I'm just jealous of youth.

Kanu said...

"Sailing" by Christopher Cross.

I am not even going to attmept to defend this, I'll just leave it out there on it's own.

Kanu said...


FYI - "I Wanna Sex You Up" is by the legendary Color Me Badd. Hopefully you also have "All For Love" as well.

ABC is "Playground" and "Ayeesha".

Jack said...

Only one Wham! song? Come on, man. I have the entire "Make it Big" album ... and I listen to it semi-regularly...

Anonymous said...

Having both Taco and Falco is a superior achievement. Bravo, UM Chicago.

Maize n Brew Dave said...

Kanu- Slip of the tounge on the name. Apologies. I do not have "all for love", but rest assured I will have it tonight. The song. Not love. But I am going out for 10 cent wings tonight, so we'll see what happens.

Colin - I've also got falco/after the fire's "Der Kommissar", but I like that one.