Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Edit: oops!

I'm monkeying around with hosting right now; the ASMZ and Say Anything tracks are both working now, but cannot be downloaded directly. I'm going to change hosting for the latter, but the former is too large for my other host, so its going to stay like that for the time being. I'm going to have to find another way to allow downloads for it, possibly by raring it. If anybody has any input regarding ease of use (if any of the two people reading even download things here to begin with) I would be more than happy.

Admit It!!!

This is the first of a couple new recurring categories for me to masturbate over songs while secretly getting extra off over the thought of people watching. The focus: guilty pleasures. Now, this is far from original (because, you know, the rest of this music blog is grade-A, groundbreaking music journalism), but I do think I tend to have a skewed idea of what this entails. For most, a "guilty pleasure" is usually some cheap pop song (93% of the time from the 80's) that people think they should be above. I'm [generally] pretty upfront about the pop songs I love -- its part of pop's nature, after all. It is admitting love of things that posit themselves as (or actually are) at a higher level of "respectability" than, say, "Toxic" or "Since U Been Gone" Which is why I have no trepidations about Kelly Clarkson showing up on my iPod artist list, but feel a twinge of shame about Mineral.

So, why am I doing this? Fuck if I know. In part to share songs that I think are worth the time in spite of their downfalls, in part to get a better understanding of why I like and/or feel bad about liking them, and in large part to publicly embarrass myself and keep my weight as a blogger (that is to say, my critical mass) to a minimum. So then, to start with this new feature's namesake:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Say Anything - "Admit It!!!"
Doghouse Records, 2004

Well, this really isn't so bad. I mean, for all their embarrassing Blink-182 emulating early days, being signed to MTV whore record label Doghouse, touring with Dashboard Confessional, and post-post-emo trappings, Say Anything really isn't contemptible like label-mates The All-American Rejects. Maybe this is more a case of guilt by association, or its the fact that this album only has two songs that don't make me paranoid that someone can hear me listening to it. But, this song, surpasses that.

This song is by far the most vitriolic critique of hipster, pseudo-hipster, and not-at-all-hipster-but-containing-many-watered-down-concepts-and-pretensions-of-such teenage culture I have ever heard, and put to a tune, to boot. True to form, it admirably points the finger in every direction - us (the listeners and our friends, most likely, at least to an extent), them, and himself (while half of the song is Mr. Bemis extolling his virtues, you can't say that the "I" statements aren't autobiographical to at least some degree -- this John Mayer looking bastard clearly spends his share of time preening. And getting laid.). Many of these critiques may be cliched, but most of them are accurate enough and stated earnestly enough to give them more weight than they would normally have.

Similarly, the music serves as a great accompaniment to the ranted vocals, even if it borrows its best parts from scenes the band was never really a part of. The gang vocals (lifted from basement hardcore), fist pumping riffs (lifted from skate videos), and all the "my car and my guitar" imagery (lifted from folk-punk kids) that carry and sustain the song fit together great, even if the band seems to lack the proper claim to them. The riff change following the "go!" command is just a great moment.

Which is what it comes down to: something about this song as a whole manages to transcend the limitations of its parts to become something grand, an outsider's indictment that comes across as powerful and valid, rather than full of whiny "yeah, fuck those guys"-isms. But not enough that I can stop the pangs of shame whenever I hear this song.