Things We Can All Do Without, Part 3: Nostalgia for Hair Metal Bands

Dear Hair Metal Bands,

I’ve been noticing that, for some crazy-ass reason, you’re making a comeback on that radio station that I hate to listen to but have to hear when I’m in the car with my wife and kids. You know who you are, you Def Leopards and you Whitesnakes and you Poisons. I’d even throw in Twisted Sister, since I keep hearing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on that station and even on commercials. What’s up with this trend?

It’s probably some “our core demographic was in junior high or high school when these songs were originally popular, so to make them feel young again and increase revenue through advertising, let’s give them the songs that were cool when they were kids” thing. Like that whole Beatles Rock Band game and the “Oh God, Patrick Kennedy is quitting the House! What will we do without a Kennedy in government?” thing.

But man, I hate this music. Its corny factor, the lame “Eighties kids” being a demographic of buyers of this crap. Hair metal was silly in 1985, why would it be any different now? When you look at some of these bands’ websites you see that they’re just a bunch of old guys trying to hang on to whatever they had 20 years ago. They probably want the same things they got 20 years ago too: teenage girls and booze, which, if they were 20 years younger, wouldn’t seem so creepy and gross. Of course now they’re like Bad Blake from Crazy Heart, sleeping with middle age to early AARP aged women that used to be the teenage girls they slept with back in 1985 and playing in venues that 20 years ago they wouldn’t want to be anywhere near.

So all of you hair metal guys still trying to hang on (I’m also looking at you, Enuff Z’nuff). Man, get new lives. Reinvent yourselves. No one would fault you. Even David Lee Roth and Dee Snider tried radio gigs. There are othere things in this world besides your hit record on pop radio 20 years ago. Give it a shot, it could work.

Things We Can All Do Without, Part 2: The Plain White T’s

Dear Plain White T’s,

My son has very cool tastes in music. He’s five years old and he likes Johnny Cash, Weezer, The Avett Brothers, The Pixies and other hardly-ever-on-the-charts bands. He doesn’t like girl singers, just boy singers, but the boy singers he likes by and large are pretty awesome and I’m proud to say that, yes, my son knows the words to Cash’s “Sea of Heartbreak” and The Avett Brothers “Die Die Die”.

My wife on the other hand does not always listen to cool music. She gravitates towards the ‘mix’ stations, and that’s where our trouble starts.

If you ever listen to any of these ‘mix’ stations you’ll realize that they are pretty much easy listening for 30 year olds. Songs you used to shake your fist in the air to, like Bon Jovi, or piano ballads from Elton John, or the official band of the ‘mix’ station, The Fray. These songs were once cool, long ago, and now are not, but these ‘mix’ stations continue to pump out these songs every hour so people listening in office buildings can hum along to something and hopefully, god willing, get them through the day.

Several months ago one of the big songs on these ‘mix’ stations was “Hey There Delilah”, a sappy syrupy love song written, I guess, to the singer’s girlfriend. The song is pretty lame, but for some reason my son, who has very cool tastes in music, loves it.

Plain White T’s! Grumble grumble grumble.

Where did you emo wannabe’s come from? Will you ever leave us? Probably not, now that you have some other crummy song called “1, 2, 3, 4” on the radio, on that ‘mix’ station that my wife listens to and my son hears as my wife drives him around Dallas. Why can’t my wife listen to something awesome like Hüsker Dü or Wilco or Grandaddy or something like that? Isn’t there a law against music like this? Aren’t we closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay because of people like The Plain White T’s?

Maybe we should waterboard The Plain White T’s. That would be satisfying.

Things We Can All Do Without, Part 1 : Cute Colorful Expensive Rain Boots

Dear Cute Colorful Expensive Rain Boots,

Why are you a fashion trend? Who thought that taking a pair of $2 rubber rain boots and adding colorful paint was a good idea? Whoever it was has made a lot of money off of all of the moms at my oldest’s school. Doing the minimal amount of research for this post, I saw that Neiman Marcus sells a pair of rain boots for $225.00. They’re the Burberry Check Rain Boot, and I’m sure that Mr. Burberry will be laughing the whole way to the bank as some silly woman drops down her AmEx Titanium card for a pair of them.

I once bought a pair of utilitarian, black rubber ones for walking around the muddy lot that my house was being built on after destroying a pair of tennis shoes. I got them from Wal-Mart and they were worth every penny of the $8 that I spent on them 3 years ago. I still have them. Maybe I’ll wear them to school sometime to try to fit in with the trendy ladies. Then again, I’m not a lady, so they might take it as a slight or an insult that I’m wearing rain boots minus colorful painting emblazened on them.

Do we really need things like these? And why do people feel that they have to spend tons of money on something like this? It’s a free country, I know, but come on, people.