Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Michele and I ate dinner tonight at Granite City Brewery because we thought they'd have their Irish Red out for the spring. Turns out that won't be available for another week or so, so we were disappointed. Not too bad, mind you, as their other brews are pretty good, and we're Mug Club members, so we get comestibles cheap there.

For some reason GCB likes to play eighties music. If I didn't know better I'd guess it's because they see me coming and imagine it will be a subliminal hook, that I'll hallucinate about having a mullet and wearing ridiculous Hawaiian shorts, and I'll order more something.

I could barely hear the music tonight (and not because I'm going deef). We got stuck in the party room with a table full of cackling women. There were men at the table, too, but the women were unreal in their ability to produce sounds unavailable to nature. You might hear these sounds if you're on a roller coaster with a bad wheel. Or if a cricket in your vicinity gets the hiccups in front of a microphone.

Anyway, while I was hearing portions of familiar songs I thought I heard one of my guilty pleasures. From the beginning I liked this artist, but I knew I better not make that public. I was a metalhead. What I liked required crunchy guitars, thumping bass, and mechanically-oriented drums. This guy didn't satisfy any of the "cool" criteria, so I kept it under wraps. Until now.

I've always liked the music of . . .
Wait for it . . .

Yes. Billy Ocean.

I don't know why. I think it's his voice. He has a strong, clear voice. And let's face it--in the eighties we weren't being barraged with Carribbean singers*. Bob Marley. Eddie Grant. Those Dutchie kids. He was different.

Anyway, I had to confess. I like "Carribbean Queen," and I always have. In fact, I have it waiting in my Musicmatch playlist, right between Tom Waits and Disneyland After Dark.

What's your guilty pleasure music?

*Yes, I realize he's English and not Carribbean. But I didn't know that in the 80s. I didn't know anything in the 80s.


Jerry said...

*GASP* Heretic!!! LOL! I guess we all have guilty pleasures. I don't know that I am willing to share mine however.

dchmielewski said...

I believe the "Guilty" in guilty pleasures usually refers to the fact that you know that it is no good for you (has no redeeming social value with respect to music) but you like it anyway. I not only like "Caribbean Queen", but "Loverboy" by the same artist, though Caribbean Queen is superior (if not for the greater social value). These songs are like the chocolate truffle you have every once in a while, totally empty, but tasty in their own right.

I have a music library on my computer with 9000+ songs that is full of guilty pleasures, and you guys have been making fun of my dubious musical taste since we were in high school, so (unlike Jerry) I am willing to share. Since being a musical outcast with you guys has become a right for me. Without further ado:

"I'm Too Sexy" - Right Said Fred. Got this with the free iTunes download from a Cheerios box. How Appropos.

"Without Me" - Eminem. Not a rap fan, white or otherwise, but this song is great, and funny to boot.

"Skating Away On the Thin Ice of a New Day" - Jethro Tull. I realize that this gets me instant scorn from the Metallica crowd and that "...And Justice For All" rocks "Crest of A Knave" everyday of the week, but these guys did not campaign for the award and as Ian Anderson once said, "...the flute is a heavy, metal instrument" (note the comma placement).

"Gonna Make You Sweat" - C+C Music Factory. The woman singing on this track has got it all over Freedom Williams.

"Tuesday's Dead" - Cat Stevens. You either like Cat or you don't, I am not sure this even belongs in this category, since it does some have value lyrically/musically.

"Radio" - The Coors. Irish Pop, whats so bad about that.

"The Humpty Dance" - Digital Underground. "I'm the one who sang grab'em in the biscuit"

"Valley Girl" - Frank Zappa. "On Ventura, there she goes, she just bought some bitchin' clothes"

"What's On your Mind (Pure Energy)" - Information Society. Local Band even, though short lived.

"Justified And Ancient (Moo-Moo Land) - KLF. I never would have guessed they would recruit Tammy Wynette to do this song, but it works for me.

"Solitaire" - Laura Branigan. What can I say, one of my favorites as a young kid.

"One night in Bangkok" - Murray Head. No defense for this one.

"It Takes Two" - Rob Base. "I like the Whopper, f*ck the Big Mac"

"The Power" - Snap!. I'VE GOT THE POWER

That is plenty, although I must say that if I found "Baby's Got Back" by Sir-Mix-A-Lot, I would snap that up in a heartbeat. Good memories.

So when I am not listening to Garbage, Sting, Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Pearl Jam, Bob Marley, Foo Fighters or John Mellencamp, I may be indulging in one of these truffles.

Guilty pleasure for all!

Jason said...

Dang, Dave. I either have or wouldn't mind having most of those songs. You're right, of course. The appeal is inexplicable, but there it is.

I just acquired "The Humpty Dance" two weeks ago. That song cracks me up. I'm listening to it right now, and Michele is suffering.

Jess said...

Aqua, of "Barbie Girl" fame. Nothing beats high-energy Swedish squealing. Swedish? Yeah, I think they're Swedish.

dchmielewski said...


Perhaps I can supply you with an MP3 CD full of songs that are likely to make your wife scream (and not in the way you are thinking, Jerry, Mr. self-heroization ;-)

dchmielewski said...


I believe that "Aqua" is representative of a subgenre that the Swede's seem to have a special talent for, lets call it "Euro-cheese". Other notables:

Well, ABBA is the prime example but they had too many hits for too long to really qualify, but I would say that Roxette and Ace of Base would certainly qualify. I guess that Right Said Fred would also qualify, even if its not the Swedish variety of Euro-cheese. I am sure there are plenty more, but I agree that Aqua certainly belongs as a guilty pleasure.

I might also nominate anything by Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Milli Vanilli or Snow ("Informer" in the early 90's). None of which I actually own any music from, or would pay for, but might "collect" if they dropped out of the sky.

Michele said...


Just remember: I know where you live... ;)

Diana said...

Is this a safe place for me to be emotionally honest? I mean, will I be mocked if I confess a certain fondness for all things Kenny Rogers, including the majestic white beard, the casinos and the chicken?

You've painted up your lips and rolled and curled your tinted hair. Ruby, are you contemplating going out somewhere?

Jason said...

I laugh when I hear "Barbie Girl," but I'm more of a Cardigans guy, as far as Swede-pop is concerned.

This isn't a safe place, but one thing we do not make fun of here is white-bearded chickens.

Now I have to go listen to "Without Me." Or J-Kwon's "Tipsy."

Now I've gone too far . . .

dchmielewski said...

[Said in the voice of Homer Simpson]


Sean said...

"All right stop what cha doin'
'cause I'm about to ruin."

These are classic lyrics... I mean if Coach Z will quote the Digital Underground, it can't be "guilty," can it?

"I'll take the bottle of Hennessy you got on your shelf,
so just let me introduce myself." That's pure pleasure, and I don't feel guilty, damn it!