Published Date Written by Staff ReporterLet's define summer with something – anything – else
THE BLENDER IS GETTING TIRED
A couple of weeks ago I was walking through the lobby of my office, as I do a dozen times a day. The radio station I work for shares grounds with three of our sister stations. So our workplace is busy with the constant traffic of sales folk, disc jockeys, human resources and the occasional contest winner picking up tickets to see Pat Benatar or what have you.
As I dodged my way through the lobby on this particular day the stereo was on in the background just loud enough for me to clearly catch the tune that would ruin my hour. On this day, our light rock station WHOM was on blasting out light rock as they do.
I have a big love for light rock; Hall & Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, Mike & The Mechanics, Heart, Smokey Robinson. I love that stuff. Every now and then though, I catch a doozie. Today, dead center in the middle of the lobby I caught a major friggin' doozie; Jimmy Buffett's “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Oh the sickness.
I stopped midway as I heard the tune and loaded up one liners and grunts to fire off to our receptionist, Holly, about my dislike for JB and those tired barefoot jams. I held back, though, and thought, I'm probably preaching to the choir here. Why bother her? I'm sure she agrees anyways. I'll just go back to my desk and use the worldwide billboard to fume and vent my thoughts.
I clicked onto Facebook and simply stated, “Jimmy Buffett Sucks.” To the point, easy to read. I felt kinda relieved. It needed to be said, from me. I've held in Jimmy Buffett shots for too long, and it was time to set the record straight.
As I got back to work things, scripting some commercial for something, I noticed my Buffett comment was catching rapid fire. Not at me, mind you, right at Jimmy. Mere minutes went by and one after another people stood behind me as if to say, 'Yes, we've had it, too!' The anti-Jimmy stream was flowing big time. There was like twenty something comments and plenty of “likes” in about 10 minutes. I was onto something.
Some of the comments from people to my post:
“Tell me something I don't already know”
“I've lost count of how many times I've told people, I don't get it”
“The favorite of boozy uncles everywhere”
“He's absolutely terrible”
There was even one that talked about him and dog poop and ... but I can't really elaborate on that one here in this forum. (See me in person for that one).
I wasn't alone. It just seems year after year, people are fooled into that fake summer junk of his.
Wacky flower shirts, bright shorts and no shoes. This is a guy who grew up in Mississippi and Alabama and made country music early on. Now he's supposed to be the party thrower? He's supposed to be the one to make us all leave work early, grab some silly drink with an umbrella in it and act like life's a gas?
No, he's not. Not to me, he isn't.
To me he's the guy who you see at a cookout or wedding that tries to hit on every girl 30 years younger than him and fails miserably. He's the guy that you see in those male “get it up” products in a huge tub on the beach. Jimmy never started no party for me. He's a happy dude, for sure, but I think that's 'cause people have been spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on him for the past thirty plus years.
Of course, he's happy! Most people couldn't name more than two songs of his or one of his records that's not a best-of collection. Crazy how he's made it work out.
Then there's the tunes. How corny are those tunes, right? Wack lyrics, too. Ever seen "Summer Rental" with John Candy or one of those great '80s summer movies with cheesy, generic music behind it? That's what his tunes remind me of. Forgettable, throw-away tunes that sound funny cause they're not so good.
I don't think his voice is that good, either. But, hey, maybe it's good enough for his stuff, though. I mean we don't need Freddie Mercury singing, “Come Monday.”
It's odd because his bands are usually filled with good players and his background singers are silky smooth, but Jimmy's like the drunk allowed to keep singing 'cause he owns the place.
I think a lot of people like Jimmy cause he's always drinking and having a good time and always falling down on some sexy beach somewhere and they wish it was them. I personally get annoyed to think someone doesn't have to worry about paying their monthly $2,000 cable bill like I do. Last thing I want to do is see this guy shuffling by in bright orange shorts making me feel like I'm not enjoying life enough 'cause I only have Saturdays and Sundays off.
Anyways, to each their own. I'm not out to slam someone with my own opinion — although I guess I kind of am doing that, but to me it's more venting than going after him. I just don't buy it, and I don't think a lot of other people do either.
As this amazing summer is winding down I thought to myself, what stuff do I hear in the summer that makes me feel good? If not Jimmy, then what?
I guess anything works for me can depending on the mood or how the days going. I can listen to anything almost anytime if I'm feeling right, but I will say the B52's, anything Motown or Soul, Sublime, Rancid, Steel Pulse, Stevie Wonder, The Specials or LCD Soundsystem make a nice feel in the good weather.
Of course, let's not forget the king of good weather music, Bob Marley. Throw on any of Bob Marley's records (Exodus is a favorite of mine), and you can feel the summertime even in the wintertime. No cheesy lines about doing shots or partying on a yacht with racquetball friends. The Marley music can stand on its own. Add Bob into it and no one's walking away.
I thought I'd ask around to a few local music folks, what do they dig in the summertime. No one mentioned Jimmy Buffett. Here are just a few responses:
Jay Caron (Educated Advocates): A Tribe Called Quest “Beats, Rhymes, Life”
Ralphy Graceffa (Marion Grace): Paul Simon “Graceland”
Jose Ayerve (Spouse): Yo La Tengo “And Then Nothing Turned Itself Out”
Doug Cowan (The Townies, Bullclub): The Feelies
Rodney Stevens (Interscope Records Northeast Radio Rep): Dire Straits and Violent Femmes
Nice to see so much different stuff.
I guess when it comes down to it, everyone has their own thing. There's plenty of Parrotheads and plenty of other heads. If something makes you feel good in the Summer or whenever, well, good for you — rock those tunes.
Just please try to keep “Margaritaville” off of your mix tapes if you invite me over. Keep it off of all elevator or department store muzak systems, too. Don't cover it if you're a musician who plays on restaurant or pub patios in the summer. Don't sing it at any karaoke events, weddings or parties. Please don't pick it to play on any jukeboxes.
I could keep going on, but I think you catch my drift. I am truly wasted on “Margarittaville.”
MARKS TOP 3 MUSIC THINGS THIS WEEK
Superchunk's new record, Majestry Shredding
She Wants Revenge
Lady Essence at Open Mic Night last Wednesday at Big Easy
(Mark Curdo is a DJ on 94.3 WCYY and the owner of a record label, Labor Day Records, based in Portland. Mark is not only a board member of the Portland Music Foundation, but he loves the Boston Celtics, Ginger Ale and Jack Lemmon movies. He is a weekly Daily Sun music columnist.)