Friday, May 4, 2007

Desert Island Music

Everyone has a list of their desert island music, that is, what albums they'd take with them if they had to spend the rest of eternity on a deserted island. The usual suspects appear on these lists--Beatles, etc. I have a different kind of list, though I also call it Desert Island Music. These are songs that I think should be SENT to live forever on a desert island so that the rest of us never have to hear them again. Now, these aren't bad songs, just songs that are criminally overplayed by radio stations, hogging the airwaves from more deserving and underplayed artists. So, from time to time I'm going to list a few songs that I think should be banished from our lives forever, destined to live only in our memories.

1. Everything from Joshua Tree. Look, it's a great album. Legendary, by this point. But is there anyone on earth who really needs to hear "Where the Streets Have No Name" one more time? I think bushmen in the Kalahari are by this point sick of this album. Why DJs feel the need to exclude new talent for the 2,368th replay of "With or Without You" is something I'll never understand.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under the Bridge of Time. Anytime a band known for harder edged stuff comes out with something mellow and shallow, it gets crazy airtime. Witness this song. It is slow, ponderous, melodramatic, and way, way, way overplayed. I liked it when it first came out, admittedly. Then I grew to hate it over the next 39,879 times it was played on the radio. (I also suspect it was a big influence on Live's "Lightning Crashes," aka the most pretentious song EVER, thus it deserves to be exiled immediately.)

3. Van Morrison, Brown Eyed Girl. A mix-tape staple, this song deserves to be banished because (a) it is supposed to evoke a nostalgia for the idyllic summer days of ones youth, and in so doing makes me feel old since I've been hearing it for the last 15 years, and (b) it sounds like every other one of Van Morrison's songs. But, as this is the one that DJs seem to reach for when they just can't come up with anything else, it gets the #3 position on today's list.