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How About You Shut Up, Nickelodeon

August 31, 2012

This wasn’t the blog post I meant to write.  Actually, I was about two paragraphs deep in another blog post, when my children started arriving home from school.  The three day holiday weekend was upon us, and the kids flipped on the television (you know, to get this party started).  I continued hacking away at my blog, when something on the television caught my ear.  And as I listened, my mood darkened.  As vague recognition turned to realization, and realization turned to horror, I stepped away from my computer and walked to where I could see the screen.  I stood, staring, my countenance a mixture of revulsion and shock, I finally managed the words.

Me: What.  The HELL.  Is THAT?

Flashback: The Glorious 90’s

Let’s take a step back from this tale and get to the root of my horror.  Back to a golden age of music known as the 1990s.  I graduated high school in 1992, just to put my life in perspective for all of you.  The music of your high school and college years will forever be remembered fondly as the best years in the history of music.  It just will.  I mean, you can be a fan of music from other eras (I can dig on some 60’s and 70’s rock… and 80’s new wave is pretty cool), but nothing will emotionally resonate like the music from those formative years of high school and college.

Add to that, the fact that I was a bit of a music rat at the time.  I used to practically live at a local record store in Charlotte by the name of Repo Records… owned by none other than Mojo Nixon (“If you don’t got Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin'”). I was also working at a store which sold music (Circuit City)… so, yeah, conflict of interests and whatnot… but my store definitely stuck to the mainstream.  Which meant, that when the 90’s British invasion occurred, my store carried all things Oasis, so I rebelled and embraced their competition, Blur.

Okay.  I’ll stop the story here and defend my stance.  Yes, Blur was a little… power popish.  But I think my love of them was driven by rebellion rather than an enjoyment of simple, jazzy pop tunes.  I mean, look at my other musical loves of the era: Superchunk, Tsunami, and other local bands (as I’ve already described here), Nirvana and all things grunge, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr… in other words, I think I EARNED the right to mellow out to some Blur.  That’s the story I’m sticking to.

And, without a doubt, my favorite Blur song ever was the ONE time they stepped outside of their mellow box and rocked out with this tune:

Returning to the Present

So, as I was hacking away at the blog I INTENDED to write, I heard the familiar strains of this song coming from the television.  Okay, the 90s were a while ago, so it’s only natural that some of my favorite music from the era would begin to crop up in advertising and whatnot.

But… wait a second.  This ISN’T “Song 2” by Blur. What the hell am I hearing?  So I walked to where I could see the television… and was horrified.  This was a boy band… shirtless and covering my favorite Blur song.  Only, not really.  They had turned the angry roaring guitar and rebellious “Woohoo” into a backbeat to their little pop tune.  It wasn’t the same song, it was the foundation of a new song, with absolutely no regard to the fact that they had STOLEN from another artist.

Me: What.  The HELL.  Is THAT?

Charlotte (my daughter): It’s Big Time Rush.  (looking up at me with puppy eyes) I looooove Big Time Rush.

Me: First of all… no.  You’re too young to LOVE those boys.  Secondly, what’s Big Time Rush?

Charlotte: They’re an awesome band with a funny TV show.

Me: Ah… modern Monkees.

Charlotte: What does that mean?

Me: (prying my palm from my face) It doesn’t matter… never mind.  So WHY is this Big Time Rush covering Blur’s “Song 2” … only not really covering, so much as stealing?

Charlotte: It isn’t a cover song!  It’s their new song!

Me: It IS a cover… the background tune at least.  The words are all new, and … boy band-ish. But that’s definitely “Song 2”.

Charlotte:  Okay, what’s “Song 2”?

So, I preceded to play “Song 2” for my daughter, teaching her in the process (hopefully) the evils of trusting television.  Nickelodeon may have presented these boys as a band making their own music, but they were forgeries.  Surely she would see that, once she heard the original.  After playing the entirety of the video above, she rendered her verdict.

Charlotte: I like the BTR version better.

Me: What?!  HOW?

Charlotte: It’s happier!

Okay, I’ll give her that… it is happier.  Here you go folks… in case you’re thinking I’m making this stuff up:

So, What’s the Problem, Man?

The problem here is this.  Even as I was SHOWING my daughter the original video, she was quietly inserting the “yeah yeah” parts and the “roll your windows down” parts.  And, by the end, I was hearing it in my head a little too.  And, if I know Nickelodeon, this will be the soundtrack of my weekend.  Whenever I pass by a television playing Nick this weekend, this song is bound to come on.  And, in the end, the next time I’m lucky enough to hear “Song 2” start playing, I’ll mentally begin inserting the “yeah yeahs” and the “roll your windows down” stuff.  Now, I’m sure the boys of Blur were well compensated by the massive corporate monster that is Nickelodeon.  I’m not suggesting that they infringed on copyright here.  What is certain, though, is that “Song 2” is now ruined.  For a while, and possibly forever, for any parent to a child today who was a fan of Blur in the 90s.

Also… the lyrics?  Really?

The first line: “Throw it up, woo hoo!” I have never yelled woo hoo after vomiting.  Ever.  Which is what throwing up means here in America, folks.

The first verse: “You’re pretty baby, but you know that… Wish I could bring ya, across the map.”  If you’re actually listening to the lyrics here, you SHOULD be getting a pretty clear picture right off the bat.  Yes.  Indeed this IS a song about hooking up with groupies while on tour.  And, right off the bat, they say how they WISH they could take you with them, but, yeah, that’s not happening.  By the intro line, apparently they’re especially down if you’re either bulimic or drunk to the point of vomiting, possibly both.

Now, how will the boys of BTR know if you’re a groupie who’s out for a good time?  Simple, as they explain in the bridge: “If you want me baby show me… Roll the windows down let your hair flow… Let it all go tonight.”  So, apparently, rolling your windows down is the equivalent to throwing your panties on stage.  Either that, or, you know, it’s warm out.  And maybe your air conditioning in your car isn’t working.  Actually, you know what, there’s a lot of goddamn reasons to roll the windows down which have NOTHING to do with wanting to be part of a Big Time Rush gang bang.

And yet, they take the rolling down of windows as a come hither notice.  Fine.  I hope they don’t expect a lot of girls to respond in this manner.  Yeah… cue the chorus: “Woo hoo, all the windows down.  Woo hoo, when I’m rolling through your town… Woo hoo!”  Yeah.  I feel ill now.  ALL the windows down.  ALL of them, that’s what they fucking expect.

So, yeah, this is what I have to look forward to.  This song, all weekend long, and this song, every time I hear “Song 2”, attacking my brain like a musically transmitted disease.  An MTD.  By BTR.  *sigh*

PS: On the bright side, folks, I’ll keep working on that other blog post and probably have it ready to go tomorrow or Sunday, so expect some awesome bloggy entertainment to help you through your holiday weekend (or waiting for you when you return to work on Tuesday, for those of you who read my blog at work).

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14 Comments
  1. Holy crap! They made Blur sound like a tourism commercial! That’s just … so not right!

    • Right?! It’s already been on at least 4 times since the kids got home. I was helping my neighbor install a new water heater a few minutes ago, and suddenly realized I was humming it. NoooooOOOoOoOoo.

  2. What. In. The. Blue. Fuck.
    No. Nononononononononono, FUCK THAT SHIT. My girls will be grounded until senior year if they even BREATHE any inkling that they like that nonsense. NO ONE SOILS A CLASSIC LIKE THAT AND GETS AWAY WITH IT.
    Seriously, I almost punched my computer screen after I (hesitantly) clicked the play button on that shit.
    I was never a huge Blur fan, but Song #2?? That shit was for the motherfuckin’ win, folks. F.T.W.
    And I’m getting old.
    Fuck.
    Vodka. The end.

    • I’m more of a whiskey guy, but let’s open a couple of bottles and try to wash this shit from our brains, shall we?

  3. “I’ve always admired your tart honesty and ability to be personally offended by broad social trends…”
    – Principal Skinner to Edna Krabappel.
    Love ya bro! 😉 😉 😉

  4. It’s happier! In a guy getting a one-night-stand with someone plastered out of her mind kind of way! VALUES.

    If it makes you feel any better, Wikipedia says that Ke$ha first used Song 2 heavily in an unreleased track, which BTR then used. So you could have had a double-bastardization to contend with.

    • Holy crap. Holy double crap! In the words of another 90’s icon, Kelly Bundy, “the mind wobbles.”

      The mind does, indeed, wobble, Kelly. It does indeed.

  5. This is a double whammy, because just as the music of your high school and college years is the best, the television of your elementary school days is the best.

    And Nickelodeon? It was the best. The best cartoons. The best game shows. The best comedy. It all started with Nick. The fact that a boy band even dares show its collective manscaped face on that channel is surely a sign that the apocolypse is upon us.

    My suggestion is to force your children to change the channel.

    • Is it any better or worse than Hannah Montana? I mean, let’s face it, from the moment Brittany Spears went from Mousketeer to looking like a stripper on a music video, the end was nigh.

      But, my memories of childhood didn’t really revolve around Nick. I grew up in the Saturday morning cartoon era, and those were the most harmless mind-fluff ever aired on television.

      • “harmless mind-fluff”? Dude, did you not ever watch anything by Sid and Marty Krofft? Their shows were like half hour ads for LSD.

  6. I actually heard that muthafucking song on the RADIO. THE RADIO! I thought I was hearing Song 2 and then this boy band pop shit denigrates it.
    Thank god my girl doesn’t like Big Time Rush. I’ve dodged the bullet with Jonas Bros, Big Time Rush and the Biebster. Now if I can only get all these anime theme songs outta my head…

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