A Refreshing Glass of Haterade | Bleader

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Refreshing Glass of Haterade

Posted By on 12.18.09 at 02:05 PM

Were number five!
  • We're number five!
Before Maura Johnston left Idolator, with no warning beforehand and no explanation afterward, she made it one of the most consistently high-quality sources of music news and criticism, especially in the realm of Top 40 pop—the kind of stuff too many "serious" critics find beneath them. She's since been replaced by two bobbleheads who took just hours to dispel any notion that the site would continue to be worthwhile, and fans of the old Idolator lunged for their "unfollow" buttons en masse.

Her departure happened to interrupt an excellent series called F2K, where Johnston partnered with Chris Weingarten—whose 1000 Times Yes project is one of the better things going in music criticism this year—to run down the 50 worst songs of the past decade. Johnston and Weingarten know their stuff, so there's no "Who's this Taylor Swift anyway?" duh-ness, and they've got the insight and wit to really properly tear a shitty song apart.

The Village Voice has provided Johnston and Weingarten with a new home for F2K, and as they've gotten into the top (bottom?) ten songs on their list, things have gotten very interesting. Today Johnston posted the number five entry, Alvin & the Chipmunks' "Get Munk'd," a tune that's not only almost incomprehensibly painful to listen to—pretty much the standard for the Chipmunks—but absolutely baffling. Long story short: in the 2007 movie Alvin and the Chipmunks the Chipmunks are, in a classic movies-about-bands cliche, taken over to the pop "dark side," where they cut a dance-floor fuck jam. It'd be a bizarre move for a piece of entertainment aimed at prepubescents even without the "giant talking rodent" angle.

The really amazing thing is that someone involved with marketing the movie and soundtrack decided that the song about the Chipmunks "running a train on some woman they've met at a club," in Johnston's description—the very song that in the movie serves as a symbol of the music business's evil nature—should be promoted along with the rest of the soundtrack, just as the movie's record-executive monsters wanted to promote it. In the end the song turns out to be a real-life symbol of what's wrong with the heads of so many people in the entertainment industry.

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