Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stop, Collaborate and Listen.

I was driving to work yesterday and I heard, "Ice Ice Baby," for the first time in years. This song and I have a long history, because it is the first thing that I remember that I bartered with my mother about. I was the kind of kid that instinctively got good grades. I mean, you're in school, you're in there all day, so why not make the best of it? Anyway, when Vanilla Ice's album, "To The Extreme" came out in 1990, I wanted it. I remember envying the cassette at Kmart. After an awesomely stellar report card, my mother bought me the cassette, and I kind of wish I still had it, but I also think that I may have listened to it so many times that it stopped working. That was a while ago.

When I heard the song on the radio during a "Flashback Weekend," or whatever, I listened for a while and then I found myself saying out loud, "Shut the fuck up." It was at that moment that I realize that this song had graduated from my self-invented five-step program.

Step One: A song is super popular and everyone can't get enough of it. It's on the radio every five minutes and everyone sings along with reckless abandon.

Step Two: The overplayed song becomes a pariah and everyone wants to stab themselves in the face every time their hear it. They can't change the station of the radio fast-enough.

Step Three: Obscurity. The radio isn't shoving it down your throat anymore, and you've already sold that album to The Exchange, where it sits with the seventy-thousand other copies of Avril Lavigne's "Let Go."

Step Four: Irony! People adopt a song back into their lives because they love how ironic it is to love it, or they enjoy the camp value. This song, specifically, will probably never leave this phase, nor do I really want it to.

Step Five: This is the aptly titled "Shut the Fuck Up," phase. This is obviously where "Ice Ice Baby," lives. Whether it's because Vanilla Ice (aka Robert Van Winkle) will not accept his forced retirement with grace (I think he's on some kind of home improvement show now or something), or because the culture that surrounds that song isn't all that exciting or "retro," it's the kind of song that just doesn't hold it's own the way that "Looking For Love In All the Wrong Places," has years and years after the release of "Urban Cowboy" to DVD. What a great movie! It's got it all and it has it before John Travolta became a weirdly plump Scientologist. But I digress...

Take every song that you've ever liked or hated, and you'll find that it fits somewhere on this scale.

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