Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'll Show You Lovin' Like You Never Knew

The numerous months that I have neglected one of my favorite pastimes, ranting on this blog about the numerous unchangeable and unfair truths of modern society, are both shameful and inexcusable to the fast-paced world of the internets and its, “information superhighway...” whatever the hell that means.

I’ve become the thing that I fear and hate most in the world: the kind of person that lets their work interfere with the things that they sincerely care about. Being a cube drone hasn’t been nearly as soul-sucking as it has been with positions in the past (that, I feel, is the direct result of the fact that I do not have to talk to anyone all day, unless I want to), but I find that while my soul is intact, my time is not. This complete lack of communication with a piece of the internet that I raised from a small page of raucous babble to a sincere and unrelenting look through my eyes onto the modern world makes me feel like a mother that has turned the cubs out of the den way too soon.

All of the apologies and the ridiculously large delusions of grandeur I have about a fucking blogger blog aside, I’m really going to try to make an effort to translate the hatred of modernity and the little time I have to spend with my now-returned husband in our seemingly normal and routine life into some kind of readable and amusing missive…more than just once a month.
This sudden need to write again has been dredged up by a few things. First, the ability for my mind to wander whilst I'm sitting in the cube. I've hatched the most insane fantasies of brocade outfits, saucy henchmen in wintry tales: tales that would enrapture freaks and norms, alike. Those tales will probably never make it to paper, though, because there is something that must be discussed, at great length, before any of my perverse tomes come to life. That, my good readers (well, who still reads Frou Frou Shit? I haven't been around forever, and I wouldn't blame you if you all unsubscribed and threw rocks at me), is Butt Rock.
Dustin and I were driving home from being out and about last night (where I got an awesome pair of kitten-heeled boots that have quenched my years-long desire for a pair of boots that fit), when we started to discuss this elusive beast. It is not secret that rock genres are completely and ridiculously micro-managed. I mean, check this out. What you will not find, though, is a listing or an explanation for this genre that we all know, but we're not sure that we know who's in it or what it means or how long it's been around or how long it will be a part of our lives.
Urban Dictionary has so many different definitions that are quite astounding, but do not completely capture the majesty of Butt Rock. This one is probably my favorite, even if incomplete:

Butt rock

A genre of rock music that has had different meanings over time, but which generally describes bands who meet the following criteria:

1. The music is driven primarily by power chords, and focuses less on complexity and musical talent and more on radio-friendliness and the emotional impact it has on listeners. As such, butt rock has never been a hit with critics, but it has always enjoyed mainstream popularity.

2. The songs fit into one of two molds -- hard-rocking tracks designed to get the crowd pumped and "rocking out," or slower power ballads that are meant to attract female fans. Both types of songs are best played in an arena, which is why they are popular at pro wrestling events.

3. The subject matter of the lyrics tends to be about kicking ass, getting laid, auto racing, hedonism, and other "manly" subjects. Rebellion is also a common theme, with authority figures like cops, teachers, and parents all being portrayed as not understanding their needs. The exception is the aforementioned power ballads, which are often about loss, love, drug abuse, and other, "heavier" subjects. The lyrics in both types of songs are often misogynistic, with women portrayed as either sex objects, harpies, or home-wreckers.

4. The fanbase tends to be frat boys and working-class men between the ages of 16 and 40.

In the '80s, butt rock was used to describe the mainstream hair metal bands that were popular on MTV, such as Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Scorpions, and Poison. This type of music was popular from the early-mid '80s through the first years of the '90s, when it was driven out by grunge. In the late '90s, butt rock made a comeback in the form of post-grunge. Bands like Creed, Nickelback, Hinder, Staind, Puddle of Mudd, Daughtry, and others came to dominate the modern rock radio charts. These bands had similar music to the above-mentioned hair bands, but wrapped it in a radio-friendly grunge flavoring. This type of rock music has persisted in popularity into the present day.

The name "butt rock" has a few possible origins. First, in the 1980s, the musicians in many hair metal bands often dressed in a "glam" style, wearing tight pants that would accentuate their butts. (This may also be the origin of the term "cock rock," which has the same connotations, as the tight pants would also accentuate the musicians' crotches.) A less flattering origin for the name is that the lead singers of these bands sounded like they were singing out of their asses. Finally, the term can generally mean that the music sounds like ass.
Dude, turn off that butt rock. We're not at the gym.
 In order to completely capture what Butt Rock means to America (actually, to go off on a tangent for a minute, Butt Rock...actually IS America. It's loud, tasteless and no one with a lick of style and class really likes it. It's pointless and cruel. It's a purple 1981 Camaro with t-tops. Actually, probably the biggest fans of Butt Rock still drive Camaros with t-tops), we must look at the one song that captures every emotion and every caress:

Foreigner's, "Hot Blooded," is one of those songs that most people like, although they're not sure why they like it, because if someone released that song today, everyone would be totally irritated with how it talked about women (I guess, though, it's nothing compared to artists like Wiz Khalifa) and what a crappy guitar riff it has. As I've discussed in a previous entry about the evolution of a song (you can find that entry here), and I'm certain that this song has not lost its kitsch value, or its ability to make people instantly burst into a rockin' routine that could rival any of the assholes on that goddamned show Glee.

Foreigner has managed to capture the womanizing, while Nazareth's, "Hair of The Dog," captures the cowbell and, by definition, Butt Rock's listener's need to tell everyone in earshot how fucking badass they are:

Butt Rock's Urban Dictionary definition, although poignant, misses the entire essence: Irony. Butt Rock is defined by the fact that it rocks out so hard that it really doesn't fucking rock at all. Think about it. While we can probably all agree that we enjoy a bit o' Foreigner, .38 Special and Whitesnake, we can't help but realize that they don't really Rock in the way that actual Rock n Roll rocks. They rock out with a powerful irony that is only really lost on the people that have never actually listened to any other music (this is probably why Van Halen is still so goddamned popular in Pittsburgh and people treat them like they just came out last week).

If Butt Rock were a sensation, it would be what spandex feels like against your genitals: foreign, sweat-inducing and shiny. I blame the crunchy guitar that seems to litter ever song that graces the Butt Rock Hall o' Fame.

I'm sure your next question is, "What other songs would fall into this diverse and almost-forgotten genre?" That is a fantastic question! While there are some bands that have managed to have their entire repertoire fall into this category (the aforementioned Foreigner), there are some half-decent artists that have recorded a few songs that have passed the point of no return:

1. "Feel Like Makin' Love," by Bad Company. Paul Rodgers is one of my favorite vocalists (no, really. He's awesome and receives very little credit for it.), but this song is just a little too....well, Butt Rock. I blame the guitar riff breakdown in front of the chorus.

2. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," by Pat Benetar. Jesus. This song tries to turn the tables on misogynistic Butt Rock, but manages to set Rock n Roll ladies back...simultaneously. "Before I put another notch in my lipstick case, you better make sure you put me in my place." Oh, fuck off.

3. "Come Again," by The Damn Yankees. What the hell was Ted Nugent thinking when he signed up with these assholes? Uncle Ted clearly needed some cash to get out of another underage lady scandal.

3. "Fly By Night," by Rush. Just kidding. They were never half-decent. Progessive Rock's retarded half-brother has managed to slide into Butt Rock. At least Geddy Lee had the decency to make the theme song to, "Strange Brew," which should be the Canadian National Anthem. heh. Take off, you hosers.

Wait, what the hell was I talking about?

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