originally published January 3, 2014

Whenever I’m feeling a little too happy, a little too comfortable within the overstuffed throw-pillows of our culture, I like to remind myself how easy it is to unzip those cushions and catch a whiff of the rancid stuffing inside. We may pride ourselves on our Breaking Bads, our Blue Jasmines, and our Elvis Costello & The Roots records, but this is the same twisted species that also spews out crap-heaps of TLC shows, a nonstop cavalcade of Madea movies, and… well, these musical offerings.

I have devoted 19 of my 733 days to exploring the crowd-roasted excrement that has squeezed through the virtual anus of our corporate culture-makers, only to be (usually) swallowed up by the masses in some deluded mass-hysterical case of collective scatophagia. Maybe I’m trying to understand why we persist in the dank shadow of quality. Why do we support drivel and detritus when the crests of artistic brilliance have showered us with so many more palatable alternatives?

There are questions of taste, and subjective preference should always be approached with a cautious and respectful gait. But then there’s crap. Pure crap. So much pure and loathsome crap.

Some artists can get away with songs that serve no other purpose than to introduce themselves. Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley” is a great tune with a magnetic rhythm. “(Theme From) The Monkees” was literally the theme song to the band’s TV show. But 80% of “Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)” by the Cheeky Girls involves the two lines: “We are the cheeky girls” and “You are the cheeky boys.” Seriously, those lines are repeated about sixty times. We get it. It’s a pun.

This 2002 slab of jukebox bile will fester in your ears like a bad jingle. You won’t come away wanting to touch these girls with anything shorter than a 30-foot pointed stick and you most certainly won’t come to the conclusion they posit, that touching their bums “is life.” Yet somehow British music-lovers (or self-loathers) allowed this song to reach #2 on the charts. This is what happens when reality show contestants (these girls were on something called Popstars: The Rivals) are allowed to inflict recordings upon us.

Taking a page from the indefensible “Boney M. is not the bane of musical existence” argument, Black Lace’s 1984 hit “Agadoo” will leave you yearning to slap a baby in the face as a symbolic punishment for this abomination. This is bouncy post-Euro-disco at its most reprehensible. This is what emotionally-stunted sociopaths play at their weddings. This song cycles on repeat at every junior high school dance in Hell.

Yet once again, record-buyers in the UK saw fit to gobble up this fetid froth and propel “Agadoo” to #2 – just narrowly kept at bay from the top spot by George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.” The video (and yes, I’m linking to all these videos in hopes that I won’t have to suffer alone) features the leather-pantsed duo dancing with the rejected cast of a Fruit of the Loom commercial, and showing off moves that could only be justified by the over-consumption of a stranger’s prescription medication.

I will however extend the tiniest of kudos to Black Lace for having also recorded “Have A Screw,” an X-rated version of this insipid train-wreck.

Remember when Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson swooped together almost every top American singing star (plus Dan Aykroyd!) to record “We Are The World” for starving kids in Africa? The motivation behind the 25th anniversary re-recording was equally positive – to raise funds for relief after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. The problem was, the second version was remarkably more heinous. The fact that it kicks off with Justin Bieber is merely the frosting on this pukey poundcake.

Maybe it was the curious insertion of Michael Jackson’s 1985 singing, since he had died a few months earlier. Perhaps it was the excessive use of auto-tune on many of the artists. It could be that the song wasn’t that great to begin with, and it certainly wasn’t going to benefit from a clumsily-inserted rap verse. Even the roster of performers is dotted with some odd choices, like Vin Diesel, Vince Vaughn, and American Idol judge Randy Jackson.

I hope people donated a significant amount of money toward Haitian relief, specifically in spite of this wretched glop of audio smegma.

Someone needs to carefully position a bucket of water atop a door so that when Patrice Wilson walks into the room, it falls on his head. Except that the water should actually be anvils and the buckets should be a bus. A busload of anvils. That’s what we need to stop this man from crapping all over the music world. This is the yutz who stuck his finger down Rebecca Black’s throat and allowed the sonic barf of “Friday” to ooze all over Youtube in 2011. His weapon this year is Alison Gold (who might be a wonderful young lady – I’m not going to hold her responsible for this mess), and the new song is “Chinese Food.”

If you are not yet a cynical and jaded human being, spend three minutes and twenty-eight seconds soaking up this horror and your outlook on the world will transform. Forget the clichés in the lyrics, forget the dancing panda in the video or the fact that they shot the thing in a Mongolian restaurant because they couldn’t book a Chinese joint. Also try to look past the Geisha imagery in the video because apparently in Patrice Wilson’s mind, Asians are all the same. This song and video aren’t racist against Asians, they are racist against the entire human race. I am dumber, sadder, and excruciatingly aware of the fact that I’m 3:28 closer to my death after having watched that video.

If there was such a thing as the Douche Awards in the mid-2000’s, Kevin Federline would have a shelf-load of statuettes to polish. In case you’ve blocked him from your mind (and if you have, I am eternally jealous of your self-control), he’s the guy who dumped his pregnant girlfriend for Britney Spears in 2004, only to get dumped by Britney a week after his one album came out. Perhaps you recall his ‘hit’ single, “Lose Control”? No?

No, you probably don’t. Because this was a glorious instance in which the public did the right thing and refused Federline entry into the music industry, instead relegating him to the gutters of fleeting pop-culture flotsam. Metacritic has compiled a rating of 15 out of 100 – the lowest score for any album on the entire site. Only about 16,000 units were ever sold. Federline’s first spot on his tour, the 1500-seat Webster Hall in New York, only drew 300 patrons. About 100 were still there when Federline left the stage. Most of the tickets for his next show, at the House of Blues in Chicago, were given away for free. The remainder of his tour (and his career) were cancelled.

At least we got one right.

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