it’s a big ol’ land with countless dreams

Nine-Eleven, Nine-Eleven, Nine-Eleven
I heard perhaps the worst song I’ve heard in years – worse even than Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up” – while grocery shopping on Sunday: Aaron Tippin’s “Where The Stars and Stripes and Eagles Fly.”

This song wasn’t written in a Los Angeles studio by cynical shysters looking to cash in on nationalistic sentiment, but you couldn’t tell by listening to it. It has nothing going for it except its patriotism, and it’s not even good patriotism. Rather than putting art in the service of sentiment, Tippin simply checks off every item on the Feel-Good ‘Murrican Song checklist, line by line. The resulting 3:42 potboiler plods through its images like a bus driver calling out stops:

  • God
  • Stars and stripes
  • Eagles
  • Dreams
  • Hard work
  • the Statue of Liberty
  • the Liberty Bell
  • Freedom
  • The price of Freedom
  • “I pledge allegiance to the flag”
  • “And if that bothers you, well that’s too bad”
  • Pride
  • Raising a family
  • Doing things the same way Dad did
If he’d worked in a reference to Not Letting the Terrorists Win, he would have boxed the full exacta. As it stands, though, it once again demonstrates how sincerity will always be funnier than sarcasm.

The next song after this was a Sousa march, leading me to wonder if September 11th Weekend now merited every patriotic song in the catalog on Shaw’s Muzak station.

You Baby Emcees Drink Pedialyte
I was in the Enormous Room on Saturday, having a few drinks and chilling between other engagements. The DJ always picks a good selection of tracks to groove to, but plays them too loud for conversation. This leads to a chill music appreciation as you nurse the Enormous Room’s hipster-bait*.

I started tapping my toes as Jurassic 5’s “Quality Control” bounced to life over the speakers. The mix of talented and toneful lyricists with Cut Chemist’s well-harvested beats never fails to put a party in the right frame of mind. That’s a sign of true quality: an album that can still move you, even nine years after holy shit, Quality Control is NINE YEARS OLD? And I wilted back into the couch.

The young have no appreciation for classics. Greg Wymer recounted a story to me on Saturday about his most recent DJing gig at The Joshua Tree in Allston. He put on Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” since “this is the one time of the year I can always get away with playing that.” A strapless, tanned twenty-something marched into the booth a few seconds later. “Did someone request this?” she asked. No. “So you put this on yourself?” Yes. “Well, I suppose you know what you’re doing.”

Fuck you, you Allston scenester. If it weren’t for Earth, Wind and Fire, you wouldn’t even be alive.

* Hipsters reliably order the cheapest non-Budweiser beer on the menu, in this case Red Stripe ($4).


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