Thursday, September 14, 2006

The single most godawful song of all time REVEALED...

But first, a brief story:

The other day, the CD player in my car wasn’t working, so I was forced to listen to the radio. I hate the radio. All you get on the radio are right-wing blowhards, commercials for mortgage brokers, and crappy songs by the assload. This was proven to me as I drove home from work last night. It was midnight, I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was hear a pretty tune to help wash away the endless hours of shouting and complaining I had just endured on my shift. As I went round and round in the parking ramp, I beat my “seek” button senseless, my disappointment growing as I suffered snippets of some half-baked political diatribe, some American Idol runner-up howling about heartbreak, some public service commercial about how it’s a bad idea to do meth, some smoothed-out country singer and their studio-tweaked twang, and on and on. It was dispiriting. I probably would have driven myself into a wall in frustration and despair had I not already expected all this garbage and more from the festering sewer of unabashed badness that is Twin Cities radio.

However, as I was steering out onto the lonely city streets, I picked up the signal of something truly special. There was a dippy guitar, there was a feeble rhythm, there was a smug millionare burnout whimpering cliches. I knew immediately that this must be Crosby, Stills and Nash. That it was awful goes without saying, but I left it on. To my way of thinking, the awful is preferable to the banal. As I drove on, listening to the appalling crap warbling out of my speakers, something quickly became clear to me. This wasn’t just another atrocious Crosby, Stills and Nash song—this was in fact the Holy Grail, the Golden Fleece, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra, the Absolute Pinnacle of all that is noxious and not-good in the realm of deliberately-arranged sound. It was, in other words, the Single Most Godawful Song of All Time.

I can hear you asking, “Kevin, which Crosby, Stills and Nash song—most of which are already incredibly wretched---could possibly qualify as the Single Most Godawful Song of All Time?” Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: “Marrakesh Express” is the song I speak of, the song that is so mind-bendingly lame that it diminishes the life force and reduces the sex appeal of anyone who hears even a moment of it. It is worse than “My Pal Foot-Foot”, by the Shaggs. It is worse than “Can I Touch You...There?”, by Michael Bolton. It is even worse than “I Would Do Anything For Love, (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meatloaf, which I suspect is a song about felching*. The sound of Ted Nugent skinning a fresh kill with his teeth is more appealing than this song. The sound of a thousand ADHD children smashing your good china is more soothing than this song. The sound of maggots worming their way through a steaming heap of cow dung holds more beauty than this song. It is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad song.

If you disagree with me here, you either haven’t heard it yet or you’re certifiably insane. Let me break it down for you. Since the song is about Morocco---a place I imagine Crosby, Stills and Nash visited because they heard about it’s many impressive varieties of hash—there is an “exotic” guitar played whenever they’re not singing. That “exotic” guitar sounds like something I would play if I had only two fingers and a burning desire to make the world suffer. There are also other instruments, but they’re not worth listening to or commenting on. They’re just there, the same way there’s lots of boogers on the underside of a first-grader’s desk. The less said about such things, the better. Besides, it’s really the lyrics and the singing that make “Marrakesh Express” so impressive. A few seconds of the chorus is all you need to hear to understand why Graham Nash got stuck with third-billing even in the company of losers like Stephen Stills and David Crosby. Because, Holy-Christ-in-His-Underoos, is he ever a singer of less-than-awesome ability. And it doesn’t help that he’s bleating things like: “Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind/Had to get away to see what we could find/Hope the days that lie ahead/Bring us back to where they've led/Listen not to what's been said to you...” Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Al Green all working together couldn’t salvage crap like that.

What say you all? Do you agree with me? Or do you have a different candidate for Most Godawful Song of All Time?

*Personal footnote to mom: please don't look "felching" up on the internet. Also, don't ask me what it means next time I see you. Thanks.