Behind in the Music

Remember that Latin Music Invasion we were supposed to have a few years ago? What ever happened to that? People like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony were supposed to take this country by storm, and then they didn’t. Maybe they invaded some other country. Maybe they’re wandering around Iceland saying, “Man, we must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.”

I don’t understand how these new “invasions” are planned anyway. The Latin thing was only because we had three or four big pop hits by Latin artists — most of whom, you’ll be interested to know, don’t even speak Latin. Seems like calling it an “invasion” was jumping the gun. I’ve heard a lot of songs lately that are annoying, like the one where the guy says, “Can you take me higher?/To the place where blind men see?” And that’s annoying because, you know, NO, I can’t. What a stupid question. Where is this Land Where Blind People Can See? Is it near the Land Where Rock Singers Can Sing? And more to my point, is this the start of a new Annoying Music Invasion?

The British Invasion of the ’60s, that I can understand, as it featured the basic elements of rock: guitar, bass, drums and guys saying, “Wooo!” It officially began with the Beatles, of course, who were four lads from Liverpool with whom the young ladies of America wanted to have sexual relations. Such were the sentiments of the day, despite the fact that the Beatles looked extremely British — you know, with the weird smiles and the funny hair and everything. I guess coupling with strange-looking people was popular in the ’60s, which explains why everyone was so ugly in the ’70s.

After that, there was a barrage of rock ‘n’ roll bands from England, each one sounding approximately like the Beatles, and each one making steam come out of American parents’ ears like in a Donald Duck cartoon. Of course, by today’s standards (what’s left of them), ’60s rock sounds pretty tame, and today’s music irritates parents. And I’ve heard today’s music, and it’s filthier than a Victoria’s Secret poster, if you can imagine, with titles as poorly spelled as a Britney Spears fan-produced Web site. I can see why parents are upset by it.

On the current Billboard Hot 100 chart, we have these actual titles: “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” “Bootylicious,” “Where the Party At,” “Get Ur Freak on,” “Someone to Call My Lover,” “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” and “Giv Me Ur Sexxx Rite Now or I Wil Kil U.” (It is possible I have manufactured one of those titles myself.)

And so I wonder: When the kids of today are parents, what will THEIR children listen to that will bother THEM? How much worse is it going to get? Will “bootylicious” become an adjective that people actually use? (“Sir, our first-quarter projected earnings are bootylicious, to say the least.”) Will the popular tunes of 2020 be so obscene that listeners will burst into flames? Will music spread hepatitis? Will girls get pregnant just by listening to the radio? And if so, how cool will that be?

Anyway, people have always gotten worked up over the latest “big thing,” and the big things always seem small after some time has passed. (For example: Who even thinks about the Bubonic Plague anymore? All that hullabaloo at the time, and now, nothing.) In the 18th century, there was the Classical Invasion, when the music scene was changed forever by the introduction of the electric conductor’s baton. Composers were worshiped like gods. During the legendary Woodwindstock music festival, Wolfgang “Amadeus” Mozart and Ludwig “Driving Miss Daisy” Beethoven trashed a hotel room, and Beethoven set fire to his piano on stage, perhaps accidentally.

And where are these guys now? They’re dead, and their music is used in radio commercials to promote rehab centers and mattress sales. Which is actually a pretty high honor, compared to the extremely non-bootylicious destiny that awaits Ricky Martin now that the Fifteen Minutes of Fame Police have caught up with him.

I don't know what this column is about. Any ideas? It might be about the generation gap, or how we always make a big deal out of things that seem trivial later. It also might have been seen as a way of showing Provo readers that I do have some sense of morality after all (though that accomplishment would be secondary to my actual purpose behind the column, whatever that may be).

I've never heard "Bootylicious," but I certainly am glad I saw the song listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Also, notice that in this column, I am just as offended by bad spelling as I am by immorality. That's more or less how I feel in real life, too.

And in case you need the "Amadeus"/"Driving Miss Daisy" connection explained ... well, I can't really explain it. They're both popular movies from the 1980s that were highbrow enough to seem smart but not so intelligent as to turn viewers off. That whole paragraph is pretty strange, really.