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Black Friday


I do not have cable.  I do not have TV at all.  I never listen to the radio, save NPR.  I am fairly isolated from pop culture, and I prefer it this way, for I am shielded from the sludge of the Gagas, Twilights, and Kardashians (who, last I checked, were the sworn enemy of the Bajorans, but now seem to be some kind of white-collar whore, near as I can tell).

Caution: the above video has made some sensitive viewers vomit in a projectile manner.  Aim away from your computer screen.


But sometimes something is so heinous that it slips through every defense a man can think of and hits me anyway.  Such as it is with Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”  It was described to me as the worst pop song that has yet been recorded.  I shy from such hyperbole, usually; our current discourse is so insanely hyperbolic anymore that if it were a Kepler orbit, its eccentricity would be greater than 1.  With this in mind, I had to hear “Friday” for myself.


Reader, I have a hard time refuting the assertion that this is the worst pop song.  Now, pop music has taken a trend since the early 2000s towards the repetitive, unmelodic, catchy, and largely electronic.  This can work brilliantly, as in Justin Timberlake’s masterpiece Futuresex/Lovesounds, or less successfully, as in whatever Britney Spears has been up to since Blackout.  (Though, “Circus” wasn’t horrible.)  “Friday” isn’t just repetitive, unmelodic, catchy, and electronic, it is offensively so, and I mean “offensive” in the sense of an attack, the way that Vikings ferociously trying to hack away at your entrails with large and freshly-sharpened axes are “offensive.”

How to do things well.


Someone wrote “Friday” to kill another human.  There is no other explanation for its existence.  I know the crafting of lyrics has not always been at the forefront of pop music’s sensibility.  Some lyricists randomly collect images and turns of phrase, to create something sublimely Dadaist like “Everything in its Right Place” from Radiohead.  Sometimes lyrics are perplexing non sequiturs, like “Summer Girls” by LFO, which doesn’t quite sound like a man who ate a bunch of fortune cookie fortunes piecing together lyrics via the order in which he shits back out those tiny pieces of paper (not even when you know that LFO stands for Lyte Funkie Ones.  LYTE FUNKIE ONES.  HOW DID THE WORLD NOT ACTUALLY END IN 1999???).

Huh. Macaulay Culkin WAS in Home Alone…


But sometimes lyrics are meant only to pierce and attack.  Not even in the cool diss-track manner of “You’re So Vain”, or “Hit ‘em Up.”  But in the “Let’s fuck with Bradley Manning until he admits to anally raping Julian Assange” way.  Reader, the men responsible for “Friday” hate you and want you to die.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)

Oh, people say lyrics don’t matter.  I’ve had a few people throw in my face “You know ‘Yesterday’ by the Beatles?  It was originally called ‘Scrambled Eggs!’  How can you know that and still say lyrics matter?”   I can still say lyrics matter for Paul changed the lyrics to something respectable, because he isn’t an asshole.

Let’s next ask why Rebecca Black has ever been allowed to open her mouth for the purposes of creating any kind of vocalization ever in her whole entire life.  I have never heard her speak, I will confess.  In fact, my opinion of her vocals is limited to this one, single track.  And judging by “Friday,” the Mafia sought Ms Black out to wrench her vocal chords from her body as some kind of blood tithe, and once having done so, took a measure of pity on her and dropped her at the doorstep of a revolutionary Japanese scientist, who inserted into her Hal 9000’s voice, if Hal 9000 were made to sound like Fran Drescher being pinched hard on the bottom by a lobster who thought such a death grip was the only way to stop being boiled.  It is not enough to say that Ms Black’s voice is grating, annoying, or capable of making a dog void its bowels ere one measure has passed.  Ms Black wants to kill you.  She wants you dead.

Let’s next discuss the melody.  Oh, wait, there isn’t one…

Here.  You be the judge:



Yes, bad pop music has been produced before this song, and bad pop music will be produced after this song.  But I’ll never know, as I’ve gone permanently deaf as a result of the video above.

I kid.

I’ve been listening to Led Zeppelin and The Band steadily since being aurally raped by Ms Black and her producers.  It’s not helping.  I fear for my sanity.  Intellectually I know there must be songs of equal or lesser artistic merit, but this minute, I am at a loss.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011.03.23 17:11

    I know this bartender that uses this particular song to fuck with people. It is simply THAT bad. Similar to the way that you can’t UNsee something (ex. walking in on your grandparents making an aunt or uncle for you), I am finding it equally difficult to UNhear this “song”….

  2. The Sound of Reason permalink
    2011.03.26 10:47

    No worse or better than most of the boring, non-melodic, lyrically challenged “music” released these days.

    Even “old” Jennifer Lopez unveiled her new music video on American Idol last week. It could have been the same “tune/lyrics” as this for all I remember. Nothing unique or memorable.


    But, take the Beatles’ YESTERDAY posted above. A TRULY lyrical, MEMORABLE song!

    Ahhhhhh, the good old days…..

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