Wednesday, June 06, 2012

the tragedy of falsetto

I spent several hours at Starbucks last Saturday reading. It was relaxing, except that Sunday I realized that the CD they were looping the whole time seems to have percolated into my brain and now I can't get those annoying Beach Boy tunes out of my head.

I've never been a fan of the Beach Boys. Their lyrics are juvenile, their music is uninspired, and falsetto voices are just irritating. "Hep me Rhonda! Hep Hep me Rhonda!" What, is he trying to get her to hike a football to him? I know, I know, it's really "Help me Rhonda", and all girls just love it when a guy says, "Hey, I'm with you babe but I just can't stop thinking about some other girl. Anything you could do to, you know, take my mind off of her? ".

Even more annoying is a song that starts "Well, I'm not bragging, babe, so don't put me down" when the entire song is nothing but him bragging about his car. It would be impressive if this were just a poetic version of the unreliable narrator, but no, I think it's just that he needed a word to rhyme with "town" and didn't want to think very hard.

And what's that bit about "I've got the pink slip, daddy?" Is he talking to a babe or a daddy? And is the daddy actually his father or is he supposed to be gay? OK, probably a different culture. But what, am I supposed to think he's spent this long, annoying song bragging about a car that belongs to someone else? I think he just had a list of all the cool dragster lingo that he had to put in the song: "four on the floor": check, "flathead mill": check, "stroked and bored": check, "pink slip": check.

C. W. McCall managed to do the cool trucker lingo list in Convoy without sounding like a dork. He did do the falsetto, though. It would have been a better song if he had sprung for a couple of chicks to sing backup like Tony Orlando did. And Tony Orlando got a variety show out of it with the two chicks. See how bad falsetto is? It can keep you from getting your own variety show.