Saturday, January 7, 2012

Jam of the day, road trip radio, and the semantics of "classic rock": Bad Company / "Feel Like Makin' Love"

I made a six-hour drive from New Jersey to Pittsburgh last weekend with some college buddies who I hadn't seen in a while. In my friend's rental car, he had a couple of CDs that we played a few times through: Can's Delay 1968, which is great driving music; Devendra Banhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, only half of which we got through after playing the 8-minute, slow-burning jam "Seahorse" three times in a row; and the debut, Gros mammouth album, of Montreal's French-speaking indie pop-rock band Les Trois Accords (The Three Chords, which is an accurate description of their melodies). We chatted, we napped, we snacked, and we played a fizzling round of "more like a rock or a theory of justice", everyone's favorite, wacky binary search game.

Eventually, I suggested turning on the radio as we got closer to Pittsburgh, and we found a classic rock station. Within a few minutes, Bad Company's hit single "Feel Like Makin' Love" came on. We all groaned. We laughed. But I'll be god damned if the chorus didn't come around after a minute and find us all singing at the top of our lungs. Just try it:

This has to be the cheesiest fucking song known to man. (Watching it with the lyrics displayed makes it even more obvious. Who writes this stuff?!) After we caught ourselves singing along with gusto, we chuckled at the thought of some mustachioed dude in a leather jacket putting this song on the jukebox in some dive bar and strutting down the dance floor with his arm outstretched, pointing at some "hottie" at the other end of the room and singing along. What an image. Who else is this song for?

While we're on the topic of classic rock radio, I should mention an interesting debate I had on Twitter yesterday with some Pittsburgh folks. I tweeted a link to a Tumblr blog that compiles great 90s indie rock hits with the description "90s rule". The Post-Gazette's music critic Scott Mervis wrote back that the 90s were "Maybe the 4th best decade for rock". Yowza. I asked where the 50s were in his ranking? What followed was an interesting debate about what decades were best for "rock music", what "classic" actually means, and some good-natured ribbing. Here's my favorite exchange from the whole thing: Hugh says this, I say this. Check out the thread on Twitter and join the conversation, or leave your thoughts here. I'm listening.

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