21 July 2014

Summer Jam Week 11: Weird Al Dominates Somehow

We probably could have just called it the Weird Al Week and leave it at that. It's the Summer Jam countdown, folks, and the biggest buzzing artist by far right now is ol' Yankovic. It's kind of insane. I suppose he's somehow built for himself a sense of nostalgia, because he's been around for thirty years, but also a keen sense of modernism with his up-to-date parodies. For whatever reason, Weird Al is your boss this week.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Tacky" by Weird Al Yankovic

I could have picked any song off of Mandatory Fun, which dropped this week, which Al did a sort of Beyonce-style All-video routine for, but "Tacky" kicked it off and it's probably the best video. It's at least the most professional and thought-out. Not like that matters, actually with these novelty songs that are more built for viral transmission. And "Foil" was real solid. I think it's the way that Al throws himself in 100% to some jokes that really aren't that great or witty that constantly sells his insane humor. It's wonderful. Anyway, back to the real world:

Rub-A-Dub Dub: "Shower" by Becky G

Absolutely. I don't know, this is real fun, though. It's so bubbly and poppy that I dig it. It's not only a great shower-singing song (finally), but there's this slight epicness and solemn tone to the chorus that weighs it down with great importance. Becky G. I love the names of these artists that I will never be mentioning again as popular ever.

No More fun.: "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers

I was debating this track's inclusion once again, but it sort of earwormed its way back into my life this week, and I really enjoy this track and want you to listen to it as well. It's a bit better than anything that fun. ever did so I'm pretty pumped that frontman Jack Antonoff is exploring what he can do with this jam. This summer doesn't have enough groovy alt jams like this, so naturally I'm game.

Sing Higher: "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

I like Key of Awesome sometimes but they're generally far too mean-spirited, making fun of the artists on a surface level more than any offering any kind of intelligent satire, but the video sums up a lot of what I feel about this track, including Ariana's creepy horny face and how awkward her dancing is. But yeah I think this track has finally turned and won't get back to #1 this Summer.

The Realist: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX

It's downright bizarre how much this song's fate has been tied up with "Problem". And by that I also kind of mean not at all, because they're really different jams that just share one artist and a similar streak of popularity. But I'd call it on the decline by now, just because it's no longer that fresh or novel. And we only care about the freshest jams here, folks. Yeah, that's not true at all.

Smoke if You Got 'Em: "Habits (Stay High)" by Tove Lo

I always want to think Tone Loc when I search this track, so obvi I ended up listening to a good deal of "Funky Cold Medina" this week. Anyway, Tove Lo is a solid up and coming artist with this super-listenable Jam that I've mentioned here a few times and I'd love to see surge all the way this summer. It's this cautious mix of thoughtful chill jam lyrics and this sweeping drug-addled chorus. It's fantastic.

Swing Low: "Chandelier" by Sia

Everyone knows this song. it's crazy. I had no idea this has had as much influence as it has actually had so far this summer, but it came on at a party and suddenly every man, woman, and child of all races and genders was tubthumping to this jam. Sounds good to me. They hadn't seen the video, though, which is crazy to me, because it's so fantastic and insane and wonderful.

Uncouth: "Rude" by MAGIC!

I'd like to think I called these guys upending Iggy on the Hot 100 last week by placing them in the #1 spot here first. It's all me, clearly. Anyway, for more lack of anything else that compelling, "Rude" dominates again this week and is starting to become this silent little mid-summer anthem, which is solid in its own right. I don't know, I'm not actually all that impressed with the jam and the lyrics are pretty stupid, but it is an earworm, which is all a track really needs to be super-jam worthy.

Next week...

I'm curious if any of those Weird Al songs stick to the zeitgeist, but we'll probably see a couple of them start to get airplay, although Al is actually canny enough to understand that digital distribution is far more effective these days, and he's right. I had a tough time leaving off Tiesto's "Wasted" but wanted to highlight some other jams. With any luck the EDM douche continues some mainstream popularity and it fights its way back next week.

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