On Fridays, We Wear Pop Music


I don’t know about you, but things have been pretty heavy in my sector lately. (My sincerest apologies for the Vague Declaration of Distress. The VDoD is one of my least favorite Internet behaviors, but Internet whining ranks even lower, so I’ll stop at “things have been pretty heavy in my sector lately.”) In an effort to lift spirits and welcome this weekend with open arms, I’d like to share with y’all kind folks some of the poppy obnoxiousness that I’ve been (almost completely shamelessly) enjoying between moments of weightiness.

[Point of Parliamentary Procedure: The title of this post not does indicate that this will be an every-Friday thing. Like the .gif above (YHT’s first embedded .gif, I believe, which is shameful in its own right), it’s a reference to Mean Girls. If you do not know the script of Mean Girls well enough to derive meaning from this post’s title, please do the right thing and lock yourself in a room until you have the dialogue memorized like a civilized human being. Thanks.]


Ugh. Not another paragraph about the second-most overanalyzed album of 2013, which seems to be attached at the critical hip to the first-most overanalyzed album of the year. I have good news! You’ll find no analysis here. No picking apart of themes, no comparisons to Yeezus, none of that. (It’s a big Internet out there, so feel free to bark up another blog tree for Jay-Z-related seriousness.) My enjoyment of “Holy Grail” is entirely subjective — I played it a few times (loudly) on my friend Ryan’s iPod speaker dock while we were making final preparations on the morning of his big 4th of July cookout. A whole pig was on the grill, good friends were busy getting ready to show other good friends a great time… it was a window of clear, uncomplicated happiness, and this song popped up on Consequence of Sound just in time to help us whistle while we worked. I’m thankful for that day and for this song’s contribution to it.

Jay-Z — “Holy Grail” (feat. Justin Timberlake) [Spotify/iTunes]

I rarely listen to Top 40 radio in the car, but there’s one situation in which I listen to it religiously — post-dinner clean-up time. While the pre-dinner hour is the dominion of the living room’s record player and the timeless soul, jazz and rock and roll that’s made its way into my record collection, trashy pop music acts as our plate-clearing/dish-doing soundtrack nearly every single night we eat at home. I love it. We have this under-the-counter CD player in our kitchen, and the CD tray doesn’t get much action, but it’s so easy to lean to the left of the stove, hit the blue “Radio” button, and let Top 40 take over. I don’t even know what station it’s set to, but I do know what my current favorite is: “We Can’t Stop.” I’ve scrubbed many a spatula to the sounds of Miley Cyrus’ rebellious ranting, and connecting Jay-Z’s twerking reference in “Somewhereinamerica” to the video above has only cemented my affinity for the song (sorta like the caked on, dried-up rice that’s impossible to scrub off the bottom of our one-quart saucepan).

Miley Cyrus — “We Can’t Stop” [Spotify/iTunes]

So. Pitch Perfect is kind of a thing around our house right now. It started a few weeks ago, when my wife watched it while I was at band practice one weeknight. We watched it together a few days later. We watched the ending again a few days after that, and just last night, I came home from a friend’s house to find Mrs. YHT lying on the couch, watching Pitch Perfect yet again. Listen. I don’t know what the hell is going on, but I’m rolling with it.

Speaking of not knowing what the hell is going on, apparently the cup trick/song — titled, appropriately, “Cups” — that Anna Kendrick performs in one of the movie’s audition scenes is also a thing, and not just in my household. I first saw the clip above of her impromptu performance of it on Letterman last October (she name-checked Reddit, which is what brought it to my attention). I thought it was neat, and that she had a great voice, but I didn’t think much more than that. Well, that “trick” has just cracked the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100, and the video for the pop version of the song has racked up nearly 30 million views as of last night. Once again, I’m rolling with it. If Kendrick can actually sing and is down with Reddit, she’s OK in my book.

Anna Kendrick — “Cups” [Spotify/iTunes]

That’s it for now. I’d have included “Blurred Lines,” but I knew right off the bat that my love for that song (and um… its video) couldn’t be expressed in a few-hundred-word paragraph. We’ll save that for next time I’m down in the dumps. Can’t wait!

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