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July 02, 2013

Area Man Has Strong Feelings About Minor Song Released 20 Years Ago

The Onion's AV Club has a neat running featured called "Hate Song," wherein they ask some musician about the song they hate the most. Several of them are sort of funny (Anthrax's Scott Ian hates Morrissey, not just a particular song, but Morrissey's voice and everything he's done), but I thought this one was the best.

First of all, the guy they asked, Dean Ween (a made up name), did this minor alternative-radio hit in the 90s. That's his claim to fame. I think it's a decent claim, you may disagree. Importantly for our purposes, though, he seems to have a sense of humor.

The song he hates is 4 Non Blondes' godawful earth-mother/hippie chick/faux Goth power anthem "What's Up?:"

Just terrible and awful in all ways.

The guy's interview is pretty funny. He really hates this song.

The A.V. Club: ďWhatís Up?Ē was released as a single on June 23, 1993. Do you have any recollection of the first time you heard the song?

Dean Ween: I donít remember where I was, or what I was doing, but I remember hearing it and thinking, ďThis is the most obnoxious fucking hollering Iíve ever heard in my life.Ē I could envision the horrible, horrible female that was singing it, and I knew that it was gonna be a hit, just by how bad I hated it. I knew that it was going to be played for years by every fucking bad girl band that came through my local bar, and sung on every karaoke night for the rest of time. I was just instantly overcome with a sense of dread, and of course itís all come to pass. Then I saw the video for it, and the people that I imagined would be so loathsome as to make such a piece of shit of a song looked identical to what I imagined them to be in my mind.

AVC: In the video, Linda Perry and the bassist both have horrible dreadlocks, and Perry has that ridiculous hat with the goggles.

DW: Itís as bad as music gets. The pinnacle of the whole thing is when she does this powerful ďRevolution!Ē What the fuck does this have to do with revolution? Wow, powerful stuff, asshole!


AVC: You immediately hated the song, but did it get worse with the video and radio overplay? Does your hatred continue to grow?

DW: It grows to this day. If it was on in a bar or a restaurant, I would go out of my way to make them turn it off. Thereís all kinds of bad music out there, but everything about the song makes my ears bleed. The over-singing, the awful lyrics, and the guitar. Thereís a guitar solo in it thatís like what you learn the first week you get a guitar and take a lesson. They show you a blues scale, and thatís what is being played on the song. Everything about the song is so awful that if I sat down and tried to write the worst song ever, I couldnít even make it 10 percent of the reality of how awful that song is.

AVC: As a musician, is that what particularly offends you?

DW: Iíll tell you what it is: At the high-school talent show when I was growing up, or the elementary talent show, thereís always that obnoxious girl whose parents or the theater coach told her sheís really talented, and she goes up and sings a song from Annie. [Singing.] ďThe suníll come out tomorrow!Ē Overdoing it. I knew the song was going to be the new that when I heard it. [Laughs.] And it is.


AVC: Thatís funny. Rememberó

DW: Iíd like to fight the whole band. Thatís how much I hate the song. Iíd like to fight them.... If I donít like stuff, then I change the channel. Thereís stuff that can be ignored. Then thereís stuff thatís so inexcusable, I would go out of my way if their van [4 Non Blondes] was parked by the club to slash the tires and kick the door panels in. Or their bus. Probably their private jet. Fuck.

AVC: I think a lot of song hatred can come from a girlfriend, or friends who overplay it. Did you actually know anyone who liked the song when it was popular?

DW: Yeah, the lesbian bartenders in New Hope.

There are a whole bunch of these here, but I've only read a few of them. The first one, at the bottom of the list, is about one KISS' many we-put-no-effort-at-all-into-this songs, and is pretty funny.

But not as funny as the Ween guy.

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posted by Ace at 04:19 PM

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