Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lil Wayne & Rascal Flatts: Proof that Music is in the Toilet

By Tony Mazur

In my experiences, August typically brings out the worst in some people. Whether they worked or slept through the first two months of summer, August is the time where people try to cram everything from tearful goodbyes to Corona Light before school starts. Luckily for the feeble minded, they partied their rear ends off this past week in the nation's North Coast.

And why is that? Because Lil Wayne (or as I prefer to call him, 'Lil Weezy'!) and Rascal Flatts came to town!

Oddly enough, both acts performed at the same venue (Blossom Music Center), and, by taking a look at the photo albums on Facebook, pretty much the same people showed up to both shows.

Thursday was Lil Wayne. Now, I have never once listened to Lil Wayne and enjoyed myself. I'm usually confused as to why people find him entertaining. My girlfriend once told me "Lil Wayne's voice makes people want to have sex". No, his voice makes me want to apply a screwdriver to my eardrums. And what is the fascination with auto tune? He makes Max Headroom's voice sound realistic.

I took a gander at the crowd in some of those concert photos. For a hip hop act, I was surprised that there was that many white people in attendance. I don't understand the Lil Wayne hype, and I hope him and his auto tune are on their final minute of fame.

Friday night at Blossom was Rascal Flatts. For some unknown reason, country music and hip hop are huge in a town that bills itself "The Rock N Roll Capital of the World". Rascal Flatts is anything but country. I would categorize them closer to R&B than country, and they aren't the least big soulful. Their music is poppy and nauseating, and their songs typically sound alike with a faint utterance of twang. Their biggest songs are covers.

Darius Rucker, the former lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, opened up for Rascal Flatts. Apparently people were sick of hearing "Time" and "Hold My Hand", so Rucker decided to hop on the country bandwagon, just like Jessica Simpson and Michelle Branch.

Again, the youth of Northeast Ohio came out in droves to see this faux country group. The girls arrived to the venue in plaid button-down shirts, jeans skirts, ponytails, and cowgirl boots, and the guys dressed up in similar plaid shirts with ratty jeans, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. Why do people feel the need to dress up like hillbillies and farmers? It's completely phony. It's not Halloween.

I have been to hundreds of concerts in my short lifetime, and I can tell you that I was myself. I didn't dye my hair maroon and put in a lip ring for Green Day, I didn't smoke joints and wear ghetto hats with the sticker still on them for Cypress Hill, and I didn't sport tight jeans and poof my hair when I saw Poison.

I had this argument on my former radio show with a female co-host, and she said that dressing up for country concerts is the same as wearing your favorite team's apparel at a ballgame. The flaw in her logic is that I actually don my team's gear away from the ballpark. The people who wear redneck clothing to the country music show would not wear it anywhere else.

What I found interesting was that the same people who portray hillbillies at a concert are the ones who typically mock them in real life. They're the same people who called George W. Bush a redneck throughout his tenure, and will mimic a southern dialect just to poke fun at them.

Lil Wayne and Rascal Flatts prove what is truly wrong with the music industry. This is like a flashback to the 1980s where it was all about style rather than the quality of the music. We have returned to the days of Aha and Cinderella. I just hope that a Guns N Roses or Nirvana come from nowhere and smack us off our chairs.

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