Top of the Charts

So . . . who are you writing this for?

 . . . the blog?

Oh . . . I thought you might be writing for like a magazine or something.

Nope . . . I try not to write reviews. I . . . well . . . I don't have very good taste.

It's not that you don't have good  taste. It's that . . . well . . . you don't have open taste. I mean, you're like not into hip hop or rap or country or . . . you know . . . stuff that people listen to.

Which is totally true.

I'm not into things that people are into.

For the most part.

I'm not elitist. I'm not set in my ways. I'll listen to a pop radio station much longer than my wife will, but I won't watch 3% of the television she watches. It's almost like you get my attention for three and a half minutes, so don't blow it.

I love a good catchy pop tune far better than the greatest symphonies ever written. Trashy novels (I've read the Twilight Series twice) I claim to know a lot about a lot of things, but I'm just not the person you would turn to to give a good review of something.

Like if you were to ask me who is the better songwriter, Miles Davis or Taylor Swift, I'd say 11 times out of 10, Taylor Swift. Just cause when was the last time you found yourself humming tracks from "Bitch's Brew" while you where doing the dishes?

In that sense, my wife is exactly right. I don't have an open sense of what is good and what is not. I have a very deliberate sense of what I like and what I think is worth my time. And it doesn't always translate.

See, I was thinking about this while skimming through the Top Charts this week. Movies, Albums, Songs, Television, Books, Video Games, and believe it or not, Graphic Novels.

As a person who writes about pop-culture nonsense, I feel it is rather my duty to check in with the Charts and make sure I'm not lost somewhere back in 1997. And I feel pretty good about the results, in that I recognized most of the names (Top Songs and Top Graphic Novels where the only two categories where I must have missed a lot of memos).

Gone Girl is the Top Movie.

My wife wants to see it, but I'm kinda negative about it. Not that it won't be great, it's just that I read the book, love it, highly recommend it, but don't want to share time with those people ever again.

The only movie on the chart that I'd seen was Guardians of The Galaxy (in at #9). But I had seen one, so I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Demille.

I knew five of the Top Albums (but don't own any of them) and there were more familiar names there than anywhere else; Kenny Chesney, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga.

What was interesting is that there was only one Top Ten Album Artist (#10-Meghan Trainor) that was featured on the Top Ten Songs (#1- All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor)

That's something I hadn't thought about. That the album buying demographic is different than the song buying demographic. It's almost become a different market.

I'll have to give that some thought.

(For the record, "All About That Bass" is a modern expose on celebrating the full-figured body-style using the musically inspired concepts of Bass and Treble as metaphorical counterparts to age old debate between heavy versus skinny girls . . .

. . . but it's not very good.)

If you're interested in purchasing songs about full figured women, might I suggest looking up Queen, (Fat Bottom Girls) Spinal Tap (Big Bottom), NOFX (Hot Dog Down A Hallway), and of course, Sir Mixalot (Big Butts). 

The Top Ten Songs, well, they weren't all that interesting. I only recognized three names in the entire list and two of them were Nicki Minaj. Also, aside from some vocals, there wasn't a single acoustically recorded instrument on any of the songs.

Don't think I'm a purist. I'm certainly not one of those, but I think it's safe to agree with an old partner of my dads who said thirty years ago: The day we learn to sample the human voice is the day keyboard players will rule the world.

I actually did see two of the Top Broadcast TV Shows, but they were Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.

18 Million people tuned in for the premier of The Big Bang Theory.

I was not one of them.

Of the Top Ten video games, I have played earlier versions of six out of the ten. Not too shabby. I haven't played any of the new incarnations because video games are expensive when they're new,

Although, FIFA '15 is ranked #1.

A soccer video game.

I will freely admit that I was a golf junkie (Tiger Woods on the Wii) for several years, but soccer?

Like do you gather all your firends together online and do nothing for two and a half hours?

"Hey bro . . . kick the ball to me . . . then I'll kick it back to you . . . niiiiiiiiice."

I have read two of the authors on the Top Hardcover Fiction list.

Ken Follet, who is good if you like thick month long historical novels with lots of sex and brutal death but without all that character development you might get from Game of Thrones.

and Haruki Murakami, who is just fantastic, every read, as long as you're willing to follow the white rabbit down the hole, and you don't ask too many questions.

I can't really say about the rest.

And I can say nothing about the Top Indie Graphic Novels.

Graphic Novels fall under the catergory of "Things I'm Aware of . . . but . . . well . . . Have Yet to be Moved By."

Other things in that category include Modern Art, Fashion, Leather Interiors, Bollywood, Boys who sing in falsetto (though Glen Hansard got really really close), more than three minutes of Jazz, more than three minutes of Blues, Reality Television (all of it), Anime, EDM, everything on the Disney Channel, and Nicki Menaj.

That's not a conclusive list. Nor is it exclusive. Nor is it finite.

I don't want to go crankily into that goodnight. I'd like to know what is popular and alive in the moment.

You know, maybe this time I didn't find anything that really spoke to me, or anything that I thought was worth sharing, but the Top Charts aren't an essay on pop culture. They're just little snap shots, and in this case, a little snapshot of the last week of September 2014.

I wonder what it will be like when I get to the point where I'm no longer interested in what's going on in the pop culture around me. When I listen to the same five albums and have nothing but a "Meh" response to just about everything else.

It's gonna happen sometime. Someday I'm just gonna drop out of the zeitgeist. Someday I'm not gonna be worth your three and a half minutes, and that will be a sad day.

Unless I retire rich.

I may need to write a song about fat girls for that to happen. Not sure I'm ready to do that.

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