Monday, February 15, 2010

Still Unlistenable After All These Years

There are great songs that stand the test of time. Then there are those terrible songs that refuse to die. I give you..."We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (which I think is the correct title), directed by Paul "Crash" Haggis:

Things to watch for in this video:
-The 12-year old boy who somebody decided would be an obvious choice to kick off the proceedings (1:28-1:40).
-The ghost of Michael Jackson, never one to miss an opportunity to piggyback on previous success, dueting with still-living sister Janet (2:20-2:32).
-Wyclef Jean warbling between keys like a prepubescent boy (3:14-3:22)
-Brian Wilson comes out of his hole (4:31). You will notice that Brian Wilson appears to be very confused throughout this whole video, and he never seems to be singing.
-Akon, T-Pain and Lil Wayne being autotuned--with Weezy appropriately taking Bob Dylan's part (and doing a fairly faithful job) (4:46-4:57)
-Unfortunately, someone decided that Lil Wayne's part was the best time to let out...Carlos Santana, because apparently he is the only guitarist in the world with enough celebrity cachet (why God why is this the case?)
-Jeff Bridges (4:55)
-Jamie Foxx, who I guess defaults into Ray Charles impressions for no appropriate reason (5:38-5:48)
-LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and others busting out a wall-of-unlistenable group rap that reminds us why these sorts of things rarely work (5:51-6:30).
-Kanye's verse, which includes the lines "Like Katrina, Africa and Indonesia/And now Haiti needs us/they need us, they need us" (7:07-7:26).

I'll never understand the impulse behind something like this. I realize that it's obviously a worthy cause, and musicians have a lot of pull where politicians and nonprofits may not, but what kind of person is inspired to donate based on pap like this? What does it say about America, that we are so stingy about giving money to other countries until Swizz Beatz shows up and somehow validates the cause? And these types of videos--the hugging, the clapping, the palling about in the studio, the self-congratulatory vibe--always give me the creeps.

I know I've previously talked some smack about "Do They Know It's Christmas?", but I'll take Geldof and Midge Ure over this, always.

Now, if someone made a video of the Brian Wilson/Lil Wayne afterparty, that I would pay money for.


  1. How about we put all the people in that video into street clothes and transport them to Haiti to create a work force? We can fund it by liquidating all of their assets. And, to make sure they know what they have given, they have to listen to this song the entire time they are working. Sound like a plan? Note to Jamie Foxx and Jeff Bridges: acting like a famous musician does not make you a famous musician.

  2. Were you aware that in the UK there is Haiti benefit single that covers "Everybody Hurts"? Such a weird choice...

    Also, thanks for reading and commenting, hainstock. Care to share a little bit more about yourself?

  3. I've been keeping up on Rockaliser for a while. The two of you make good points and seem to have a good taste in media that I may have missed, ie: the heads up on "In the Loop", and reminding me why I don't read Slate, among other things. I read nathan's guitar solo blog prior as well.

  4. this is hilarious as hell...although as an avid kanye fan, i must point out that it is actually who does the "they need us they need us" line. not that kanye's verse is much better, but at least it's not THAT awful