September 18, 2001
10:17 PM   Subscribe

So I had a big fight in the car tonight with my friend Lisa over an issue I brought up on an earlier MeFi thread--(that issue being those Titanic-radio-remixes of news soundbites with popular songs). See, her dad works on the radio and she was saying that putting those things together was a way for the radio community to acknowledge last week's tragedy. "It comforts people," she argued. I argued back that packaging it like that minimalizes it and makes it too easy to digest. I conceded, though, that if someone were to write a song about what went on---a tasteful, appropriate song---I'd be all for them playing that on the radio. And then there was the Magi with his gift---the completely cringe-worthy Crosby, Stills & Nash song that they performed tonight on Jay Leno. What was that? Did anyone hear it? Did anyone like it? WHY?
posted by adrober (21 comments total)
I think your friend is naturally going to want to rush to her dad's defense, and understandably so... but at the same time, dear lord, i hate hearing those songs. why does this seem like a good idea to radio executives? this kind of thing makes me squirm. it's hard not to characterize these productions (it's difficult to refer to them as "songs") as straight up exploitation of tragedy for quick profit. sadly, i would imagine my mother has already bought a single of one of these songs.
posted by babydoll at 10:35 PM on September 18, 2001

are they trying to do another "four dead in o-hi-o"?
posted by rebeccablood at 10:40 PM on September 18, 2001

Does that count as a link?
posted by sylloge at 10:44 PM on September 18, 2001

I was thinking last night, while CNN was doing yet another slo-mo video montage to crappy music seg-way that they would be better honouring the affected by showing representative footage in absolute silence.

I mean, imagine actually being the one that has to put together the shmultzy meme-phrase with the video, muzac and corporate graphics. Ick.
posted by krisjohn at 10:47 PM on September 18, 2001

How about he Subway commercial. Just some respectful words on a black screen. Even pictures of the fireman and rescue works working in the remains of the building rather that the fiery end of the building coming down would be better.

As far as Leno, I don't think that Crosby, Stills, & Nash would have been my first choice for the come back show. They are my age and when I think of them I automatically think of anti-US Gov, war protest, and smoking pot. John McCain was perfect however. Jay came across as sincere and emotional at the beginning of his show.
posted by MaGoo at 11:02 PM on September 18, 2001

dude if she's ure girlfriend, agree to whatever she says, other wise, Godspeed my friend.

posted by adnanbwp at 11:12 PM on September 18, 2001

Okay, okay, and I know this is a bit off-topic, but hey, the link wasn't stellar. What did everyone think about the monologue? Wow, or ick?
posted by mirla at 11:44 PM on September 18, 2001

I have to agree that those "montage songs" are absolutely puke-enducing - they fill me with rage, not comfort! Didn't see the CSN thing on Leno and will refrain from comment (I've generally disliked them without the "Y"!)

I did, however, attend a concert by an artist from their era on Sunday, Richie Havens. For his encore he did a mind-blowing acapella version of Pink Floyd's "On the Turning Away" (lyrics) that was so frighteningly appropriate it was eerie (actually, I'd seen him do the song before and was hoping for it.) Never saw a human being put so much effort into singing a song, he was crying after two lines and looked utterly spent at the end - my date still refuses to talk about it (she was speechless when he finished.)
posted by RevGreg at 1:59 AM on September 19, 2001

On the NBC page linked to, I like the list on the right where The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live both link to Conan O'Brien. Proofreading is a lost art.
posted by anewc2 at 5:00 AM on September 19, 2001

Take the saddest scene in your favorite sad film and remove the soundtrack and you have a surprisingly unmoving scene.

Music induced emotional cues in films are a well documented way of passing the audience powerful cues on how to feel. And thats part of the magic of film.

BUT--using the same tricks in news reporting is wrong wrong wrong. Its propagandistic, plain and simple. The little funereal outro amd patriotic intro music that they've played the last week as they waft in and out of commercials is an easy and dangerous way to masssage the public's opinion and perception.

As for Crosby Stills & Nash on Leno, I caught it, I cringed, I felt sad that Leno was so desperately trying to play catch up to Dave. The big flag on the stage and the marching music when McCain was the first guest were also quite fromage-like.

McCain's chest thumping that followed during his segment really made me think about how insecure the gov't is about losing the people's support. In the middle of a crisis like this, how can they still be legislative rats just worried about keeping their jobs down the road??

All this "bang the Wardrum" stuff feels like feels like no more than style over substance. . .
posted by BentPenguin at 5:47 AM on September 19, 2001

The night of the bombing, I attended a concert of one of my favorite indie musicians ... former MK Ultra frontman John Vanderslice. Needless to say, it was a bad day for a gig ... about 20 people in total. We stood around together and watch Bush's address, then they performed a great set. One of the numbers they did was an old MK Ultra song called "I Miss the War" (download the MP3 straight from the artist's website, either the original or the more disturbing remake.) John was actually worried that it might not be appropriate given the timing ... the two have become melded together in my personal memories of the tragedy. I find myself whistling the bellacose tune:

I wish the war was on /
I know this sounds strange to you /
I miss the wartime life /
Anything could happen then /
Around the corner, behind the door.

I miss the cannon fire /
I miss the airstrikes at night /
Down on the basement floor /
We held each other tight /
We held each other tight.

It rained plaster, it rained glass /
We held on for our lives.

Perhaps the anti-thesis of the memework you're describing. Okay, I'm twisted.
posted by bclark at 7:11 AM on September 19, 2001

This link and thread is just as legit as the well-regarded David Letterman thread a day earlier. Nobody howled about that one. Jeez.
posted by msacheson at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2001

p.s. adrober posted that one also. I say, good links, Adam.
posted by msacheson at 8:29 AM on September 19, 2001

Thansk Marc... I guess, though, it would have been better to link to the actual CSNY song, though (luckily) I wasn't able to find it anywhere online :)
posted by adrober at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2001

I did not see the show and am wondering which song, or songs, they played. . .that info has not been posted anywhere that I've seen
posted by Danf at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2001

Saw the CSN warblefest. Cringed, clicked away.

Stunned by how much I appreciated Conan O'Brien, who I have never liked. He interviewed 60 Minutes' Steve Crofts, asking sober, thoughtful questions about the conflict ahead instead of the "Which kind of cluster bomb works best in this situation?" tone struck these days by other TV interviewers.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2001

Danf---It was an original song they wrote in reaction to the WTC. It had horrible lyrics invovling "the sky on fire" and "angels" and lots of crap like that.
posted by adrober at 9:32 AM on September 19, 2001

I'm with adrober, these songs tend to be really annoying.

Don't know about the CSN song, but...

Here are some mp3 downloads.

They've been playing that Don Henley track on local rock radio here and I really hate it.

Try them for yourself.

Here are some more.

They are annoying too, but if you listen to them, donates money to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Give them a fake addy & zip code and do it.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:41 AM on September 19, 2001

Jane Siberry has posted some of her songs as MP3s. Nothing specifically written for this occasion, but they're good songs nonetheless. Here
posted by kindall at 9:49 AM on September 19, 2001

oh, man. that CS&N bit just killed me. my cat freaked out when she heard them. i did too, a bit. just awful.

OTOH, did anyone see tori amos on letterman? she had me in tears, man. and conan o'brien's monologue? he was waving his eisenhower mug around, trying to explain why they were back on the air. it was so sad to see my conan at a loss for words.
posted by sugarfish at 10:16 AM on September 19, 2001

War war is stupid and people are stupid
And love means nothing in some strange quarters
War war is stupid and people are stupid
And I heard them banging on hearts and fingers
posted by feelinglistless at 3:56 PM on September 19, 2001

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