#2. Jimmy Buffett
How awesome it is to be Jimmy Buffett
"Waistin' away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt"
How It All Started:
With 1977's "Margaritaville," Jimmy Buffett had a huge hit on his hands. So huge, in fact, that at some point he went from singing about how awesome it is to live on an island to actually living on an island. Not that he stopped singing about it, though. It was just that now he was able to sing about it all while thinking, "Wow, I really do live on an island, fuck yeah."
"Fuck yeah." - Jimmy Buffett
Why It Needs to Stop:
Plenty of musicians write songs about how awesome they are (we're looking at you, every performer in the history of rap music). But the bothersome thing about Jimmy Buffett's boasting is that he isn't boasting at all. He states it all in a plain, matter-of-fact way, as if to say, "yeah, I guess I'm pretty damn awesome." Regardless of the subject matter, Jimmy Buffett will take some time out to remind you that, unlike you, he lives on a goddamn tropical island. Take for example, this excerpt from the song "Jamaica Mistaica":
"Well the word got out
All over the island
Friends, strangers, they were all apologizin'
Some thought me crazy for bein' way too nice
But it's just another shitty day in paradise"
He's singing about his airplane being mistakenly shot at by the Jamaican government! Is this really the time to drop the "paradise" reference?
"Hold your fire! It's just Jimmy Buffett."
While we admire the restraint it must have taken to not mention that Bono was on the plane with him at the time, this basically makes Buffett the equivalent of that obnoxious rich relative who shows up at your family gathering at the trailer park and regales you with tales of his jet-setting life style and the burdens of SUV ownership while you contemplate the ramifications of calling in to your job at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving.
This guy can't even sing about food with reminding you how unspeakably awesome it is to be Jimmy Buffett.
"Not just havanas or bananas or daiquiris
But that American creation on which I feed
Cheeseburger in paradise
Medium rare with mustard be nice
Heaven on earth with an onion slice
I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise"
Nice. Now we hate cheeseburgers. Thanks a fucking lot, Buffett.
Bacon cheeseburgers are still OK, however.
Look, we'd love to tell you all about how Jimmy Buffett has continued this cycle of braggadocio on his most recent album, 2006's Take the Weather With You, but honestly, these are tough economic times. The last thing we want to do is spend an hour listening to Jack Johnson's grandfather piss and moan about tourists sunbathing too close to his satellite television adorned tiki hut. Just understand, it's definitely still happening.
#1. The Red Hot Chili Peppers
"L.A. is the place, sets my mind ablaze
For me, its a race through a cotton pickin maze"
How It All Started:
Those sample lyrics are from the Red Hot Chili Peppers very first single, "Out In L.A." From that point on, references to California ("Under the Bridge," "Californication," etc.) have occupied almost as much space on RHCP albums as the shitty "rapping" does.
Why It Needs to Stop:
Sure, we all love the place we live in to some degree, or else we'd move. But there isn't all that much you can say about any place before things start to get a little redundant. If Springsteen didn't mix in a little sex music with all of those anthems about impoverished towns, at some point the frustration would overtake you and you'd find yourself at your local homeless shelter with a megaphone imploring people to get a fucking job already.
"Just give me a reason."
But Anthony Kiedis has an uncanny ability to reference Los Angeles no matter what the song is about.
A song about chicks? Best believe those chicks are from L.A. A song about depression? L.A. is super depressing, bro! A tune about drug addiction? Blame it on the City of Angels. A song about absolutely nothing? It's a safe bet that at some point, "wang dang dong bell flay" will be rhymed with "L.A."
It's enough to make a person pray for an earthquake, if not for the inevitable RHCP benefit album to earthquake victims that would surely follow (with a title like "Los Angeles Rocks." )
Too bad Randy Newman already has dibs on "I Love L.A."
Unfortunately, the band's fascination with ham fistedly mentioning California whenever possible shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The first single off of their most recent album was called "Dani California."
Hell, at least take a hint from Sufjan Stevens and branch out to another freaking state.
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And don't forget to check out the Nostradamus' of the music industry, in 6 Musicians Who Predicted Their Own Death in Song. Or find out about some performers' regrettable pasts, in Six Musicians With Pasts They Hope You'll Forget.
And stop by our Top Picks to see Swaim shooting Windex-heroin... again.