Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 Songs I Could Care Less About Hearing Again

This post is inspired by that conniving, satanic, marketing Trojan horse ditty, "Let it Go" from Frozen, which might as well stand as this generation's Snow White or at least The Little Mermaid, since it has crossover appeal to both young girls and boys and it carries a hundred memorable (and highly annoying) tunes.  What'd we ever do to you, Disney?  We continue to feed your coffers by taking our children to the Mecca of Mouse as a collective society.  Did you have to drum up something as evil and stinking catchy as "It's a Small World After All?"

For a moment, I thought it was just me.  Maybe I needed to get my head out of my bum, but parents nationwide (and no doubt worldwide) are sounding off how their children are driving them bloody bonkers with repetitive plays and worse, sing-alongs of "Let it Go."  Those bastards at Disney knew what they were doing; they re-released Frozen in the theaters as a hypothetical karaoke party.  Don't worry Mr. Mouse and friends, I'll be back to Florida whenever I can scrape the duckets.  I'm hardly immune to the charms of the happiest place on the planet.  Still, that damned song...  The cold never bothered me much until now.

I was telling my son, one of the billions of kids suckered by this corporate whore sugar pop that I'd be happy if I never heard "Let it Go" again in my life.  It kind of took him aback, since he knows music is a major part of my life.  I'm not really a Negative Nancy and only those who truly know me know the songs and musicians who get under my skin.  Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me."  There's an example.  Betrayal.  I'll never get over it, sorry, guys.  It's High 'n Dry and Pyromania all the way.  On Through the Night, sure.  At least it doesn't have "Animal."

So I got to thinking about songs that have been played to flippin' death like "Let it Go" that I can't just hack any longer.  If I controlled the airwaves, you can be certain none of these popular cuts would make it onto one of my playlists.  In some cases, I love the band or artist, like AC/DC, the Chili Peppers, Van Morrison or Lenny Kravitz.  Kiss was my favorite band growing up and through my teens.  Guns n' Roses are iconic despite the flagrant in-house appetites for self-destruction.  All that being said, I never want to hear "Sweet Child o' Mine" again.  Nor "You Shook Me All Night Long."  Everybody else still does, God bless 'em, but I'd sooner listen to "Love is an Open Door" from you-know-what.  Ummmmmm...scratch that.  Excuse me a second while I refill my coffee.

Every time I hear those "whoa-oh-ohhhhs" on Collective Soul's "Shine," I feel my stomach plunge.  The Millennium Force at Cedar Point, that's a drop my tummy can take.  Roxette, I like some of your stuff, but you ripped off the Wilson sisters with "Listen to Your Heart."  Everyone knows it, but it still gets played on retro and soft rock stations.  Feh.  Lionel Richie, I have one word for you, brother:  Commodores.  Van Morrison, I'll concede a spin of Moondance today, since that's a sweet slab and the title track is one of the sexiest songs ever laid down, but I sure as hell don't want to "sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la" any longer, "la-dee-da."

Thus, I offer you ten songs I know are pointless to flag in a list of tunes I could care less about hearing again, since it's guaranteed I'll hear at least four if not five of them today in some fashion or another--and not by choice, either.  Damn you, FM.

1.  AC/DC - "You Shook Me All Night Long"
2.  Kiss - "Rock 'n Roll All Night"
3.  Guns n' Roses - "Sweet Child o' Mine"
4.  Staind - "It's Been Awhile"
5.  Roxette - "Listen to Your Heart"
6.  Van Morrison - "Brown Eyed Girl"
7.  Lionel Richie - "All Night Long"
8.  Lenny Kravitz - "American Woman"
9.  Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Soul to Squeeze"
10.  Collective Soul - "Shine"

                       Listenin' to:  Van Morrison - Moondance

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