106.1 WBLI, Dana and Jeffrey in the Morning
Imagine a howling pack of over-caffeinated lunatics screaming “Oh MY GAAWWWD” or “Did you hear WHAT SELENA AND JUSTIN DID THIS WEEKEND?” at 6:14 a.m. sandwiched between Lady Gaga’s latest triumph and the most recent piece of shit released by Taio Cruz. That’s the morning show on lawn-guy-land’s own 106.1 WBLI, and it is aural hell on earth. Here is a list of things I’d rather befoul my ears in case I do end up in hell: An endless loop of a pre-teen ABBA cover band, a Barbara Streisand tribute album done by Lana Del Rey, a field recording of a gaggle of geese in full chorus on headphones at a very, very high volume, and Gilbert Gottfried reading the Iliad on tape. Any of those would be preferable to the dog shit that WBLI produces on a daily basis. There could be no worse a fate than to be strapped to a chair, A Clockwork Orange style, and be forced to listen to an endless rotation of six bad pop tunes, Kardashian news updates, and hard hitting new pieces on obese hoarders that have to be lifted out of their apartments by crane, all while Dana and Jeffrey scream their vapid little heads off. I’ve got a feeling that, in Hell, you can’t change the dial. - Tom Volk
“What’s the New Mary Jane?” by The Beatles (1996)
Jean-Paul Sartre is famous for penning the line “Hell is other people.” Judging by the myriad artistic and literary representations of Hell found throughout history, it seems more accurate to say that “Hell is repetition.” From the myth of Sisyphus, featuring a man absurdly pushing a boulder up a mountain repeatedly, to Dante’s Inferno, which depicts any number of repetitive actions for sinners, such as being blown about in a violent wind for eternity, there’s nothing more hellish than doing the same disgusting, terrible thing over and over again.
Take, for example, listening to “What’s the New Mary Jane?,” an expurgated track from The Beatles’ White Album. John Lennon, who penned the tune, apparently thought it was pretty hip. In reality it’s one of the most annoying, grating musical compositions in Western civilization. It starts with an awkward, classical-sounding lead line played by piano, acoustic guitar and harpsichord, though they’re not synched up. We get such poetic lines as “She like to be married with Yeti/ He grooving such cooky spaghetti” before Lennon repeats the nonsensical lyric “What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party” in a tinny, twangy voice something like five thousand times on top of dissonant, generally unpleasant chords. As Lennon’s vocals fade out, we think we have found some relief from the noxious trash, but what follows instead is five minutes of avant-garde noise that makes “Revolution 9” seem like a pop song. “What’s the New Mary Jane?” went unheard by the general public for years before being released on the 1996 Anthology 3 compilation. I keep wondering what on earth we possibly did to deserve it. – Jacob Adams
New York City Subway Musicians
There really is no lower scum on Earth than the musicians you’re forced to hear on the New York City subway. While I’m not against the idea of having a world full of music and wonderful street performers per se, what separates that notion from reality is both how the audiences here are entirely involuntary as well as how the performers are really, really bad. These unwelcome merchants of Hell range from depressing mariachis to steel-drummers who think for some weird reason anyone would want to hear them play songs OTHER than “Hot Hot Hot,” but the absolute worst has to be one man who plays arhythmic noise on the electric saxophone. Along with producing sounds nobody with a set of ear drums would like to hear, he has the nerve to ask money for it and STILL refuses to let overenthusiastic tourists who don’t know any better take a picture of him. I’m not sure if that’s because he knows his music is illegal and/or entirely undesirable, but if you encounter this particular waste of space just pull out your cell phone and pretend to take a picture of him and he’ll either quickly leave or be as uncomfortably subjected to another’s “art” as we are.
Someone recorded this shitty music here:
Listen at full volume without stopping when you’re trying to read or listen to something else – for the full, diabolical effect. – Chaz Kangas
The Path of Totality by Korn (2011)
The sick feeling I experienced after watching merely two of the videos from Korn’s new album reminded me of a similarly visceral, singularly disgusting experience: the first and only time I ate a McDonald’s mozzarella stick, and the feeling of the greasy mass sliding down my throat like a deep-fried slug. For a band whose skuzzy brand of adolescent angst was already monumentally unbearable, the addition of horrifying dubstep breakdowns on The Path of Totality makes for an album whose overall disgustingness I can’t even conceive of, possibly comparable to a eating an entire box of Twinkies coated in mud. - Jesse Cataldo