November 10, 2005

A Wrong Note To human

A Wrong Note

To human beings sufficiently fortunate to possess ears, surely one of the most irksome forms of music is college a cappella. You know the kind of aural detritus we mean: Pansy-boy 19-year-old crooners coyly singing “Tainted Love” and Codplay tunes for a gaggle of strangely enraptured female undergrads. Somehow, the specimens of effeteness that churn out this garbage manage to score chicks in the process. So much for the world being fair.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” earnestly believe that one of the truly magnificent things about graduating from college is the fact that you will never be bombarded by a college a cappella group in the real world. Unless, of course, you purchase a Billy Joel album. But then, hey, that’s your own darn fault.

Of course, all sentient beings loathe collegiate a cappella. But what happens if a group dedicated to this palaver picks the wrong kind of tune to belt at a concert? What if it eschews Spin Doctors retreads in favor of more gangsta’ creations?

Luckily, dear reader, we shall never have to wonder about this vexing question anymore. Two curious letters to the editor in Duke University’s student-run Chronicle completely answer this brainteaser.

According to said letters, a team of largely lily-white undergrad a cappella vocalists called the Pitchforks performed at Duke University under the auspices of a concert aimed at raising funds for a sexual assault hotline and an anti-domestic violence organization.

If you’re anything like the wizards who run the Pitchforks, you are probably thinking to yourself: Why not sing a number that glories in violence and degradation, and throws in some nasty racial epithets to boot? Why stick with that ho-hum “Music Man” fare when you can up the ante with something a bit more “street”? Word to your mother.

As a result of such careful cogitation, the brilliant Pitchforks took to the stage at this Women’s Center event and sang a tune called “Let’s Go” by some charming entertainers named Li’l Jon and the Eastside Boys.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” although being rather young and rather crack, had never heard of Li’L Jon and the Eastside Boys. For those of you equally fortunate, let us hit you with some of the lyrics of “Let’s Go,” which the clever Pitchforks saw fit to croon at a domestic violence concert:

I mop up the flo’ wit ‘em / And I kick in the door and let the .44 get ‘em.

Pretty nice, are they not? We exhort those of you greatly enamored of torrents of profanity to enjoy the full lyrics, which feature copious use of an epithet about which Randall Kennedy wrote a book, but which you ought not say.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t big fans of politically-correct collegiate decorum, and we don’t often find ourselves agreeing with flaks who work for such ridiculous enterprises as university Women’s Centers. But, quite frankly, Chris Massenburg of Duke’s Sexual Assault Support Services had a dandy point in her/his letter: Why the heck is a group of silver-spoon chuckleheads singing such violent trash at an anti-domestic violence event, for crying out loud? Haven’t they ever heard of “Sweet Adeline”?

Still, we must admit that the thought of North Face clad guys named Nigel singing about the glories of murder in roguish street patois is a source of endless unintentional comedy. Perhaps next time they’ll stick with “Lida Rose.”

There aren’t any swears in that number, are there?

Posted at November 10, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack