Sunday, July 01, 2012

Weekend Diversion: Axis of Awesome

Axis of Awesome are an Australian comedy trio (or, “Australia’s Most Awesomest Comedy Band”) who perform in a variety of styles, including especially pop parodies. I have no idea how I ran across them, but hang around YouTube long enough and you’re bound to meet all sorts of interesting people. And some not so interesting, but we don’t talk about those. We were probably drunk, it was late and, well, one thing led to another.

Above is the official video of what’s probably their most successful song so far, 4 Chords, which demonstrates that many hit pop songs use the same four chords (some language may be NSFW). When you hear the songs all mashed together like this, it’s easy to see how songs can catch on—and why new pop songs often sound familiar when we hear them for the first time. Not that I mind.

Another of their songs that I particularly like is How to Write a Love Song (safe version on the video below). These videos both make fun of pop songs, and I love pop music. That love is fully rational, however: I know that a lot of pop music is derivative, unoriginal and unchallenging. But it can also be a lot of fun, and specific performers often make up for any weaknesses in the songs themselves.

So, while much of pop music is often as irrelevant as these bits from Axis of Awesome suggest, and that’s why they’re funny, there are enough exceptions to make pop music something more than merely the butt of jokes, sometimes far more.

But, I can still appreciate jokes made at the expense of even something I love. I wish more people could.

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