Monday, March 29, 2010

Playlist of the Week: No One Said to Open Your Mouth!

It's Monday. (I know, I don't need to remind you.) First day back at work or school after a nice, relaxing weekend...or a hectic, time- or cash-consuming weekend, it doesn't matter. Maybe you even have a little hint of a hangover. What can you do if your coworker or classmate or little brother or that girl on the bus with the blaring speakerphone seems to not have gotten the Monday memo and has decided to face the start of the week with his or her mouth open and volume up?

The way I see it, you have two choices. You could go with the violent irony approach and rush over and bludgeon the loudmouth to death with a pair of headphones. Or, if that seems too intense (or you're so Mondayed out you can't be bothered to lift anything heavy enough to do serious cranial damage), pop on some earbuds and take a listen to the new Vertigo Shtick Playlist of the Week (back after a long absence!) for a little pop musical variation on an appropriate theme. Hope it helps.

Shut Up1. "Shut Up" The Black Eyed Peas (Elephant, A&M Records, 2003)

The song for which Fergie was first brought in to sing with The Black Eyed Peas (she was later asked to join full-time) features an argument between a traveling man and a woman scorned, and features one of the singer's best vocals to date.

Don't Tell Me2. "Don't Tell Me" Madonna (Music, Warner Bros, 2001)

Madonna's brother-in-law Joe Henry wrote and recorded the first version of this hit from Music as "Stop" before the Queen got her hands (and producers) on it and made it into the last top ten song for Madonna to date on the Hot 100 Airplay (now Radio Songs) Chart.

3. "Dot (Shut Up)" Destiny's Child (Charlie's Angels - Music from the Motion Picture, Columbia, 2000)

This otherwise unreleased Destiny's Child ditty appeared in the first of the two Charlie's Angels revamps actually for more time than the phenomenal success of a theme song/single by the same artists, "Independent Women, Part I." Go figure.

Shut Up & Let Me Go4. "Shut Up and Let Me Go" The Ting Tings (We Started Nothing, Columbia, 2008)

Though this was the followup single to the English duo's successful debut single "That's Not My Name" in the UK, its appearance in an iPod commercial led to it being released first in the US, before the other single subsquently outperformed it on the US charts. The music video was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

Speechless5. "Speechless" Lady Gaga (The Fame Monster, Interscope/Cherrytree/Kon Live/Streamline, 2009)

Of the eight tracks on the re-release bonus EP to Gaga's wildly successful debut album The Fame, "Speechless" is perhaps the most maligned by critics, most of whom point to the obvious throwback points to the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen and to Gaga's delivery as unconvincing and/or insincere. Because Freddie Mercury was always a hundred percent sincere, right?

Don't Speak6. "Don't Speak" No Doubt (Tragic Kingdom, Trauma/Interscope, 1995)

The song that was a staple at my middle school dances and every mid-90s kid's boombox topped the Hot 100 Airplay (now Radio Songs) chart for a whopping sixteen weeks, solidifying the long-suffering band's - and ska music's - acceptance into the pop music scene. One of them stuck around. Can you guess which?

7. "Hush, Hush; Hush, Hush" The Pussycat Dolls (Doll Domination, A&M Records, 2009)

Hush Hush; Hush HushI did find it a tad strange that several the other dolls not named Nicole Scherzinger got fed up with the lead singer being featured and left the group earlier this year. A look at the liner notes of the Dolls' debut album, PCD, reveals that all lead AND background vocals for the album were recorded by the former Eden's Crush singer. In a way really, "Pussycat Dolls" has been totally screwing Scherzinger over for years, so why shouldn't the talented songstress get a little lovin' now?

8. "Blah Blah Blah" Ke$ha featuring 3OH!3 (Animal, RCA, 2010)

Ke$ha's second single has performed well enough to keep her from being, as she predicted on Twitter, a one-hit wonder, variously rising and falling for several weeks on the singles charts. But with "TiK ToK" fatigue running strong among consumers and Ke$ha's own recent lapse into obnoxiousness, it isn't likely to shoot back up any time soon.

9. "Shut Up and Drive" Rihanna (Good Girl Gone Bad, Def Jam, 2007)

Remember when Rihanna had a personality? Me neither. But she came sort of close on this and another track from the blockbuster Good Girl Gone Bad, "Breakin' Dishes," both non-starters despite early single release plans.


10. "The Sound of Silence" Simon and Garfunkel (Sounds of Silence, Columbia Records, 1965)

Paul Simon's beautiful eulogy to President Kennedy following his assassination in 1964 prompted folk rockers Simon and Garfunkel to enter the upper echelon of popular music royalty. One of the two stuck around. Can you guess which?


And now that everything is finally calm and quiet...

On the 611. "Let's Get Loud" Jennifer Lopez (On the 6, Epic/Work, 1999)

This throwback dance stomper is the perfect way to snap out of the Monday morning lull and, hopefully, get going on what will undoubtedly now be a fantastic, productive week! Don't worry, Vertigo Shtick will be here for you all week.



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