UAO needs to bring more variety to campus

Ever notice how rap artists and professional athletes wear each other’s clothes? I don’t even like it when somebody wears my hat.

That keen little observation has nothing to do with my displeasure towards UAO and their musically challenged Homecoming concert. I knew coming into this year that I would look grimly on this upcoming concert because I feared it would be predominantly rap, which is actually an acronym for “Remedial Attempts at Poetry.”

I guess I can’t blame UAO. They needed to book some popular entertainment groups and they picked rap artists. Why rap? Because the alternative is worse, which is alternative rock. The flood of what I like to call “promising local bands” seems to be drowning out the classic rock of yesteryear with a myriad of power chords and subwoofers. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to hear my music, not feel it.

I know what you may be thinking. “This guy doesn’t like rap because he is white.” Put your fist down, Malcolm X. There are plenty of Caucasians on my floor who enjoy what my friend once called “urban hymns.” Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the most popular rap artist today a fair-skinned gentleman? I think his name is Marshall and he likes M’M’s. That’s whack.

For the second year in a row, some of my tuition money went to some rap artists who rhyme about the “N-word.” I feel I have a license to whine about this. Why do we continue to bring the same caliber of mediocre music to our campus? UAO ought to mix up the funk once in a while with an old time band like Grand Funk Railroad. I saw those young ‘uns at the Lenawee County Fair in Michigan, and “The American Band” can still play as well as anybody. Their songs demonstrate how rock and roll was meant to be heard. Quite frankly, their music isn’t as whiny as today’s songs .

You can make the argument that these fossil bands should stop touring because they haven’t had enough Metamucil to write another album. For most of these bands — like Grand Funk — that is the case. Some bands and artists, such as Styx, are still putting out new songs. While “Cyclorama” may never hold a candle to “The Grand Illusion,” it still beats anything by Staind. As for those legendary rock bands that haven’t released any new CDs except for maybe some compilation albums, they don’t need to dip their feet into the Billboard charts. They have already made their mark. For bands like Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd (or what’s left of them), all they need to do is traverse the country and teach the young whipper snappers about “Freebird” and “Separate Ways.” I have faith in my peers that, upon audible recognition of a quality guitar solo, they will toss their 50 Cent albums right out the window, unless you live in Offenhauer, in which case you can’t. I’m lenient.

Need more reason to anticipate a potential advent of Yes? (Yes, I said Yes.) Aside from seeing burned out rock stars, you can also witness burned out rock fans. At county fairs this is the most noticeable. At the Grand Funk concert, the icing on the cake to hearing “Rock and Roll Soul” was a balding man in his forties with a Fu Manchu moustache and a wife beater rockin’ out like Nixon was in office. That is much funnier, not to mention healthier for the brain, than watching annoying high school sophomores as they drop their silver cell phones and temporary licenses in the sheer excitement of their favorite cookie-cutter pop band taking the stage. It’s also better than listening to the lyrics concocted by these rap artists who make up words because they can’t think of anything that rhymes with “sizzle,” which, according to my spellchecker, is actually a word.

Regardless of what this “humor” columnist thinks, the show will go on. On October 4th, Nappy Roots will open for the Black Eyed Peas, who don’t even sound appetizing. Some promising local band might open for both of them, then return to work the concession stands. In any case, UAO dropped the ball by not only failing to book a legendary band, but also ignoring my recommendation last year to book Da Vinci’s Notebook, a comedy a capella quartet, for this year. How dare they ignore a lone insane writer and instead appeal to the masses!