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hateful songs: “what’s up?” 4 non blondes
Jul 11th, 2013 by wrekehavoc

dammit, they never, ever sing the words what’s up. what is up with that?

there was a period of time in popular music, children, when to seem earnest, you needed to look like your last bath was in the prior decade. you needed to put ordinary, garden-variety items (like goggles) around your stovepipe hat to seem like you were genuinely creative. (this was also the time period where the tramp stamp gained popularity.) throw in some acoustic guitars, flannel shirts, some dreads, and a video set in a living room, and you were set for stardom.

this was the age of grunge.

now, do not misunderstand me. there are works from the era of grunge which i hold dear in my heart. (why, one of my most favorite songs, ever, comes from this musical era.) but 4 non blondes did not produce anything truly meaningful or remotely entertaining at this time. and yet, what’s up became a big hit for the group. i’m thinking that the youth of america (a group for which i sort of still qualified at that time) just liked the refrain:

and i say: HEY! yeah yeaaah, HEY yeah yea
i said hey, what’s going on?

this, sung over and over and over. shower, rinse, repeat.

now. lest you think linda perry, author and singer, is not deep, her lyrics are really, really inspiring.

and so i wake in the morning
and i step outside
and i take a deep breath and I get real high
and i scream from the top of my lungs
what’s going on?

so she basically steps out of her house, hyperventilates, and then screams. if she lived next door to me, that sort of behavior might severely hinder neighborly relations.

poor lady. in the song, she spends a lot of time lying in bed, crying and trying to get something out of her head. she notes she feels peculiar. also, she prays for sanctity and for revolution. considering she spends the entire length of the song wondering what the hell is going on, you wonder from what she wishes to revolt. but she still cries. and she still prays. and she’s still very, very confused.

you know what i wish for her? perhaps some antidepressants.


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