The Huddle: Songs We Can’t Stand

I feel really bad that Kesha is currently dealing with some personal issues and is in rehab, but I just CANNOT with her new song “Timber.” From the first time I heard “It’s going down, I’m calling timber,” I cringed and refused to listen further. Unfortunately her collab with Pitbull is apparently a hot new jam for the masses and I have a feeling this is only the beginning of my avoiding the hell out of it.

This inspired me to ask you all for your ultimate “turn that off!” track. So, team, what’s the song you can’t stand?


Ali Davis: “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” is the worst thing to come vomiting out of the ’70s, and possibly one of the worst things the human mind has ever devised, period. And it’s supposed to be charming. The song is so goddamned DELIGHTED with how friggingcharming it is. I hate it so much.

Here’s the story, in case you have somehow been spared: The singer is “tired of [his] lady,” so instead of, you know, having a conversation about what’s up with their relationship or even, as a distant second, just breaking up in an honest and dignified manner, he TAKES OUT A FREAKING PERSONAL AD. Because why talk to your girlfriend when you can play her for a fool while lining up some strange to escape with?

And what is this asshole’s top requirement for a new woman? Someone with a sparkling sense of humor? Someone with a deep an passionate interest in any worthwhile thing? Someone who just gets him? NOPE. She has to like the sickliest, thickest, sweetest tourist drink that ever touristed a tourist. That’s what his heart is yearning for. Jesus, why not advertise for a woman who loves awesome blossoms and spray tans?

So then someone answers the ad, and SHE IS THAT WOMAN, though at least she shows a taste for champagne as well. So they agree to meet—that is, they agree to go CHEAT ON HIS GIRLFRIEND WITH WHOM HE DOES NOT TRY TO COMMUNICATE—and discover that, ha, ha, it’s actually his same lady and these two wretched hosemonsters were trying to cheat on each other all along, and the reason each was bored with the relationship was that they were so bad at communicating that they NEVER MENTIONED THE THINGS THEY LIKED TO EACH OTHER. How. Absofrigginglutely. O. Henry. Charming.

I just hated this song in a quiet way once I was old enough to understand the lyrics, but then when I was 23 I took a job bartending at The Second City in Chicago. And since The Second City is a famous comedy club, it draws a lot of tourists. And what people on vacation order in the summertime, even in Chicago, is pina coladas, presumably because they are all having tawdry affairs. Which means that song was basically rammed into my head with a steel pole several dozen times a night for a couple of years in a row. I hate that song.

Lucy Hallowell: “Love Shack” by The B-52’s. I hate it. I hate it because it’s terrible. I hate it because of the singer dude’s terrible, horrible, soul grating voice. I would hate to hear it once and then never again. But for some reason (possibly as a karmic reward for some act for which I am meant to be eternally sorry) it is played at high school dance, sorority formal, wedding, even where people might possibly dance ever. Universe I am sorry for whatever I did. Please just stop playing that fucking song.


Grace Chu: V.I.C.‘s “Wobble.” It makes me want to play a game of whack-a-mole with everyone who lines up to do that stupid dance. Fortunately, this blight is largely absent from NYC but when I shoot events in other cities someone always requests that song. Has anyone noticed how ridiculous dancing arrhythmically (because anyone who requests this song can’t dance) in a herd to “wobble baby wobble baby wobble baby” looks? The song itself also gives me hives.

Nicole Schultz: Flo Rida-“Whistle.” If this song comes on the radio I get so upset I just smack the power button. I can’t waste precious seconds deciding on a new station listening to that drivel. The whistling drives me nuts! Honestly, I think I just hate whistling in general. There is no way that you’re so happy you just need to whistle a little tune. You are obviously just hiding your feelings of despair.

Heather Hogan: Holy Lord, yes. Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” makes my brain explode inside my head every single time I hear it. Has there ever been a more date rapey song in all the world? Grinding up on some drunk girl whispering in her ear about, “You know you want it, you know you want it.” I especially lost my mind when Glee performed it in a full freaking ensemble number with Mr. Schue getting krunk up in the middle of his whole entire high school choir. The show knew it was about date rape, too. They had Artie say it out loud. But whatever, they paid for the rights and they paid the royalties and Mr. Schue called it “envelope pushing.” I can’t talk about this anymore. It’s “Blurred Lines” for me and anything Chris Brown sings ever.


Kim Hoffman: I don’t want to know the names of the Taylor Swift songs I’ve sporadically encountered on the radio, or in friends’ Instagram videos while they drive and sing along to said nameless songs. When that one Swift song came out, about how she’s really, really, not getting back together with whatever boy band member it was that time—(who am I kidding, that’s every single song), I cried angry tears. I won’t back down from this feeling I have that any single song of hers is unredeemable in my book. Sometimes I’m convinced that the critics who kiss her ass the most must secretly love their ears bleeding.

Valerie Anne: Back in the ’90s there was a song called “Let Me Clear My Throat” (by someone called DJ Kool. Yes, with a “k.”) that drove me absolutely insane whenever it was played on the radio – which it was. Often. And sometimes still is. There are remixes! It was even in the Billboard 100. The chorus is a dude making really gross hacking noises. WHY, AMERICA? WHY??

Elaine Atwell:

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world.

So goes the dumbest, laziest chorus of the twenty-first century. It is more vacuous than what the average middle school girl scribbles in the margins of her math notes. It sounds like the writer was given five minutes to write a song after taking a bong rip of the worst weed in the world.

And the thing that really kills me, is that I used to LIKE Snow Patrol. I included songs of theirs on mix CDs, so this song reflects badly on ME, as well as the rest of humanity. It is so bad that I gave up on Grey’s Anatomy after they played it. It is so bad that I am gritting my teeth while writing about it. Runner up: O-Town‘s “Liquid Dreams.” Who says that the cause of their nightly emissions “has the greatest personality?”

Jill Guccini: “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. I actually enjoy quite a few Mayer tunes, as uncool as that is, but whenever this one comes on I want to scream, “YOU DON’T JUST *WAIT* FOR THE WORLD TO CHANGE, MAN, YOU FUCKING MAKE IT HAPPEN YOURSELF.” Ugh. Ugh. UGH. Just talking about it enrages me. What’s even the point of waiting on the world to change? What a white dude thing to say. Just sit back and relax, you guys! Stuff’ll change eventually! Add on top of that that the music and melody of the song itself is just SO. BORING. Boring boring boring. Ugh. UGH.

Dana Piccoli: “Hey Soul Sister.” From the start this song always rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the ukelele. Maybe it’s Patrick Monahan‘s bleating tenor. But mostly it’s that line about his “untrimmed chest.”

Dorothy Snarker: The worst song ever written is that damn “I’m Proud to be an American” anthem by Lee Greenwood. While I am quite frequently proud to be from this particular country, I do not need some trite, cloying, overwrought song that reminds me of such. Nor do I espouse the kind of blind nationalistic jingoism it implies. Look, I like plenty of patriotic songs. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” “This Land is Your Land.” But Greenwood’s slockterpiece is not patriotism. It’s arrogance set to melody. So anytime it plays anywhere I feel just a tad less proud to be an American. Also, it just sucks as a song in general.

Chloe: “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk is the worst song. One time my broken car radio got stuck on that song and I couldn’t turn it off and I just sat in traffic screaming and beating my car radio because that was usually how I fixed it. Now whenever “Get Lucky” starts playing I visibly shudder.


Erika Star: I’ve been going over this question in my head all week because I’m sure there’s a song that I can’t stand. But I’ve also recently realized that I don’t really understand hating on celebrities or songs, especially when there’s always the option to just change the channel. WHY DO MY ROOMMATES HATE MACKLEMORE SO MUCH?! Anywho, the only songs that have been popping into my head are ones that remind me of my exes (GAY) and the one song on record written about me by a regular gentleman who use to come into my bar. The song is called “Gold Star” and I’m sure it’s great. It’s just not for me. Oh, and that “How Bizarre” song by OMC still makes me switch stations.

What song can you just not stand to listen to?