For those who are really terrible in this life, I imagine a special hell: reality TV hell. This awful place will be populated by the combined casts of Jersey Shore and The Bachelor Pad, two of the most painful shows ever. Why would I want to watch a television show that glorifies ignorance and marginalizes Italian-Americans? Or Snooki having a baby?
But The Bachelor Pad, which aired its finale two nights ago, might have even less to offer than Jersey Shore. It's about beautiful people looking for love. We're supposed to care about that?
But for all its formulaic character archetypes and uninteresting plot twists, it got me thinking. What does the modern American bachelor or bachelorette listen to? More importantly, what should he (or she) have in their music arsenal?
The key to a decent collection is to have something for every occasion. Whether you're hosting a toga party, an intimate dinner for two, dealing with a breakup, or shaving in the shower, the last thing you want is not have the perfect album for the occasion.
The Shower Album: The Black Keys, El Camino
I know, I know. This album is too hipster. But what's wrong with that? Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have obviously stumbled on to something. How else to you explain the huge success of The Keys? Chalk it up to fluoride in the water? Or maybe something to do with my expensive vegan body wash?
I take the band for what it is, a contemporary duo that's brought a take on the blues, and properly packaged it for a younger generation. So what if every commercial on TV is using their songs?
The Black Keys are scheduled to perform Tuesday, October 9, at U.S. Airways Center.
The Party Album: Ice Cube, Predator
When I say party, I don't mean a dinner party. This is the kind of jungle juice-soaked, neighbor waking, who's-that-passed-out-on-my-bed kind of party. For all you bachelor/ettes out there who are considering hosting one of these, you must have the proper soundtrack, and it must include Ice Cube. This 1993 album is a classic, and songs like "It Was a Good Day" will keep your party going until the po-po come knocking.
Ice Cube, Snoop Lion, and Too Short are scheduled to perform Friday, September 14, at Comerica Theatre. The Hot Sex Album: Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (Marvin Gaye, Let's Get It On if you're more traditional).
If your party went well, you might need to switch up the music a bit. If you're well prepared, you could reach for something obvious like Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, but I prefer something a little harder -- pardon the pun. If you plan on banging till dawn, I might suggest Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. It's not too soft as to put your partner to sleep, and its got a heavy sexiness that doesn't make things weird like Norwegian black metal (unless that's what you're into). "D'yer Maker" and "No Quarter" are eloquent and moody, occupying the middle ground somewhere between blues and hard rock. The album is the perfect soundtrack for an all-night romp.
The Dinner Date Album: Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
You just invited a potential lover over for dinner. You cleaned the kitchen, preheated the oven, and found something to wear that wasn't covered in chip crumbs. But what are you going to listen to during your meal? Skip the Barry White. Forego the Metallica. If you took the time to cook, why ruin the meal? Fiona Apple is the answer to your musical quandary. She's brilliant. Songs like "Not About Love" and "Better Version of Me" are poetic without being pretentious. I wouldn't call it edgy, but neither is that spinach quiche, is it?
Fiona Apple is scheduled to perform Tuesday, September 18, at Mesa Arts Center.
The Breakup Album: Citizen Cope, The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
Breakups are about as much fun as root canals. Unfortunately, they are also unavoidable. When you find yourself broken-hearted, skip the Taylor Swift, and don't bother with Drake. Cope will give you that musical hug you're been looking for. Every song on this album is great. It's full of heartache and loss with songs like "Pablo Picasso", mixed with moments of rejuvenation ("Son's Gonna Rise") and hope ("My Way Home"). You'll be back in the club, scamming the opposite sex again, in no time.
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Citizen Cope is scheduled to perform Thursday, September 25, Marquee Theatre.