We have not, Enthusiasts, ventured into the Problem Attic recently; with all the creators and their creations being chucked up there lately, I thought it best to avoid the whole affair lest I be mistakenly consigned. Classic films and popular teevee shows have made the shameful crawl up those rickety stairs. Writers and actors, and a whole lot of stand-up comics, too. Not Kimmy Kimmel, but not for lack of trying.
But our interest is musicographical here, and so we concern ourself with the Problem Attic’s jukebox, which only takes dimes from Apartheid-era South Africa. A random sampling follows:
Hot Child in the City – Nick Gilder It’s about teenage prostitutes in Hollywood, and you can tell. Nick Gilder does not couch his topic in metaphor; he eschews euphemism. Just straight-up about teen hookers.
Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart You could get away with naming a character in a song “Shanghai Lil” today. Maybe a line about “She called me Glasgow Rod, and I called her Shanghai Lil.” That’d be hunky-dory. But you could not call Shanghai Lil a “slit-eyed lady” in the next verse. Your Coachella appearance would be cancelled within minutes if you released this ditty today. Still a bop, but it’s now a headphones bop.
Illegal Alien – Genesis This is what happens when you put Phil Collins in charge. Peter Gabriel wouldn’t have pulled this bullshit. Peter Gabriel would’ve dressed up like a mailbox and written a 20-minute song about Jesus.
Christine Sixteen – KISS Not right. This song is not right now, and it was not right then, and it was never right. “TotD,” you’ll say. “People used to get married at fifteen and die at 28. This song would’ve been all right then.”
I just buried a machete in your face. Do not question me. This shit is fucked up. You’re not allowed to describe girls you “saw coming out of school” as “young and clean.” If this song were a color, it would be lime-green: A bad look on anyone.
Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones Ha! Fooled you! Brown Sugar is NOT in the Problem Attic. It should be! It should be there right next to Some Girls and Under My Thumb. But, due to the total incomprehensibility of Mick’s faux-gumbo yawping, the vast majority of the song’s fans don’t know any of the words except “How come you taste so good” and the “Woo woo woo, yeah” part at the end.