Sound Bite |

Sound Bite

As a public service, I always tell tourists who come to Tahoe to gamble that there’s no bigger crapshoot than our local bus system, with radio coming in a close second.

I’ve been happy with both, even though I generally only listen to the radio when I’m driving (usually two or three times a week) or on the bus (a dozen times or more a week). The variety from living within range of both Reno and Sacramento is nice, and this is the first time in a decade that I’ve lived somewhere with a reasonable facsimile of a hip-hop station. The place I usually leave my car radio tuned, though, is Reno’s Rock 104.5 because it provides nice surprises for a hard-rock station: like listeners boldly (but rightly) voting Tool’s “Sober” the better song in a head-to-head matchup against Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” For every impacted nugget of hair-metal crap you endure, you’re likely to strike a gem like Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction.”

Of course, it’s not all gold: Every now and then, you hit that one song you can’t get rid of no matter how badly you want to, short of getting off the bus. Such is the case of Theory of a Deadman’s “Bad Girlfriend,” the song that answers the conundrum, “You know, I love bland generic faux grunge in general and particularly Nickleback, but they’re just not trashy enough … “

If the single sounds like Chad Kroeger ditching his fake grunge wussiness for a night of strip-club debauchery, you won’t be surprised that it was Nickleback’s lead singer who signed Theory of a Deadman from Delta, British Columbia.

Almost as bad is Buckcherry’s “Too Drunk …” which applies fresh coats of hair-metal sleaze and glam idiocy to an idea that the Dead Kennedys made into a clever, caustic song three decades ago. But I’m inclined to forgive Buckcherry because they’re capable of more, as the band’s 1999 ode to cocaine, “Lit Up,” proved.

I guess I haven’t jumped off the bus or turned off the car radio yet: The possibility of Megadeth is always just a song away. However, “Bad Girlfriend” actually made me delighted to hear the universally reviled “Hey There Delilah,” maybe after I flipped channels. At any rate, I’m running out of words to describe how much I dislike this single.

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Oh, what, is “douchebaggery” not a word? My spellcheck doesn’t approve. Come to think of it, it likes it about as much as I like the song.