Jul 17th, 2007 // 8 Comments

mtv.jpgThe seemingly arbitrary censoring policies at MTV continue: The network is bleeping “dope” (as in “the dope boy’s turning me on”) from the video for 50 Cent/Ciara’s “Can’t Turn Me On.” Judging by the rest of today’s TRL, though, “4:20,” “masturbation,” and the “stoned” half of “LoveStoned” are still a-ok! (At least for now.)

  1. Chris Molanphy

    From a short item I wrote for pop ‘zine Radio On in 1997 (yes, I’m old):

    “Semi-Charmed Life,” Third Eye Blind

    “The last good Gen-X song,” according to my coworker, who listens to nothing on the radio but neo-disco and top 40. I laughed when he said it–we were working late and flipped on the box to keep us company–but I realized later that it was a pretty savvy critique. There will be other Gen-X songs, but with its uptempo, plush guitars, “Semi-Charmed Life” is the last of its breed on the radio: not a mall-ternative ballad (“The Freshmen,” “If You Could Only See,” “Push”), not a pseudo-ska song (“Wrong Way,” “Fly”), not pop-techno (“6 Underground,” “Around the World”). And unlike most of these, it sounds great on the radio.

    For the record, since I’ve addressed pop lyric censorship before: On MTV, the line in the second verse about “doin’ crystal meth” did not pass muster and got backward masked; in the video, the lead singer even covers his mouth as the line plays. (This is happening a lot lately, by the way; the record labels know MTV’s censorship guidelines and tell the artists what lines are going to be swooshed, so the acts make funny faces or cover their mouths when shooting the video.) On the radio, “doin’ crystal meth” is fine and plays straight through, but the radio mix has been truncated–either for length or content, I’m not sure–so that the bridge, which plays on MTV and includes the line, “Those little red panties they pass the test,” is gone. Video has a more pervasive affect on drug users and radio incites more sexaholics–who knew? (8.0)

  2. tigerpop

    Funny–this is from an anonymous message board, posted sometime early this morning:

    “i honestly believe the song ‘semi-charmed life’ to be the worstest song in existence.”

  3. tigerpop

    @dennisobell: Funny, this is from an anonymous message board, posted early this morning:

    i honestly believe the song ‘semi-charmed life’ to be the worstest song in existence.

  4. Chris Molanphy

    @tigerpop: No accounting for taste, I guess. Stephan Jenkins is a total douchebag with a pitiful vocal range, but that is a great pop song. I still turn up the radio when it comes on.

  5. ascot-revival

    @dennisobell: Regarding Third Eye Blind, it almost seems like the short shelf-life of their second and complete failure of their third record have helped their long-term “credibility” (using the term loosely), as opposed to both Matchbox and Sugar Ray, whose success only seemed to grow with each increasingly-saccharine single. Their first album was one of the first I remember really liking during my early high school days as my taste in music was just beginning to develop, before Napster/Audiogalaxy (when it really was possible to hear a ton of new stuff and I moved on to other, less mainstream music)…it has managed to survive numerous cd sell-backs when I’ve been strapped for cash; sure, it’s overly sentimental, but compared to the waves of emo that were about to come, it seems nicely restrained.

  6. tigerpop


    I actually don’t mind that song so much (unlike everything else Third Eye Blind ever did). Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is far worse for that era. That band couldn’t even finish coming up with a name!

  7. spinachdip

    “How’s It Going To Be” is my official can’t-get-out-of-my-head and all this 3rdEB talk has brought it back. Thanks, assholes.

  8. loudersoft

    confession: love love love love love 3EB <3 <3 <3

    formula: write a bunch of great, timely pop songs, get a bunch of hired guns, make a couple of wonderful records (Never Let You Go is a great song), tour endlessly, fade into obscurity, get rediscovered by two generations of pop songwriters for the briliant thing that you are and coast into your late ’40s with some cred.

    as opposed to MTV’s formula which is to apparently do whatever they want at any given moment of the day. on Hot 107.1 here in Memphis, center of the Crunkiverse, references to guns, the “n word” and “ho” get beeped out of songs, but they leave in references to slangin’ rocks, promethazine, and Cali weed.

    if we can do that in a city where there are more churches than gas stations, surely MTV can fix their double standards.

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