Bro Jackson is celebrating Kat Gotsick’s 47th birthday by having an old fashioned Bro Down on the subject of what she’s chosen to do on this auspicious late 40’s occasion, which is go see Maroon 5 in Bettendorf, Iowa.
First of all, before you ask – the answer is YES. I share a March 1 birthday with Justin Bieber, Ke$ha and Ron Weasley.
Second of all, on the off-chance you haven’t read my Dancing with the Stars columns, I’ll share that I’m addicted to friendly, upbeat, good-spirited mainstream fluff. I download a TON of Flo Rida. I know all the word’s to Jaden’s breakdown in Never Say Never. Seriously, my 14-year-old niece delights in calling me shallow, even though I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know exactly what it means. That’s not to say I’m a Prude or a Pollyanna. I negotiate deals at my day job that would make a person light-headed and I’m the queen of “that’s what she said”-ing everyone while I’m doing it.[ref]to everyone’s undying regret and disdain[/ref] But at heart, I’m still an ex-cheerleader from Eastern Kentucky who doesn’t like the taste of beer and had to cover my eyes sometimes when I was reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
So … Maroon 5 is my Bad Boy Band. They’re inked up. They drop F bombs. Their songs are about sex and lust, skin and boning, killing your girlfriend’s lover when you happen upon them unexpectedly,[ref]BTW, Wake Up Call is my favorite song to run to. I play it on repeat when I’m flagging.[/ref] They’re my wicked, sinful, self-indulgent guilty pleasure. So of course I would choose Maroon 5 for my birthday celebration. And OF COURSE I would choose Bettendorf, Iowa (the FINEST of the Quad Cities, although Moline, Ill. – the little bitch – feels differently). I haven’t even told you the best part yet. Before Maroon 5 takes the stage, I will be treated to the blazing hot rock stylings of OWL CITY! BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!
Maroon 5 is cracked iPhone glass.
In a just world, their intentionally vague blue eyed soul went out of style alongside Adam Levine’s leather wristbands. But Levine is charismatic and has a uniquely beautiful voice. When it’s used for good and guided well, it’s a force. This has happened exactly one time, on Kanye West’s arresting “Heard Em Say,” of the Jon Brion strings, perfectly mapped drum patterns, and raps about Aunt Pam’s cigarette addiction. Here, it doesn’t matter what Levine says because he’s a decoration.
As a front man, it’s electric slides and tight tees and sweet coos. But it’s pointless pop for treadmills.
I detest his songwriting because there is no pathos or specificity in anything. It exists to cling. It is literally whistling.
Levine’s overwrought self-awareness and business ventures make it clear that he’s a sharp dude. He knows music and its context. He is thus a predatory opportunist.
I have an on again, off again relationship with Adam Levine. And not in the way most 15-year-old girls want to have an on again, off again relationship with Adam Levine.
I heard “Harder to Breathe” when it first came out and I legitimately enjoyed it. Here was a band that towed the line beautifully between substantial radio rock and sultry pop, that holy grail of middle ground surrounding catchiness, memorable riffing, and lyrical non-clarity. And it had one f-bomb. It was, in essence, the perfect radio song.
It still is. I’ll give Levine and Maroon 5 that much; they do have one undeniable megahit. But then, for God knows what reason, they decided that wasn’t the direction they wanted to actually take. They decided to tread water in the catacombs of pseudo-funk, with less catchy choruses and compositions that make Levine’s voice veer more into “do you want some cheese with that wine?” territory. Let’s stop there. That’s the attempt at real analysis of my thoughts on Maroon 5. Here’s the actual scoop: I don’t know what the fuck I think about the band. I have panic attacks trying to figure out my opinion.
I listen to “Harder to Breathe” and I’m down. I listen to “She Will Be Loved” and I want to shoot myself in the face.
I watch Levine on The Voice and I want to kick him in his pretentious little face. I watch him on American Horror Story and I think he’s cool for getting to fake bone that hot chick in a dilapidated insane asylum.
I read articles discussing Levine’s lothario-like ways and I picture him as a less talented John Mayer. I read other articles about his approach to songwriting and I think he’s actually got some legitimate ideas and feelings about the music industry.
It truly is a stressful situation. I will never love Maroon 5, but I can’t figure out if I’ll ever like them either. They don’t do anything inherently bad, but they don’t do anything inherently well, either. They just exist. The trouble comes from trying to figure out if the members of the band are cool enough to warrant putting them on my list of bands I’ll never really enjoy but might pick up an album by if Amazon mp3 decides to sell it for a buck.
Maroon 5 puts on a competent live show. Levine functions decently enough as a frontman. But are they worth it? I can’t figure it out. I have a feeling that if Levine knew his band keeps me up at night trying to figure out if I like them, he might just consider it a victory.
Maroon 5 seems like a very successful version of Third Eye Blind. I look forward to the next iteration of this formula. I assume the band’s name will involve the number Seven.
PEOPLE. We are at THREAT LEVEL MAROON. There seems to be a problem that no one in America is willing to talk about. Is it that we somehow can’t find a decent Oscar host? Nope, everyone wants to talk about that. Is it that we put more thought into our reality show contestants than the fact that a North Korea almost certainly tested a nuclear device? Eh, maybe we should be talking about it, but I’d much rather hear Kat’s thoughts on who’s going to be on Celebrity Diving 3. Here’s the biggest problem facing the stars and bars today:
THE BEST MAROON 5 COVER BANDS ARE IN EUROPE.
I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s Adam Levine’s penchant for nudity [ref]at least that’s in Cosmo, which is an American maga-WAIT IT’S IN COSMO UK? DAMN YOU LEVINE![/ref], or maybe it’s just the way he moves like another famous European, but something about Maroon 5 makes the Europeans not only go crazy, but want to imitate them. And imitate them they do. While trying to research the viability of creating a cover band in my hometown called Maroon 6, I stumbled upon this:
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Not only do they sound like a slightly worse version of Maroon 5 [ref]the way he says “Jagger” is weird, right? I’ve been singing that one word in my head for hours, the hard “r” is so catchy.[/ref], they even have a slightly-less-handsome version of Adam Levine! At least he isn’t inked up like Ada-HE IS! I was hooked. Where are these guys playing? I need to find them. That’s when i found the hidden truth. You can go see them. IN ROME.
No big deal, there must be another Maroon 5 band I can check out, oh, here’s one:
Yep. They’re in Milan.
Oh, here’s one:
WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!
I wish I had a reason for this. I wish I had an explanation. But I don’t. If you have any information as to why Europe produces musicians that sound like a sinewy Jewish kid from LA, please email me at Maroon6LeadSinger@gmail.com. Until then, step your game up, Nations. San Antonio, nay, America needs you.
The only strong feeling I have for Maroon 5 is sadness. Not because the music makes me sad, or because Adam Levine once hooked up with my girlfriend in an arena parking lot in 2005 (these are hypotheticals, people. It just seems like something he would do.). Maroon 5 makes me sad because behind that tattooed-biceped, polished-faced front man is a band that used to be an actual band, consisting of a bunch of bros.
Now, the group has been reduced to Adam Levine and the Maroon Five due to the pretty boy’s emergence as a solo artist, actor and judge on some talent show. This is sad, guys. Every time I see that long-haired guitarist, holding on to those glory years while playing two chords during the band’s next manufactured pop hit, a part of me dies a little. Maroon 5 formed in high school in 1994. Think about that. They had a perfect high school-dance-band name, Kara’s Flowers. In 2002, they released “Harder to Breathe,” a song that had enough cross-over appeal to maintain some sort of real rock cred. But as the years have worn on, it’s become the Levine Show. “Moves Like Jagger” is technically a Maroon 5 song. But that’s not fooling anyone. That band probably grew up wanting to be Jagger. Now it has to play a shitty pop song about dancing like a 70-year-old man.
So here’s to the unsung heroes, the Maroon 4. Keep plugging away. And at least you all have a shit ton of money. Actually, you’re probably not sad at all.