Though the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I more or less parted ways right around the time I declined Anthony Kiedis's invitation to fly away on his zephyr (which, for some reason, always sounds to me like a synonym for farting quietly), I will admit that there was a time when I loved "Under the Bridge" — you know, the song everybody loved when they were fourteen. But that was a long time ago, and while I'm not going to argue that it wasn't a good song, I'm sick of it now.
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The reason I'm sick of it? Because it's still getting played on the radio. Two decades after it came out, KTCL still has that song in rotation, forcing me to press the NPR preset and retreat into my comfortable castle of liberal elitism. Apparently, though, now I have a new option.
Gentlemen, let me be the first to welcome you to our bizarro future, in which old music is marketed to young people on the radio and new music is marketed to old people on the Internet. Not long ago, AARP — yes, that would be the American Association of Retired Persons AARP — fired up an Internet radio outlet via its website toward the goal of familiarizing said retired persons with what the kids are doing these days, which is listening to the Internet because regular radio blows. The player features eighteen distinct channels mostly devoted to the hits of the '60s and '70s (because old people are apparently not sick of "Sweet Emotion" yet), but the AARP is not giving up on teaching retired persons new tricks, either: One channel is devoted to new radio hits, of which the player reassures, "You heard these hits on the radio or at a friend's house."
Speaking of "Sweet Emotion," it will no doubt come as good news to the Internet radio station marketing new music to old people that Aerosmith, all the members of which somehow have not died yet, went into the studio last week to work on a brand-new album, its fifteenth full-length and the successor to 2004's Honkin' on Bobo, which, fittingly, sounds like some kind of unsettling octogenarian sex act. And while an album of more Bobo-related honkin' has been clamored for by exactly nobody I know, if there's good news for people outside of the Retired Persons set, it's that perhaps recording will at least temporarily distract Steven Tyler — now officially the nation's most embarrassing dirty old man — from trying to use his American Idol judge-ship for soliciting blow jobs from persons born after "Under the Bridge" came out. We can only hope.
Until then, my parents are expected to use the player as soon as AARP can figure out how to make music come out of a word-processing document on a yellowing Pentium 486.