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The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

Jun 15, 2012
Originally published on June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.

Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.

Jim Nayder, purveyor of all things tasteless and host of Chicago Public Radio's The Annoying Music Show!, joins Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon to fill in any gaps we may have (purposely) left in our list. Artists represented include a cruise-ship singer who refuses to pluralize, a rapper whose summer "issues" have him using "so many tissues" and more.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now continuing our theme of sports that are bad for your brain, we're joined by Jim Nayder, host of the Annoying Music Show, which is heard on Chicago Public Radio - when he's able to lock out the station's manager. How are you, Jim?

JIM NAYDER: Scott, I feel like you're Jesse James and I'm a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Boy, that's obscure.

NAYDER: Well, I've always thought of you as Jesse James. Robert Ford was friends of him, like we are - until the reward and he shot him in the back, which I'm doing with my music today, see?

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Right. Well, of course, the onset of summer is here. For a lot of people, that means, you know, vacation, maybe a road trip. Despite economic problems, I gather the cruise industry is doing well. And some of these ships, you know, have become almost like small cities, with diversions like rock-climbing walls, which I can't imagine onboard a ship, a nightclub and splashy - no pun intended - musicals and concerts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S RAINING MEN")

SIMON: Is that refrain it's raining man?

NAYDER: I don't know. I fled the studio, so.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: So, people were talking...who is that? Do you know?

NAYDER: All I know is it was sent to me by a listener who was on that cruise ship. She walked into a lounge area where a man named Mishel was singing and she immediately thought about jumping off the ship. But she thought about it and, you know, well, we all think about the Titanic and the dangers of cruises. And she thought this might be a hidden danger. And so she survived and immediately sent me the song to warn other people, which we are doing.

SIMON: Very thoughtful. Very thoughtful, indeed. I gather you've got a song that bears on getting ready for a trip, right?

NAYDER: Well, right. You talked about vacations, but most people don't go on cruises; they go to the great outdoors. You know, hiking, camping, doing yard work, if they have the time or something.

SIMON: I've read about these fanatics, yeah.

NAYDER: But there's one thing most vacationers in the summer don't think about, and that's allergies.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SO MANY TISSUES")

SIMON: Well, I - all right. It's not, not Irving in Berlin, but you know it is certainly the best song about allergies I've ever heard.

NAYDER: Well, and it should be. It's by an artist. He's actually a board-certified physician. Dr. Clarke is his name. and we think it's an art form because anybody who does raps songs about postnasal drip, come on.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: It's got winner written all over it, don't you think so?

NAYDER: Yeah. And he performs and he's got multiple CDs out. And to this day, when I brush my cat, I wear safety goggles and a dander mask.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Because that's what the doctor recommends. You see, this is not only music that is good but good for you.

NAYDER: That's public radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SO MANY TISSUES")

NAYDER: You know, summer we talk about vacations but also sometimes work. You know, especially in the Midwest with the winters. When it ends, it's time to do some renovation and construction on your house. You know, many folks think what's the most important room in the house? And fortunately, the American Standard Company did an instructional album that answers that question.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY BATHROOM IS A PRIVATE KIND OF PLACE")

SIMON: So we know who this singer is?

NAYDER: No. It's a corporate album done a few decades ago called "American Standards" by the American Standard Company. And there were no names on the album. But if she's listening, email Scott Simon after we finish.

SIMON: Well, I'm wondering, there you have a very good voice, a gifted, you know, studio...

NAYDER: It's a beautiful song.

SIMON: ...studio musician. Can you imagine that talented woman going home and telling people what she did that day?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY BATHROOM IS A PRIVATE KIND OF PLACE")

SIMON: Jim, tomorrow's Father's Day, and your beautiful daughter - Blair Jaime(ph), recently married. Any plans, may I ask?

NAYDER: Yeah, as I always do on Father's Day - I get up, I go out back, clean the septic tank. Blair then is coming over and that's the best gift in the world, my only daughter. And she's coming with her new golden retriever puppy. What more could I ask? My daughter, outdoors, a beautiful day, playing with a puppy. It'll be a great Father's Day, really.

SIMON: Do you have any Father's Day songs for us?

NAYDER: Yes, and it's actually by one of our most requested artists and it's one of the greatest songs about dads that there is, by Harry Chapin. Unfortunately, Harry's not singing it today.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CAT'S IN THE CRADLE")

SIMON: You know, I would ordinarily tell you it's such a beautiful song it doesn't matter who sings it or how they sing it, but I'm wrong.

NAYDER: You're so narrow-minded, Scott.

SIMON: Who is this artist?

NAYDER: It's the great Piranha Man from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CAT'S IN THE CRADLE")

SIMON: Well, my friend, Happy Father's Day to you.

NAYDER: Scott, same to you. I love you and I wish you were my father.

SIMON: Jim Nayder, host of the Annoying Music Show on Chicago Public Radio, which is heard on Chicago Public Radio and dozens of public radio stations across the country that have lost all respect for their listeners. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.