Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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For the Love of God: Minimum Ten-Year Moratorium on Using “Cobrastyle” in Anything

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on August 17, 2007

Show “Punkrocker” some non-Cadillac love already

Using a song in more than one TV show or movie pretty much automatically cheapens its value more with each successive use. This was one of my main problems with The Girl Next Door, an otherwise fairly decent 21st century Risky Business update–all but one or two of the songs it used to underscore particularly emotional moments in the movie were already used in earlier, better movies. I find it particularly annoying, not just because it’s uncreative, but because it’s almost sort of insulting–as if it’s trying to say “this program/movie you are watching is the only worthwhile piece of pop culture that currently exists, therefore no other reference points are valid”. Bullshit.

At least The Girl Next Door used some pretty good songs, though. Teddybears’ “Cobrastyle,” a melange of accordion, “Rappers’ Delight”-inspired scatting, handclaps and (according to wikipedia) the piano riff from Fine Young Cannibals’ “Good Thing,” is easily one of the most grating, lowest common denominator-pandering, basically downright evil pop songs of the last few years. The pop charts were smart enough to avoid it, but the rest of the world wasn’t so fortunate. If you think you don’t know it, trust me, you do. Check out this utterly ridiculous (and once again, Wiki-cribbed) resume:

In the media

Fucking what the fuck. Dear Lord, it’s everywhere–not just movies and TV, but commercials, video games, sporting events, just about every possible venue for background music minus religious ceremonies, which can’t be more than a few months off. What’s worse, this isn’t even a time-concentrated sample–the incessant “Cobrastyle” usage started about two years ago, and it’s been consistently insistent ever since. By the time this blitz is over, Teddybears are going to be the richest band in the world to be unable to even sell out a 500-seater.

But all this was OK. Well, not OK, actually very fucking far from OK, but y’know, bearable, sort of. But then they had to go and use it in the trailer for the upcoming Harold & Kumar: High Alert.


Beyond unacceptable, really. Not like the Harold & Kumar producers really need to be held to such diamond standards, but c’mon, I thought at least they were above this. “Cobrastyle” is just such the song for a very restrained, PG-13 kind of zaniness–the kind of song that was designed for those awful “things are really HEATING UP on next week’s all-new Men in Trees!” previews. A movie whose raunchiness is as legitimate as the first Harold & Kumar‘s is shouldn’t need to put up with that shit (unless they’re planning on pulling a Major League II on us, in which case there is no God).

See, guys? This is why the big beat era should never have ended. In a world where Cyrstal Method and the Lo-Fidelity All-Stars were still roaming the planet, we never would’ve had to resort to this sort of heathenly pap.

9 Responses to “For the Love of God: Minimum Ten-Year Moratorium on Using “Cobrastyle” in Anything”

  1. Ryke said

    Oh my god. It’s THAT song. THAT song must die.

  2. yancy said

    If it makes you feel any better, those annoying flavor of the month (year? decade?) songs in movie trailers seldom wind up in the actual film. Fingers crossed, at any rate.

  3. […] For the Love of God: Minimum Ten-Year Moratorium on Using Cobrastyle in Anything August 17th, … century Risky Business updateall but one or two of the songs it used to underscore particularly … -per-view event featured on the Employee of the Month soundtrack appears in a television commercial source: For the Love of God: Minimum Ten Year Moratorium…, Intensities in Ten Suburbs […]

  4. Katie said

    GOD, I HATE THAT SONG. It’s everywhere.

    Seriously, why the hell was it played at the Cleveland Indians’ game? Swedish pop music has no place in American baseball.

  5. billy said

    How about a ten-year moratorium on not having faith in the healing power of NPH?

  6. My name is Kenny said

    I honestly can’t remember hearing “Under Pressure” or “Baba O’Riley” in any other movie but “The Girl Next Door.” However, I cannot imagine any movie using them better.

    I’m not sure that makes up for a comedic porn-making sequence set to The Verve’s “Lucky Man,” though, or most egregiously, the introduction of two hot pornstar characters scored to “What’s Going On” (?!???).

  7. Andrew Unterberger said

    “Under Pressure” in Pop Culture:

    * Played in an ad campaign for Gatorade’s Propel Fitness Water.
    * Played in the ad campaign for Saved.
    * Played in the very first episode of Judging Amy.
    * Played in an episode of Ally McBeal
    * Played in an episode of Clueless (TV series)
    * Played in an episode of Scrubs. (S02E09)
    * Played in an episode of Eyes.
    * Played in an ad campaign for Rescue Me
    * Played in an episode of the second season of Cold Case.
    * Played in an episode of Everybody Hates Chris (S02E03)
    * Played in the beginng of the Episode “Albratross” of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, season 6.
    * Played in the pilot episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
    * Played in the pilot episode of In Case of Emergency.
    * Played in the 1988 movie A New Life.
    * Played in the 1997 movie Grosse Pointe Blank during a scene in which Martin Blank (John Cusack) stares into the eyes of a friend’s baby and has an epiphany during the reunion.
    * Played in the 1998 skate movie The End.
    * Played in the 1998 movie The Players Club.
    * Played in the 1998 movie Stepmom.
    * Played in the 2002 movie 40 Days and 40 Nights.
    * Played in the 2004 movie The Girl Next Door.
    * Played in the VH1 documentary The Drug Years.
    * Played in the trailer of Adaptation.
    * Played in a commercial for Powerade.
    * Played in a commercial for Zales Jewelry.
    * Played for a PGA promo.
    * Played in the 2005 movie Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
    * Played in a commercial for Saved!.
    * Included in Karaoke Revolution Volume 3 for the PS2
    * Played on FOX before Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS
    * Played on ESPN during their coverage of the 2006 NFL Draft
    * Played as the opening and closing theme song for the 2006 credit card documentary Maxed Out.
    * Played in 2007 on Newsnight on the BBC.
    * Played as bumper music for Coast to Coast AM, a U.S. Late Night radio program.
    * Played in the commercial for the HGTV show Buy Me.
    * Played by My Chemical Romance and The Used at MTV’s 2$ Bill s

    “Baba O’Riley”:

    * Trailers for American Beauty.
    * Trailers for A Bug’s Life.
    * Appears in trailers and at the end of The Girl Next Door
    * Is featured in the 1997 film Fever Pitch.
    * An orchestral version is featured at the start of the movie Slackers, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
    * Appears in Zero Skateboard’s 1998 video Misled Youth in Jamie Thomas’ part.
    * Trailer for the film Invincible.
    * At the start of Luciano Ligabue’s 2001 movie Da zero a dieci.
    * The introduction of the song is featured at the beginning of the movie Almost Famous
    * Plays in the Spike Lee movie Summer of Sam with Adrien Brody’s character performing the song in his garage with glimpses of the Son of Sam killer murdering each of his victims.
    * Appears in the movie Prefontaine starring Jared Leto
    * Pre-credit sequence in the Miami Vice episode “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run”.
    * Promo commercial for TNT’s new series Saved (June 2006).
    * An edited version appears as the theme song in CSI: New York.
    * In the 2005 episode “Control” of House, House plays air piano and air drums to the song. The song also appears on the official soundtrack for the show.
    * Pilot episode of What About Brian (April 2006).
    * Used as the soundtrack for HP ad “Constant Change” directed by David Fincher.
    * Appears in a Nissan commercial promoting the 2000 Pathfinder.
    * In the episode “Kiss” of Dawson’s Creek, Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) is dancing to it.
    * Featured in King Of The Hill’s episode “Tankin’ It To The Streets”. In the same episode Bill says how he used to have “hair like Roger Daltrey”.
    * Appears prominently in the first episode of Life on Mars.
    * Sung on Rock Star: INXS by Jordis Unga (during week 1 and also appears on the CD), as well as on Rockstar: Supernova by Dana Andrews (during week 5) and Ryan Star (during week 9).
    * Networking company Cisco Systems uses it for one of their Fall 2006 commercials.
    * Appears in the Hyperlite wakeskate video for Shawn Murray wakeboard montage.
    * Edited version with instrumentals is used in the fourth of four episodes of the miniseries “the Drug Years” on VH1
    * Featured as the promotional song for the 2006 film Invincible.
    * It was mentioned in the short-lived series Freaks and Geeks, wherein Lindsay is corrected by Ken for calling the song “Teenage Wasteland.”
    * Teenage Wasteland, a popular misnomer, was a working name for That 70s Show.
    * Featured at the end of the One Tree Hill episode “Pictures of You”.
    * Featured at the opening of American Idol season 6.
    * Is the theme of the 2007 IRL IndyCar Series.
    * Featured in the season finale of the second season of My Name Is Earl.
    * Appears in the 2007 advertisements for Cisco Systems.

  8. […] 8. The House / Bones Ad. House ads always look stupid, and Bones ads always look…well, even more stupid, considering the show it’s advertising is fucking Bones. But this would be relatively harmless if it wasn’t for the song in the background, Swingfly’s “Something’s Got Me Started.” Already included in an episode of Private Practice and ads for TGI Fridays, this song is in huge, huge risk of becoming the next “Cobrastyle” if ad men aren’t careful (which, of course, they won’t be). […]

  9. David said

    Played in a commercial for Bee Movie

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