What Was I Thinking?: Billboard #1s of My Youth


What Was I Thinking? is a column which attempts to retrace the musical past of Glenn Jackson, a Bay Area-based writer, critic, and genuine music nerd. As the column is done in conjunction with Sunset Media Wave—a San Francisco-based program for teen bloggers—it seems only fitting that this particular corner of the internet be used as a means to explore my (that is, Glenn Jackson’s) own teenage musical past…for better or worse. With that in mind, the third installment of What Was I Thinking? will take a look at the Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 charts from 2001 – 2004, specifically taking a long hard look at what were ultimately deemed the #1 hits from each year I spent as a bespectacled high school student. Continue reading

What Was I Thinking?: Dance Music Crossovers of the Early Aughts – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


Hello there and welcome back to the sordid and occasionally unfortunate chronicles of my (that is, Glenn Jackson’s) musical past. If you’ll recall, the first edition of What Was I Thinking took a few moments to analyze Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” a particularly popular anthem of my high school days. Now, we set our scopes a little wider, heading fearlessly forward (or backwards as the case may be) into the land of “dance-music-crossover-hits-from-the-early-aughts” — a category that includes such notable artists as Daft Punk, Fischerspooner, and the Chemical Brothers, and (for better or worse) was hugely important to my musical upbringing.

Looking back, a few of these tracks sound better than I thought they would upon revisiting. In particular, Chemical Brothers’ “Star Guitar” and Telepopmusik’s “Breathe” fall squarely in line with my current musical tastes. On the other hand, some of these songs are embarrassingly bad, but no collection of the dance tracks which populated my high school soirees would be complete without a few cringe-worthy clunkers. Let’s dive in!
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What Was I Thinking?: It’s Way Too Hot in Herre

I have a confession to make: I, Glenn Jackson, am a music critic. (Sure that term is a little outdated, but I much prefer it to “blogger,” so let’s stick with it for now.) As such, one might imagine that I have some sort of “superior” musical taste or an innate sense of what constitutes “good” and “bad” music. This, I’m afraid to say, is certainly not the case, and quite frankly, never has been. As a music critic, I am required to, well, critically think about music—compare and contrast records to what has come before them and consider the context in which the music exists—but I am still just as susceptible to the allure of catchy hooks, romantic syllables, guilty pleasures, and all that jazz as much as anyone else. So now, in an attempt to put “all the cards on the table” so to speak, I will begin digging through the more embarrassing points of my musical past—particularly the years in which a bespectacled, pizza-faced Glenn bounced through the halls of one Southern California high school (for the sake of specificity, we’re talking the summer of 2000 through the summer of 2004). For my first trip back, I’ve decided to take a fresh look at Nelly’s 2002 hit “Hot in Herre,” a hip-hop anthem which proved inescapable for many years following its release. Continue reading