And Around. And Around. And Around.

  • 3 Comments

While sitting on my tuchus being completely idle this weekend (yay!) I flicked through my Twitter stream to get caught up on what is happening out there in Interwebs land.

I came across a tweet from Penn Jillette (one half of the famous duo Penn and Teller) that said, and I quote:

“You might not want to watch this. You really might not. It’s kinda sorta dangerous funny. It hurts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpfQSqfpuac

(if you are feeling like a laugh, go on and do a click for yourself).

So because I love and trust Penn and I needed a laugh, I clicked the link. What I found was a Taylor Swift video for the song “I Knew You Were Trouble” and in some of the high wailing parts, someone had substituted a bleating goat for the vocals.

I watched it three times. It was indeed very funny.

Just for the sake of reference, I then watched the actual video from Taylor Swift for “I Knew You Were Trouble” (well most of it anyway) and as I watched her writhing around in the dirt, I wondered to myself who this song had been written about.

It’s fairly well known that Ms. Swift likes to write such songs about broken romances. A quick Google search led me to the answer. Mr. Trouble turns out to be Harry Styles from the Brit pop boy band One Direction.

Now, as an over forty year old woman, Mr. Styles doesn’t look like an ounce of trouble to me, but I suppose I understand where she’s coming from. Who among us ladies hasn’t written pages and pages of journal entries about a romance gone wrong and maybe even some bad poetry too? I certainly have, I just didn’t have the platform that Ms. Swift enjoys for such endeavors. But I totally support her right to say what’s on her mind and be super angsty about it too.

So now that I knew Harry Styles of One Direction (by the way, doesn’t Hairy Styles sound like an awesome name for a barber shop?) was the object of this sad song, I recalled that my kid sister-in-law (not so much a kid anymore, she’s 13, it’s a long story) absolutely looooves One Direction, though her affections tend to lean toward one Mr. Liam Payne.

Then I noticed that YouTube suggested that after watching the Taylor Swift video I should watch the super hot OMG hot hot brand new song from One Direction called “One Way”.

“Why not?” I thought and gave it a click.

What presented itself to me was a video of five boys who probably aren’t old enough to have pubes singing a bee-boppy rendition of the kick ass Debbie Harry song “One Way or Another” from 1979.

You know? “One way or another, I’m going to find ya’/I’m gonna get ya’, get ya’, get ya’, get ya’/One way or another, I’m gonna win ya”

(To all whom I’ve just earwormed, I do apologize. It couldn’t be helped.)

So as these boys wriggled and mugged their way across London, I felt a sadness in my heart. I emitted a sorrowful sigh.

The tough as brass song written by the beautiful and punk rock Debbie Harry is now being autotuned and smoothed up for a boy band. The catchy lyrics written in the wake of a stalking ex-boyfriend are now fodder for little girl swoons and cutesy thoughts of dating a One Direction lad.

Oh boy. Er. Boys? If the song had been redone and there was a new or original take, then by all means go for it. I am not against remakes, I am, however, against remakes that take the soul out of a great song.

Certainly Ms. Debbie Harry, as the co-writer of the song is enjoying much windfall from the pop redo of her music, but damn. It hurts just a little, in my soul.

Later over breakfast, The Good Man and I discussed this song and video since it was still very much on my mind.

“I suppose it shouldn’t bother me that teens are listening to this crap because I listened to some poppy boy bands in my era. Like, for instance, Duran Duran,” I said.

But then I realized something…yes, Duran Duran was a schlocky boy band and yes I swooned over the poster I had of the five of them on my bedroom wall (John was my favorite) but at least they 1) actually played their own instruments and 2) wrote many of their own songs.

Ok, yes, fine, I know that remaking songs is a common occurrence and in some cases, the remake is WAY better than the original (Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” for example). I also know that in the history of music there have been hundreds of over engineered boy (and girl) acts doing their soulless little dance with deadened eyes and walking down a life map that probably leads to either ultra-thumping-Christianity or deep and abiding drug use…or both. And I know I can’t stop it, nor should I try.

But I also can’t help seizing up a little whenever I hear great music so profoundly bastardized.

My thirteen year old sister-in-law is actually an excellent musician in her own right and I have to trust that over time she will learn to see that you can have both quality music written and played by the musican AND a hot guy to look at. Jim Morrison springs to mind, but let’s see if I can come up with someone more current….I know, how about Bruno Mars or even Jason Mraz?

Losing argument, I know. As long as there are dollars in auto tuning them thar children, the shlock pop is always going to keep coming around.




Shaddup Grandma! One Direction is the best band ever!




Image from the spydersden blog




A View From The Inside

  • 2 Comments

What follows is a real, true-to-life account of an interaction between The Good Man and I. This occurred last Friday while we were in the car driving northbound on highway 280. We were on our way to a celebration dinner with family.

I was feeling rather glum, not unusual at the holidays, and we had been listening to whatever holiday music was playing on the radio.

The station had chosen that hour to do all down beat music. This made me sigh with more glum-ness.

“Here,” said The Good Man, “I have an idea.” He dug around in the cubby of his car and produced a mix CD and popped it into the player. “If disco doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will.”

And indeed, the up tempo disco beat was helping my mood.

Then the song “Boogie Nights” came on.

Because he is The Good Man, and as my spouse I can (and do) share almost everything with him, I decided it was ok to ask a question that has plagued me since I was just a young child. You see, I am old enough to remember when the song “Boogie Nights” was fresh and new and played all over the radio.

I loved the song even then and used to roller skate and shake my seven year old booty to the musings of the band Heatwave.

And so came my question.

“You know, I’ve always wondered what, exactly, is a Boogie Get Down?”

“Excuse me?” The Good Man responded.

“You know, the chorus, “dance with the Boogie Get Down cuz Boogie Nights are always the best in town”? What is the Boogie Get Down? Is that a dance? Is that a place? Is that a state of mind?”

The Good Man is much more worldly than me and I figured if anyone knew, he would.

This is when The Good Man gave me a head tilted “hmm?” look, much like a confused dog.

I continued, “Look, ever since I was a kid this has bugged me. Do you know what a Boogie Get Down is?”

He replied, “It’s an imperative, not a proper noun.”

“What?”

“It’s an imperative. Dance with the boogie! Then go ahead and get down. It’s not a proper noun.”

Now I gave him the dog tilt head.

“There is a pause in there that I don’t think you are taking into account,” he said, trying again.

“Wait, you mean there is a comma in there? Dance with the Boogie comma get down?”

“Yes. Exactly.”

“But the way they phrase it you don’t hear it. Since Boogie Get Down comes after a the, it would imply a noun. I just assumed the whole thing was a noun because they don’t give you a pause which would indicate a comma exists in the lyrics. You can see my confusion.”

“They are musicians and are playing with phrasing and time signatures. Like jazz. You know.”

“Hmph. I see.”

We were both quiet for a while as the rain spattered the windshield and the song continued on.

I noticed my husband had a slight smile on his face. I turned to him and said, “I’ve ruined the song for you now, haven’t I?”

“Pretty much.”

Might I close the scene by saying this is what it’s like to live with me every day. The Good Man should receiving his Living Saint designation anytime now.







Image by Zerpx2k and found on Deviant Art and used here under the terms of a Creative Commons attribution license.




This Is Why I Went to College

  • 4 Comments

So I can have a good job and a nice hard walled office.

So I can listen to my Pandora radio in my iPhone.

So I can tune it to the “60’s, 70’s, and 80’s hits” station.

Where I can hear Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, first released in 1973, and again in 1976, right in the prime of my formative years.

So that I can sit in my hard walled office and sing along.

Badly.

With Steven Tyler.

“Dream ooooowwwnnn, dream oooowwwwwn, dream until your dreams come true!”

And especially this part:

“…sing with meh/sing for the yeaaahar/sing for the laughter, sing for the tear/sing with me, if it’s just for today/Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away”

And then there is that howl part on the word “away”… Yeah.

In my mind I think I can hit those same notes that Mr.Tyler could hit some 40 years ago.

Then the employee seated in the cubicle just outside my office prairie dogs up over his wall to give me a crooked eyebrow.

And I think “ffft! He was born in 1983, he doesn’t understand.”

So I go on singing. In my office. With my Pandora.

Thank you NMSU, that I may have this job with a Fortune 500 company, this office, and the ability to torture my employees on a Friday morning.






I never get tired of recycling this image.


Image is of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and a pretty extensive web search could not net me the attribution on this photo. I found photos from that same event on the European Commission page which allows for the use of photos with attribution.



I know, right?

  • 2 Comments





“Please hold and the next available representative will take your call.”

Then that music starts up again, and it’s always gotta be some earworm song that won’t get out of your brain and you find yourself humming it in the produce section of your grocery store.

Sometimes it’s not the whole song, just a portion of it. Or some evil Muzak version of a good song (I have literally heard a Muzak version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”).

It’s just wrong. For a nice girl like me who spends A LOT of time each day on the phone, it’s crazy making.

Not that I need any help.



Image from Shoebox Blog.