Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Week of Pop

I'm not one to listen to pop music much. At least not beyond what I hear on singing competition shows like American Idol and The Voice. But a few weeks ago, my friend Cat challenged me by saying pop music today is actually very good. So, trusting my buddy, I took a week and listened. Honestly.

I found a local Top 40 station. I have to say I'm mystified by that moniker. They didn't play 40 songs at all. More like 10. OK, 20. But still...that's not very many. And I have to say, some of the songs I enjoyed. The first 10 times I heard them. Now most of them annoy me. Here's a list:

"I Wanna Go" by Britney Spears: It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. LOL! Seriously, though, it's catchy. I can see why people like it. Definitely dance-able. Definitely (unfortunately) gets stuck in my head. But there's nothing original or inspiring...just fluffy. Nothing wrong with fluff.

"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People: I really liked the sound and the groove of this one. Kinda reminded me of Mott the Hoople. But then I listened carefully to the lyrics...really? "All the little kids with their pumped up kicks better run, better run; faster than my bullet..." OMG. Such innocuous instrumentation with scary lyrics. Weird.

"The Edge of Glory" by Lady GaGa: I kinda like Lady GaGa, actually. I think her new album has quite a variety. This song, though, is weak. Sounds like a poor facsimile of the 80's to me.

"Good Life" by One Republic: This is a new song? I swear I've heard it before. Is it a cover? I don't think so. On a commercial? Probably. In any case, I tired of it quickly.

"Last Friday Night" by Katy Perry: I kinda like Katy Perry, actually. LOL. But this one...I mean, the subject matter is sort of...well, I'm all for free speech and all, but...I would hope that my daughter (if I had one) would aspire to more wholesome fun.

"Mr. Saxobeat" by Alexandra Stan: All I can think of is Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" and Taco's version of "Puttin' on the Ritz". Not just done before, but overdone, and redone before.

"I'm Into You" by Jennifer Lopez: This one, I really like, and happily, it wasn't quite as heavily rotated.

"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO: The song is cheesy, but the story behind it is hysterical. Good for LMFAO! I hope they don't go the one-hit-wonder route, but I have a strong suspicion they will.

"If I Die Young" by The Band Perry: What sad lyrics...but what amazing song writing. I hope they make a huge splash.

"Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5: I had first heard this song on the TV show "The Voice", and I liked it. I didn't want to like it long-term, but I think I might. Especially after seeing the clever video. This is quality stuff.

"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele: Now, this is what I'm talking about. Finally! Brilliant, different sound. Inspired me to buy her whole album on iTunes. I'm a fan. I wish all pop music could be this unique and well-done.

"Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj: If I never hear this song again, it will be too soon. But then, I guess sometimes we all just need to dance....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So I had this weird, very vivid dream last night that seems apropos for this on!
I was back in Dallas, and it was early in the morning. I was driving -to school, apparently- when I heard a contest come on the radio to come and tell your favorite joke, and you'd get a cool prize. The radio folks were doing a remote on a median on a busy street. (LOL!) So I stopped there, and got out to tell the DJ my joke. It was Riki Rachtman from Headbanger's Ball (back in the day). He looked like he looked back then, not like he looks today.

I went up to Riki in the median, and I said, "Hey, I have an awesome joke!" He said, "Let me hear it," and I told him:

"Who's there?"
"Dwane who?"
"Dwane the bathtub...I'm dwowning!"

He keeled over with laughter and said I had won! He told me to go to a club where they were going to be broadcasting a special early-morning concert by L.A. Guns, and that he would give me a rose, and I could tell my joke on-air.

So I head over to the club, which apparently was smack-dab in the middle of an office park made up primarily of doctors offices (which led to a sub-dream, which was very boring by comparison, so I won't describe it), and I made my way to the club. It was bright daylight by now, and the club was set in a field of lovely-manicured lawns, kind of in a triangle of land between streets where many cars were parked.

I parked my car (side note: my car was my actual car - my aging PT Cruiser; I was hoping it would have been something like a new G37 luck) and went into the club. It was small, but tall. There was a stage "in the round", small areas to gather around it, and then high balconies above the stage. So it held more people than you' think, and there were lots of them!

This is where the dream got more dream-like, with spaces flexing to meet the needs of the action, time taking on a new dimension, and just generally not making much sense, but I'll continue with the important points.

I saw my friend Cat there, and told her my story of how I won the contest. I saw the opening act warming up. It featured Derrick from Masterchef. I saw Riki and he introduced me to people, telling them that I had told him the best joke ever. At one point, I saw a girl I thought I recognized, and it turned out she was the girl that I got a manicure from (in reality) a few days ago. I showed her my nails, and told her it was the best manicure ever, and that I was glad we liked the same music.

I ordered a mimosa and prepared to rock. L.A. Guns got up to play, but none of the original members were there, which was disappointing. I kept telling Cat, "this place reminds me of the Basement." She said, "It is the Basement". I said, "No, that was on Greenville, and they tore it down to build a CVS." She said, "No, they actually moved it here." I was very impressed!

At the end of the show, I had not received my rose, nor had I told my joke on-air, so I started looking for Riki. He was nowhere to be found. By this time, everyone had cleared out of the club except for staff and a few people, and I was calling Riki's name, and shouting, "I want my rose! What is this, some sort of bait-and-switch?" Evidently I cared nothing about telling my joke, I just wanted the darned flower. He never materialized, and no rose was given.

Meanwhile, Cat was wondering how they got the laundry back upstairs. I had no idea what she meant, so I asked her where the washing machine was. She pointed behind a staircase, that was really not much more than a glorified ladder. I honestly couldn't tell how they even got laundry into the machine, so I just told her I didn't know, but I had to go.

We stepped outside in the sunshine, apparently on the wrong side, where my car wasn't. While I was wondering where I parked my car, I realized it was too late to go to school (?!?) and that I'd have to explain to my parents (!!!!!!!!) why I hadn't gone to school that day, and that they would be mad at me. I considered taking an unexcused absence, but then my grades would suffer. I also realized that it was almost 5:00 (in the evening) and so I'd have to fight rush hour traffic to get home, so I'd never be able to make it home before they did and pretend I went to school anyway. So I just decided to head home, tell the truth, and hope they'd write me a note so I could make up my schoolwork.
So where did all this come from? Some of it's pretty easy to figure out.
1. My friend Cat is coming to visit me today! We have been friends since the 80's, and have been to all kinds of concerts together and we loved the Basement and were sad when they tore it down. (I can only wish they moved it somewhere...)
2. I had just watched a DVR'd episode of Masterchef that Derrick featured prominently on. Derrick reminds me of Riki Rachtman for some reason.
3. My husband I had played a Q&A game the other day called Table Topics, and my question was, "what's your favorite joke?" And that stupid knock-knock joke happens to be it.
4. I had my nails done day-before-yesterday.

But the part about school, my parents, the median of a crowded street, the office park, the radio contest, etc.? No clue. But it was an interesting dream!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Song Remains the Same

So I was listening to the new Lady GaGa song "Fashion of His Love" - on FarmVille, of all places, and I kept thinking, "I've heard this before..." But I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Initially, I thought, OK, it's like "Dress You Up in My Love" by Madonna. That seems an obvious comparison since the themes are the same, and Lady G often gets compared to Madonna (and rightly so, IMO). But that wasn't quite right. Then I thought of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston. A lot of the rhythms and overtones remind me a lot of that song. Plus, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. LOL!!

Finally it hit me - "Fashion of His Love" has a lot of the same chord progressions and harmonies in common with "Do They Know it's Christmas" by Band Aid - that 80's supergroup that got together to raise money to feed the children in Africa.

To sum up, you can say that there's nothing original about Lady GaGa. If you're honest, you know that there's "nothing new under the sun", so this is to be expected. But I have to give her (or whoever wrote the song, I honestly don't know and didn't care enough to find out) credit for creatively mixing three disparate, very well-known songs of the 80's into a catchy, dance-able pop confection. Hopefully it won't be stuck in my head for too long.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hysteria Surrounding the Def Leppard Calendar

I have a story to tell you about recent events involving a Def Leppard calendar. Shockingly true.

In January I ordered a 2011 Def Leppard calendar for my desk at the office. Their merchandise ships from England, so I wasn't terribly surprised it hadn't arrived in a month. Another couple of weeks passed, and still it hadn't arrived, so I contacted customer service. No response. Another two weeks. No response. Another week, an I actually tweeted @def_leppard that it was sad their customer service apparently did not exist. I got a tweet back saying to send an email to a contact on the website an they'd take care of it.

The following week - the calendar arrived via Royal Post through USPS. Hooray! Finally! Persistence paid off. In spades! Read on...

Another week passed, and another calendar arrived. Probably because my complaints got crossed in email. :) Anyway, I gifted that second calendar to a friend.'s where it gets shocking...I *lost* the first calendar. How that I happened, I do not know. Well, I actually have a suspicion that the ghost that lives in my closet absconded with it. Along with my turquoise suede boots an my stapler. That's one strange ghost, I gotta tell ya. :D But I was very sad. All the trouble I went through to end up with not one, but two, calendars, and yet I still had nothing to show for it.

Meanwhile, I was packing my car to leave on my relocation to Arkansas when the mail carrier showed up. With, guess what? A *third* calendar. I'm sure the mail carrier thought I had a screw loose as I danced joyously around, waving the package that contained my Precious. This time, however, I was not about to let the calendar out of my sight, and loaded it up in the car to bring with me. And now, it's proudly displayed on the bulletin board in my extended-stay suite, anxiously waiting to be hung up at my new desk at my new office.

And so ends the saga...