Monday, November 15, 2010

The Antidote

BECAUSE YOU FIND yourself singing along to Rihanna and Taio Cruz while at work, just because they're on, sweet heaven they are always on, you find yourself during your home hours reaching for an antidote of sorts to make sure you're not still singing Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world as you drift off toward a fitful and brief sleep. The antidote takes many shapes, but of late it has looked and tasted like:

Exploding Star Orchestra, Stars Have Shapes

Aeroplane Trio, Naranja Ha

Warpaint, The Fool

...and the 900 or so songs on the ipod that you've rated at 5 stars, in a seemingly never-ending shuffle, like hit radio as programmed by you, which has put you at one side of a kind of soft war with your wife, who skips a song or changes the program every time you leave the room. Too much Neutral Milk Hotel? Probably. But you can never OD on RFTC or The Clash, is how you see it.


Nirmala said...

>skips a song or changes the program

Sounds familiar!

(Also, can you tell me what is up with Bruno Mars? What's the big deal?)

AGF said...

What? Discord in your house regarding matters musical?! I thought I sensed complete harmony... Tho' I guess it is conceivable that one might be in the mood for the 101ers while another craves Horace Andy. Surely timing is the only contentious issue?

As regards Bruno Mars... you got me. It sounded so much more sincere to me when it was Billy Joel singing "I love you just the way you are..." but I guess every generation needs its own example of that sort of thing.

Nirmala said...

Funnily enough, the person who wants to hear the 101ers is the same person who wants to hear Horace Andy. Actually, that's both of us. It only nears contention when one of us (who shall remain nameless) wants to listen to heavy noise-rock, complete with screeching feedback, and the other (who shall also remain nameless) wants to listen to super-fluffy mainstream pop.

As for Bruno Mars, for some reason I thought he was an indie sensation, so when I saw him on Saturday Night Live, I was confused. Unless this is indie music's new thing. If we can love Paul Simon (and we do), can we not love Billy Joel?

(Furthermore, I am not sure if Bruno Mars is the individual or the band.)

AGF said...

I think Bruno Mars is one guy, a pop songwriter with a few hits to his name who decided to move behind the mic and try his own luck. I never sensed 'indie' unless you mean in the way that Kanye was once sort of indie, like backpack, but quickly threw all of that off and began believing in his own myth.

(Coworkers and I were recently discussing the coming Kanye trainwreck, when it might occur, the particulars, and just how unsightly it would no doubt be.)

We wholeheartedly endorse both Paul Simon and Billy Joel, the latter endorsement underscored late one night when, driving home on country roads, I was scanning the AM dial, sort of amazed that it still existed and that anyone bothered to play music on it, when Mr. Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" flared to life from somewhere in the murky ether. It was affirming in a very lovely way.

Maybe one day I'll feel the same way about Bruno Mars, but I kind of doubt it. But maybe my kids will. After all, they'll be closer to BM, while they'll be as distant from Simon and Joel as I am from, I don't know, Al Jolson.


Nirmala said...

Yeah, I don't know from where my "Bruno Mars is indie" impression came. Perhaps because he was arrested for coke possession? haha

Sean and I were recently discussing the probability that Kanye West is bipolar, or at least suffering from depression. I think Kanye has admitted as much. The thing is, when he's up, he's terrifically enjoyable (crazy Tweets, the SNL performances from a few weeks ago and the 34-minute music video he released shortly thereafter). There's some genius there, no?

Speaking of which, "Only the Good Die Young"! Billy Joel's best song, I think, though I also like "Matter of Trust", and I have come around to "Uptown Girl". These three songs make me forget about the "Piano Man" years and, blerrggh, "You May Be Right" (I do not buy your tough-guy posturing, Mr Joel!).

AGF said...

Sorry, why would you want to forget "Piano Man"?

AGF said...'s sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete when I wore a younger man's clothes...

Nirmala said...

I think my annoyance with "Piano Man" comes down to two lines:

1. "Making love to his tonic and gin."
2. "They're sharing a drink they call loneliness."

Also, there's a bit of "it's not the band I hate / it's their fans" at play, though of course I do not include you in this hate (if I can even call it "hate", which I can't). I recall too many drunk frat boys singing along, which is perhaps the point(?).

Having written that, I do like the bit about the microphone smelling like beer, because I've experienced that, and it's gross, and there is nothing you can do about it (which is also perhaps the point of "Piano Man").

Patrick said...

"piano man" goes wrong for me IMMEDIATELY ("it's nine o'clock on a saturday" looks fine on paper, but the delivery makes my stomach churn), but who am i to judge? i enjoy "you may be right" because it's funny, and i don't mind that "it's still rock 'n' roll to me" song, but "allentown" rhymes itself to death and "the longest time" is cloying.

we usually listen to what the missus wants, mostly because i've found that my own preferences can be ugly when not contained in a headphone's interiority. does that make sense?

AGF said...

Oops. I kind of like "Grenade."

AGF said...

BJ's in character when he sings "Piano Man!" That opening line -- it works! I swear, it works.

I hear you re: ladies' musical choice. Hard to justify the skronk as background to dishwashing, baby feeding, so forth.

More recently it's the daughter's choice, though. All she wants now is Bing Crosby singing White Xmas and Ella Fitzgerald doing Rudolph.

One more thing: Drake -- is it possible to escape this man right now?