Saturday, February 21, 2009

Songs I used to think were deep

Ed. note: though I might be making fun of them now, these songs really did help me when I was a mixed-up kid. So thank you, Geddy Lee et al.

1. "Subdivisions," Rush. "Be cool or be cast out." Dude, this was SO TRUE. I guess high school was like that even in Canada.

2. "Grand Illusion," Styx. "So if you think your life is complete confusion/'Cause your neighbor's got it made/Just remember that it's a grand illusion/Deep inside we're all the same." Damn straight.

3. "All You Need is Love," the Beatles.
"There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be/It's easy." Huh. That's still kind of nice to think about, actually.

4. "Dust in the Wind," Kansas.
How did a song this bleak get to be a hit? My guess: the smokin' violin solos.

5. "Fly Like an Eagle," the Steve Miller Band.
House the people livin' in the street/Oh, oh, there's a solution." I'm gonna send these lyrics to Mayor Bloomberg. That should fix everything.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pet peeves du jour

1. The use of cell phones in the office bathroom.
Few things disturb me more than hearing someone yammer in the stall next to mine. Really, are your conservations so important they can't wait three minutes? Whenever I encounter a stall-talker I flush the toilet as forcefully as I can in the hopes the person on the other end will hear it and know how disgusting her friend is. That'll teach 'em.

2. Talking in movie theaters. This practice has pushed me perilously close to homicide. Everyone I know professes to hate when people carry on conversations during a film; why, then, do so many do it? Do they honestly think their whispers (or worse) are inaudible to all but their moviegoing companions? Four words: shut the hell up. I didn't pay $11.50 to hear your commentary.

3. "Backslash." Specifically, when someone is giving you a URL and he says, "It's www dot whatever dot com BACKSLASH whatever." Let's get it straight:

This is a backslash: \

This is a regular slash: /

If you type \ in a URL you will get an error message. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

4. My neighbors' dog. The little dude barks all day long. Wanna know why? HIS OWNERS KEEP HIM IN A CRATE. Which I suppose makes them, not the dog, the real pet peeve.

5. Melisma. If you are blissfully unfamiliar with this vocal technique, here's how
the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines it: "a passage of several notes sung to one syllable of text." A prime example: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," in which the diva takes approximately 47 minutes to belt out the title phrase. For the love of God, make this stop.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Songs I like that have the word "crazy" in the title

Ed. note: It occurred to me recently that I like a lot of songs with the word "crazy" in the title, with the notable exception of the limp Madonna ballad "Crazy for You." Here are a few of my favorites.

1. "Crazy," Gnarls Barkley. Perhaps because it's the most recent, this tops my list of "crazy" songs. (Literally.) It always makes me smile when it comes up on my iPod. Plus, the name Gnarls Barkley greatly amuses me.

2. "Let's Go Crazy," Prince. Man, I love Prince. So tiny, so talented.

3. "Let's Go Crazy," The Clash. Not my favorite Clash song -- that would be "Guns of Brixton" -- but still quite festive.

4. "Crazy Train," Ozzy Osbourne.
Most of my memories of the burnouts who sat at the back of my schoolbus are not pleasant. I did, however, enjoy hearing the immortal line "I'm going off the rails on a crazy train" blasting out of their boomboxes at 7 am each day. I also really like the part where Ozzy goes, "Ai - ai - ai," followed by that rattlesnake sound.

5. "Crazy," Seal.
A tad overproduced, maybe, but Seal is one smooth operator. What's more, he's married to Heidi Klum, who just happens to host what is inarguably one of the finest programs on television today: Project Runway.

6. "Crazy," Willie Nelson.
Patsy Cline's version might be the definitive one, but I have a weakness for Willie's. He's just so dang relaxed. Wonder why.

P.S. Does the word "crazy" look really funny now or is it just me?