There’s not much music I would consider a “guilty” pleasure. I’m sure that are songs in the world that I like because they remind me of a specific time in my life, or jump out at me from a genre I don’t know well. So above is the video for “If This Is It,” an impossibly un-cool, middle-of-the-road, corporate pop song that I still enjoy.
Motley Crue. Oh excuse me, “Mötley Crüe.” Because nothing says metal like superfluous umlauts. (Now THAT’S a good name for a band.) I admit, I used to love these guys. The way they strutted around, their wailin’ guitar licks, the hawt chixxorz in the videos, the way-out clothing. That’ so distant to me now that it’s hard to feel anything positive for this stuff anymore. It’s all just manufactured and fake and unspeakably lame. But if you want to, relive the days of 80s hair metal with the video above.
At least at this moment and for the purposes of this post, my favorite band is XTC. Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding, Dave Gregory et al. have been making clever, intricate, forward-looking pop music for more than 30 years. They’ve had a couple of minor hits (“Dear God,” “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”), but they’ve always been more about consistent albums than a singles band. Their output is huge, especially when you include Partridge’s solo recordings and the work from psychedelic alter-egos the Dukes of Stratosphear. And for all that material, there’s very little fluff–every album has at least a few absolute gems. So without further ado, enjoy some XTC.
OK, it’s predictable. So sue me.
This is what they call in the Navy a “target-rich environment.” I love dancing. It’s been my favorite physical activity for as long back as I can remember. I could pick scores of songs that I love to dance to, from goth to Charleston to moshing, but here’s my very favorite song for swing dancing.
“Fine Brown Frame”
Here’s an embarassing confession: I have a terrible time remembering song lyrics. I’m a lifelong music lover, a singer, and a former poetry scholar. Yet I will never just pick up more than a line or two of song lyrics no matter how often I hear the song. I have to really concentrate, and usually sit with a lyric sheet to learn a song. One of the few songs I do know by heart comes from one of my favorite Celtic bands: Silly Wizard.
“Candle in the Wind”! No, just kidding. Some of you might know this story, but the song I most connect with specific events is Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”
When I was a kid, my dad was in a successful wedding band called the Esquires. I’d often spend weekends with Papa Joe, but of course that’s when they worked! So I’d come along to the weddings they were playing. This song is what the band always played right before taking a break. So to me, this song is associated with dozens of wedding receptions of people I never knew; a time to get up and snarf chicken wings and finger sandwiches; a time to hug my dad and hang out with the guys in the band. To this day, hearing this song makes me seriously hungry. The first time I heard it as a grown-up, I found myself in the kitchen holding the fridge door open with NO memory of how I got there.