CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FIVE GREATEST SONGS BY THE ROLLING STONES



Okay, well, in case you've been living under a stationary (i.e. non-rolling) stone the past few weeks, we've reached the all-important moment in pop culture in which the English rock and roll band known as The Rolling Stones are celebrating fifty years of musical, if not spiritual, togetherness. And you know what that means, don't you? Right...gold star! It's time for me to post my top five picks for the all-time best Rolling Stones songs. Before we get started, though, I feel compelled to point out that I know that, on reading it, there's bound to be someone who takes issue with my choices. But if you happen to be one of those people, please just keep in mind that, when it comes to making song lists, the process is by its very nature totally subjective. So instead of railing against my choices, just make your own list. Or just get drunk. Hell, that's what Keith would do. Anyway...enough talking...let's play some music. Here we go...


Under My Thumb. From 1966's Aftermath album. Feminists must have cringed when they heard Mick sing lyrics like "Under my thumb a squirmy dog who's just had her day...", but, for rock and roll chicks like me, it was just par for the course when it came to the Rolling Stones's "nose-thumbing" attitude toward prevailing social conventions. I used to sing this song with one of my early bands, and although I transposed the lyrics to say "boy" instead of "girl" (at my guitarist's urging), I would have been just as comfortable singing the original words. After all, when Mick and Keith wrote this song, they were only saying what a million other people in screwed up relationships were already thinking. Boy or girl, who doesn't want their lover to be "under (their) thumb"? It's not about male chauvanism, it's about emotion. And emotion is what the Stones have always been best at singing about. And, correct me if I'm wrong (as I so often am) but I believe this is the first major hit by the Stones on which resident meglomaniac and future drowning victim Brian Jones is featured playing the marimba instead of rhythm guitar. Another interesting sidenote (especially for feminists) is that Camille Paglia, French feminist author of a slew of books on the role of women in history and in pop culture, was derided by more mainstream feminists after she declared her admiration for the song. So....what's not to like? If someone, somewhere, is offended, then the Rolling Stones have done their job...and given the world a kick-ass song in the process.


Satisfaction. From 1965's Out Of Our Heads album (U.S.) and released as a single in the UK that same year. I couldn't show my face among Stones fans if I didn't include this song on this list. But its inclusion is not gratuitous. Apart from Keith's famous insistance that he came up with the melody in his sleep and, upon waking, hurriedly recorded it on a tape deck he kept at his bedside, this is the song for which the band is probably best known, even by those people who couldn't care less about who and what the Rolling Stones really are. A scathing condemnation of commercialism and (possibly) sexual frustration (although why Mick Jagger or Keith Richards would be feeling sexually frustrated at that point in their joint music career is anyone's guess), this song still resonates as strongly with the current generations as it did with the one of which the early Stones were a part. And for my money...it always will.


19th Nervous Breakdown. From 1966's Aftermath album. Shoot me if you don't agree, but as far as I'm concerned, this is the song in which the Stones really came into their own lyrics-wise. Mick told one interviewer that he came up with the title of the song first, and then wrote the lyrics around it. And apart from Keith's driving guitar licks and that little "Bo Diddley" tribute by Brian Jones in the middle, it's the lyrics that make this tune. "Your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax" pretty much says it all about the scorn with which the baby boomer generation viewed their parents' desperate allegience to the status quo. A rough and tumble, chaotic mess from beginning to end, this Stones song always makes me want to stop whatever I'm doing and say "to hell" with society and all of its pretensions. That was the case the first time I heard it...and it hasn't changed. Kudos, guys.


Gimme Shelter. From 1969's Let It Bleed album. Personally, I don't give a flying f-word if Keith Richards came up with the idea for this song on a rainy day in London on which he had begun to suspect that Mick was sleeping with his drug-addled and highly over-rated girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. The song totally transcends the inter-band issues wreaking havoc among the members of the Stones in 1969 during the recording of Let it Bleed, which I consider, arguably, their greatest album next to 1972's Exile On Main Street. I mean, think about it. You've got Keith hammering out one of his best guitar solos ever, a soul choir back-up thing going on in the background, and Mick screeching out anguished lyrics that could be about anything from personal trauma to political upheaval around the world. For me, this song exemplifies what the Stones have always really been about: pure emotion, angst, and the ever-present threat of darkness at the edge of town...yours, mine, anybody's. Bottom line, if this was the only song I had ever heard by the Rolling Stones, I would, without a moment's hesitation, drop to my knees and kiss the stage that Keith Richards had just thrown up on. And liked it.


Sympathy For The Devil. From 1968's Beggar's Banquet album. Ever had an orgasm? If the answer is "yes", then you know what I mean when I say that this song is like the Stones' "Big O" gift to the world. Were the Stones really secret followers of satanism? Highly doubt it. But they were genuises when it came to capturing the dark side of the zeitgest of the times in which they lived and played, and this song is their crowning achievement in that vein. Backed by a voodoo percussion beat and a whole lot of ethereal "woo-hoos", Mick references every screwed up political theme from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and doing so, not only shows off the musical intensity that makes the Stones great, but reminds us of what sort of world in which we, the listeners, are really living in. Originally conceived by Mick as a folky sort of tune, the song came really came into its own after Keith insisted on more percussion, turning it into a sort of quasi-samba meets rock and roll affair. And, just for the record, this was not the song the Stones were playing when Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by an overzealous Hell's Angel at the Rolling Stones concert at the Altamount Speedway in 1969. The soundtrack for that nasty bit of business was "Under My Thumb."

So...that's it. What else can I say? Except...if I hadn't limited this list to five songs, I'd be writing all day. But I have other things to do. Too bad. I'd rather be writing about the Stones. Skol! xoxxoxoxooxoxxoxxo

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