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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MY BEST FRIEND'S FIVE FAVORITE NAME SONGS


Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. No, don't worry. This is not a post about Godfather III. Please. Give me some credit. If I were going to write a post about a Godfather movie, it wouldn't be about the worst one in the franchise, even if it does happen to be the one with the most memorable quote. But this is the third post on the subject of "name songs." This time around, my friend Belinda Blindsider (yes, that is the name she wants me to use) wants in on the action. "Do my five favorite name songs," she begged me after reading the other two posts. "Come on...please." And of course, being the soft touch that I am, I agreed to write one more post on her behalf. So, with no further ado, here they are...my friend Belinda Blindsider's five favorite name songs. Ready? Rock on....

MANDY (BARRY MANILOW)


In his 1975 epic shmaltz hit, "I Write The Songs", pop superstar and show biz icon Barry Manilow sang, "I am music, and I write the songs." But while Barry Manilow is no slouch when it comes to songwriting and has penned more than his share of hits, he didn't write that song (it was composed by Bruce Johnson), and he didn't write the one that earned him international fame and his first gold single. "Mandy", which was originally titled "Brandy", was written by British composers Scott English and Richard Kerr in 1971 and was a minor hit for New Zealand singer Bunny Walters the following year. But it wasn't until Barry Manilow covered the song in 1974, changed the title to "Mandy" to avoid confusion with Looking Glass's "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl), and slowed the tempo to make it a ballad that it became the pop powerhouse tune that we all know and love. "Mandy" has been covered by other artists since then, including the Brit boy band Westlife, but no one does it like Manilow, because, well, he is music...even when he doesn't write all the songs.

BEN (MICHAEL JACKSON)


Yes, I know. It's a song about a rat. A song about a rat performed by a pubsecent Michael Jackson. And it was the Academy Award-nominated theme song from a 1972 sequel to a movie called "Willard" which was about a man and the pack of killer rats that were his only friends. But here's the thing. It's a beautiful song. And Michael Jackson performs it with absolutely no trace of irony, which makes it sort of poignant on a couple of levels. Written by Don Black and Walter Scharf for the movie, "Ben" was originally intended for teen idol and Mormon role model Donny Osmond, but when touring commitments prevented Osmond from recording it, it was offered to Jackson, who not only recorded it, but made it his own in a way that makes it impossible to imagine Donny Osmond or anyone else doing it justice. The song's success might not have changed anyone's mind about rats (they're icky and disgusting, no two ways about it), but it did prove that, when it comes to the inspiration behind a good song, never rule out a rodent.

BABA O'RILEY (THE WHO)


If I had a dime for every time I've heard someone refer to this song as "Teenage Wasteland", I could probably afford to go to a Who concert...not that they're performing many concerts these days. But I might be able to at least afford a busted guitar autographed by Pete Townsend. Released on The Who's Next" album 1971 (you know, the one with the cover shot of the band pissing on a stone pillar in the middle of a field for no reason at all), Baba O'Riley is one of the band's most well-known songs (never mind the confusion about the title) as well as one of its most over-played (thanks, classic rock radio stations everywhere). Written by Pete Townshend for a rock opera called Lifehouse that was supposed to have been a follow-up to 1969's Tommy, the song was purportedly inspired by the crush of teen-age bodies overcome by acid and other substances that Townshend witnessed when The Who performed at Woodstock. What..,you thought that he just came up with the line "We're all wasted!" from hanging around with Keith Moon? And as far as the song's oft-maligned title is concerned, Townshend says that it's a combination of two names: Meher Baba and Terry Riley, the two men who Townshend credits with providing the philosophical and musical influences of the song. So, the next time you hear it, don't cry, don't raise your eyes, just remember that it's called Baba O'Riley.

JOLENE (DOLLY PARTON)


Name songs just don't get any better than "Jolene", written by the beautiful, buxum, and brilliant Dolly Parton, whose towering blonde wigs and silver-spangled costumes make it difficult for some people to remember that she is one of the most successful songwriters of all time. And while some might claim that "I Will Always Love You" is her most memorable song, "Jolene" is without question her signature tune. Parton wrote it in 1974 after nearly losing her husband (who no one has ever seen, by the way...what's up with that?) to the charms of a younger, taller, red-haired bank teller (strumpet!). "I fought tooth and nail to keep him," she told an interviewer. Well, all I can say is, the man had to have been an idiot to even think of ditching a true original like Parton for some little bank hussy, but we can at least be grateful for the song that came out of the situation. I know that my friend Belinda is, every time she makes me sing at a karaoke bar. Interesting aside: the name "Jolene" came about a few years after Parton's marital dilemma, when she was signing an autograph for "a very pretty red-haired fan", so pretty, apparently, that Parton was moved to ask her name. "Jolene", the girl chirped. And the rest is...herstory.

ANGRY JOHNNY (POE)

Poe is one of those artists who recieve regular rave reviews from critics for their work but somehow never seem to break into the mainstream. Born in New York City with the unwieldy monicker Anne Decatur Danielewski, "Poe" is the daughter of Polish film director Tad Z. Danielewski and Priscilla Decatur Machold, a fact which resulted in a somewhat nomadic life for the singer and her brother, who spent their childhood years living in six different countries before the family finally settled in Provo, Utah. When her parents divorced, teen-aged Poe fled back to New York where she lived in a squatter unit and conpleted her high school education via mail. But her sights were already set on a music career, which she pursued while an undergraduate at Princeton University, starting her first band and experimenting with a mixture of styles before signing with Modern/Atlantic Records in 1994. Her first album, Hello, was released the following year, earning her those rave reviews from critics that I mentioned earlier, as well as a lot of unwelcome comparisons with Alanis Morrisette (both were outspoken, independent young women...you get the picture). "Angry Johnny", which was Poe's first "hit" off the Hello album might even be considered the counter culture companion song to Morrisette's mainstream mega hit "You Oughta Know". But despite her strong online fan base, don't look for Poe to follow Morrisette's lead down that mainstream path any time soon. With lyrics like "Johnny, Angry Johnny, this is Jezebel in Hell, I wanna kill you, I wanna blow you away", this "name song" makes one thing clear: Morrisette might have the Grammies, but Poe has the guts.

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