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, February 14, 2013

MY BOYFRIEND'S FIVE FAVORITE NAME SONGS


My boyfriend and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. I won't go into the reason except to say that Valentine's Day is a holiday that holds some majorly bad mojo for me (and by connotation for him as well), and the sooner it's over and done with, the better I feel. But as a woman with a sappy streak, I wanted to do something to remind him of how much I love him. So instead of a Valentine's Day card or a new pair of boxer shorts, I decided to post a little addendum to the one I did last time on my five favorite "name songs." So, here it is...my boyfriend's five favorite "name songs." Maybe, if he likes this post, he and I can play the songs in the background while we...uh..."talk" about them.

BETH (KISS)


This one should have been on my list. My boyfriend has confessed that he's not much of a Kiss fan (he says that he likes "old" Kiss, but not "new" Kiss, which I'm guessing means that he liked the band right up until Peter Criss and Ace Frehley left in the early 80s), but, old or new, this song isn't your typical Kiss song. And with good reason. Original Kiss drummer Peter Criss not only sings it, he co-wrote it as well, six years before it was released as a single off the band's 1976 Destroyer album. At the time, Criss was a member of a band called Chelsea, another member of which had a wife called Becky who had a habit of calling her husband at band practices to ask when he was coming home. Originally titled "Beck, What Can I Do?", the song captures perfectly the classic dynamic between "the boys in the band" and their wives/girlfriends who never seem to understand that music has its own clock. The song was reportedly renamed "Beth" before its release as a single because Gene Simmons thought that "Beth" was a name to which more women would be able to relate. Not to mention the confusion the original name might have caused for fans of a certain famous British guitarist. (Hello, this is Jeff...I was wondering when the band was going to be done practicing because I'm getting bloody lonely sitting here in my mansion surrounded by my collection of sports cars...")

JOSIE (STEELY DAN)


As name songs go, Steely Dan's most famous one is probably "Ricky, Don't Lose That Number", and, for my money, "Josie" sounds an awful lot like it. But then again Steely Dan is one of those bands more readily identifiable by their sound than their faces. The average pop/rock music fan probably can't even tell you the names that go with the unknown faces (spoiler alert: their names are Walter Becker and Donald Fagen). Bottom line, despite their popular success during the 70s and 80s, Steely Dan has always been more of a critic's darling than anything else, and part of the reason for that is their "signature sound": two parts jazz, one part pop, and one part storytelling chops. Released as a single off their 1977 "Aia" album, "Josie" is a classic Steely Dan story-song, and is, according to Donald Fagen, all about a Korean woman who married the brother of one of his old high school chums. Good song, interesting story, but, as with all Steely Dan songs, you can't let your mind wander if you want to know what it's about. But don't strain your ears too hard. Even if your mind does skip out once or twice, you can always look up the lyrics later on.

MELISSA (ALLMAN BROTHERS)


In my experience, the Allman Brothers have always been a "guy's band." A case in point: I once threw a birthday party for a friend of mine, who happened to be a girl, and she, all the other girls at the party, and I were having a great time singing along with stupid top forty songs from the 70s, which was when we were all in high school. Then, just like that, one of the guys at the party totally shot a silver bullet into our fun by playing "Blue Skies" by the Allman Brothers. "Blue Skies" is a good song. No question. But it's not exactly a fun girl birthday party soundtrack. Which is fairly true about most Allman Brothers songs. They're good songs...some of them are even great songs...but unless you're a musician, a huge early southern rock fan, or a young guy sitting in your parked pick-up truck drinking a beer and smoking a bowl after a fight with your girlfriend back in 1972...they're not songs you listen to very often. I guess you could call them "specialized." And then there's "Melissa." Like Kiss's "Beth", "Melissa" is a song that transcends the band's usual M-O and makes you forget that Gregg Allman was once married to Cher for two weeks. According to Gregg, he wrote it in 1967 (although it was released for the first time on the band's 1972 Eat A Peach album), but it didn't have a name until, one day, standing in line at the grocery store, he heard a woman yelling for her daughter, Melissa. The name just seemed to fit the song, and so he went with it. Too bad we'll never know if the girl in the grocery store was buying peaches.

BARBARA ANN (THE BEACH BOYS)


If you've ever listened to a radio, you've heard "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys. You've probably sung along with it, danced to it, maybe even performed it with your drunken friends at a karaoke bar. What you might not know about it (because I didn't) is that the most familiar version of the song, aka The Beach Boys' version, is actually a cover. "Barbara Ann", written by Fred Fassert, was a hit for a band called The Regents in 1961, climbing all the way to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. But it was Brian Wilson and his little family band of surf music makers who took the song to #2 in 1965, making it an international hit and securing its place in pop/rock music history for all time. Released on the Beach Boys Party! album that year, the song features a guest vocal performance by Dean Torrence, who was formerly one half of early 60s singing duo Jan and Dean ("Dead Man's Curve"). If you listen closely, you can even hear Brian Wilson say "Thanks, Dean" at the end of the song. You don't have to like the Beach Boys or 1960s surf music to like this song. It's just one of those songs. And chances are, you haven't heard the last of it.

SUSIE Q (CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL)


Written by Louisiana-born musician Dale Hawkins and first recorded at KWKH Radio studios in Shrevesport, LA in 1957, "Suzy Q" is pretty much everything you could ever want in a straightforward, no frills rock and roll song. That's probably why every musician and his/her brother has covered it at one time or another. The list is too long to post here, but it includes The Rolling Stones, Gene Vincent, Johnny Rivers, Susie Quatro (natch!)....and, of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival, whose version is considered by many rock critics (and fans) to be the best. And I would be loathe to disagree. Released off CCR's debut album in 1968, "Suzy Q" was a major hit for them and did much to establish their credibility not only as genuine rock and rollers at a time when commercial pop music was the industry standard, but marked them as the true torch bearers of rock and roll's original (rockabilly) flame. CCR would go on to record many more serious and culturally important songs, but this song makes it clear that John Fogerty and company were, at heart, in it for the music.

Well, there you have it. My boyfriend's five favorite name songs. I hope you like it, Darling. Happy...you know what day. And to the rest of you...as usual...Skol!

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