Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Song Thirty-One

Okay, a month of songs ends tonight. What a milestone. Sure beats the State of the Union.

I've got to be quick since I still have about 3 hours work left tonight. I was searching iMixes and came across a Grey's Anatomy Season Two mix. Out of several choices, my son selected Fannypack's "Nu Nu (Yeah Yeah)." It's kind of an electro-rap with a sexualized girl-empowerment theme: an Ibiza-friendly Salt-n-Pepa . Easy to dance to, which is why it caught my son's ear, but extremely disposable. I can't imagine this was really on GA (which my husband calls Korean Hospital, believing the show's only selling point is Sandra Oh); it's so upbeat.

334 to go.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Song Thirty

Song thirty is by the Most Serene Republic, "The Protagonist Suddenly Realizes What He Must Do in the Middle of Downtown Traffic." I picked this song for two reasons. Most obvious: Hello, it's awards season and the oscar noms will be announced tomorrow (album title: The Underwater Cinematographer). (And, by the way, what I am I to make of the fact that Heath and Jake cannot get through a description of their own movie on the Saggies without giggling like 8 year olds?) Less obvious: I am living in the midst of a Harold Pinter screenplay (song title). Witness the following real-life exchange between the bag boy (BB) and checkout girl (CG) at my supermarket last night.

Scene: Customer buying a lot of produce (that's me!)

BB: Wow, that's a lot of vegetables. (to CG) Hey, you know the best time to eat apples? (note: I did not buy any apples)
CG: In a pie?
BB: No, in the fall. I meant like a season. You need to eat them with that caramel dip they sell with the sliced apples. But, yeah, they're good in a pie, too.
CG: I can't eat fresh apples anymore. The last three times I've had to have my retainer glued back in, it was because I ate a fresh apple.
BB: You know, I try to defend Florida oranges to people who buy California oranges, but California oranges really taste better. (note: I did not buy any oranges) Except for juice. No oranges make better juice than Florida oranges. It's the best, totally.
CG: The best oranges I ever ate were from Morocco. They were delicious.
BB: Were you in the military?
CG: No, I was on vacation . . . overseas.
BB: You've been to overseas? (to me) Would you like help out with this?
Me: Uh (pause) no, I've got it. (turning away, raising eyebrows, and heading into the rain)

Who can script an exchange like this? Imagine standing there watching it and keeping a neutral expression. It was hypnotic in its strange, fruit-obsessed banality yet horrifying as I realized that there are young people who believe there is a vast country called "overseas." Take that James Frey. This is real life. Who needs a root canal without anesthesia?

So, onto the song. It's kind of noise pop with a better title than a lyrical execution. Nice reverb fadeouts that leave a trace-effect hum. There's a good middle section when the song kind of deconstructs itself musically into component parts and then adds them all back together. Mildly satisfying. Oh, and the band is from Canada. A SAFTBRCAITD first.

On a side note, articles seem to be popping up on alterna-parents carefully introducing their children to "real music" (see Neal Pollack) or justifying their love of their children's music (something someone sent me from Slate, I think). Here's the thing, my children move effortlessly back and forth between Dance to the Music and mommy's iTunes CDs (as do I). I didn't need some Learning Annex plan to school them in the ways of rock (although see below for another suggestion). My daughter can now sing almost all of "Jackson" and the uncensored "Hollaback Girl," which is drop-dead adorable by-the-way. And my son screams the lyrics to "Ring-a-Ling" and--of course--"Chicken Payback." And, you haven't lived till you've sat in the Zaxby's Drive-Thru with the windows open while your children shout the lyrics to "Galang" backed with "Light and Day/Reach for the Sun." Parents of the world, step away from your need for structured lessons and pre-curriculums; lighten up, sing along, and put on some music that would make you want to--in the words of my School of Rock-addicted son: "Stick it to the Man!" (best said with a scrunched up three year old face while mistakenly throwing a peace sign). You'd be amazed at the delight that awaits.

335 to go.