I have a deep and continuing obsession with hippie music, and for
me, it isn't some first-year-of-college/check-out-my-tattoo/wasn't-Woodstock-'94-rad
dealie. No, I mean I regularly listen to multiple songs/albums by
The Cowsills, Judy Collins, the Byrds, and the Mamas and the Papas.
I dig CSNY, and still get chills when I hear "Ohio." Some
of my all-time favorite songs come from the 1960s: "Bus Stop"
by The Hollies, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry and
the Pacemakers, "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry
Alarm Clock (and this is even WAY before I saw
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with the Slacker Hacker!) I never
understood why everyone seems to think "In the Year 2525"
is that bad. Ya'll, I have multiple - MULTIPLE - Leslie Gore albums,
and I think "It's My Party" is garbage; she has at
least two dozen better songs than that. Folks, I GOONED when
Neil Sedaka guest-hosted American Idol last year, because he's the
bomb-diggity! And one of my lifelong favorite albums is Loggins
and Messina's The Best of Friends, and not just for it's
massively HoYay album cover, neither. It's like the ultimate Sunday
summer afternoon soundtrack. "Vahevala" and "Peace
of Mind" and "Be Free" and "Watching the River
Run" are gorgeous, and "House at Pooh Corner" never
fails to (shhhh!) make me weep. In that vein, "I'm Alright"
is one of my favoritest rockin' out tunes, too; it always makes
me want to drive really fast when I hear it. Yeah!
There are things that don't quite make sense, too. F'instance,
I've been known to bang on extensively about how much I HATE c(o)untry
violently hate it! I cannot change the station quick
enough if there's a c(o)untry tune a-janglin' away; it's a deeply
physical response. I fart in the general direction of Alan Jackson.
I hope Toby Keith burns in hell. I think the Dixie Chicks kick,
but I couldn't listen to even five seconds of one of their
songs without practically turning myself inside out in a visceral
effort to turn off the c(o)untry music! So then
why do I love
Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash? Why did I buy a Loretta Lynn album?
This is a serious issue, folks; I have more guilt over this than
my belief that Bobby Vinton and Jerry Vale are red-hot studs.
Ask me who one of the greatest female vocalists of all-time is,
and I won't mention Aretha, Barbra, or Tina Turner
I'll say Karen Carpenter. I have been a Carpenters fan since early
but it's a weird kind of fan-ness. See, I hate their
songs, but love Karen's voice so much that I'll listen to their
stuff anyway. I think her voice is perfect, but was done an amazing
disservice by being a product of the schmaltziest era of lame-ass
music known to humankind (and influenced by the second schmaltziest).
Oh, God, if only Richard had been listening to even semi-dirty blues
instead of Burt Bacharach
just IMAGINE what directions
Karen might've gone vocally! If only they'd lived five years earlier
or twenty years later! If only- Sometimes, if I feel like depressing
myself, I'll indulge in this kind of Karen Carpenter What If. Karen
was a vocal goddess. GODDESS! (And I can't tell you how pissed and
cheated I felt when I heard someone on one of those VH-1 countdown
shows bitch about how Karen's voice was awesome but all her songs
were about getting' married and livin' in the suburbs- WHAT HAVE
I BEEN SAYING FOR A DECADE, NIMROD! Now repeat after me, "As
Dwanollah has often pointed out for many years
People usually bang on about 80s music - namely, New Wave - being
guilty pleasure music, but since I've been resurrecting 80s music
since riiiiight about 1986, it's not too difficult or shameful
for me to admit to listening obsessively to every album a-ha has
ever made, or even owning and often listening to more than one album
by Bananarama, Howard Jones, The Go-Gos, and Blondie. Some naïve
folks might consider that to be a Badge of Dishonor enough, but
not Dwanollah. I have scads of random and semi-obscure synth pop
and New Wave music that the average music listener resigned to the
garage sale pile twenty years ago
if, indeed, he or she had
even heard of it in the first place. I'm still groovin' to China
Crisis, Japan, Nik Kershaw, Cetu Javu, Ultravox, Ian Dury, and Celebrate
I'm not much better in the realm of movie soundtracks. Yeah, there's
Star Wars and Pulp Fiction and Lord of the Rings
right next to Annie and Josie and the Pussycats. I've
been known to sing along to Annie in the car as much as I
do my Spice Girls karaoke CDs (yes, plural). And I think the Josie
soundtrack is AWESOME! (Plus it has the boy band DuJour on it. Hee
hee! Boy band Du Jour! Haw haw haw! "Backdoor Lover!"
And, ah, there are numerous Guilty Pleasure Songs that affect me
in extra-special ways
. I'd never confess this to just anyone,
some are known to make me weep or give me chills
(as the aforementioned "House at Pooh Corner" and "Dust
in the Wind"). I wholly disparage hokey soundtrack songs like
"Wind Beneath my Wings" and "My Heart Will Go On"
which makes the fact that "Once Upon a December" from
Anastasia totally gives me chills really freakin' hypocritical.
Of course John Lennon's "Imagine" gives me chills
but so does Julian Lennon's "Valotte." *sigh* Weep-worthy
Bad Toonz are particularly problematic, when one considers how much
I HATE sappy love songs and gicky "E-Z listenin'" crap.
I mean, I'd no more cry over something like "I Hope You Dance"
by LeAnn Womack or "Living Years" by Mike & the Mechanics
than I would over Morris Albert's "Feelings"; I know those
songs for the runny cow turds that they are. But... but if I sneer
at those songs, how can I rationalize my blinking back tears when
I hear Journey's "Send Her My Love" or Stevie Wonder's
"Isn't She Lovely?" or Paul Stookey's "Wedding Song
(There is Love)" or Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"
or, Lord help me, DISNEY MUSIC?! I'm not kidding! And the Bird Woman
song from Mary Poppins will make me SOB! Oh, the shame! If I hate
Richard Marx, how can I love the song "Hazard"? WHY DOES
THE SPICE GIRLS' "VIVA FOREVER" MAKE ME CRY?!?
'Scuse me now, guys
I'm gonna go listen to my Donovan box
set to cheer up again.