Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Music, Sweet Music, I Wish I Could Caress

Well, hi peeps. I’m Erica, and I’ll just come right out and say it: I am a very, very, very bad guest poster, who has been absolutely yanking her hair out from their follicular roots, trying to figure out what to write while Mark is yukking it up with Mrs. Wife in Shanghai.

Anyhow, I was sitting here at my job thinking to myself, “I really gotta put a post up — but what??,” even though, to channel Langston Hughes, my own blog is beginning to “crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet,” but still…no excuses. I need to figure out what to write.

And then, it came to me.

Mark — who I was “introduced” to by Eric, and who is also a fellow newspaper peep (I work for a chain of local weeklies here in Brooklyn, USA) — has the unusual distinction of being only one of two or three other bloggers on my blogroll who are younger than me, and a fine blogger he is, and yet, we both count ourselves among the throngs of young music listeners around the world who deem The Fab Four a favorite music group.

I refer not, of course, to Pete, Roger, John and Keith, the respective members of The Who, my favorite group growing up, nor John and Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Cass Elliot of The Mamas and the Papas (I have it on good authority that John Phillips was a total dooshbag), but rather I speak of John, Paul, George and Ringo, The Beatles.

And so, sitting here on a rainy deadline day, banging out my myriad mess of photo captions and press announcements for our Southern Brooklyn papers, and trying to keep my sleepyhead from inadvertently slamming down onto the keyboard with a mighty thwack, I try to get through it all by listening to Pandora Radio, “an automated music recommendation and Internet radio service created by the Music Genome Project.”

The entry continues (this figures prominently in my tale): “Users enter a song or artist that they enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musically similar. Users provide feedback on the individual song choices — approval or disapproval — which Pandora takes into account for future selections.”

So say, even if I enter, as an example, “Franz Josef Haydn” into the search box, Pandora will probably play me some early Mozart symphony, and maybe even a little pre-Romantic Beethoven, which is musically somewhat reminiscent of Mozart.

But back to The Fab Four. After having gone on a somewhat lengthy hiatus from them, we’re talking years and years, suddenly I craved The Beatles, which I typed into the “create a new station” search box, and not only have I been able to satisfactorily scratch my niggling Beatles itch, with Pandora providing me with a plethora of awesome classic rock tunage, but I also got to hear lots of other “musically similar” songs, such as John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” Led Zeppelin’s “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,” and a buncha stuff by The Hollies, a very cool band; this is one of my favorites from them, though the video is a mite creepy.

As I hinged nearer and nearer to a comatose state at work, barely able to focus, it occurred to me in a rather abrupt, yet lucid, moment, that of all the Beatles songs Pandora has gifted me with over the past few weeks, including “A Day In The Life,” “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight” (the first song[s] I ever got stoned to, back when that was a thing I used to do), and “Paperback Writer,” the one song I have not yet heard — the Holy Grail of Beatles love songs, the modest little ditty which somehow slipped through the cracks of being queued amongst the mélange of other classic rock tunes — was “In My Life.”

WTF? How can such a travesty even be?

I know what you’re thinking: “Geeeeeez, so what?? Get to the friggin’ point already!!” And I will, no need to be tetchy, but anyways, here’s the point to my loooong story, which I thought was really weird and kind of even a little magical: The minute I thought to myself, while listening to “Wild Horses” by The Stones, “Why don’t they ever play ‘In My Life?,’ right after “Wild Horses” ended, guess what song came on? I scheisse youse not.

And since I’m the only person who could A) hear my inner thoughts, and B) hear what’s playing on my headphones, although I am told by coworkers to turn the volume down every once in a while, especially when AC/DC (another of Mark’s faves) or Metallica comes on, I couldn’t exactly SHARE my special private moment with anybody else in the room, ya dig? I mean, yes…technically, I could have, but I could have just as easily made the whole thing up, even though, honest injun I didn’t, but also…would anyone really have cared?

Probably not.

Yannow what, though? I never met Mark, but I have met the aforelinkedto Eric, and they two are good buds (I’m sure the AC/DC video Eric posted, right after he came back from Scotland, had somewhat to do with his falling under Mark’s influence), and one thing us thirty-somethings have in common (wait, Mark…are you even 30 yet? Or did you just turn 29?) is that we take our music very seriously, and I just know Mark would have cared.

And that, children, is only part of why I am a loyal reader of Groanin’ Jock. The other reason being, I just fancy the way the guy looks in a kilt.


Anonymous said...

Hi Erica.....nice new blog for me to read, glad you're guest posting or I've wouldn't have found this. Yeah I'm a soccer mom so this friend of yours in right up my alley.


Misssy M said...

Hello Erica. I feel I should introduce myself given that we have joint custody for the next two weeks.. favorite Beatles song of mine? A Day in the Life.

Oh but maybe it's Mother Nature's Son...

Oh but then again I'm a big fan of Blackbird...

And then there's Norwegian Wood...

Aaaaah, it's too difficult! But I do tend to lead towards the MaCartney ones. When he was good he was very very good but when he's bad he is terrible (Frog Chorus anyone?)

ptjew said...

Hi Erica,

My middle school was called Langston Hughes Intermediate after the famous black poet.

Anonymous said...

.... you're doing a fine job, Erica.... Mark is definitely a rocker!...


Erica said...

Eric! Whuttup dude?! Thanks.

Hey Misssy M, I love A Day In The Life - who doesn't? It's trippy, it's lyrical, it tells a story...a great song.

Blackbird and Norwegian Wood are also awesome...those also being among my top ten of favorite Beatles songs.

I think, next to Abbey Road, my most favorite Beatles record is a tossup between Rubber Soul and Help.

Not a big fan of the White Album or Revolver. Sgt. Pepper is up there, but also not my favorite. And like you, I also tend to favor McCartney over Lennon.