Saturday, April 21, 2012

Whatever doesn't kill you has a good beat

A few weeks ago I was scanning through radio stations in the car, as I often do, and came across a song I hadn't heard before.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone
I got a grin out of that. Such a poppy, breezy little song to feature a Nietzsche quote. And in an odd way, it made me feel better about one of our newer songs. An excerpt:
It's been a crowded day
There hasn't been much room to move
The constant interruptions
No way to get into a groove

The world is unrelenting
Everybody wants a piece of me
So I rock along
Clear out some of this debris

Got a good beat
Got a good beat
Got a good beat
And you can dance to it
I'd felt a little guilty about using a phrase I hadn't created myself for the refrain. Obviously, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it" isn't original to me. But what the hell. If someone can steal from Nietzsche, why should I worry about lifting a line memed from American Bandstand?

* * *

A few days ago I stumbled on a teenager's blog. The blog's tagline began, "In the words of Kelly Clarkson "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Heh heh heh ...

OK, I wouldn't have gotten the reference at age 15 either. Still, it hadn't occurred to me that anyone would think Clarkson said it first. It really should have.

To be honest, I hadn't known the origins of "It's got a good beat ..." until after I wrote "Dance to It." I'd heard it before, of course, somewhere, but Ron the Drummer had to tell me about the "Rate a Record" connection—"I liked it, Dick. It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it."

I hope I invent or inspire a saying that gets quoted so often, nobody remembers where it came from.

RIP, Dick Clark.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Analog Man

I ... don't know how to feel about this.

Driving home from rehearsal tonight, I heard the KLPX DJ announce a new song. New? KLPX does classic rock. The most recent songs they ever play are from the '90s.

The track was "Analog Man" by Joe Walsh, and yes, it was new. Lots of references to high-speed internet, spam, etc.

I really wanted to like this song.

And I kind of do. Musically speaking, it's fun. It sounds like a natural evolution of '70s rock and roll, one of my preferred genres. But the lyrics? Here's an excerpt:
What's wrong with vinyl, I think it sounds great
LPs, 45s, 78s
But that's just the way I am
I'm an analog man
Another ...
The whole world's glued to the cable TV
It looks so real on the big LCD
Murder and violence are rated PG, too bad for the children
They are what they see
I can't help but think that the guy who wrote "My Maserati does 185 / I lost my license, now I don't drive" could come up with something a little more subtle.

Beyond that, though, there's a certain disconnect. I associate this style of rock with youth and rebellion and forward motion. But the song's message is essentially, "Things are different now than they used to be, and that's terrible."


Do me a favor. Remind me that I reacted this way when technology and cultural trends get ahead of me, and I yearn for a simpler time when I understood what was going on.

Or, hell, remind me whenever I go on about how much better classic rock was.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gone on tour

I generally hate euphemisms for death. Today I made an exception.

Cinder Bridge kicked off a memorial benefit this afternoon for Bill "Patch" Wooldridge. While I didn't know him personally, he was by all accounts a great guy. I got to hear him play with Widow's Hill a few months ago. Lots of joyous energy in the music. I'm sorry I missed my chance to meet him.

Anyway. The event was called the "Gone on Tour Benefit Concert."

Gone on tour. That doesn't sound so bad. It would be neat if the people I left behind said that about me.

Or, even better: She went where the music comes from.

That's a real place, right?