Monday, January 08, 2007


For some reason, it appears that every blogger feels the need to make posts about their musical preferences. I suspect it's because an awful lot of bloggers grew up reading "Rolling Stone", and now they fancy themselves musicographers. I mean, what the hell, once you're writing day after day of crap on subjects you're only peripherally knowledgeable about anyway, why not throw some musical stylings onto the steaming mess, right?

You will not find those kinds of posts on this blog, because I stopped listening to any new music released after 1978. And I listened to no music in my 9 years of life prior to 1978, either, so I'm pretty much out in the cold on this one.

Oh, I have an iPod, and I like listening to music (and sometimes singing along), but I don't have lists of "The ten most awesomest rock and roll drummers of all time", or detailed treatises ready to trip off my tongue about the sublime ecstasy of the ninth Rush album (did they even have nine albums? How the hell would I know?).

I suspect this is some kind of deep, moral failing, that there's a hole in my soul shaped like a clef that echoes with musical longing. Some people have lyrical hearts and can appreciate the amazing talent cascading out of their musical replay devices with soaring words and deep thoughts. Me, I just like what I like, and tend not to think too much about it, despite having a number of very talented relatives (Adam and Chris and Anna, I'm lookin' at you).

My other theory is that my brother Johnny and my sister Denise stole all the musical talent in the family, so by the time Child Number Seven rolled down the pike (that's me) (and I think referring to my mother's agony of childbirth as "rolling down the pike" is at least a venal sin) there just wasn't so much as a squeaky "C" note left for me. I like this theory, as it enables me to blame my family, which is always satisfying.

Another possibility is that I am very wrong about the existence of the Christian God, and He is smiting me for my blasphemy as a young boy. You see, I was standing in church, singing along to one of the hymns next to my brother Jimmy, who is one of the saintliest, nicest, most giving people in the world. He's really, really great, but let's just say that calling him "Tone deaf" is like claiming Helen Keller was "Visually Challenged". As I said, I was standing right next to him during the song while he was singing, and it just hit me like a Mack truck on the highway of life -- this was, arguably, the very worst rendition of a song I had ever heard. Anywhere. Granted I was only like twelve at the time, but when you're in the presence of an event of cosmic significance, you notice, no matter what your age.

So I did what any twelve year old boy would do -- I started laughing.

Apparently Rush DOES have a Ninth Album
You know what it's like, that uncontrollable urge to giggle in a completely inappropriate place. Maybe it was during a funeral, or at your wedding, but I bet it's happened at least once in church. I tried to stop it, honestly I did, but that only made it worse. I held one hand over my mouth and looked away, recited multiplication tables, pinched my leg, bit my lip, but it was like standing in front of a tsunami with a spaghetti strainer. I cracked up, the muffled guffaws ripping through my tightly clenched jaws and rendering a sound somewhere between an elephant seal's mating bellow and the excited squeals of a hunting weasel. (If you've never had the pleasure of hunting weasels, let me just tell you, it's quite the auditory extravaganza.)

He glanced over at me, and (exhibiting once again his almost Christ-like forbearance) simply said, "God gave me a croaker, I'm gonna croak!"

I might have zero musical ability, and my brother might be into negative numbers at this point, but he nailed the number one reason people make music and he exults in it -- to express joy, sorrow, hopes, dreams, all of the things that make life worth living.

Hmmm, maybe that's why bloggers write musical posts, come to think of it ...

Nah, they're definitely "Rolling Stone" wannabes. Now if I can just figure out a way to blame one of my other family members for that phenomenon too, I'll be in good shape.


Anonymous said...

Count me in hell with you for laughing at our singing-challenged relatives. When Dad used to stand on the front row singing at the top of his lungs after he found religion, I literally crawled underneath the pew. But, I didn't get the singing talent -- no sir. It passed right over me and Jimmy and landed right on Johnny. The man is gifted, both in song writing and in his vocal abilities. And it's never mentioned in any of the Bible readings I've ever looked at that Jesus could sing, so he could be a croaker, just like Jimmy, so don't worry about the smiting!! But.. talking about music on blogs and in newspaper columns is like looking at a wreck on the side of the road -- we can't help ourselves. For a different change of pace, visit the Web site of "Wrong Lyrics." You will laugh and laugh. But... my favorite is our wonderfully dear mother who, by the way, has the voice of an angel. Mom is good enough to sing professionally, but her interpretation of lyrics always cracks me up. Her best -- think of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." Mom's lyrics -- "Hold me closer, Tony Danza." Go ahead. Sing it out loud and laugh your head off! Rock and roll forever! -- Denise

Jeff Hebert said...

I always thought "Bad Boys Running Wild" (by AC/DC?) was "Fat Women in White". I sang it out loud on the bus one day in middle school, too. What a tool.

adam H said...

thanks for the props in this post. also, not only is that Rush's ninth album, but it's probably their best. :) i mean come on, it's got tom sawyer on it!

::cues up Tom Sawyer in itunes, starts air drumming::

p.s. Bad Boys Running Wild was a Scorpions tune

Anonymous said...

OK, if you are truly a nerd, you will know that moving pictures is technically the 10th album, though you have a case for saying it's the 9th, since number 7 was Archives - a collection of the 1st three.

One might also disregard the first (self-titled) album, because drummer/lyricist Neil Peart had not yet joined the band, and Geddy Lee's singing still closely resembled the sound of Robert Plant on helium and caffeine.

[/Rolling Stone-esque wanker reviewer commentary]

Church is the best/worst place to laugh. I've been hoisted by the back belt loop more times than I care to count thanks to church-laughter.

Rob (languishing in Indiana)