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Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

Dear Musically Inclined Readers:

Last week’s trip to the karaoke bar made me really want a go-to karaoke song.

To be fair, it hasn’t been an urgent need. I’ve only participated in karaoke twice in my entire life.

The first time was at McDonough’s in Savannah. Some friends and I laughed our way through “Summer Nights.

The second time was in Japan at a neighborhood bar (aka some lady’s living room). The song was “American Pie.” You think you know that song until you try to sing it. (Go on. Give it a try.)

There’s a sweet spot for good karaoke songs.

It needs to be something like “Sweet Caroline” where there always will be audience participation.

But because I’m a very special snowflake, it can’t be something everyone sings (i.e., “Don’t Stop Believin’” or “Livin’ on a Prayer“).

And I cannot abide sad-sackery on a night out. No slow songs!

So what’s it going to be? “Ice Ice Baby” or “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)?” Should I channel Dee Snider or Cher?

What is your favorite song to sing or to hear in a karaoke bar? Tell me in the comments.

Thanks!
Beth

*In a metaphorical sense. I do not actually want to sing the blues. Shudder. Thanks, Billie!

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Dear Friends,

If you’ve spent any time at all reading this blog, you know how much I love all kinds of music. Well, almost all.

Two of you (Logan and Julia) wrote music-related Facebook posts recently.

I’ve done a take on the “10 albums” challenge, but this is different: These are songs that you associate with a time or a person.

Here are 15 songs indelibly linked to a certain someone.

“Tusk,” Fleetwood Mac and “Escape,” Rupert Holmes: These were the first two 45s I bought at my friend Michele’s suggestion. Solid choices.

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham: Michele again. We played tennis rackets and sang this at 2 in the morning during a sleepover. A videotape exists somewhere.

“9 to 5,” Dolly Parton: I dressed up as Dolly and performed this for a talent show at church. I think of my dad because he made me do it. I mean that in the very best way. I had not yet fully discovered my ham gene yet.

“Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton: At the church talent show the next year, I sang this while my dad played guitar. We were huge Dolly fans. Clearly.

“Beat My Guest,” Adam Ant: This is not a song that is appropriate for ninth graders, but there Julia and I were — titillated at the lyrics and salivating over Stuart.

“1999,” Prince: Julia again. See screenshot above.

“I Melt With You,” Modern English: High-school boyfriend Tom. It was “our” song.

“It Takes Two,” Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock: My Chi Omega sisters and I changed the words and sang this during Greek Week. I STILL remember most of our lyrics (“The situation that Delta Sig is in … “).

“No Sex,” Alex Chilton: Mike put this on a mix tape. I had never heard of Alex Chilton. Mind blown.

“Friday I’m in Love,” The Cure: Post-college boyfriend Rob. “Our” song because that’s what was playing when our friend Harry caught us kissing on the Malone’s steps. Oops.

“Mr. Vain,” Culture Beat: Eggy “watermelon” lipsynced to this while Sophia danced on a box for a music video Eddie had to do for a class. Alex debuted some dance moves. James too.

“I Swear,” John Michael Montgomery: Eddie and I danced to this for our first dance at our wedding.

“Si Tuvieras Tus Ojos,” Edgar Joel: This was on a Salsa Mix CD our friend Billy gave me. I’ll never forget him dancing to this. For a husky guy, he is shockingly graceful. (Billy, that is. I have no idea about Joel’s physique.)

“Take On Me,” a-ha: This is my song with Gideon. We sing it with gusto. Sometimes we can hit that high note. Sometimes not.

I feel like this is a Part 1 post. As soon as I put it up, I know I’ll think of others.

What are yours? Tell me in the comments.

Happy trip down memory lane!
Beth

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Dear Rick Springfield,

Thanks for the chat this week. It was … surreal to talk to you on the phone. It was even more surreal to say this to my family:

I have to turn on the ringer on my phone; I’m waiting for a call from Rick Springfield.

But these are the perks of being a freelance reporter.

Granted, my angle — your seething hordes of rabid female fans — is a little unusual.

You were bemused by my questions, I could tell. But I made you laugh, so that’s good.

Thanks for being gracious and humble. And a 71-year-old heartthrob who’s clearly still got it.

Why do I know this? Because I saw your fans in action at Chastain Park in Atlanta in August 2018.

This is you braving the crowd. I was impressed.

See you Friday night at the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Block Party!

Your fan,
Beth

*Yes, I took liberties with the song.

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Dear Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen,

One of your songs came on the radio, and I immediately changed the channel.

I mean no disrespect. I’m just not a fan.

I know, I know: I’m an American, so I’m supposed to love you and your music.

I don’t. I can live without hearing one of your songs ever again.

There is a whole list of singers/bands who fall into that category for me:

Bruce Hornsby and The Range
Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
The Grateful Dead
Chicago
Joe Cocker
Don Henley
The Cars
George Thorogood
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Steely Dan
The Eagles
The Doobie Brothers

It’s a theme I’ll call “Americana.”

But Cheap Trick? Boston? Blue Öyster Cult? Hell yes.

Look. Listen. I can’t explain my taste.

I can live without “folksy” folks too:

4 Non Blondes
Indigo Girls
Bob Dylan

Good LORD: I cannot STAND Bob Dylan.

I’m sorry. I feel guilty. I feel like I have to turn in my “American” card (which, by the way, I have been tempted to do by things other than music).

Keep on rocking, just not within my earshot.
Beth

 

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Dear Family,

Thanks for one particular Christmas gift:

I’ve never had a Chia Pet (though I always wanted one).

I love that my first one is a Chia Child.

But actually, as we know, his name really is Grogu Craig.**

Despite the fact that I read and followed the instructions — and even bought a plant mister — I could not get the damn seeds to sprout and keep growing.

I tried and failed twice.

I was determined that the third time would be the charm, so I soaked Craig a little longer — much to your dismay.

Look. Listen. It had to be done.

And you know what? It worked.

I’m disappointed that the seeds I put on his head didn’t sprout.

So y’all can get off my back.

I did what needed to be done. If you don’t have the stomach for it, look away.

But seriously, thanks for the gift that keeps on giving.

Love,
The Gardener

*Remember this commercial?

**We thought it would be hilarious if the Star Wars folks would have named him a regular dude name like Kevin. Or Craig.

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This is what he wrote while walking home from work.

Dear Parents of Teens:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.* Maybe you can relate.

If there is one thing my boys have been this week is a fantastic distraction from chaos in the Capitol.

Here are some vignettes that have amused me:

Dominic, lifting the lid of the pot on the stove: What’s this?
Me: Turkey chili.
Dominic: I’m using the slotted spoon so I don’t get as much liquid.
Me: Why? Use the ladle there against the side of the pot to drain it off.
Dominic: Too late.
Me: (loud sigh)
Dominic: I love you.

Me, eating too many chips a few days before I decided to begin my diet again: I’ve given up.
Gideon: Haven’t we all?

Dominic, listening to ’80s music that he has JUST DISCOVERED like he’s some kind of musical Magellan: You know that piña colada song?
Me: Of course.
Dominic: How do they not have trust issues afterward?

Me, hosing Gideon down with Lysol as we come in the door: OK. Now do me.
Gideon: OK
Me, slipping in the spray on the floor: (high-pitched yodel)
Gideon: So you turn into Michael Jackson when you nearly fall?

Dominic: Are they all back from Marshall’s?
Me: “All” who? It was just your father and Gideon.
Dominic: Gideon brought a posse into Publix. Three girls!
Me: What? I knew about two. Who’s the third?
Dominic: I don’t know.
Me: Are you jealous? Don’t you have a girl?
Dominic: Yes, I’m jealous. I’m all alone. [The girl] and I are on a break.

Dominic: Have you seen the home screen on Gideon’s new phone?
Me: No! What is it?
Dominic: His new girl.
Me, yelling down the hall to Gideon: I bought you that phone. Now let me peep that girl!
Dominic: (laughs like Muttley)

Me to our Alexa device outfitted with the Samuel L. Jackson voice: Hey Samuel, set a two-hour timer.
Samuel L. Jackson: Two hours, Motherf—er.
Gideon, from inside the bathroom: (laughs like Muttley)

Me, seeing Gideon has a bag of fruit: Why do you have that?
Gideon: Remember? [His girl’s name] and I have a picnic date.
Me: Oh right.
Gideon: She wants me to meet her mom. What do I say?
Me: Hello.

If you have stories to share — funny or not — please do.

Otherwise, I’ll be over here by myself, regretting my decision to do Dry January.

Yours in solidarity,
Beth

*Thanks, Chuck.

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Dear Santa:

Any other year, this SNL sketch really would have resonated with me.

But this year is different. All my whining bitching complaining gentle nudging finally paid off.

Eddie and the boys did something great for Mother’s Day AND my birthday.

Not only did I get a balloon and presents to open (this is a big deal), but Eddie also apparently was paying attention when I said this to Gideon:

When you get further along in your guitar lessons, I’ll start playing drums again. We’ll start a band.

Eddie got me a drum kit for my birthday.

He didn’t really knew how to set it up, but BY GOD HE TRIED!

😳

It’s great, but we live in an apartment. His rationale was that if the leaf blower guy can do his thing every day, so can I.

Yeah, no.

Now I am looking for studio space.

Still, it’s a thoughtful, fun gift. Hella impractical, but appreciated.

This year, I feel certain my family will come through for me on good Christmas gifts. So I’m going to ask for more altruistic things:

  1. COVID vaccines for normal people. (Certainly not for asshat politicians who spent months denying COVID, organizing super-spreader events and not wearing masks.)
  2. The ability to travel freely again.
  3. A peaceful transition of power.
  4. Jail time for the guilty.
  5. Control of the Senate. (Side benefit: Mitch sidelined.)

I hope that this list isn’t too hard to finagle. If anyone can do it, you can.

Thanks, Santa.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear Mr. Trump,

Americans have been making their choices in droves via early voting and absentee ballots.

Tuesday is Election Day (even though we may not have an answer that day).

I won’t be voting that day. Eddie and I chose the absentee route for two reasons:

  1. I believe scientists that the Coronavirus is real and not a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party. (I mean, REALLY? A U.S. party is going to get the whole world in on a hoax? To what end?)
  2. Hence, I want to limit potential exposure by not putting myself in close contact with people I don’t know.

I’ve had in-depth conversations with two long-time friends who support you. One was a rational, calm conversation where we agreed more than we disagreed. One was … not like that at all.

I understand your allure even less than I did in 2016.

And I am regularly amused/outraged/appalled at the emails I get from your campaign. (I’m on your list thanks to an event I attended.)

This is the article that examines presidential laziness.

Here’s my response to some slogans you and your supporters use.

“Make America Great Again”
I thought America was pretty great pre-2016.

“Keep America Great”
Sorry, but America is not great at the moment. I am NOT better off than I was four years ago. I’m middle class and paying WAY more taxes. The industry in which I work has been negatively affected by your xenophobic policies. And as someone who travels, I can tell you that America is an international embarrassment.

“Life begins at conception”
Fantastic! So that means you’ll protect women endangered by a pregnancy, the children after they are born, old people who might get COVID-19, poor people, immigrants and people on death row. Right? Pro-life means that you support all lives.

“My body, my choice”
This one makes my head explode as it has been co-opted for the anti-mask movement. If you want personal autonomy, great. I’m all for that. But you can’t pick and choose. (See above.)

“Drain the Swamp”
Eeesh. Washington, D.C., is now the swampiest swamp ever.

It should come as no surprise that I will not be voting for you. This is not to say I haven’t voted Republican in the past, and wouldn’t do so again if he/she were the right person.

But you are not the right person.

And the Republican Party is not the Republican Party of old. You know, the one that wanted a smaller government, fiscal responsibility, personal autonomy, etc.

I care about LBGTQIA rights, universal healthcare, eradicating systemic racism, reducing the deficit, upholding personal choice, maintaining separation of church and state — all those things that you are against.

So I’m not wishing you luck on Tuesday.

And I hope you’ll take McConnell and Graham with you.

Frigid regards,
Beth

 

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Dear Fred,

Thanks for tagging me in the “10 albums” challenge on Facebook. I don’t trust myself to remember to go on Facebook every day to post an album, so I’m going to just do it all at once here. And I’m going to break the rules again by adding commentary. I’m also adding parameters.

The following are the important albums of my “formative years.”

1. Shaun Cassidy, “Shaun Cassidy.” Shaun was my first celebrity crush. The garbage man was my first crush, according to my bemused mother. My mother made the mistake of telling me that Shaun was performing in Atlanta but that I was too young to go. I wept so hard my album (yes, I still have it) has watermarks from my extensive tears. Side story: I was singing “Da Doo Ron Ron” when I flipped over the handlebars of my bike and knocked out my front tooth.

2. Donny Osmond, “Donny Osmond Superstar.” My mother, God rest her soul, did not learn her lesson with Shaun. Once again, she told me he was performing in Atlanta, and, once again, I was deemed too young to go. Again, I wept. The cardboard album cover bears witness.

3. The Monkees, “The Monkees.” I watched the TV show in repeats on one of the three channels we got. Micky was my favorite, and we were supposed to get married. Perhaps he is the reason I have such a penchant for the rhythm section.

 

4. Duran Duran, “Girls on Film.” Getting cable — specifically MTV — changed my life. This began my habit of jonesing for Brits.

5. Adam Ant, “Friend or Foe.” Adam broke from his Ants to make the album that made him a household name. Though we recently broke up, I wish him well.

6. The Romantics, “In Heat.” I was in heaven when The Romantics toured with Adam as the opening act. This album also brought about one of my most painful memories. All my guy friends were into Rush and AC/DC. I suggested they listen to this, and gave one of them a cassette. A few days later, I got the cassette back — the innards in a pile on my desk. My “friends” were looking at me slyly to see my reaction. I felt my face begin to burn, and I left the classroom so they wouldn’t get the satisfaction of seeing me cry. These fellows have grown into lovely people, but I can’t erase this memory.

7. Van Halen, “1984.” Van Halen is only Van Halen if David Lee Roth is singing. Fight me. (I’ll DM you a Zoom link.)

8. Living Colour, “Vivid.” This was the first CD I bought. I played it and XTC’s “Oranges & Lemons” over and over on my five-disc CD player.

9. The Replacements, “Pleased to Meet Me.” The Placemats joined Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, Hüsker Dü, Butthole Surfers, Love Tractor, Dead Kennedys, Big Audio Dynamite, Black Flag and the Pixies on heavy rotation during this period. That reminds me …

10. The Pixies, “Doolittle.” I recently saw them in concert. Still amazing. I do miss Kim Deal, though.

There you have it, Fred: My walk down memory lane.

Thanks for the prompt!
Beth

 

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Black Flag performs in Hell at the Masquerade in Atlanta.

Dear Show-goers,

Auntie Beth is here to make sure you have a good time at a punk concert. Your favorite aunt went to see Black Flag this week, and noticed that some of you need some guidelines.

Lest you think Auntie Beth doesn’t know what she’s talking about, be assured AB is an OG.

Black Flag, Minutemen, Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen — she saw them all the first time around at Atlanta clubs 688 and the Metroplex. In fact, Auntie Beth remembers the Surfers setting fire to the Metroplex stage.

She knows a thing or two about mosh pits.

Here are some rules to follow to ensure a good time for all:

  • DO wear comfortable clothes, including shoes that can withstand stomping — yours and others. Auntie Beth was practically in her pajamas, but wore steel-toed boots.
  • DO dress for the crowd. Concert Ts from the band you are seeing and similar are fine. Auntie Beth saw bands such as The Cramps, Suicidal Tendencies and the Misfits proudly represented.
  • DO prepare for loud music and contact with other humans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pPrxGBSKtM

  • DO NOT go to the front if you don’t want to slamdance or be slamdanced on. Auntie Beth took her old ass straight to the balcony.

In this crowd is no place to be if you don’t want to be jostled and shoved.

Look how angry this girl is! She should have joined Auntie Beth in the balcony.

  • DO NOT throw punches. Look, the mosh pit is a place for folks to get out some aggression by flinging themselves at others. No need to get upset or start a fight. If you don’t like it, don’t go near it.
  • If you aren’t ready to crowd surf, DO participate by standing on the outer edge and pushing the “dancers” back in when they are flung out.
  • DO pick up your fallen comrades. It’s just the nice thing to do, plus you won’t trip over them.
  • DO take your children (and proper ear protection) to see bands that are important to you. Auntie Beth’s boys saw The Police when they were still in Pampers.

Some of you may disagree with Auntie Beth that it’s OK to bring kids to a concert. Of course it depends on the children and the concert, but Auntie Beth is a fan in general.

  • DO appreciate bands that start and end earlyish on a school night. Auntie Beth was home by 11. (That’s still past her bedtime, though. Look. Listen. She’s elderly and needs her beauty rest.)
  • DO support live music. It’s good for the bands, the venue, the economy, the arts and your soul. Think of it as community service!
  • Auntie Beth loves you and wants you to ROCK ON!

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