Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

"Nice day out, right?"

You plop down at the dining room table right across from a shirtless First Tuesday in August. He has been manufacturing silence, broken only by occasional sniffs, for about twenty minutes.

Your jocund observation causes his shoulders to wince. He presses his head further into his palms.

"It's not being nice to me," He says.

The two of you are quiet for a couple of minutes. You know that he is tired and ready to bite whatever hand that tries to feed him. You slurp your coffee with some caution.

After a moment, he reaches over and pats you on the forearm and pries himself from the chair. He pads off to the bathroom, and moments later you hear the spike of the shower turning on.

This is probably not the end of it, but at least he's abluting himself.

1989 was a strange, unsettled year for popular music. I always feel a little bad for the 9's of any decade - we crane our necks to see the dawn of a new era while the 9's dog paddle through weird musical stew.

In a way it can be a great thing. 1969 brought us Proud Mary, Build Me Up Buttercup, and Everyday People. 1979 introduced Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Heart of Glass, and The Logical Song (It also brought us the likes of MacArthur Park and Music Box Dancer, which I think serves to illustrate my point that in the decade ending musical grab bag, you get some fly KISS tee shirts, but you'll still get a some expired Sea Monkeys in the bargain.)

1989 was still trying to hose off the musk of Disco as it embraced the Bubble Gum Blitzkrieg of Debbie Gibson, Milli Vanilli & NKOTB. Hip Hop was just starting to make a break for the Top 40 with Tone Loc and Young M.C., while white hot hair bands like Warrant, Bon Jovi, and White Lion rocked the loins of juniors and seniors everywhere. And for about 20 minutes we O.D.-ed on Batdance.

In 1989, no one saw the Nirvana revolution coming. Alternative was still alternative and rarely did it touch the Billboard Hot 100.

There were a few gateway bands drifting about the perimeter. Bands like XTC or The Stone Roses offered up Alternative Pop Rock to a pre-Grunge audience who had grown weary of Enuff Z'Nuff.

In 1989, the Smithereens released the album 11 (yes...named for the Spinal Tap speakers). I was a sophomore in high school, and while I was an Angry Young Woman...I still wanted my rock to give me a love song or two. The Smithereens were more than happy to oblige. Most of their albums brimmed with hooky guitar based tunes of love lost and won. 11 was no different.

In 1989, A Girl Like You was released, offering the band its highest charting on the Hot 100, with 38. It's a fun song and it takes me back to the days when I wore hats for pleasure and dreamed of dating some brooding writer/actor/artist/lead-singer-of-a-band type.


S. E. Johnson said...

Of course you'd like this song, too. ;)

S. E. Johnson said...

And he's playing a Ric!

Anonymous said...

"Shadows and dust, Maximus!"

Anonymous said...

One good song deserves another.


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