Thursday, February 04, 2016

Music Death Spiral and Not Finding the Cure For What Ails Me

It's time for another music video post but I seem to have either run out of things I like or, in keeping with my general weariness of life, have ceased to like anything at all. The old familiar veins appear to have been mined clean, I have not hit on any new lodes in recent months that perk me up, and I am not hearing anything randomly or on the radio that is nudging me in new directions. The AM station I have been listening to in the car changed its format from Golden Oldies to political talk, which has left me with a plain old Oldies station which, besides having worse music, does not even have hourly syndicated news broadcasts or affable program hosts. This has been more of an ongoing cause for sourness with me than I might have realized. The differences between Oldies and Golden Oldies may appear minor, but "Golden Oldies" covers a much broader range of songs, from the crooners of the 50s to the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole to movie themes and showtunes as far back as Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman and Judy Garland and even mixing in some modern elevator music and versions of standards and other new releases by museum acts, while "Oldies" is restricted pretty much to top ten pop hits from the 60s. It would seem that the time would be ripe for me to begin a serious immersion in the real classic genres of music, Bach and untamed-period Louis Armstrong and all of those kind of people, but if I am going to write about them I need to connect with them in some way that is both meaningful with regard to what they really are and I don't think I am in the right mind frame to do this right now, I am too distracted, jittery, disorganized--I need a program for this serious music like I have for other serious things--to reach my aim.

I had not known that Pat Boone and Laurence Welk came together one night in 1961. I always kind of liked this song ("Moody River"--it evokes things about the texture of life at the time that I associate with my grandparents' houses, their neighborhoods, the books and furniture they had, that holds some pleasantness for me) though like "Love Letters in the Sand", I never realized the singer of the most familiar version was Pat Boone until I was well into adulthood. If I had caught this at a more intense and impressionable age when if I knew anything I knew that it was of vital importance to despise the music of Pat Boone, I think I would have taught myself to despise them, as I learned around the age of fourteen/fifteen that it was meet to despise Billy Joel's music, and found it easy enough, if not quite to hold the man and his fans in absolute contempt, to be indifferent to and unmanipulated by his efforts. It is very odd, but I am much more fascinated by Pat Boone than I ever was with the late David Bowie, who was clearly a man made to speak to other people. But with Boone there is just as much to marvel at in the perfect execution of supposed Caucasian inoffensiveness (though his existence has certainly always been plenty offensive to many), the clothes, the extreme state of clean cut-ness--his haircut and shave are so pointedly neat and unthreatening as to be almost belligerent. In these old clips too the sexual attraction that the girls and women feel for him seems to be genuine as well, the lesson of which is that if women are sheltered enough from real, pulsating sexuality, they will go for any surprisingly weak version of it that may offer itself...

Depeche Mode, "People are People". They've been playing this a lot lately both on the "80s on 8" and alternative/mew wave channel on satellite radio, I find the sound bearable, though the message of brotherhood and love, delivered with a perfect sneer, doesn't sound as if it is intended to include me. But I keep telling myself, it is I who am strong, who (undeservedly) has everything everybody else wants. who has all the power and backing of society, if I ever want to tap into it. They are hostile to me because they fear me, and my latent superpowers.

This was on in the supermarket the other day. I always liked this song, though it doesn't fit with any particular memories or times or experiences, and doesn't seem like it could fit with any such things, it is a song that evokes an eternal waiting for something to happen, in which nothing ever does or could happen.

Failure to produce art is a failure at living and understanding life and being human, one kind of failure among myriad others, but a significant one insomuch that it is a failure that collectively weakens and diminishes the surrounding culture.

I had run out of Lennon Sisters videos, and hadn't found anybody else who could cheer me up in quite the same way, but then I came across this. It is not a secret than many of the cuter girls you will meet are at bottom rather corny. I don't mind it obviously though the corny types don't usually go much for me, as they prefer someone more demonstrably masculine in all ways. It is not like there is a type that consistently goes for me as it is, but most of the women who seem inclined to at least put up with me (and are not insane) seem to be pretty matter of fact, self-directed, witty, do not need to be constantly entertained and excited, etc.

I was tagged on Facebook a few weeks back to write 25 things about myself. Being a narcissist and luster after attention of course I was interested in doing it, rationalizing the undertaking by saying it was a good exercise, but I don't really have time to do it there (the thing would take several hours to write and you don't seem to be able to save posts in progress), and the nature of that space makes me wary--the majority of the people who seem to read and comment on everything I write there tend to be the people I am least interested in letting in on my secrets, and they are never the people I am thinking of when I am considered whether to put something up. But this is such a private space--I think my last comment was in 2012--that I am considering maybe doing it here, for as far as I know, the people who read this blog are not the people I am trying to avoid on Facebook, though you never know I guess. I'm not sure if there are 25 things about me that anybody who reads this would not know or have guessed already however.

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