Diversity Training: Music Edition Vol. II ctd.

11 Jul
sometimes a man just wants to feel pretty

sometimes a man just wants to feel pretty

Before I get started I feel like I should also update people on my Lost experience. Since writing that earlier post, I’ve watched two more episodes. I’m not sure how I feel about the show. Also, why do these people have so many issues? There isn’t one person on the plane who is like, “Yeah, I’m from the suburbs. My parents love me, I have good friends, my cholesterol is within the normal range—I’m fine!” Instead, they all have unresolved issues and emotional problems.
Ok, now on to important things:

So I never posted the second half of our “guilty pleasures” music post. I don’t have an excuse; I’m just a bad person who deserves to be ridiculed.

In case you forgot, Drew and I had exchanged our guilty pleasure songs: songs that we love but are kind of embarrassed to admit that we love. The first half of our exchange can be found here. The second half is below:

LeTigre2Claire’s pick: Le Tigre – “Deceptacon
Drew’s response: Wow… Um… I think I might have to just wait for your take on this track because I’m just spinning my wheels here. This sounds like Toni Basil’s “Mickey” on Red Bull and whatever the kids are stealing from the medicine cabinets these days. My let down on this song is that I was expecting more given the title of it. The Decepticons are some bad-ass robots from The Transformers, and an even badder-ass True School NYC crew started in the ‘80s in Brooklyn. This song does nothing for furthering the Decepticon/Deceptacon name or franchise, but I look forward to your take.
Claire’s explanation: Le Tigre is an all-girl dance-punk band fronted by Kathleen Hannah, the former lead singer of Bikini Kill. I saw them in Nashville once and they put on one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. They had a bull horn and a giant overhead projector and they did these ridiculous dance moves and cheerleading routines while rocking the electro-keyboard and drums. I really like them and listen them from time to time, usually on a Saturday night before I go out. Because they’re angry, sexually ambiguous women with feminist messages in their songs (one of them can grow a mustache!) they have a lot of hipster cred. But they don’t actually DO much except for dance around on stage and sing-shout in high pitched voices. I wouldn’t call them good music, they’re just fun and peppy and I like that. I don’t play Le Tigre when I’m around other people because I’m pretty sure it will irritate them. That’s why it’s on the guilty pleasure list. I don’t care though. Sometimes it’s nice to have female music that’s not about being in love.

harrynilssonDrew’s pick: Harry Nilsson – “Everybody’s Talking

Claire’s response: Harry Nilsson is a tricky one. John Lennon called him one of his favorite musicians, he was (I think?) the first outside act signed to the Beatles’ Apple Corps. record label, and he wrote “One,” which is one of the better pop songs out there. But Three Dog Night’s version of “One” is better than Nilsson’s. So is Aimee Mann’s. And Sinead O’Connor one-ups him on his song, “I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City.” When another artist can out-perform the song you wrote yourself, well, you have a problem. And I’m sorry, but “Coconut” is just ridiculous. So although Harry Nilsson is everything that I should like (melodic, catchy, from the 60s, friends with the Beatles), I’ve never gotten into him. That said, “Everybody’s Talking” is his best song—and he didn’t even write it.
Sidenote: German and I have been arguing about the Beatles for a while now. He finds them to be light, fluffy and bland whereas I think he’s a crazy foreigner who listens to too much roots music. But when I hear Harry Nilsson, I can almost see his point. Nilsson sounds a little Beatle-esque but he is way too fluffy for me. I guess I can see where Thomas is coming from, but he’s still wrong.
Drew’s explanation: I don’t know where it started with me and this song but I love this record. For the most part it was played on one of those whimsical soft rock LITE-FM joints that made you endure a lot of Kenny G and Michael Bolton with the hopes this would come on. This song is also one of the early songs of “Andy” (aka the 5’3” white dude that lives inside of me). My grad school friend and drinking buddy Jen and I would go to this dive bar called Arena’s in Philly. They had dollar beer nights on Wednesday, and Stephanie the bartender (whom I was in love with) would give me $5 to fill the jukebox. After picking some R&B classics, I’d drift in to this end of the musical pool and I would get these quizzical looks from the patrons who couldn’t believe I picked these songs. Jen remarked, “Jeez Drew, what do you have a little white guy named ‘Andy’ trapped in there?” From there the “Andy Genre” and “Everybody’s Talkin’” have gained a permanent place in all that’s Drew.

billy-joelClaire’s pick: Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start The Fire
Drew’s response: As a Long Islander, I think your residency requires you to have a favorite song from our native son. Mine are “NY State of Mind,” “Just the Way You Are,” and “Uptown Girl.” Ayou can see “We Didn’t Start The Fire” didn’t make it. However this song brought back good memories of high school. My 11th grade American History teacher Mr. Fiedler used this song and video as a lesson in modern American history, and enlightened me on what this song covers. It’s more than just a name check of random stuff. I appreciated the sentiment of this song that,“Look we weren’t the people that originally effed up this place, but we’re not helping it either.”
Sidenote: Mr. Fiedler was one of the coolest teachers I ever had. He had this sharp wit, and comedic timing where he could go snap for snap (read: trading comedic insults) with the greatest derelict comedians that walked the halls of Westbury High School. Shout out to Mike Fielder wherever you’re at…
Claire’s explanation: This song doesn’t really belong on my “guilty pleasures” list. I don’t listen to it much, it just happens to be the one Billy Joel song that I can tolerate. I included it in this list because there was a brief period during early 2008 when I listened to it for like a week straight and I had a funny story to go along with that, but then the other weekend I threw my car keys at the other person involved in that story and said I never wanted to see him again, so now I don’t want to tell it.
Billy Joel has a knack for reducing entire political/cultural sagas into three-word phrases. “Space Monkey Mafia” and “British Politician Sex” are my two favorites, especially the latter one because when you say it, it sounds like you’re just acknowledging that British politicians sometimes have sex.
I can’t believe he worked the phrase “Children of Thalidomide” into a pop song.

taylor daneDrew’s pick: Taylor Dane – “Tell it To My Heart
Claire’s response: Oh my god, this is amazing. This explains why you freaked out when Taylor Dane appeared on VH1’s I Love the Millenium the other day. I am only vaguely aware of this song—my babysitter used to bring over her cassette tapes and I think this was one of them. We’d dance around in my living room and then we’d order pizza. I have a very good mental image of you singing this as you try on different outfits and decide which one to wear. Oh, and the video reminds me of a sexed-up version of the Clarissa Explains It All intro.

Drew’s explanation: You gave me one Long Island singer in Billy Joel, I had to hit you back with Baldwin HS & Nassau Community College’s own Leslie Wunderman p/k/a Taylor Dayne. You have to understand the time and place. Hip-Hop wasn’t the full-blown house rockin’ music that it is now, and in LI you had a lot of cats who still rocked this heavy synth, dance music termed “Freestyle”. Taylor came late to the table on this genre but the song still had its place amongst dance fans and Guidos cruising “The Pike”. I can’t front, I was in my full hip-hop swag at the time this song came out, so a lot of these dance records of this time are true guilty pleasures of mine. Especially when you’re my size – strutting around on some instant choreography to this stuff really didn’t cut it

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8 Responses to “Diversity Training: Music Edition Vol. II ctd.”

  1. Marc July 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    You know Drew, the irony of your alter ego is that I actually have a short, white friend named Andy. And he listens to Ghostface, People Under the Stairs, Majik Most, etc. Apparently you’re trapped inside of him.

    That last video has maybe the most tragically ludicrous and ludicrously tragic backup dancing I’ve ever seen. Well played preme, well played indeed.

    • Drewpreme July 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

      Thanks Marc!

      So its Drew trapped inside an Andy who’s and Andy trapped inside a Drew? What a conundrum…

      Side note: Who knew that Harry Nilsson was such a regarded musician (Well besides Claire.) I just know I love song… Along with Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Naturally” which was very close to being submitted for this write-up…

  2. Molly July 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Ryan started the fire!

  3. Chris Hansen July 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Drew Im Chris Hansen from Datelines To Catch a Predator…

  4. Sookie July 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Gilbert O’Sullivans Naturally >>>Harry Nillson

    • Sookie July 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

      although Nilsson did provide me with your ringtone of over 2 years running so its hard to hate on that

    • Drewpreme July 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

      “Naturally” is my shillz-nillz. Even spawed the St. Pats nickname of “Drewbert O’Sullivan”.

      Props on Nilsson being my ring tone. You know me too well. (non homeux)

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