Saturday, January 9, 2010
HELP! PLEASE SEND ME YOUR SONG
You know, like the song says, "It ain't easy."
I've been looking for a song. One song. That ONE song, ya know?
These days everyone has an iPod with loads of tunes. All kinds of songs. And I happen to believe that this is the greatest thing to happen to pop music since the guitar pick. I mean it. Just ask any kid what's on his iPod and he'll answer, "Everything." And it is.
So, in an age where the choice of tunes doesn't have to be limited, everyone's playlists have become inclusive, extensive and eclectic. I love that. I mean, I believe in music.
There's a very talented singer named SERGIO VELLATTI, a young guy with a strong Sinatra/Buble sound who also has an interesting YouTube collection of great standards. Sergio lists among his favorites some very rare Frank Sinatra recordings, tracks that, up until recently, only Ol' Blue Eyes' biggest fans knew. And it's not uncommon for young musicians to list THE VELVET UNDERGROUND among their favorite bands, which is crazy, considering that back in the 60's that music was hard to find. But now, a click, and the once unfamiliar becomes an ordinary favorite. That's weird. I mean, What Goes On, ya know?
As the 00's (or whatever they were) ended, radio, television and magazines all chimed-in, logging the best songs of the past decade. The only list that mattered was Rolling Stone's as they are the only credible voice left in this gossip-filled world. But here's the thing: it's almost easy to name favorites when so much music is so easily available. RS limited theirs to the Top 50. Others listed the Best 100 albums ever. But that's too easy. Sometimes you have to go your own way, right?
My question is: Name one song.
You know the feeling- your family has gathered for the holidays and someone says, "Hey, put on some music." Great. Grandma is half-deaf and Grandpa hates rock. Mom's been missing Pop for serious so you gotta be careful not to play a song that will make her burst out in tears. You know your sister's favorite: BEN JELEN, but that may have more to do with hair and cheekbones. So, like that cool song asks, "Where do we go from here?"
There are certain songs that can go over okay with a disparate group of people, but most of those hits hit some as nostalgic and others as ironic. And there are several songs that are kitsch but that's just German for inferior, really. I'm looking for one great song. I know, one may be the loneliest number, but that's life. What one song has that very special ability to hit everyone in essentially the same way?
Now I really want your suggestions. This is important. But don't just send the song that you bang your boyfriend to, um, unless of course there's a video.
There's a guy who goes around to concerts and, at just the right moment, calls out a request. Every time, at any show, he makes the same single plea. "Play 'Free Bird'!" It's funny.
On 11-11, a friend who knows I'm crazy about JACKSON BROWNE, sent me a YouTube video of Free Bird being requested at a JB show. What's funny is that, while it is common for fans to call out for songs, there's no way Jackson can possibly fit all of his own top songs into one show let alone entertain the hits of LYNYRD SKYNYRD. What was REALLY FUNNY was that he did it, he sang 'Free Bird' in such a sensational way that everybody loved it, him.
When I was in school, I hosted a weekly radio show, produced by TONY ANZALDO. I had just kicked pop music keester on NBC's NAME THAT TUNE and had written lyrics to a semi-popular song my own self. And so, I took a job as a local 'live' DJ, playing music in the disco of a themed restaurant. Um, yes, I said 'disco.'
The thing is, I really didn't know what to play. The older folks (in for the early bird specials) competed with the younger couples on the dance floor while a good share of singles packed -in around the bar. What the hell do I play? RAY CHARLES is cool. Very cool. 'Smoke On The Water,' is harmless. Tedious but harmless. But what else? I would usually ask the leggy cocktail waitress what she wanted to hear and then, while that stupid song was playing, I'd go to the very cool bartender who didn't know shit about music but did know how to make a helluva drink. Every night, I'd approach the bar and he'd ask, "You want a Coke or not a Coke?" 'Not a Coke' was my favorite, and he and I'd get a snootful and/or, as the kids say, cronk on the regular. After three 'Not a Cokes' I'd be three sheets to the wind (or whatever) and then wouldn't sweat the selection, but I'm telling you- it is important. Oh, and I'm not drunk. I'm serious.
How about these:
(in no particular order, except alphabetical)
Born To Run
Every Breath You Take
Let's Get It On
Like A Rolling Stone
Mack The Knife
Stairway To Heaven
Take It Easy
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Like I said earlier: HELP!
What songs are missing? What song do you love? If you help me, I'm Yours, you know that, right?
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