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MusicalmusingsI’ve mentioned here before that I have a Journalism degree.

Yeah. In high school I thought it would be AMAZING to be a journalist.

But, upon reflection – and with the AWESOME POWER OF HINDSIGHT – I realize I mostly just enjoyed writing and, well, am super nosy.

Which should have worked for journalism! But I hated that my assignments depended on people calling me back. Which made me realize I’d likely hate my job depending on the same.

So there went journalism as a career.

That said, I learnt stuff in j-skool.

And so now that we’ve arrived at W in our Musical A to Z, Blythe and I thought we’d use this here vehicle to cover some of the journalism basics. The five Ws: Who; What; When; Where; and, Why … in song.

1. Who Are You?The Who (1978)

Any CSI fans in the house? I certainly am, which means I now forever associate this song with the TV show. Maybe it’s the “need to know” journalist inside, but I love crime shows and their speedy, efficient “here’s who done it” all sorted and reported in the hour. For any hard care fans of The Who the The House, here’s a link to the full video. It’s well worth a watch.

2. So What’cha Want? – The Beastie Boys (1992)

I’m not sure where to start with my love of The Beastie Boys. I was late to the game but own Licenced to Ill on tape, so figure that has to give me at least some cred.

As for making them a 5W Q pick, well, I love that they fact check. See here:

I said where’d you get your information from huh?

You think that you can front when revelation comes.

Yeah.

You can’t front on that.

Of course, I was also part of the beach lifeguard team who once ran around pretending torpedo buoys were “heat” calling out “Sauvetage!” like we was brilliant. So I encourage you to take any Beastie Boy deep thoughts from me with a grain of salt (or sand, as it were).

3. When Will the Bass Drop?The Lonely Island featuring Lil Jon (Saturday Night Live) (2014)

I have to admit, I was stuck for a “When” song, so I typed “When will” into YouTube (because that would prompt a question song as opposed to “When I Grow Up” etc…)and this popped up.

I haven’t watched SNL for years and am unfamiliar with EDM (more on that in a minute), but know The Lonely Island and have vaguely referenced them before, so got that this was supposed to be funny, but sort of felt like a 12-year-old reading a book where I was supposed to get a literary reference from a book everyone but me had read.

So the journalism grad in me GOOGLED!

First thing I got? DJ Steve Aoki’s response to the SNL skit. All about “raking EDM culture over the coals.” So after watching that for 3:14, and still being a bit confused – like I’d entered a conversation I was supposed to be following mid-way, I then went and Googled “EDM”. …Which, I discovered stands for “Electronic Dance Music”.

Ahhh.

Check out that practical employment of my undergrad arts degree!

So EDM. I don’t follow it; I enjoy dance music; my husband use to rave and we have a collection of earlier electronic “stuff” at home which, well, I like, but unless you’re dancing I get how it can all sound rather repetitive, so I get why this might be mock-able as a genre. Particularly if the only question ever to be answered is, indeed, if the bass will ever drop?

4. Where Have all the Cowboys Gone? – Paula Cole (1997)

So until doing this post, I remembered this song as a sort of sexy, soulful, wistful song from the late ’90s.

I will do the laundry

If you pay all the bills

Where is my John Wayne

Where is my prairie son

Where is my happy ending

Where have all the cowboys gone

I’ve also been happily blogging for a year and a half in what I have increasingly discovered to be a wonderfully constructive and compassionate online community, which has perhaps let me forget the Internet can also be ugly.

If you’d like to remain in my happy online bubble, I suggest you don’t visit the YouTube comments on this video. However, if you are looking for some opinionated anti-feminist analysis of her query? That would be the place to go.

I will wash the dishes

While you go have a beer

Where is my John Wayne

Where is my prairie son

Where is my happy ending

Where have all the cowboys gone

As for me, if I think on her lyrics, I think she’s singing about dissatisfaction with where she ended up in her life. And while we could chat about how she signed up for it and should have known and so should adapt and deal, or maybe discuss Cinderella Complex, honestly, who couldn’t use a spot of wistful rescue fantasy when life is getting them down? Any person who has ever held up their end of a deal but didn’t get what they felt was promised in return can understand the frustrations sung in this song.

5. (Why do you) Build Me Up Buttercup? – The Foundations (1968)

I’d like to tell you there is a deeper meaning to my picking this song other than having always loved it. There isn’t. It always makes me smile. Always makes me want to shimmy. Or at least shrug my shoulders in some sort of chair dance groove.

Heck. Before putting my girls to bed tonight I pumped it up and we dance partied to it around the living room. Twice. There was spins and twirls and Dirty Dancing-style lifts and, well, much merriment.

dirtydancing

Just not a field. And no running start. Because our living room is, like, not field size.

Getting back to the song, it asks one of the important questions of the heart for those questing for love: Why do people lead each other on? To make ourselves feel better, I’d propose. I’m so glad to be married and no longer dealing with that shit.

So that brings us to the end of our 5 Ws. There is, of course, the forever add-on to the W question list: How. So I’ll leave you with a bonus track from Whitney tonight. This is forever on my IPod. The formative years have a way of bonding you to music like that.

How Will I Know? Whitney Houston (1985)

What About You? What are the songs out there that help you answer life’s questions?

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