A very special Run-DMSteve Thanksgiving

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Miscellaneous, music
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today I give thanks for one of the many blessings in my life: My loyal readers!

40Rawk is an expert in the music of the 1980s (“I love Psychedelic Furs – as long as no animals are hurt in the process”). 40Rawk and I once had an email conversation in ’80s song titles. When I said I should put at least some of this in my blog, she replied, “The West End Girls would love it. They would have a Black Celebration for sure. But no trashy Girls on Film better show up. Everybody Wants to Rule the World these days.”

After reading my inaugural post, on Lady Gaga, 40Rawk commented:

“And, yes, the best part of the show was when she was fired from beneath the stage like a rocket and landed on her feet like it was nothin’ – oh, yeah, I jump out of bed every morning like that to come to work….I run on the treadmill to Telephone. I’m cool.”

I worked with 50% of the duo who masquerade as CowboyandVampire. Clark, my former co-worker, is an original thinker. He can’t remember if it’s nihilism or sex that sells. His wife reports: “Clark might actually have a clinical diagnosis of Pink Floyd Syndrome. One thing’s for sure: he’s got a little black book to keep his poems in.”

Another former Run-DMSteve co-worker, Orin, is not shy about his love for the ’70s: “I say if you love ABBA, Carpenters, Boney M, Barry Manilow, Nancy Sinatra, embrace it!!!” He is sick of hearing the same song by Yes (“Roundabout”) on local radio and suggests we switch to community radio or listen via satellite.

Mister Seaside had some simple advice for me after I tried to define hippie music: “Take some acid and try it again.” He also wrote, “So you ‘don’t like Knopfler’s voice.’ Next you’ll be writing that Bobby Dylan can’t sing and never could!!!” And I did!

La Société des Monstres has used my blog to overcome some childhood issues, as when she told off her brother: “Yeah, whatever Falco lover!” She found ’70s Week here at Run-DMSteve to be particularly cathartic: “I’m definitely one of the moons willing to orbit the ABBA epicenter.The following mini-memoir deserves all the space I’m giving it:

“Side note #1: My mom took me to see SNF in the theater! I was seven. When calling the theater beforehand to see why it was rated R she was told it was just some bad language. Thinking that I’d already heard all I was ever going to hear in that department through the paternal lips, she took me. I was taking ballet and I loved to dance and that’s why she took me. Little did she know that SNF is actually one of the most depressing movies in the universe and that through it I would have my very first exposure to suicide and birth control pills (she told me they were cough drops.)”

“Side note #2: I loved the movie however and I had a tape of it that I listened to in our Jeep Wagoneer’s tape deck—I remember it so clearly, even down to the blurry printing on the cassette— that it finally wore out. My parents had NO intention of replacing it, I can tell you. I don’t know how my dad—who is blind and therefore had no visual escape and was a devoté of Beethoven—stood the disco version of Beethoven’s fifth on side 2. I told you I am the musical outcast in my family, but considering how fastidious they were musically, my folks were awfully tolerant of that tape….Barry Gibb in the Stayin’ Alive video looks like Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes.”

Barb and I crossed paths at several Seattle clubs in the early ’80s without actually meeting. Like me, Barb went to a Talking Heads concert on the Stop Making Sense tour:

“I was there at the Seattle show, over on the left about a third of the way back. Can you see me? I’m one of the endless supply of smart, inexperienced white girls with a bachelor’s degree, wearing ripped jeans and tee and way too much eyeliner. You’re right, Talking Heads was like high class porn. The band turned on my mind but did not give me the booty groovin soul experience that James Brown did that same year. Now *that* show was an education!”

Barb would get along famously with MisterSeaside:

“I have many formative memories of separating stems and seeds on my beat-up Dark Side of the Moon album cover. Of cupping my ears into my dad’s ear muffler sized headphones and zoning in the barcalounger while the helicopter of sound zips from one side of my skull to the other. Of going down to the dorm’s basement laundromat and discovering someone stole my Wish You Were Here t-shirt right out of the machine. Of wistfully deciding not to buy the CDs after all — my Pink Floyd experience needs the warm scratchiness of vinyl, the pause before flipping the B side.”

Laurel (who is also Number 9) is not shy about her opinions (“Donovan forever!”). She took exception to what I wrote about Queen: “Hipper than the Grateful Dead? Dude!”

“I have a lot to learn from Run-DMSteve in ’80s Week since my ’80s music appears to have happened on another planet,” she wrote, but accused me of inventing A Flock of Seagulls. If only.

Laurel provided a needed correction to my post on the Messiah: “Bach died in 1750, but who’s counting? I think he would’ve liked The Slits, but not Screaming Trees. He was kind of a romantic.”

Accused of Lurking occupies a special place in the Run-DMSteve chronicles, because he is our most prolific commenter. About America and their ballads he wrote that in his youth, “The lyrics seemed deep and wise and they spoke of longing and experience. Today, reading the lyrics from those songs, I am completely appalled.” And speaking of being appalled: “ ‘Friday’ [by Rebecca Black] is indeed the worst song ever recorded, which is saying a lot for a universe that also includes the song ‘Billy Don’t Be A Hero.’ ”

Accused has offered many trenchant analyses of what goes on in this blog. Here’s one, from my post about local band Red Fang and their video for “Prehistoric Dog”:

“For my money, a music video can never have too many beer cans, be they full, empty, crushed, or tin-snipped apart then spot-welded together to form armor. Of course, this video does come excruciatingly close to having too many beer cans. On second thought, this video crosses the line, re-crosses the line, and then turns the line into a Mobius strip. I would prefer to see the earlier, unreleased version of the video in which the band drank beer from long-neck glass bottles instead of cans.

“For those who are not beer can fans, I would recommend listening to the video while watching the Caps Lock on your keyboard. The song is pretty good once you rise above the distraction of the visuals.

“This music video contains the best spoken dialogue line ever: ‘Totally OOC, Dude.’ ”

Last but never least is Special D, who has inspired me numerous times. The girl has a gift for defining a band or an artist in one sentence:

About AC/DC: “They’re really annoying if you’re not drunk.” Should be a warning on their album covers.

About Coldplay: “I wouldn’t know them from a hole in the garden.” Coldplay probably belongs in a hole in the garden, but they’re so nice that if you needed help, they’d come over and dig all the holes you wanted.

About Frank Sinatra: “He sings like an adult who has had sex.” I’ve been looking for a way to write about Sinatra. This is it.

I’ve had many more comments from many more people, and I’m grateful. “Life’s been so good to me,” is the first line of Oingo Boingo’s “Gratitude.” That song is actually about the singer’s former girlfriend, who was a total bitch, so I’ll stop with the first line. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and I hope to keep you entertained as Run-DMSteve plunges into Year 2!

  1. MisterSeaside says:

    Bob Dylan can sing. Robert Zimmerman can sing. Bobby D. can sing. Renaldo (and Clara) can sing. Some don’t have the ears to hear. (Mr. Spock can’t sing….regardless of the quality of his ears, though he would probably opine that “Bob Dylan can sing”). Beat any dead horses lately?

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      My dear MisterSeaside: I would’ve approved your comment earlier, but it was trapped in my spam filter along with all the junk email about learning to sing, taking pills that can help you sing all night, Nigerian singing scams, barely legal singers, etc. While I must disagree with you about Mr. Dylan, I definitely agree with you about Mr. Spock. I appreciate your mention of Dylan’s 1978 four-hour epic, Renaldo and Clara. I drove to NYC in a rusty Ford Maverick with five other people to see the premiere. I remember freezing in the line outside the theater and falling asleep several times during the picture. Whenever I woke up, it was still playing! The concert footage was excellent. T-Bone Burnett is in this movie, though he doesn’t perform, if you can figure that out. I am the first person to credit Dylan as an innovator. He is one of the biggest influences on popular music since the invention of the electric guitar. But he can’t carry a tune in a New Seasons recyclable shopping bag.

  2. It’s worth pointing out that, after seeing his name mentioned directly on your site, Clark is about 30% more insufferable. Which, as you know, bastardizes the laws of physics. Keep up the good (snarky) work.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I find it difficult to believe that Clark is more insufferable than the sweet transvestite — I mean, sour curmudgeon I worked with. Sorry, sometimes my inner Dr. Frank-N-Furter escapes. Clark is kind of a creature of the night, though.

  3. Number 9 says:

    Run-DMSteve – year #1 was fab, gear even, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. And I’m not just saying that because you quoted my lame comments. Not only are you brilliant, but you have attracted some really brilliant reader/responders – I’ve re-read Barb’s description of her Pink Floyd experience a few dozen times and it always kills me.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      Your comments are not lame. It’s my loyal readers who keep me going! I should probably buy Barb a new “Wish You Were Here” T-shirt…Nah!

      BTW, Number 9, yours was my 250th comment.

      • Barb says:

        Thank you for thinking of me, Number 9…Number 9…Number 9…. and congrats on being the 250th commentator! That definitely deserves a t-shirt. I’d give you mine but someone stole it and Steve won’t get me a new one. And that, my friends, is why I now look like I have successfully disappeared into suburbia. But it doesn’t matter whether I still look the part. Pink Floyd, The Doors, Dead Kennedys, Gang of Four, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, and OMG Billy Idol are still on my playlist! And a thank you to my son who has introduced me to Faithless, Zero 7, Nine Inch Nails, Lansing Dreiden, etc. etc….

      • Run-DMSteve says:

        OMG. Billy Idol?

      • Barb says:

        Oh yeah baby! I can’t think of anyone else (besides Marvin Gaye, of course) who can combine style, sex, and gospel all in the same song the way Billy Idol does “To Be a Lover.” Have mercy!

  4. Accused of Lurking says:

    “Plunge” is one of those words that conjures competing images:
    –A Felliniesque cast of geriatric bathers jumping into an ice cold lake; and
    –Freeing a clogged toilet.
    In context, I believe both may apply here.

    BTW, I thank you for thanking me and look forward to more posts about The New Christy Minstrels in Year 2. Rock on, Run-DMSteve!

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I thank you for thanking me for thanking you, but forget The New Christy Minstrels. You are more likely to see a post about The New Main Street Singers. “Never did no wanderin’ after all…”

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