A novel approach

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Miscellaneous, music
Tags: , , ,

I concluded ’70s Week with a list of my favorite songs and ’80s Week with a survey of women in rock, but ’90s Week is just over, period. This is not because I don’t like the music of the 1990s, because I do. But the ’90s was the first decade where I realized that I didn’t understand the trends in popular music. I don’t have the emotional investment in this decade, which I guess should be no surprise given that I was 34 when the ’90s began. I was old enough to have other things to obsess about.

There are many topics worth writing about in the ’90s (three that immediately suggest themselves are Whitney Houston, *NSYNC, and what happened to Bruce Springsteen), but they’re going to have to wait. Why? Because if I’m ever going to build momentum on my novel, I’m going to have to give up something. Wife? No. Job? No. Hygiene? See Wife. Blogs? Oh yeah, those.

Starting today, Run-DMSteve and The Nervous Breakdown have gone fishin’. If I make substantial progress on my book I’ll be back in 2013. Thank you all for reading along and commenting and correcting me and inflating my sense of self-worth. This is my 74th post since November 2010, a breakneck pace of 2.34 posts per month. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I mean that. You’re my soul and my hheaart’ss inspiration.

As George Washington said in his “Farewell to the Troops”: Farewell, troops!

Random ’90s Pick of the Day
Los Lobos, The Neighborhood (1990)
Not their best record, but totally endearing. “Be Still” is a great whistling song for a Saturday morning. The swaggering final track, “The Neighborhood,” is actually a sweet benediction:

Thank you Lord for another day
Help my brother along his way
And please
bring peace
to the neighborhood 

Random ’90s Toss-up of the Day
The Psychedelic Furs, World Outside (1991)
After 20 years I can’t decide whether I like it or I’m just used to it, which is a neat trick given that some of these songs make me feel like I’m trapped in a plastic bag. Maybe it’s the relief when they’re over. Maybe they’re really good. Maybe it’s a tunnel to my youth. Just don’t come to this record expecting anything like the Furs’ breakout ’80s hit, “Pretty in Pink”!

  1. Linda Jordan says:

    I’ll miss you, even though I didn’t comment much. The history of music – not my forte. I just turn on the local indie radio station and let ‘er rip.
    However, I am really, really glad you’re still writing – in whatever form it turns out to be. I too would like updates occasionally on how things are going!

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      The history of music is not the forte of many critics, including the ones who get paid to be critics. The fact that you’re listening to your local indie radio station counts the most.

      I’ll keep writing, and thank you so much. I’ll report back here as things go along…assuming they do go along…

  2. mikener says:

    P.S. – Eat Motel, man!

  3. mikener says:

    About freakin’ time! I’ve been patiently waiting two decades for a novel from you. I finally acquiesced to reading a music blog, just to hear the unique smithing of your words. Enjoy building your plots. Don’t let the lady of the house do all the work.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I suppose I should tell you to get a life, but what I should probably tell me is to get a clue!

      Thanks for your very kind words. I’m working on it, I promise.

  4. Tilda says:

    On this occasion, I am reminded of the following wise words from the Screaming Trees:

    This is for footsteps approaching the night
    They keep themselves moving and do what is right
    Now watch what you gather and hold in your hand
    Numbers are many, misunderstand

    Drink your wine away instead
    I will remember all that’s said
    Say farewell and close the door
    You’ll find me never more

    Whatever that means.

    Anyhoo, I will sure miss Run-DMSteve! Best of luck to you in all your projects, Steve. And give our best to Run-DMRedhead and MC CorgiBoy.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I was going to write about the music of Jay Ward, but since I don’t know when or if that might happen, I leave you instead with 122 words that will never die:

      When you find yourself in danger
      When you’re threatened by a stranger
      When it looks like you will take a lickin’
      (buk, buk, buk, buk)
      There is someone waiting
      Who will hurry up and rescue you
      just call for Super Chicken!
      (buk, ack!)
      Fred, if you’re afraid you’ll have to overlook it
      Well you knew the job was dangerous when you took it
      (buk, ack!)
      He will drink his super sauce
      And throw the bad guys for a loss
      And he will bring them in alive and kickin’
      (buk, buk, buk, buk)
      There is one thing you should learn
      When there is no one else to turn to
      Call for Super Chicken!
      (buk, buk, buk, buk)
      Caaaaall for Super Chicken!
      (buk, ack!)

  5. Darwin says:

    WRT: {Hygiene? See Wife. }

    What’s the acronym for “chuckling myself to death”?

    We’ll miss you RDMS, and yes the 90’s are difficult, at least for my generation. I know! UW’s marimba bands or their FKNG STELLAR JeKaJo afropop band. I think Los Lobos released their “Just Another Band from LA” compilation in the 90s?

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      Glad I made you laugh. That and making people gag are my two primary missions. (I gave up on making money from this thing.)

      Afropop. Another genre I know almost nothing about!

      According to the indefatigable Allmusic.com, Los Lobos used the title “Just Another Band from LA” twice. One in 1978 (their first release), then again in 1993 (the box set you remember). I don’t think of them as an ’80s band but they had four albums in the ’80s. I didn’t encounter them until The Neighborhood (1990). My favorite is the next one, Kiko (1992).

  6. Number 9 says:

    Run-DMSteve – Since yours is the only blog I read religiously, I will miss it (and the progress of Donovan Studies may be set back), but I’m really stoked about the novel thing.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      If I’m the head of my own religion, why aren’t I L. Ron Hubbard? Where’s my dough? And while I’m at it, where’s my jet pack? I don’t even have any sea monkeys.

      I didn’t realize they were making progress in Donovan Studies. That’s kinda scary.

      Thanks for your support. I’m going to try to work Alan Lomax into my book. I hope if I do you’ll force all your ethnomusicology friends to buy copies.

  7. MisterSeaside says:

    Farewell dear comrade/leader through the maze of musical wonderment. I offer up “How Can I Miss You if You Won’t Go Away?”….as a heart wrenched expression of my sense of loss. I truly will miss looking for your posts and the warm recognition on some of those rare and cherished occasions when I actually knew who and what you were talking about…..and was enabled to make some sort of coherent reply. Your experience is broad……the Great American Novel calls……Walt Whitman is waiting for you on the other shore of the Merrimack. I will wait, also!

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I can assure you that I only occasionally know who and what I am talking about. And I cherish those occasions. Thanks for your coherent replies, particularly when you wondered why you can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd!

  8. Deborah Wessell says:

    We’ll miss you, Run-DMSteve!

  9. Accused of Lurking says:

    Shane…come back…

    Thanks for the words, the order in which you put them, and the thoughts they expressed. You’ve caused me to revisit well-loved music of the past and sample music I never knew, only some of which made me gag. I am proud that your tag cloud prominently displays Bruce, and tickled that it includes The Bangles at all.

    Good luck with the novel and be sure to send out the link as soon as you finish it so I can download it, read it, and then buy five copies for my mother.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      If I’ve made even one reader gag, I know I’ve done my job.

      Caption on the cover of Rolling Stone the week they put Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show on it: “What’s-Their-Names Make the Cover”

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