Posts Tagged ‘Los Lobos’

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”!

I’ll never forget my teenage sister, Gayle, and her best friend, Debbie, singing Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” and making all the car horn noises. In the summer of 1979 there were critics who claimed that 16-year-old girls should not be singing songs about happy hookers, but it’s plain that the girls in “Bad Girls” are not happy. Anyway, I’m sure that by September, Gayle and Debbie were singing something else. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” probably.

Donna Summer had one of the best voices of her generation. She wasn’t in the same class as Buffy Sainte-Marie or Minnie Ripperton, but she was sexier than Buffy and had better material than Minnie. I wish she had done an album with Chrissie Hynde.

In that long-ago era I heard Donna Summer’s songs every time I went to a disco, but the song that remains with me pre-dates the entire movement: “I Feel Love.” All forms of synthesizer or computer-based dance music – electronica, trance, house, acid jazz, whatever you want to call it – descend from this song. This is my favorite music to write to! Rest in peace, Donna. Save the last trance for me.

Random Pick of the Week
Los Lobos, Kiko (1992)
Tex-Mex meets Pink Martini. Totally joyful.

Random Pan of the Week
Fun., Some Nights (2012)
I don’t understand why “We Are Young” is getting so much radio time. I haven’t heard anything this bad since Mitt Romney covered “Who Let the Dogs Out?” I also don’t get the surplus punctuation in their name. Do you call them “Fun Stop”? “Fun and Done?” “Fun Up to a Point”?

I give Some Nights an F. Period.

Random Run-DMSteve Reader of the Week
Judy Gould, whose ambition for many years was to jump out of a cake on The Edge’s birthday. When she was getting ready for an Aerosmith concert at the age of 56, she wrote, “I figure that as long as I remember that I can no longer wear fringe as an actual piece of clothing, I should be OK.” Judy is wearing a hospital gown rather than fringe at the moment, though she hasn’t lost her sense of humor. You pretty much have to have an indestructible sense of humor to be an Aerosmith fan. I know this is Journey and not Aerosmith, but don’t stop believin’, Judy.

In the summer of 1979 we danced to “I Feel Love,” possibly at a club that is now a pricey stack of condos. It might’ve been the night that Yaz hit his 400th homerun. If it wasn’t, it should’ve been.