Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 4-21-24

It really rankles and roils, riling me relentlessly, gets my goat and grinds my gears that a ghastly ghost greedily grabbed some of my greatest grooves, several superb sounds from my marvelous music menagerie, including The Cure’s Disintegration on vinyl, vanishing without a visible vestige. It’s a haunting hijacking that has me howling hauntingly, harboring hopes that horrific hoodlum returns my rightful recordings. Relievingly, I’ve retained Robert Smith’s resonant refrains on compact disc, considerably consoling my celestial lamentations.

The Cure’s Robert Smith was born on this date in 1959. Even if you don’t have the disease, we have The Cure on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 7-28-23

Devo’s “Whip It” was inspired by a magazine article about how to be a better wife. The song’s cowriter and bassist for the band, Gerald Casale, said he’d found that story in a 1962 issue of The Family Handyman and thought it was funny. He decided to write a song that parodied the idea of whipping your problems away. Casale also drew from communist propaganda posters and a 1973 novel by Thomas Pynchon called Gravity’s Rainbow, which mocks capitalist slogans with satirical limericks.He wrote lyrics that taken out of context sound like motivational clichés: When a good time turns around, you must whip it. Give the past a slip. Whip it into shape. Get straight. Go forward. Move ahead. And my personal favorite: Before the cream sits out too long, you must whip it.

Jerry Casale turns 75 today. A couple of Devo tracks, including their biggest hit, “Whip It,” are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 6-5-23

“Pretty In Pink,” The Psychedelic Furs’ 1981 song about a woman named Caroline who sleeps with different men who mock her for being so “loose,” became the title song to a 1986 movie scripted by John Hughes about a teenager named Andie who “must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.” I pulled that from IMDB, as I’ve never seen the movie. At the time of this movie’s release I had already seen two other movies based on Hughes scripts, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, both of which he also directed, and didn’t care much for either, the performances of Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall notwithstanding. (Make that three previous Hughes scripts. Looking at IMDB, I notice that he wrote Class Reunion, a movie I saw only because my dad was an investor in it. It wasn’t good.) I’ll give Hughes this – the music used in his films was, for the most part, winning. So while the song “Pretty In Pink” resembles the storyline of the movie Pretty In Pink as much as I resemble Janelle Monae, it is a good one.

The Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler turns 67 today. A couple of his bands songs are included on today’s playlist, including the original mix of “Pretty In Pink.”

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doggies + Pistols

John Lydon – Still Rotten?

doggies + Pistols
I don’t know what to make of John Lydon, formerly Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. I read that he is a firm believer in women’s rights. However, during a 2013 interview with a female television hostess he told her to shut up and not interrupt when a man is speaking. I read that he is a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage. However, in a 2012 interview with The New Yorker he said gay marriage is “stupid.” Back in 2001 on Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect program he said gay men want to be woman, lesbians are dark and terrible and mocked transgender folks. He claims to be fiercely opposed to racism. However, singer Kele Okereke, who is black and gay, claims that racist epithets were hurled at him when he tried to meet his then-idol Lydon following a 2008 performance at Barcelona’s Summercase festival.

Part of his saying such things may be to draw attention to himself. After all, who’s been paying attention to any of his musical output over the past couple of decades? That’s not a good reason, though. He has demonstrated his intelligence and thoughtfulness on many occasions. I get that he finds political correctness confining, but that doesn’t mean that being an asshole is the best alternative. Am I asking too much of a man who introduced himself to the world as Rotten?

Today Lydon turns 59. I’ll separate these twenty fine recordings from the jerk who sang on them.

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