I don't know why, but sometimes listening to oldies ('50s and '60s) is like eating comfort food. While dressed in your most comfortable at-home schlub clothes. And snuggling with your (spouse/baby/pet/pillow/all of the above).
Whether it's any Beach Boys tune, Brit Invasion chart-topper, or jukebox fave, there's just something about that sound that makes me want to sing along, dance or cry. Take The Tokens' immortal and endlessly covered "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". You will sing along. You will start dancing when the lead singer wails "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....aweeeamummawayyyy!!" And you will cry because popular music today doesn't deserve to be called music. Forget Katie Perry - if you want songs about California, listen to the Beach Boys. "Tell the teacher we're surfin', surfin' USA!!!" I listened to Herman's Hermits earlier this week. They have such an odd sound; it's quirky, but it gets in your head. You know you're singing " I'm 'er eighth old man, I'm 'Enery, 'Enery the Eighth I AM!!" Who would dare write (let alone try to market) a super-repetitive song about a four-centuries dead king? Or a song sung in high falsetto about a jungle animal? (I still don't really know what that's all about.) A surfing song would maybe pass muster in this day and age (see Ms. Perry), but still. What is it about these songs that moves people? Why are they still, to a certain degree, popular, even among those who weren't even born when they were first released? Why does music stir us so? Why can we at times communicate through music better than we can verbally? Well, I wonder, wonder, who...who wrote the book of love? (Shameless Gary Larson rip-off)
Don't answer the questions. Just listen. And sing. And dance. And be happy, for the lion sleeps tonight.
Now that it's July, a round-up of what happened to me in June (in no particular order, and not trying to put everything in):
1) Last Saturday, went to a soccer bar (they advertise themselves as one) in St. Louis. U.S. versus Ghana. NEVER been in a bar/restaurant that packed. It was hotter inside than out - and the heat index Saturday afternoon was over 100F. Craziness reigned when Landon Donovan scored America's only goal. When the game ended, gloom sobered everyone up (except the three of us in the place who were already sober). It was fun while it lasted, though - the R rating worthy (and totally nationalistic) chants that were constantly yelled. "F---in' AMERICA!! F-- YEAH!!!" Stuff like that. Oh, and the song "When The Saints Go Marching In" being sung with the word "saints" being replaced with "Yanks". I can watch the sport, but I'm more of an America fan than futbol.
2) Went to a performance of Wicked at the Fabulous Fox. I had seen the show once before, but never been to the theater. These musical theater people - they blow me away. The real talent they have, and the fact they do it, oh around eight times a week for months on end, just proves that there is real talent in this country. Just don't look for it on TV. I was amazed to see how many different (and great) performances have been presented at the Fox. Definitely glad I went. Now I can say I've been there!
3) Before Wicked, there was dinner at Blueberry Hill (the restaurant). I was lucky to avoid a lightning (Ning-Ning!) strike, as I inadvertently stepped on Stan Musial's star on the sidewalk. The baseball gods were forgiving.
Well, that's the interesting stuff. Have a great Independence Day weekend! Say a prayer for our men and women in uniform, both current and retired. Remember why we celebrate this holiday, and remember those who died defending our freedom.
Quoting an unknown patron at the bar after the American goal: