It’s one more random than 10!
I had a fun lesson in parenting this week. The Lovely Becky and I are trying to get tougher about not letting Libby throw a fit when she doesn’t get her way. This actually does not happen very much, but it does occur and we figure we should nip this in the bud before leniency on having another candy cane at bedtime leads to her having a meth addiction by age fourteen (welcome to things that keep me up at night).
Libby is really good about going out in public. We are fortunate that she rarely loses her shit when other people are watching. It’s usually only in private that she pulls her Baby Joan Crawford act with us (NO COLD BOBBAS! [what we call her sippy cups of milk]). The other night we were going to go out to eat, but Libby started being crabby and arguing about putting her shoes on. We gave it a couple minutes and finally said that was it, no going out to eat. She got very upset and earned a time out, but we stuck with that threat. Eventually she settled down and all was right in the TLBrando household again.
The next night, we decided to go out to eat since we were also denied the night before. Everything was fine, but in the car Libby started getting crabby again. She has a specific Crabby Voice, a voice she can produce on cue if asked to tell people what her Crabby Voice sounds like. She started complaining about something completely random in that Little Golden Books Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness way toddlers have. After about twenty seconds, I cut her off and reminded her that it was not too late to turn the car around (hello, Dad, nice to hear your voice coming out of my mouth) and that we could cancel the night out the way we did the night before.
Immediately, Crabby Voice that had been more full of rage than a rat in a case changed into Nice Voice. No transition, no tears wiped, just a switch thrown and shenanigans gone. Tantrum? No, acting!
Good to learn before I get suckered into buying a pony.
1) “The Metro,” Berlin. At one point, this was one of the most underrated synthpop songs of the 1980s. It was lost in the critical shuffle due to the goofy novelty of “Sex (I’m A….)” and the commercial payoff of a Tom Cruise sex (I’m not gay but my Thetan is) scene in Top Gun. But now I think due has been given and it is recognized as a great piece of Roland/drum machine/handclap pop. Which is good, because saying things are underrated has gotten very overrated.
2) “Surgical Focus,” Guided by Voices. I recently saw a picture on The Facebook of Drs. Hawkeye and Trapper of Hot-in-Toronto fame. Trapper was wearing a suave sport jacket and t-shirt, looking like he was starring in a reboot of Miami Vice. Hawkeye was clad, head to toe, in full country-and-western regalia: big hat, shirt with arrows and sparkly buttons, tight jeans, and cowboy boots, with a mustache that looked like it provided the wildest ride at Brokeback Mountain. This came after I recently saw a grizzled Hawkeye sporting a beard and insulated jean jacket like he stepped off the deck of Deadliest Catch. And these guys are neonatal doctors. Think about the next time you take your kids to your physician.
3) “Tiny Spark,” Brendan Benson. One of the other dudes in The Raconteurs, which is a bit like being one of the other guys in a scene with John Holmes. But Benson can whip out some great power pop.
4) “Up the Junction,” Squeeze. I am one of those people who rummages through the bargain CD bin at Best Buy, digging through musical chum like The Best of Mac Davis and After the Fire: “Der Commissar” and 9 Shitty Songs That Aren’t “Der Commissar” to get to a gem like Squeeze’s Singles 45’s and Under for four bucks. You just don’t get the same feeling of treasure hunting from iTunes or eMusic.
5) “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream,” My Morning Jacket. I don’t even recognize them anymore. To me, this almost sounds like a Flaming Lips song. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there’s a fine line between experimenting and losing your identity musically.
6) “The Swish,” The Hold Steady. I started going to the gym (again) after about a four-ish month layoff (again), doing the hamster treadmill dance of thinking I’m running away from death. It’s not easy to make this couch exodus, so I have to distract myself from thinking I’m having a heart attack. I do that by not only playing music, but often fantasizing about being in the band playing the music. The Hold Steady are probably my biggest go-to elliptical machine rock fantasy band. I see myself playing lead guitar, looking Keef-cool while Craig Finn runs around looking like Elvis Costello after too many Jolt Colas. This is what I do to be “healthy.”
7) “Mother,” The Police. Might make the top 10 of songs I hate the most. Almost hypnotic in its awfulness. You know it’s bad when you’re saying, “Hey, could you just play the one about falling in love with the sex doll?”
8) “Let’s Go to Bed,” The Cure. Has anyone ever fantasized about having sex with Robert Smith? Even when he was young and thin and didn’t look like he was In Between Buffets? I know he’s been with the same woman forever, and I wonder if it’s because he found someone who said “yes” to the title of this song and he decided to lock that down for life. Then again, I met TLB while wearing a shirt with Robert Smith’s face on it, so maybe there is some sort of emophradesiac effect I am unaware of.
9) “When You Sleep,” My Bloody Valentine. Bloody overrated, but this is the one song that emerges from the warped drone of this album that doesn’t make me reach for the skip button.
10) “She,” Green Day. Maybe it’s because so many modern rock bands have pillaged the 80s for their sound, but classic alternative from the 1990s actually sounds older to me than, say, “The Metro.” Three dudes on guitar, bass, and drums playing catchy pop punk? No synths, no autotune, no irony? Might as well be Buddy Holly in stereo. I love it, though, even if I never would have expected Green Day to last long enough to make it to Broadway.
11) “Hey Joe,” The Jimi Hendrix Experience. So is it okay to feel groovy about a song where I guy shoots his straying girlfriend/wife and flees to Mexico? Because this is in my Holy Hendrix Trinity of “Manic Depression” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)”. I would also totally support a female singer recording a version called “Hey Jo” about a woman going to shoot her man down, if that makes it any better.
Have a great weekend.