Archive | Arts & Music

On The Waterfront

My friend Angelo grew up dyslexic, so though he’s really, really smart, he has a lot of gaps in his cultural knowledge. I lend him a lot of music and DVDs, and last night he watched the copy of “On The Waterfront” I gave him.

“I was just going to put it on and fall asleep,” he said. “But I couldn’t stop watching it.” He was talking about how the people in his waterfront neighborhood reminded him of the guys in the film, and how people are always willing to look the other way to let the bad guys win.

“It only takes one,” I told him. “Once people see somebody stand up, they’ll a lot more willing to do it, too.”

Oh, and he said he never knew this was the origin of the “I coulda been a contender” speech. Well, now he knows!


Of course, we all know Robert Downey Jr.’s story, which gives this song special resonance. But a lot of us have tried to love someone who was broken:

Missing You

It must really suck to be a one-hit wonder. I mean, who writes one good song? And to play the same thing, over and over and over, for years…. but on the other hand, if that song is “Missing You”, well, there are worse legacies to have! Plus, there’s the painful-nostalgia cringe factor (I remember sitting in my snow-covered car and crying when I heard it, regarding a guy who was ultimately so insignificant, I’ve never bothered to mention him again).

John Waite live:


You are what you consume. Is that true? It sort of feels right. I no longer watch “important” movies if they’re hopelessly violent or nihilistic (although I will note here that I think “Fight Club” is neither of those things), and I rarely watch horror movies anymore. I don’t want to flood my system with adrenaline; I’m trying to balance it.

As a singer, I often listen to songs I’d like to sing. Unfortunately, for women vocalists, that far too often falls into the category of “boo hoo”, crying-in-my-beer songs that are, frankly, more than a little depressing. So am I listening to these songs because I’m depressed, or am I depressed from listening to these songs? I think because I’m a writer, and so susceptible to word imagery, that I can wring out every last drop of resonance out of those depressing songs. Is that good for me? Probably not.

Because when I make a conscious effort to listen to more positive, upbeat music, I seem to feel a lot better.

What’s your experience? How does it affects you?

Who Knows

Who Knows, by a band whose members couldn’t even agree on a name. Oy. The lead guitarist called them the Urban Spacemen, the bass player called them The Fossils, the lead singer called them The Ramblers. Whoever the hell they are, here’s the song.

Because my hard-drive shareable music collection seemed suspiciously low (I mean, I’m starting to repeat myself and if you saw how many CDs I had, you’d know how improbable that is), I was going through a box of old CDs tonight, looking for new stuff. I just came across this demo. Memories!

I used to be friends with all the members of this band, and now I’m only friends with one of them. (Not even the one I was sporadically involved with, the same one wrote and sang this Beach Boys homage.) Alas, I’ve always been a sucker for those head-gamer creative types. Not that I don’t have flaws myself, but you know what I mean.

Still, the song is good enough that I like to think it at least somewhat mitigates my catastrophically bad judgment. Ahem. But hey, bygones!

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