I’m Listening To

1. "Whatever It Takes"

Go to: http://www.orangerecordlabel.com/
Turn up your speakers.  Wait for the radio station to start.  Listen to this
song.  If it doesn’t make you feel good all over, if it doesn’t make you want
to jump up and throw your arms in the air, you’re an inhibited fuck who’d
better not ever come to my house because every once in a while we like to cut
loose, like to throw off the inhibitions when something cuts right to our core. 
We don’t worry about what’s hip, we don’t worry about what’s cool, we just
revel in the SOUND!

One thing about Canadians.  They’re better educated than we are.  They know
more than we do.  But because they live north of the border, deep down inside
they tend not to believe it.  Or maybe it’s that so few people live in Canada
that it’s a giant high school.  I mean Puff Daddy/Diddy wouldn’t be revered in
Canada.  He’d just be another guy you went to high school with putting on
airs, with an attitude, you wouldn’t let him get away with it.

I know this TV show is made in the Great White North.  I assume the track was
cut there too.  Because they tend to use their own.

Now when writing TV themes one doesn’t strive for art, one strives for what
works.  But what works in Canada is oftentimes art.  Because no one puts up
with bullshit and everybody is thrilled to be employed.  And they take their work
very seriously.

It’s that synth intro straight from the Tubes’ "She’s A Beauty".  Lukather
should sue for copyright infringement.

And then there are the kids.  Straight off of Pink Floyd’s "The Wall".  Or

I don’t know if "Fame" is a teenage ritual.  But the flick made a big
impression on me, even though it debuted when I was in my twenties. 
I went with my friend Tony in the afternoon at the Avco on Wilshire. 
Before they split the downstairs theatre in two.  I didn’t have a great desire,
but since he was playing hooky from work, he got to make the choice.

I liked the story.  Had a thing for one of the girls.  Liked the pathos.  But
what stunned me was this music written ESPECIALLY for the movie was GOOD!  I
downloaded most of it as soon as I fired up Napster.  Oh, I’ve got the vinyl
album.  I’m not about to buy it over again.  Hell, you COULDN’T buy it over
again.  Fuck, I don’t want to have this download argument with you pricks one
more time.  That’s not the point.  The point is I NEEDED this music.  And it was
suddenly easy to get.  What I needed primarily was "I Sing The Body Electric".
 The final song on the record, the closing scene of the flick if I remember
correctly.  Oh, it starts with a classical flourish.  And, after the solos, the
whole SCHOOL seems to be singing.  And then it explodes in a rave up rock
ending.  It’s so SATISFYING!  Because control has been thrown out the window,
it’s pure ELATION!  Furthermore, it was co-written by Lesley Gore’s BROTHER!  A
heretofore blip on the radar screen!

Times have changed.  Twenty five years have elapsed.  You can’t have a theme
song without rapping.

But you’ve got to know.  If this were an American TV show.  If U.S. citizens
had cut the track.  It would get some respect.  It would have been a HIT!

You see hits just don’t happen down here.  Tracks need to be priorities. 
Money has to be spent.  So if a track doesn’t break through today that doesn’t
mean it’s not good, that just means some fuck in an office decided not to push
the button.

So, just know, "Whatever It Takes", the theme song from "Degrassi: The Next
Generation", by the Degrassi Junior Strings, is a hit by the old definition.  A
song you get in your brain, that changes your mood, your life, that you want
to hear over and over and over again because you just want to FEEL THIS WAY! 

2. "Mystery Wind"

Major labels don’t even make these kinds of records anymore.  Record
companies don’t even embrace the same CONCEPT!  You see record companies
used to be just that, RECORDING COMPANIES!  Not hit machines.  Do you think Edison thought of HITS?  No, he wanted everybody to be able to enjoy music, whenever they had the desire.

And what is music?

It’s something that gets inside you.  Fucks you up.  Takes you to another

That’s not the kind of music purveyed by major companies today.  That’s why
sales are down.  That’s why movie grosses have slipped.  People don’t even
EXPECT either of them to be good anymore.  Oh, there are good records and good
movies, but the soul of the experience, that’s been trashed.  By greedy
purveyors.  I mean how many movies can one person see?  With a different MUST SEE flick opening every weekend.  TWO OR THREE!  And then you go and they’re lowest common denominator tripe.  Not even good for feeling up your girlfriend.  You get to the point where you don’t want to give the companies any more of your
money, because you’re PISSED!  The same thing happened in the music business.  Not that anybody other than the consumer will acknowledge this.  It’s worse than
only one good track per album.  You see that one track is in your face.  All
the subtlety is gone.  Then again, they’ve drained all the subtlety from sex in
society.  The media says it’s all how Madonna and Britney do it.  But their
lives don’t correspond with yours.  And why look up to these uneducated twits
anyway?  What did Madonna do to merit all our attention?  Show her tits?  Hire
some talented people to write her songs?  And now what she says MATTERS?  God,
if I wanted to know how to invest my nest egg, how to sell a mediocre
product, I’d look up Madonna, a business savant, a marketing whiz.  But that’s not
art.  And, at best she’s selling spectacle.  It’s like they took one of those
giant wooden wands from the craps table in Vegas and wiped the landscape clean
of anybody with talent who is only playing what feels good in his heart.  Those
chumps are now under the table.  And it’s so disillusioning, and so
confusing, that you move on, uninterested in foraging in the darkness, trying to find
what’s good.

And that’s why filters are important.  People who will stand between us and
the purveyors, PROTECTING us from the reams of bullshit.  Standing up for
what’s good.  Mike Marrone spun this Richard Thompson track last night at midnight
and it changed my life.  Driving up PCH.  With the road to myself.  Try it.

3. "Diary"

And when I pulled up to the drugstore, the song changed.  I was gonna turn
the radio off, but there was something intriguing about the number.  I don’t
want to sell you on the Low Millions’ "Diary", but I’ll tell you there’s an
amazing change, an amazing interlude.  That’s what we’re living for, those brief
moments of greatness.  They mean more to us than those endless riffs driven into
our brain through endless repetition on those Top Forty tracks.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.