Tag Archives: music

This Is How We Do What, Katy Perry?

Jim, my husband, had been talking about some article he happened to read in a magazine that included a segment on not only Lady Gaga, but Katy Perry as well. He was at a loss. What songs do these women sing? Who are these people? Should I know more about them?

This is how we do what, Katy Perry?
Lady Gaga and Katy Perry look-a-likes and wanna-be’s.

Being the second rate pop culture enthusiast that I am, I explained that Lady Gaga was the meat dress lady, but no I could not sing or name a single song she sang. Then I went on to talk about Katy Perry, except there wasn’t any talking. It was mostly crickets. Because I am old. I followed her on Twitter for a while  a few years ago. Some of my funny blogging friends followed her and so I thought maybe she was the comedic type, but a year later I unfollowed her because she never said anything funny at all, or if she did, I  didn’t see it or read it or retweet it or anything. The only thing I knew about Katy Perry was that she once had blue hair and that she may have been a Christian singer at one time. Possibly. Or maybe she sang in the church choir. I wasn’t really sure. I just knew she was all the rage in certain circles. Circles I was obviously not a part of.

Anyway, a few days later we happened to be staying in a hotel and VH1 was on when I turned on the TV. A video was playing. It was Katy Perry! I yelled to Jim, “Come over here! It’s Katy Perry. We’ll finally know one of her songs!” I was so excited. I was moving from living under a rock to living under a smaller rock…one I might even be able to push off my mommy brained, inadequate, non-pop-culture referencing self. There was hope. I was on the road to cultural awareness and pop relevance once again. It was liberating. I may have even been standing in front of the TV waving my hands over my head like a middle-aged cheerleader.

Katy Perry Look alike stick figure
Sing it sister.

Playing on VH1 was a song with the title “This Is How We Do” which sounded like a sentence that was missing the second half of itself. Possibly it’s better half. Then Katy Perry started talk-singing while girls in bright dresses walked around and then there was a kitchen, pancakes, ping pong ball, purses, and Katy Perry in a bathtub. Jim and I looked at each other. Then Katy Perry started saying, in her best smokers voice, “It’s no big deal. It’s no big deal. This is no big deal.”

Our daughter ran into the room. She is 4. She was mesmerized. All three of us were. We sat on the end of the  hotel bed staring at the TV as if we were passing the most gruesome accident on the highway. We could not look away.

Finally the video ended and I was dumbfounded. Jim said, “Well, that’s Katy Perry. She’s no big deal.”

I just stared ahead. Then I asked, “What was that? I mean, what was it about? I’m so confused.”

Then Jim just laughed and said, “It’s not about anything. It’s pop. It’s just noise.”

Later that day our daughter was running around singing, “It’s no big deal! It’s no big deal!” The song clearly resonated with her. She seemed to get the message Katie Perry was trying to convey. That’s when I realized I was too old for VH1, which was supposed to be for old people to begin with, and I wondered if I would ever feel cool again.

Journey

Life-journey-CD
Who even buys CD’s anymore? This girl. (Nope, haven’t combed my hair today either)

We’re on a musical journey in this house. I mean, music is an important part of the education of Tiny-Small so we discuss it at great lengths sometimes. The problem is, Jim and I have very different tastes in music. We like some of the same things, but then there is the whole, wide-world of differences we seem to have. Some of those differences we can blame on our age gap (14 years), or the whole East coast versus West coast arguments we seem to have. Some of Jim’s arguments just don’t make any sense at all. At least, not to me. He is much more obsessed with his hometown than I am, but maybe that’s because I don’t really have a hometown. As a child, my family moved too often for me to adopt one location and hold it up with undying pride. Jim lived in one place for almost his entire childhood. His parents still live in the house he grew up in.

We have many humorous arguments revolving around musicians. For instance, Jim can’t stand Elton John, Billy Joel or Phil Collins. “Never mention Phil Collins to me. Just his names makes me nauseous.” he says.

I’ve never figured out why. Why is Phil Collins so horrible? I’ve never gotten a satisfying answer from him. What’s wrong with Billy Joel? I mean, this is comfort music. This is what I grew up hearing. Just like Michael Jackson and Madonna, these musicians sort of mark the moments of my youth. They are my old friends. The people I looked up to as a kid.

Jim found a Journey CD in the bargain bin and bought it for me because he loves me and he knows I love Journey. He hates Journey, but he knows all of the words to all of the songs. Every single one. So, I think he pretends to hate them more than he really hates them. Either that, or someone in his past tortured him by playing the songs over and over again while he was trapped in a car with them. I’ll probably never get the whole story on his experience with Journey.

This morning I played the new to me Journey CD and he sang along. So did Tiny-Small, although her singing was more like moaning and whaling, with a lot of twirling until she fell down. She hasn’t heard these songs for years like we have. She’s a novice, but then after listing to Journey all morning I can see why she thinks the moaning and high pitch whaling are appropriate.

Then this happened:

Jim: I don’t know why I didn’t like Journey before. They aren’t really that bad.

Me: You seem to know all of the words.

Jim: You just don’t understand. I spent hours of my life arguing against Journey. I spent hours complaining to people about Journey. I hated Journey.

Me: Really? You spent that much time talking about them?

Jim: Yes! Journey was the decline of the San Francisco music scene. They ruined it.

Me: Seriously?

Jim: Yep, The Grateful Dead were so much better, but everyone kept talking about Journey.

So, here is where we diverge. I like music, but I’ve never had any in-depth, deep conversations about a band ruining any sort of music scene. I mean, I am interested in music. I like to sing along to the radio and dance in my living room. It makes me happy. The thing is, if I like a song, I just like it. I’m not too worried about it beyond that. Jim, on the other hand, takes music very seriously. He knows the band member statistics like they are on baseball cards. He remembers details about them I can’t even be bothered to learn. Also, no matter what kind of discussion we have, it always ends with The Grateful Dead. A band that I am, of course, familiar with. I mean, I like their Greatest Hits Album, but beyond that I couldn’t say much more about them. I missed the whole “I wish I were old enough to be a hippie” scene by almost two decades. I just don’t get the appeal of The Grateful Dead like he does. The live albums are almost torture to listen to with never-ending songs and off-key vocals. I am often incredulous that one song could go on and on and on and on and…oh, it’s still playing? Oh, please, shut it off, I need a break or something new….please! I’m also amazed that they sold so many albums and that people actually quit jobs to follow them around to attend every concert. There must have been some serious drugs involved. That’s the only way it makes any sense to me at all.

So, nothing beats The Grateful Dead in my house. Not even Prince. Not even Purple Rain. I don’t always know what to say to Jim, but at least I will always have Billy Joel and Elton John to keep company…and Journey.

The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow…

Have truer words ever been spoken? I think not. Beat that, Grateful Dead.

You’ll never replace my beloved Billy Joel.

East Coast RULES!

I ReWrite An REO Speedwagon Song

Last night Tiny-Small was cranky. I was cranky. The lyrics to an REO Speedwagon song kept running through my head, but altered. I am like the Weird Al of song writing in these parts. By “these parts” I mean my house. So, here is the song I wrote, in my head, but never sang to my daughter because she would be highly offended that I sang about her wearing pajamas. Bedtime is a four letter word around here, apparently.

I can’t take this screaming any longer.
And yet I’m still afraid to just say no.
What started out as parenthood,
Has grown sour.
I only wish I had the strength to just say no.

I tell myself that I can’t not sleep forever.
I said there is no reason for my fear.
Cause I feel so tired when we’re together.
But, you give my life direction,
You make everything so clear.

And even as you wander,
I’m keeping you in sight.
You’re a monkey in pajamas,
On a cold, dark winter’s night.
And I’m getting closer than I ever thought I might (to crying).

And I can’t take this screaming anymore.
I’ve forgotten what you started crying for.
It’s time to bring this kid to bed,
And throw away the binkies, forever.

Cause I can’t take this screaming anymore.
I’ve forgotten what you started crying for.
And if I have to crawl upon the floor,
Come crushing through your door,
Baby, I can’t take this screaming anymore.

My life has been such a whirlwind since I birthed you.
I’ve been running round in circles in my mind.
And it always seems that I’m following you, girl,
Cause you throw your toys around,
To places I’d never find.

And even as you wander,
I’m keeping you in sight.
You’re a monkey in pajamas,
On a cold, dark winter’s night.
And I’m getting closer than I ever thought I might (to screaming too).

And I can’t take this screaming anymore.
I’ve forgotten what you started crying for.
It’s time to bring this kid to bed,
And throw away the binkies, forever.

Cause I can’t take this screaming anymore.
I’ve forgotten what you started crying for.
And if I have to crawl upon the floor,
Come crushing through your door,
Baby, I can’t take this screaming anymore.