Singles 1/29

I bundled two weeks of songs, loving not many of them. Maren Morris sounded most convincing, hence herself, in collaboration with the Highwomen; “Circles Around This Town” is Going Circles in Songwriting. I prefer other tracks on The Weeknd’s latest installment of neon-bright signs illumining the scale of his obsession with Toto in 1982. AndContinue reading “Singles 1/29”

Ranking #26 singles, U.S. edition: 1983-1986

Did you expect this variety? I didn’t. And I didn’t expect A Flock of Seagulls to show up creating a synthesized landscape that encompassed the longing one expects from high school or, worse, college-aged romance. How on earth didn’t “Wishing” do better? I could apply this thinking to ‘Til Tuesday’s MTV hit but chart flopContinue reading “Ranking #26 singles, U.S. edition: 1983-1986”

Remembrances of things past: ‘Memoria’

As they depict a more recognizable world, the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul get stranger. Memoria has the touch of the numinous. Plagued with an obscure ringing in her head, Tilda Swinton (the first non-Thai actor he has cast) wanders a MedellĂ­n as alien in its familiarity as Milan was to Jeanne Moreau in La Notte.Continue reading “Remembrances of things past: ‘Memoria’”

Ranking #12 singles, U.S. edition: 1963-1965

Most readers will stan, deservedly, for “And I Love Her,” but Brenda Lee acting like a full-fledged gleeful adult on “As Usual,” Lesley Gore sighing over that’s how boys are, and Dusty Springfield riding the hook of her life are all I need — if The Castaways’ “Liar, Liar” didn’t exist as Debbie Harry’s 1988Continue reading “Ranking #12 singles, U.S. edition: 1963-1965”

Ranking #8 singles, U.S. edition: 1963-1964

Owning my mom’s copies of Meet the Beatles and The Beatles Second Album should’ve given me a clue, but, no: it took Mark Lewisohn’s The Beatles – All These Years: Volume One: Tune In to remind me of the importance of girl groups as influence and competition, thanks in part to resident Black music specialistContinue reading “Ranking #8 singles, U.S. edition: 1963-1964”

To speak is a sin, or: ‘Don’t Say Gay’

I suppose this bill is conservatism of a sort, a return to the Florida schools I knew where homosexuality when discussed meant a tenth grade religion teacher ramming his index fingers together mimicking two penises, references to fanny packs as fag bags and The Picture of Dorian Gray as a “book written by a homo”Continue reading “To speak is a sin, or: ‘Don’t Say Gay’”

Songs peaking at #40, U.S. edition: 1970-1972

In June I extolled the taut delights of Fanny’s “Butter Boy,” and, well, here I am, confronted with another low-charting pair of James Brown singles and Jerry Lee Lewis’ fervid cover of “Me and Bobby McGee” and still choosing this little-known foursome whose guiding forces were Filipino sisters. Even played beside second-tier Four Tops andContinue reading “Songs peaking at #40, U.S. edition: 1970-1972”

The best songs about farming

Not until the Reagan administration’s turn against farm subsidies and farmers generally did the city-dwelling American public realize farmers had been taken for granted; hence Farm Aid, itself a response to Live Aid. And Farm Aid is an event whose white emphasis deserves analysis besides its ostensibly noble purpose. Republicans from farm states will startContinue reading “The best songs about farming”