Saturday, March 25, 2006


Music is like dreams is that bloggers typically enjoy writing about it more than anybody who reads blogs likes reading about it.*

Even so: you know how many people think "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" would be even better if it wasn't for the cowbell? I've had this curious retro-fetish the past couple weeks for listening to "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite (1991). Download it now from LimeWire or whatever and listen to it (on iTunes you can only buy the video, and I'd rather you break the law than pay $2 for a song when you should have the right to buy it for 99 cents). Anyway, "Rush" has my attention right now not because it's a great song, but because it is an otherwise great song that has this weird non-sequitur 45 seconds in the middle that I find so irritating that I just have to pull the slider to fast forward through it. Otherwise, though, it's great. It's like they new the song needed a little something extra, and there wasn't a cowbell around.

Not to get all counterfactual here on a Saturday morning, but: to my knowledge, "Rush" was BAD's biggest hit, and I suppose that the capricious logic of hit music means that it's more likely it wouldn't have been a hit without the weird middle than that it would have been an even bigger hit without it.

(BTW, speaking of music and Rush, I hate the band Rush, with a disgust I normally reserve for war criminals and SPSS. Except I like "Tom Sawyer." That's even harder to understand than the extent to which I simultaneously hate peeps and love marshmallows.)

* No offense intended to any bloggers who write a lot about music, especially since this post is, as you may have noticed, about music. Update: Original sentiment qualified in comments.


carly said...

I was all excited because I thought you were actually going to write about the band Rush.

And then you did.

And went and insulted what was my favorite band as a teenager and for whom I still feel great love.

Thanks. Thanks a lot. :)

jeremy said...

I like "Tom Sawyer". Did I mention that?

Anonymous said...

It's Geddy Lee's voice, isn't it? It's totally weird.

jeremy said...

Actually, I just listened to "Tom Sawyer" again after a long time, and I might be radically downwardly revising my judgment of it. It's a wonderful title for a song, in any case.

A+ said...

Music is like dreams in that bloggers typically enjoy writing about it more than anybody who reads blogs likes reading about it.

I know what you mean. I feel the same way about Beefs About My Home Discipline.

No offense.

Ann Althouse said...

Is it that readers don't want to read about music, or that it's damned hard to figure out a way to write about music, but lots of bloggers just write about music because it's what they are interested in? You wrote something really specific here, so this is good, but most bloggers writing about music are just going to emphasize the fact that they love something or it's really great. They're just vouching for it.

Anyway, this subject makes me think about the best quote I've ever run across on the subject of writing about music:

"People frequently complain that music is too ambiguous; that it is unclear to them what they should be thinking about when they hear it, whereas everyone understands words. For me, it is exactly the reverse...The thoughts I find expressed in music that I love are not too indefinite, but on the contrary, too definite to put into words." (Felix Mendelssohn.)

Phantom Scribbler said...

On the college radio station of my youth, "C'mon Every Beatbox," "Medicine Show" and "E=MC2" (just imagine that's in superscript, ok?) got all the airplay. But I suppose Tom Bozzo is the one to ask about which was BAD's biggest hit.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

A couple of months ago, I heard Men Withouts Hats' "Pop Goes the World" on the radio and immediately sought it out for my private collection. And it doesn't have an unbearable mid-song minute, either.

jeremy said...

Thing is, Ann's point is exactly right. Exactly right. And the fact that it's right is one of the things I like about Angela's own posts about music. She's knowledgable and specific. Me, I mostly just slouch and vouch.