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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What was I thinking?

I very rarely get to drive by myself anymore.  It's not that I mind the hitchhikers, but they do tend to cramp my musical style a tiny bit.  By this I mean that I am less likely to explore the dark, dusty (even embarrassing) corners of my iPod's music collection when I have a car full of people.

I know for a fact that most of you also have very different standards for your 'private' and 'public' listening, so just pipe down!  No matter where we get our music; radio, CDs, cassettes, MP3 player, etc., it is inevitable that some of it will make us cringe.  How we react to this is what I mean when I say we have different habits depending on whether others are around. 

A couple of examples:

Cringe & Stab Example 1: Most of us own at least a couple of albums or compilations that contain a song or two that are excruciatingly embarrassing.  At the time that they were 'popular', these songs may have been tolerable... but the passage of time has transformed these unfortunate tunes into the punchlines in long-standing musical jokes.  So, if we are alone we might listen cringingly just for nostalgia's sake to 'Saturday Night' by the Bay City Rollers ("S...A...T.U.R...D.A.Y... Night!"), but if anyone else was around we would instantly stab the skip/scan button and move quickly on to safer musical ground.

Cringe & Stab Example 2: When I lived in Manhattan's Washington Heights I used to occasionally stumble across a salsa or merengue station while scanning for something to listen to on the radio.  If I was alone in the car I might listen for a few minutes and marvel at the complicated rhythms and the percussive effect of the unintelligible(to me) lyrics.  But if anyone else would be with me, the sound of Spanish lyrics and/or syncopated sax lines would have me instantly stabbing the scan button.   That simply wasn't 'our' music.

Clear so far?

OK, so yesterday I was driving to work in my oddly empty car and decided to put my iPod on the 'shuffle' setting and let it decide what to play from among the 7000+ songs I carry around with me.

I promise you that if I had tried to create a play-list of the most embarrassing and cringe-worthy songs and named it 'Cringin' & Stabbin', I couldn't have come up with a better first four songs than what my iPod decided to serve up... one right after the other:

  • 'Billy don't be a hero' by Bo Donaldson
  • 'Loving You' by Minnie Ripperton (this is the one with the ear-splitting shriek at the end of each chorus)
  • 'I am woman!' by Helen Reddy
  • 'Afternoon Delight' by The Starlight Vocal Band ("Thinkin' of you's workin' up a appetite...")

[shudder]

The worst part is that, because I was alone in the car, I actually listened to them all the way through!

[hangs head in shame]

I could have easily purged these songs from my iPod ages ago, but every couple of years... when I'm all by myself... it is kinda neat to hear them again.  It's sort of like looking at old pictures of myself from the '70s.  The powder blue tux from my senior prom... the qiana shirt I wore for my Jr. yearbook photo... yikes!  The point is that while I cringe at the horrible clothes and bad hair... it's still kinda fun to reminisce.

Anyway, during lunch yesterday I scrolled through the rest of my iPod to see what other cringe- or stab-worthy songs were lurking there.  Mind you, I would probably listen to most of these songs if I was by myself in the car...but if anyone else happened to be with me... well, you know...

Anyway, here's what I found stinking up my iPod (in alphabetical, rather than cringe-factor order):

  • Alfie - Dionne Warwick
  • Barbie Girl - Aqua
  • Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown - Jim Croce
  • Bad Blood - Neal Sedaka
  • Betcha by golly wow - The Stylistics
  • Boogie Oogie oogie - A Taste of Honey
  • Electric Avenue - Eddie Grant
  • Everybody have fun tonight - Wang Chung
  • Ghost Busters - Ray Parker Jr.
  • Greenback Dollar  - Kingston Trio
  • Having my baby - Paul Anka
  • Hooked on a feeling - Blue Suede (the 'ooga-chaka' version)
  • Iron Man - Black Sabbath
  • Knock three times - Tony Orlando & Dawn
  • Love will keep us together - Captain & Tenille
  • Luka - Suzanne Vega
  • Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
  • Mmbop - Hanson
  • Midnight at the oasis - Maria Muldaur
  • Muskrat Love - Captain & Tenille
  • Rock the boat - The Hues Corporation
  • Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
  • Say you'll be there - Spice Girls
  • She blinded me with science - Thomas Dolby
  • Smokin' in the boy's room - Brownsville Station
  • Sodomy - Original Soundtrack for 'Hair'
  • Theme from Hawaii 5-0 - The Ventures
  • Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
  • Torn between two lovers - Mary MacGregor
  • Why don't we do it in the road - Beatles

I'm sure I must have missed a few... but this begs the question, "What was I thinking?"

221_16_5_60

Posted by David Bogner on September 7, 2005 | Permalink

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Um, go ahead and laugh at me but I really like some of those songs. (I won't say which ones but Helen Reddy and Captain & Tenille -- not.)

Posted by: Ben | Sep 7, 2005 11:32:54 AM

Wow, what nostalgia! I haven't thought of some of these songs in years, if not decades! Some of them have such strong associations for me that as I read their titles in your post, I have vivid memories of the age I was and things I was doing when I heard them (riding in the car, husking corn for dinner, and so on).

Posted by: Rahel | Sep 7, 2005 11:56:57 AM

No! not Barbie Girl (Aqua) - Haha!...this has got to stop.

Posted by: kakarizz | Sep 7, 2005 2:06:02 PM

'Chiquitita', 'Dancing Queen', 'Fernando'... all the ABBA stuff. I was a fan of them in my early teenage years.

When I listen to any of those songs now, I cringe... but at the same time my heart shrinks a bit with nostalgia.

Posted by: Sandra | Sep 7, 2005 2:33:39 PM

Hee! Hey, to listen to salsa in the Heights, all you've got to do is open a window on a pleasant evening (or that's how it was back when I lived there, depending on which street you were on!)

Posted by: proudmommy0f4 | Sep 7, 2005 2:46:58 PM

Ben... Considering that I actually own all of these unfortunate songs, I don't think I'm in a position to be laughing at anyone!

Rahel... The question is... even with all this nostalgia would you continue listening to these songs even someone else was in the car? If the answer is yes then you have a higher shame threshold than I do. :-)

Kakarizz... I'm not proud of myself here... no need to make me feel worse! :-)

Sandra... There are depths to which even I won't sink! My iPod is an Abba-free zone... like that really matters when I have Hanson and Spice Girls in my collection! What am I, a 12 year old girl?! Again I have to ask... what was I thinking?

Proudmommyof4... Ah yes, the fond memories of the Dominican community of Washington Heights. I have wonderful memories of losing sleep because of customized Toyotas (with the entire back seat and trunk taken up with amplifiers and speakers), playing what sounded like the same merengue song over and over and over at 2:00AM. My roommates and I used to tell each other that they only acted that way around us to live up to our low expectations of them. When they were by themselves we joked that they usually sat around listening to Brahms and comparing and contrasting the poetry of Yeates and Tennyson. Yes... in case there was any question, not only did we completely discount the possibility of a rich culture other than our own... but I was a bigoted snob back in my university days.

Posted by: David | Sep 7, 2005 3:20:04 PM

Iron Man by Black Sabbath merits respect not disdain! As for the rest of them...

Posted by: harry | Sep 7, 2005 4:01:21 PM

There's nothing embarrassing about listening to Spanish music in Washington Heights! I do it all the time (in Boropark, too)! You need to get with the times, though — next time you're in Nueva York, set your radio to ciento cinco punto nueve (105.9) La Calle: reguetón y más!

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Sep 7, 2005 4:13:30 PM

What is wrong with the Hawaii 5 0 theme?

Posted by: NN | Sep 7, 2005 4:18:13 PM

Oh, and if you're looking for a song in the same style as "Barbie Girl", but infinitely better, check out "Tarzan" by Toybox. Why is it infinitely better? Because i was nicknamed 'Tarzan' in a Geology class in college! ;-)

Although the most embarrassing music to listen to is definitely the Rent soundtrack. :-P

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Sep 7, 2005 4:20:29 PM

Even though you have over 7,000 and I have maybe several dozen, I bet I've got a few really sappy "cringers" (that I love, but am a bit embarrassed to listen to when others are around) that I bet you haven't got.

Sunrise Sunset performed by Louis Armstrong
What a Beautiful Morning (Oklahoma!) sung by Ray Chales.

Posted by: Andy | Sep 7, 2005 4:23:22 PM

Hey, what's wrong with "Barbie Girl" and ABBA? Fun music, all of it.

I guess, just about the only music I don't play when other people are around includes my secret stash of Celine Dion, and Russian pop, which is really, REALLY bad music by all standards, believe me.

Though much of my collection can be considered outdated, I like the songs so I don't care who's around when I listen to it.

Posted by: Irina | Sep 7, 2005 4:30:26 PM

I have at least 50% of those same tunes, but they are on the IPOD and as such unavailable for general consumption. I really don't mind having them, now that Minnie Riperton piece is just painful.

But what I really see here is that you have buying all of those KTEL Music collections that used to be interspersed among the RONCO ads.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 7, 2005 4:30:53 PM

Harry... Don't get me wrong... I love the music... That song was written with with air-guitarists in mind. But picture yourself sitting in a car with a bunch of soldiers and national service girls and that idiotic robotic voice comes on saying "I... AM...IRONMAN...". Now think about the words a bit... squirming yet? :-)

Steg (I'm not using your full moniker anymore until you tell me what it means!)... TO each his/her own. I just know from my own experience that when I flip the radio dial and hear another language than my own I instinctively stab the scan button. It is only recently I have been able to train myself not to do that with the Hebrew stations here. I don't need to tell you what happens when I stumble on an Arabic station. :-) As to the Rent soundtrack... I can top that for lameness. Try the Cats' soundtrack. Oh who am I kidding... ANYTHING by Andrew Lloyd Weber qualifies! :-)

NN... Nothing's wrong with it. It's just... sorta... hokey! Like I said... if I'm alone in the car, a song like that can transport me back to those 'sick' days when I would spend all day watching TV (Bewitched, Hawaii 5-0 and Gilligan's Island).

Andy... That's the spirit... confession is good for the soul (it is Elul after all!). :-)

Irina... No need to explain about bad Russian pop. We get plenty of it over here. :-)

Jack... Actually, I still have some KTEL stuff on vinyl, but most of the collections from which these stinkers were gleaned came from other producers. The only fun thing about playing 'Loving You' is watching the dog put her paws over her head when the screechy part comes on. :-)

Posted by: David | Sep 7, 2005 4:49:54 PM

Ok, as I was reading the comments here, the theme song from the TV show "Alice" randomly started playing from my collection. Doesn't get much better than that. Do you have any Bobby Sherman? I do. Of course, the worst is when "Who Let the Dogs Out" belts out of your computer at high volume because the volume on the previous song had to be turned up. You're amiably chatting with your colleagues, with Squeeze or something equally cool playing, when all of a sudden you're hit with "WHO LET THE DOGS OUT, WHO, WHO??!!", and everyone just sort of looks at you with faces that show nothing but pity. And these are just the songs I'm prepared to tell you about...

Posted by: She | Sep 7, 2005 4:59:41 PM

What exactly is wrong w Kajagoogoo? They are so bad they're fabulous! I actually do have an 80's folder (w songs such as Gazebo's "I like Chopin" and Billy Ocean's "Lover Boy" and Kim Wilde's "Cambodia" or however you write it). I have no qualms abt inflicting them on people. I also have a truly terrible Hebrew music compilation which leads unsuspecting Porties to learn abt "Yuda Yuda HaYuda", "Yalla, Bye" and "Haiu Li Pa'am Haverim". Oh and that bloke who sings "Biladeich ani hatzi ben-adam etc". They usually try to hum along after the initial shock.

Suzanne Vega now, I'd rather listen to the Backstreet Boys for a whole month.

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 7, 2005 5:12:59 PM

Hanson! Wow, I stole that from a friend in the 6th grade....brings back memories.

I have "Rub it In" by Billy "Crash" Craddock on mine. :)

Posted by: Shayna | Sep 7, 2005 5:31:57 PM

Mmbop - Hanson

Well. It's been nice knowing you.

Maybe you're misunderestimating your trempistim. You should wait to see whether they start singing along or laughing derisively before you stab the button. ;o)

I have very little shame about my bad music, but I do have a few rap songs that I'd skip if my mom was in the car. Oh, and there's that one John Denver song...

Posted by: Tanya | Sep 7, 2005 5:55:58 PM

David:

dos iz nit der šteg (=shteg) is Yiddish for "that's not the way", as in 'you're doing it all wrong' or 'you're off the derekh' :-)


She:

Once i was in a car with a friend, and we were both sick. "Who Let The Dogs Out" came on the radio, and we started coughing along to the barks... :-P

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Sep 7, 2005 6:12:26 PM

Ha! I sneer in your general direction at your definition of lame songs. My iPod has "Sodomy" in Hebrew and English (the song, that is... what my iPod does on its own is its own businesss entirely). Okay, I'll grant you the Paul Anka song and "Muskrat Love," which are both songs with zero redeeming quality whatsoever. Dave Barry's "Book of Bad Songs" (a highly recommended classic) devotes substantial time to both numbers.

Between my iPod and Jack-FM, my coworkers have found out that I know the words to far too many cheesy songs ("99 Luftballoons" in the original German, "Joyride" by Roxette, and every Abba song in existence).

Oh, and from my experience, Israelis aren't exactly going to mind bad/cheesy music (I still wake up in a cold sweat remembering my year in Aretz when Ace of Base was playing everywhere); then again, you might be right: the sight of armed people playing air guitar to "Iron Man" is one that is likely to engender a major traffic accident...

Posted by: efrex | Sep 7, 2005 6:19:44 PM

She... Somehow I managed to avoid getting 'Who let the dogs out?', but since writing this post I've stumbled across at least another 8-10 cringers on the iPod. And no, I'm not sharing... I've done enough confessing for one day! Oh... OK, I'll give you a hint about one of them: Picture an over-made-up cheerleader singing about a guy who's name starts with the letter 'M'. There... top that for loserhood!

Lioness... It wasn't just Kajagoogoo. There were a bunch of those 80's bands that had that same throaty vocal sound and over-dramatic lyrics. That was the era of the male diva and really odd hairdos (think 'Flock of seagulls]. [shudder]

Shayna... 6th grade, huh? Way to make me feel better.

Tanya... Would it make you like me even less if I told you that I must have seen the video for Mmbop about a dozen times before I realized the middle Hanson wasn't a girl? I had MTV or VH1 on in the background one evening and I overheard the VJ talking about the Hanson brothers and I was like; 'Brothers?!' Look, I should get points for owning only one song by one 'Boy Band', right?

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)... Thanks for clearing that up. I grew up in a household where we at lunch meat on white bread with mayo. Need I say more?

Efrex... 99 Luftballoons almost made my list, but I have the German version and it doesn't seem so hokey when I can't understand the words. And you're soooo right about Israeli's high tolerance for cheesiness. I just don't want to be the guy dishing it up.

Posted by: David | Sep 7, 2005 6:40:00 PM

Huh. Yeah, every one you listed is a cringeworthy guilty pleasure. A few others:

Tarzan Boy - Baltimora
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
Cotton Eyed Joe - Rednex
Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco

Posted by: mcaryeh | Sep 7, 2005 6:46:29 PM

I don't have a whole lot of cringeworthy music - aw, who'm I kidding? Of course I do - but my main problem is that I love stuff the the Missus can't stand to hear.

Miles Davis. Frank Zappa. Shockheaded Peter, by the Tigerlillies. Alamaailman Vasarat. Captain Beefheart. Plus my collection of modern opera: Philip Glass and John Adams.

My kids will listen to this kind of Eclectic Crap with me...but SWMBO draws the line.

But, David - "Muskrat Love"? "Afternoon freakin' Delight"? Yeef.

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 7, 2005 7:16:33 PM

Oh, and speaking of Hanson...

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 7, 2005 7:19:18 PM

Ok... i read and read and read all the comments... and yeah, there are some really bad songs out there from the past... but i MUST put my foot down and stand up and defend the soundtrack from "RENT" - LOVED IT and am not ashamed to admit and listen to it when ANYONE is around or not. so there!

Hanson, David?!!! Really... and I thought the Bay City Rollers were your all time low in music taste! I learn so much about you here at Treppenwitz!

Posted by: Val | Sep 7, 2005 7:56:56 PM

Are you kidding..those are great! Let's Do It In the Road is one of my husband's favorite (ok let's not go there.)

Have you thought about adding "Run Joey Run". I always think of that song whenever I hear Billy Don't Be a Hero...they both must have been on a KTEL album.

And for you-know-who....see I am not the only one who listens to Captain and Tennille! :)

Posted by: Jaime | Sep 7, 2005 8:42:15 PM

Mcaryeh... Yup... all perfectly horrible.

Elisson... I have plenty of Zappa and Beefheart in my collection... and I also have just about every other kind of music under the sun. You want Japanese Shakahatchi flute music? I got it. You want every friggin sonata that Scarlatti ever wrote (all 56 of them... on harpsichord, no less)? I got those too. Phillip Glass is a taste I tried to acquire but it seemed too much like a case of the Emperor's New Clothes whenever I heard people oohing and ahhhing over it. I'd rather have real glass rubbed in my eyes than have to listen to 'Einstein on the Beach' ever again! :-) BTW, I hadn't seen your Hanson story while browsing through your archives... neat stuff(even if it was a brush with dubious celebrity)!

Val... C'mon... nobody ever left the theater humming tunes from Rent. It was a good show with a tragic backstory to give it even more appeal... but I'd almost rather go back an listen to Philip Glass... :-) BTW, you don't want to go making fun of your baby brother here in front of the whole world... I know too much about your early tastes in music! =:~0

Jaime... I have a hunch that the morning after the Beatles recorded Why don't we do it in the road they were listening to the tapes and looked at each other in horror saying "I am NEVER taking that color pills again...EVERY!

Posted by: David | Sep 7, 2005 10:18:32 PM

David,


Be careful, when The Shmata Queen appears she will be insane with happiness. She loves that 70s crap. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Sep 7, 2005 11:35:08 PM

so where i come from most of my music is considered shameful. yes, i am a country fan! and not even new pop-country. no i like the oldies. youll catch me rocking out to johnny cash and the judds and things that most people in my age group in the states consider hick music. sometimes im proud sometimes i hide! here in israeli its a bit easier, no one knows what my music is!

Posted by: Lisa | Sep 7, 2005 11:49:33 PM

David, I've got to agree with Val here - RENT is fabulous. As for not humming the songs as one leaves the theatre, the same has been said of Stephen Sondheim and he writes the best scores around.

(If you say "Emperor's New Clothes" about Sondheim, I will turn my back and flounce away.)

Alternatively many people walk away humming Webber and his stuff (minus what he did with Tim Rice) is amongst the greatest tripe ever written.

Bottom line: RENT rocks.

Also, I happen to like Mexican Radio and Luka a great deal. Mexican Radio is even on one of my mix CDs.

But Hanson and Wang Chung? You are on your own, my friend.

Posted by: Carol | Sep 8, 2005 12:05:32 AM

All perfectly horrible?

Tarzan Boy - Baltimora
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco

I like them all! Tsk. Bunch of infidels.

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 8, 2005 12:27:08 AM

I think you'd maybe consider this soundtrack cringe worthy, but also appreciate it:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00000JMWY/qid=1126134526/sr=8-3/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-5134238-3005669?v=glance&s=music&n=507846

Posted by: rabbifleischmann | Sep 8, 2005 2:11:08 AM

Okay, I'm glad somebody else stood up for the showtunes (I'm a bit obvious for that task), so now that Rent has been properly defended (David: I can assure you that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th...15th time that I saw the show, I left the theater humming songs from the score), I can also provide the all-important nitpick: recordings of stage scores are called cast recordings, not soundtracks, dangnabit! (Soundtracks are recordings of incidental background music and songs in films)... if you ever post on a theater chat board and refer to the Rent "soundtrack", you will be sneered at...

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled postings.

Posted by: efrex | Sep 8, 2005 2:13:29 AM

admit it.. you have a folder entitlted " My shlock Rock favorites".. go ahead.. if you do.. I will admit to a playlist devoted to Tiny Tim's gregorian chants...

Posted by: shabtai | Sep 8, 2005 3:08:58 AM

Oh, but you've forgotten:

Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham
Mambo #5 - Lou Bega

They're all so bad they're GOOD : )

Posted by: Susan | Sep 8, 2005 5:54:47 AM

Oh, for the love of everything decent! Have you no shame, man? [giggling]

First of all "Mexican Radio" is a hilarious song, and not in the "so bad it's funny" category. It's just good and funny. Just heard it again today. The lyrics are genius.

Now Kajagoogoo is a different story. In any other era, under any other political system, Kajagoogoo would have been summarily executed.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Sep 8, 2005 7:18:32 AM

Jack was right (for a change). This is MY type of music (well, with the exception of 'Afternoon Delight,''Billy Don't be a Hero,' and Capt & Tenille and those 80's songs -- blech!!).

In fact, I've been lamenting the fact that my favorite 70's radio station has gone Spanish.

Helen Reddy has a beautiful voice. I still listen to her greatest hits. And that Minnie Riperton song is awesome. I always listen to it in its entirety when I hear it on the radio (and the poor lady died so young).

So what I am trying to say is if I am ever alone with you in the car, crank 'em up. Rock on, Dude!!

Posted by: Stacey | Sep 8, 2005 8:00:02 AM

Well David, with regard to the song beginning with "M", sung by an over made-up cheerleader, do you have the Spanish version as well? :-) I've got both language versions of "Living La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin.

I am listening to Andy Gibb singing "Shadow Dancing", and have a number of his songs. Have got a selection of show tunes, nearly every 80s song ever recorded (Der Komissar's "After the Fire", a few of Adam Ant's bigger hits, as well as most of what's already been mentioned above), a veritable plethora of oldies ("Sheboom" by the Crewcuts, anyone? Herman's Hermits, "The Candyman" by Sammy Davis Jr, etc.)...

I even have the Ketchup song (is that too much sharing?)! Of course, I am forever redeemed because I've got a charming little Tom Lehrer collection.

Sorry for babbling, but this is one of my favorite subjects, and I've gotten many compliments from colleagues on my MP3 collection. I could talk about music collections for ages! :-)

Will stop here. Besides, that classic 70s hit, "I Love the Nightlife" just came on, so...

Posted by: She | Sep 8, 2005 8:47:34 AM

Hey, hey, step away from the Philip Glass dissing ... OK, I'll grant you that Einstein on the Beach gets old, but in contrast the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack is fantastic.

One of the best evenings I ever spent was watching the movie and hearing the Philip Glass Ensemble play the soundtrack live. The walls were shaking ... unbelievably powerful.

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Sep 8, 2005 11:33:08 AM

It's a bit off-topic, but I suspect that many of the people on this thread would love my favorite Podcast, http://www.coverville.com/

Thirty minutes of so, three times a week, of great (or at least interesting) cover songs. It's produced by a chap called Brian Ibbott from Colorado. And unusually for an independent Podcast, it's full of wholesome ASCAP & BMI goodness, so you can listen guilt-free!

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Sep 8, 2005 11:40:14 AM

Jack... "70s crap"? Are you talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation? Oh yeah, that was the 60s. Never mind. :-)

Lisa... For some reason I thought you were an L.A. grrrrl! Where did this country thing come from? I obviously have to dig deeper into your archives. :-)

Carol... I won't argue about taste here since my post proves that mine is questionable at best.

Lioness... That's me... a musical infidel. (I like the sound of that!) :-)

rabbifleischmann... Not bad! 8 out of 15 would qualify (IMHO). Nicely done.

Efrex... If I hadn't met you AND YOUR WIFE) i would be back to assuming you were, well, 'afivesixseveneight...' (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I mean really... you saw Rent 15 times?! I have gay friends who haven't accomplished that!

Shabtai... Funny that you should mention shlock rock today. No, I won't tell you why it's funny... just stay tuned.

Susan... I'll give you the first two, but Mambo #5 is supposed to be hokey.

Doctor Bean... My older son LOVES Mexican Radio and requests it almost every time we were in the car. I finally put it on his ishuffle so he would leave me alone. Now I hear him sitting in the back seat singing "I wish I was in... Tijuana... eating BBq'd iguana...".

Stacey... "Rock on dude"? Now there's phrase I never thought I'd ever see in the same comment with Helen Reddy. At my age I'm running out of 'firsts'. Thanks!

She... I think you and I had better stick to politics because I think we could actually come to blows over the whole music thing! ;-) Now I'm gonna have that song ("I love the nightlife... I got ta boogie...") for the rest of the day. Thanks for nothin'! :-)

Andy... All I have to say on the subject is the following: Flute and Saxophone are not percussion instruments. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: David | Sep 8, 2005 4:57:56 PM

Oooooo, I love Mambo #5. I just checked my ipod, and I can't believe it's not on there!

Posted by: Tanya | Sep 8, 2005 5:44:49 PM

David! No need to cringe! Those songs are awesome. WHy be so embarrassed? It's classic 70's and 80's. I make my kids listen to that stuff all the time on my itunes... Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: sarahb | Sep 8, 2005 8:09:56 PM

First of all, I actually like quite a few of the songs on your list: Thomas Dolby ("she's tidied up, I can't FIND anything!"), Why don't we do it in the road (wasn't that Lennon's favorite?), Electric Avenue ("and then we take it HIYA. GOOD GOT").

Second, I definitely have to change my play list when someone else is in the car. I like to listen to Zeppelin and Rush, but if my wife gets in the car, I have to change right away or I risk bodily injury.

Also, I brought along an MP3 disk containing all of my own songs when we drove to NY. The first thing she did was turn the volume down. Not good, because then you can't hear the bass. Then she started...talking...to me during the songs. That's like the ultimate insult to a musician, when you talk over a song they want you to listen to. After about two songs I had to take it out and shtup in Billy Joel.

My kids primarily like to listen to Jewish Music, either Shiney shoe music, or my own. If it's mine, they prefer the Kabbalah, not any of the new Moshe Skier stuff. Fudge won't listen to any of it. She puts on her ipod and tunes out. She has good taste, and I'd gladly listen to her stuff (newer punk and 80's stuff) but I can't get that working in my car. She got me into Franz Ferdinand and I listen to it all the time.

On occasion I try to listen to stuff that I like when the kids are in the car, like Squeeze or Zeppelin. I remember listening to that stuff at their age and getting into it. Then I start listening to the words. It's funny, because I don't remember the words meaning all that much when I was a teenager. Now I listen and holy cwap, it's all about sex!! Squeeze is playing and the song comes on, "I'm always touching myself..." ok next song!!

Posted by: psychotoddler | Sep 8, 2005 9:02:41 PM

Tanya... It may be fun to listen to... but as a musician I can tell you that after the 100th time you play it, it starts to lose its charm.

Sarahb... I have this mental image of you driving your brood around in the minivan and head-banging to Tears for Fears. Hah! :-)

Psychotoddler... In all seriousness, I don't think it's that we didn't notice the words when we were younger... it's just that young people in general are much more accepting of whatever is thrown at them. I know this is going to make me sound like a total prude but I really want to try to keep my kids from thinking all of 'that stuff' is just part of their normal world (yet, anyway).

Posted by: David | Sep 8, 2005 10:43:06 PM

You've got some pretty embarrassing tracks, but at least you didn't mention that you've also got John Travolta's "Let Her In". I'm not proud to say that this LP was part of my collection back in the day... along with that Bay City Rollers. Let's be thankful those jumpsuits they wore on the cover never came back into style.

A colleague just got married and gave out as a party favor a CD of tracks that "mean something" to them. I wasn't invited to the wedding, but I was given a CD -- I was actually pleasantly surprised to find as the final track: Afternoon Delight. Might just put in on right now at the office (with headphones on, of course).

Thanks for the good laugh!

Posted by: Greg Ireland | Sep 8, 2005 10:48:42 PM

David, I think that I really didn't listen to or pay attention much to the lyrics. When they are very weird or very clever, yes. But when they are of the "you're so hot I gotta make you mine" variety I tune them out.

I remember that a friend of mine almost got kicked out of Morasha for playing Foreigner's "Urgent." I always thought of it as a great song with an amazing sax solo. Now that I listen carefully to the words, it's pretty much all about sex. I find myself skipping through most of my Foreigner album when the kids are in the car.

On a side note, my son had some comments about Foreigner in general. He said they have major health issues, Hot Blooded, Double Vision, Cold as Ice...

Posted by: psychotoddler | Sep 8, 2005 10:58:08 PM

Greg... Better hold the headphones on really, really tight! you wouldn't want any of that goodness seeping out would you? :-)

Pyschotoddler... You may have thought you were just 'tuning it out' but in all likelihood you were just accepting it. Think for a moment about [lahavdil] the way abused children often say that they didn't realize anything was wrong... how they assumed all kids were treated that way. Obviously I'm not saying exposing your kids to raunchy lyrics is even on the same planet as child abuse... but it does demonstrate that kids have an uncanny ability to take nearly anything that life puts in front of them and assume it is the norm. As parents, our challenge is raising the bar a little bit on what our kids consider normal.

Posted by: David | Sep 8, 2005 11:05:49 PM

not an LA girl, sorry! im a CALIFORNIA girl, but a san francisco one at that. so the country is not so loved there

Posted by: Lisa | Sep 8, 2005 11:26:09 PM

Lisa...i think you may be able to hear some good ole country music in SF or thereabouts. There is always Modesto (and one or two gay bars) :)

Posted by: Jaime | Sep 8, 2005 11:49:00 PM

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