Thursday, November 02, 2006

Try To Understand

I'll write tomorrow, I swear. I was up really early today for a really really really early JHU appointment. My car ride there is about 40 minutes long door to door, which is no big deal, especially because I get to listen to music of my own choosing or NPR, without having to hear Wheels on the Bus or the ABC Song the entire ride. I realized the other day when someone asked me if I'd heard something on NPR and I replied, "I don't even know what station public radio is on anymore. I haven't listened to NPR since coming home from China almost two years ago." And damn if I wasn't speaking the truth. I, formerly politically-active, exceedingly-engaged, on-top-of-current-events woman, could not--on penalty of death--conjure up in my mind where to even find NPR or any such channel on the radio. THAT is how long it's been since I had control of my own automotive sound system. Two years. So now when people say, "wow, that's a bit of drive, isn't it? All the way to Baltimore?" I just smile. Because it's 40 minutes in a car; yes. But it's also 40 minutes of actually hearing BBC's World Have Your Say or, god forbid, just some music that doesn't use a piccolo or xylophone.

Unless, of course, like me today, you happen to hear what has to be THE WORST ALL-TIME song ever written and performed. It was on the "classic rock" station, and all I can say is that if "classic" means "laughably horribly didn't-age-well parody of a bad Spinal Tap performance," then yes, this was classic rock. I speak, of course, of Heart's "Magic Man." What in THE hell was going on when this song was written, recorded and played? I'd never heard it before today and ohmygod it is sooo bad I completely started laughing when I realized it wasn't, as I mentioned before, some kind of Spinal Tap parody. I remember Heart from "These Dreams" back in the '80's when all the guys in my high school were hot for the blond one--and before the brunette apparently gained weight. Whatever. Had I known in 1988 that those women were responsible for "Magic Man" I'd have played it for those high school boys and shut that "she's so hot" sh*t down, post haste. Because you cannot find a woman hot who can sing the following lyrics with a straight face:

"Come on home, girl" he said with a smile
"I cast my spell of love on you, a woman from a child!
But try to understand, try to understand, oh ... oh ...
Try to understand
Try try try to understand
He's a magic man!" oh yeah
Oh, you've got the magic hands

Download the song if you haven't heard it because there is no substitute for hearing the word "try" sung no fewer than six times in one stanza, which ought to qualify them for "most space-filling" in a song as well as "couldn't think of a word that rhymed with 'attempt' or 'make an effort.'" I almost wrote that it's "deliciously bad," but it's not, I'm afraid. Tom Jones' version of Prince's "Kiss" is deliciously bad. Magic Man is just, as a reviewer said about Spinal Tap's "Shark Sandwich" album: "Two words: Shit Sandwich."

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