ready for this? It turns out that Jocelyn, our new corporate librarian
... is a Celine Dion fan.
I am not
things worse, her office is located directly next to mine. For the past
two days, Ms. Dion and her overblown vocal chords have been in
more-or-less constant rotation on the library boombox ... most notably, the ghastly theme from "Titanic." I've heard it
four times already today, wafting down the hallway from her office
to mine, like deadly invisible odorless nerve gas.
And it's only 10
Jocelyn is still new, and she seems very sweet and very competent, and
she hasn't been polluted by all of the Totem Pole nonsense yet. Plus
she covered for me while I was in TicTac, and she didn'terase
my collection of naughty voicemail messages while I was gone. I'm
going to have to wait another couple of weeks before I can go into the
library and beat her up.
meantime ... I'll just keep my door closed.
* * * * * * *
reminds me, in a not-so-roundabout way, of something they're doing on
the message boards this week ... an ongoing discussion about the worst
and best songs of all time.
loving it, of course. This stuff is right up his
alley. He called me at the office late in the afternoon, bursting with
excitement over the post he's creating for the boards. His Best and
Worst lists include John Lennon, Sibelius, Harry Chapin and John Cougar
gonna call it 'I Hear Dead People,' " he said.
any wonder I'm mad about this guy?!?)
* * * * * * *
didn't ask, of course ... but here is *my* list of Ten Worst Songs of
* * * * * * *
at the Oasis" by Maria Muldaur; "Loving You" by Minnie Ripperton;
anything by Olivia Newton John/Anne Murray/Rita Coolidge.
This was the stuff that passed for "chick music" during my high
school/college years. Is it any wonder that it would be two decades
before I began taking female recording artists seriously?
Kiss," Pearl Jam.
I thought they were kidding! I swear to god!!
You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Circle of Life," Elton John; "You'll Be
In My Heart," Phil Collins.
What IS the deal with balding,
over-the-hill pop stars discarding all remaining *dignity molecules* in
order to jump on the Disney soundtrack gravy train?
And who's next?
Peter Gabriel, providing the groovy soundtrack to
"Curious George: The Movie?"
Billy Joel, warbling *instantly
timeless classics* from "Hello God? It's Me, Margaret?"
Bolton, sprinting to the podium to collect his Oscar for "The Lion King
VIII: Yeah, We Made Another Pointless Sequel (So Sue Us Whydontchoo?)"
enough to make poor Mr. Disney spin in his grave. (And if he
isn't spinning, remind me when I'm dead and I'll do it FOR him.)
This song makes my teeth hurt. Literally. It's worse than wooden
popsicle sticks, tinfoil, fingernails on a chalkboard and an ice cream
headache, put together.
by Kenny G. or Michael Bolton.
I once attended a wedding where the bride and her entourage marched
down the aisle to a Kenny G. "song."
was one of his really slow, screechy numbers that just goes on and on
forever, with no discernible melody ... just endless meandering whiney
sax, until you think your head is simply going to explode, right there
in the pew.
wait: they're all like that.)
make matters even worse the tape was slightly warped, and whoever
was in charge of pushing the "Stop" and "Start" buttons on the tape
recorder had obviously been dipping into the Framboise de Bourgogne
punch when no one was looking. The bridesmaids kept stopping
right in the middle of the aisle, standing in nervous giggling little
clumps, looking behind them at the bride to see if it was OK to keep
moving forward, even when there was no music to move forward TO. The
bride just looked like she wanted to kill everybody totally dead, right
there on the spot. (Including Kenny G.) It was the
most excruciatingly awkward, inelegant, cringe-worthy wedding
procession in the history of wedding processions.
for Mr. Bolton ... I firmly believe that there is a very special place
reserved in hell for anyone who desecrates a classic Bee Gees song ...
especially when it's a song that Young Secra loved and revered and
secretly practiced slow-dancing to, alone in her bedroom when nobody
When We Touch," Dan Hill.
Yes, I know ... this one makes everybody's Worst
Songs of All Time list. But it belongs on *my* list for two reasons:
1.) I actually saw Mr. Hill perform this song live in concert in 1979,
during the last thirty seconds of his fifteen minutes of fame: he was
the opening act for Dan Fogelberg, and
2.) I actually LIKED
this song for some of those fifteen minutes. But then again, I actually
liked Dan Fogelberg, too. Plus I was on drugs.
by Bob Dylan EXCEPT for "Jokerman."
I'm sorry. I realize that I am laying my life -- and any future
Kentucky Derby Care Packages from Loo-uh-ville -- on the line here. Not
only is the Other 50% of the Population a devout Dylan fan, so are
two of my best friends on the planet. Over the years they have
collectively attempted to convert me to the "Bob Dylan: Voice of a
Generation" way of thinking.
still hear his voice and I automatically think: goat stuck in a
by Daddy Dewdrop; "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch;
"Spill the Wine" by Eric Burdon & War.
Yeah, I'm lumping them all into one group. They're all the same song
anyway. These are the songs my little brother and his revolting friends
would walk around singing on the playground, in that smutty, smirky,
"I know-it's-about-sex (but I'm too-young-to-do-anything-but-SMIRK-about-it)" eleven- and
twelve- and thirteen-year-old boy way, until I just wanted to sneak
upstairs to his bedroom when he wasn't home and yank the contraband
Penthouse out from under his mattress and leave it sitting on the
kitchen table on top of his math book for Grandma to find.
I Wanna Do," Sheryl Crow.
It took me a long time to come around to Sheryl Crow. This song almost
fudked it up permanently.
Diamond Ring," Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
I get in trouble every time I include this song on a "All-Time Worst"
list. Somebody invariably springs up out of nowhere and writes me long,
mewling e-mail all about how it's a classic, and how it shot up to #1
overnight and the pressing plants ran 24 hours a day but couldn't keep
up with the demand for the record, and how in 1965 Gary was Cash Box
magazine's "Male Vocalist Of The Year," winning the honor over other
nominees Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and blah blah blah blah blah
truth is, I don't hate this song so much as I resist liking
I think what I'm resisting, whenever I list this song on a Ten Worst
List, is the whole "Good Time Oldies" radio station mentality ... the
idea that you can go anywhere in the country, whether it's TicTac
("KBSG! Seattle's Good Time Oldies Station!"), or Oregon ["KISN!
Portland's Good Time Oldies Station!"), or the Bay Area ["KFRC! San
Francisco's Good Time Oldies Station!") ... turn on the radio ...
and THIS stoopid song will be playing. Every. Fudking. Time.
Ubu Dance Party," Pere Ubu.
David played this for me one afternoon when we were sitting around The
Castle, thinking I might find it "interesting." But then again David is
always playing records for me, thinking I
might find them "interesting." A
lot of the time I just sort of tune it out.
(I'm sorry, honey. But when
you've heard one Dwight Twilley song, you've heard twenty-five Dwight
in a while something he plays reaches out and grabs me instantly. The
Nico stuff was like that. So was Laurie Anderson ("O Superman") ...
Translator ("Everywhere That I'm Not" and "Necessary Spinning") ...
Wreckless Eric ("Whole Wide World") ... and of course the post-Avengers
Penelope Houston stuff. Most recently I've been investigating his old
Big Star records, after he played me a couple of introductory songs.
then again, once in a while something he plays reaches out and
bashes me repeatedly about the skull with a dull meat cleaver.
was like that.
official comment? "Do not, under any circumstances, ever play that
record again." Unless I'm in France. Or deaf. Or dead. In which case
I'll be too busy spinning in my grave on behalf of Mr. Disney to care.
I like Madonna once in a while -- see: "Ray of Light" -- but this tepid
and uninspired remake did not warrant all the
hoopla it generated. In fact, the only really good thing that came out
of the whole thing was Don McLean's classy and politely horny
comments about the remake. "I have heard her version and I
think it is sensual and mystical," he said. "I have
received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever
received a gift from a goddess."
Express" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Of course I have to include the Dreaded Bad Luck Song in the list.
time has gone by that I have forgotten precisely why
-- or how, or WHEN -- this song became the Dreaded
Bad Luck Song. I
dimly recall hearing it on the radio and thinking it sounded "evil."
(Then again, twelve year old Secra was a born-again Christian of the
holiest-roller variety: she thought BURL IVES sounded "evil.") I think
what happened is that I got into the habit of automatically snapping
the radio off, every time the song began to play, just because I didn't
like the creepy feeling it gave me. Eventually this morphed into one of
those good luck/bad luck things.
Ridiculous *Marrakesh Express* Moment: Thirtysomething-year-old Secra
dashes out of the grocery store, clutching her newborn son in her
arms and dragging both bewildered daughters along behind her, because "M.E." began to play over the sound system while she was
you go. My list, such as it is. You'll note I have not included any
Celine Dion. That's because she is, as we all know, retired
now. (Which is why we are actually SEEING and HEARING more about her,
right now, than at any time in the past ten years. But that's
another story for another day.)
I know: I've listed more than ten songs in my *Ten Worst Songs of All
these days -- when I'm hard up for a journal entry again -- I'll try
listing my *Ten Best Songs of All Time* list. That oughta keep us all
entertained for about a month.