We’re dancing for the restless and the brokenhearted

25 07 2017

I’ve got such a weakness for the pop anthem.

And not just, y’know, the regular U-RAH-RAH anthem—not We Will Rock You—but the slow build/propulsive/rip-your-heart-out-only-the-music-can-save-us anthem.

U2 seems the obvious go-to band for this, and it’s true, those boys could be mighty anthemic, but they were always too eager, never desperate enough. And while David Gray can do both the build and the desperation, he tends to crash through too soon, breaking the wave rather than letting it break over him.

No, for the properly-calibrated desperation, you gotta go to the women.

Stevie Nicks knew how to do the propulsive/rip-your-heart out bit:

As did Heart:

Pat Benatar bridged both Heart and Nicks:

A little older, a little softer, but still that call:

Sinead switches it up: she starts at a pretty high level, then just levels this shit:

Here, she levels everything s l o o o w w w l l l y:

Okay, I will give this one to the boys:

This is our last dance, indeed.

Kate Bush is a force unto herself, and if you can’t find your way to liking even one of her songs, I don’t want to know you.

This one is pretty hard to ignore:

This one works, too:

The pièce de résistance, however, has got to be from the lovably dopey Streets of Fire, with Diane Lane lip-synching the combined voices of Laurie Sargent and Holly Sherwood. Big booms, big downs, big ups, big hair, and everything is demolished by the end:

God, I’ll stop and listen to that song every damned time.

Hell, I listened to them all: somewhere inside this middle-aged broad is that break-away-everything-and-nothing-matters girl, still.

All these years later, something more than a memory remains of her, still.


And as we wind on down the road

31 10 2013

There are certain pleasures to becoming an old fart.

When I was younger, for example, it was important to be sniffy about music: to hate country music, for example, or to repudiate all hard rock once I became enamored of punk.

I wasn’t wrong, back in the day. Getting all wrought-up about music and books and poetry and politics was crucial to the development of my tastes, and helped me to figure out what and why I liked what I liked, and what these songs and poems and stories meant to me.

I’m a dialectical kinda gal, learning through contrast and movement, so it makes sense both that I embraced a THIS-NOT-THAT sensibility toward music (love rock, hate rock), and then a yeah-it’s-all-right reconsideration.

No, I ain’t running out to pick up any Foreigner records, but I no longer feel the need to reject all that my teenaged self loved.

And so, this:

My sister had Dreamboat Annie, which I thought was the bee’s knees, and Zeppelin, well hell, Zeppelin. Then I Developed Taste, and even if I couldn’t sneer quite as completely at Zeppelin as I did at Heart, well, I couldn’t really listen to them.

Now, though, those taste buds are tired of rejecting tasty bits just because it’s what I’m supposed to do.

Fuck what I’m supposed to do. This is a damned fine rendition of a classic—if you’re going to use a chorus in a rock song, this is how you use a chorus in a rock song—and I happily popped this up to full screen to watch and listen.

And you, if you’re sneering? You wish you could sing like (D’oh!) Nancy Ann Wilson.


h/t Bluegal aka Fran at Crooks & Liars