Wednesday, January 24, 2007

7 Days of Music. Day 4: Diaper Rash Blues

I'm writing 7 songs in 7 days. Today: Kids Rock.

"Diaper Rash Blues"
(Jerry Lee Loser)

I got a stinky little brother
Who went potty under cover
Got the diaper rash blues

Got a painful little problem
Cause he didn’t clean his bottom
Got the diaper rash blues

He’s a bawling like he’s dying
Or he’s already dead
Cause his bottom feels like frying
And it’s turning bright red
I got the stinky little brother frying feel like dying diaper rash blues

I got a stupid baby sister
Got her diapers in a twister
Got the diaper rash blues

Couldn’t wait to find a potty
In her diaper did a naughty
Got the diaper rash blues

She’s wailing like a banshee
All over the place
And she’s stinking up the atmosphere
In front of my face
I got the stupid baby sister in a twister stinking diaper rash blues

Now if you got a brother
Man you better run for cover
From the diaper rash blues

If you got a sister
With her diapers in a twister
From those diaper rash blues

Don’t wait until they’re shouting
Til it’s hurting your ears
Don’t let them start a-pouting
‘Bout the pain in their rears
Don’t get those stinky little brother sister shouting pouting diaper rash blues

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

7 Days of Music. Day 3: America Smells Like Freedom

I'm writing 7 songs in 7 days. Today: Country Duet.

"America Smells Like Freedom" (Kenny Raunchers and Dolly Farton)

At a truck stop in Kenosha
I breathe the diesel fuel
At a diner in Montana
I smell a patron’s stool

From the steel mills of Ohio
To the plants of Battle Creek
From a dumpster outside Wal-Mart
Where I stop to take a leak

There’s a growing stench across this land
As sweet as bottled pee
Yes America smells like freedom to me

(Duet; Chorus:)
Oh America smells like freedom to me
Now I know just what it smells like to be free
From the dung that grows our waves of grain
From the sewer to the sea
America smells like freedom to me

From the farmland of Missouri
I can smell this precious earth

From exhaust fumes in Daytona
To the stockyards in Fort Worth

There’s a stench that’s risin’ cross this land
It’s rich, it’s ripe, it’s free
Yes America smells like freedom to me

Oh America smells like freedom to me
Now I know just what it smells like to be free
From the dung that grows our waves of grain
From the sewer to the sea
America smells like freedom to me

There’s a lump that’s growing in my throat
That cannot be denied

And I don’t think it’s cancer

No, I think it’s pride

(Key change)
From the butt crack of a plumber
Comes a whiff of rancid sweat

From the swollen feet of waitresses
So pungent and so wet

From the carcass of a slaughtered pig
At the hot dog factory
Yes America smells like freedom to me

(Another key change; chorus:)
Oh America smells like freedom to me
Now I know just what it smells like to be free
From the dung that grows our waves of grain
From the sewer to the sea
America smells like freedom to me

(Dolly, slowly):
From the diaper of the smallest child

(Kenny, slowly):
To the odor of the elderly

(Both, big finish):
America smells like freedom to me

Monday, January 22, 2007

7 Days of Music. Day 2: Shook Me Til I Hurled

I'm writing 7 songs in 7 days. Today: Heavy Metal.

"Shook Me Til I Hurled" (Megamaiden)

She had a face like the back of a beagle
Yeah, she was no ordinary girl
She was six-foot-four
Barely made it through the door
Her face was really scary
Yeah, her upper lip was hairy

She had arms twice the size of a tree trunk
She had legs that could crush a large squirrel
She grabbed me in a hugfest
Then she squeezed me til my breakfast
Started lurchin from my gut
I threw it up
Yeah, she shook me til I hurled
Yeah, she shook me til I hurled
Yeah, she shook me til I hurled

She wouldn’t take no for an answer
I didn’t wanna go out with that girl
She said pick me up at 8
Baby don’t be late
Gonna make you feel right
Gonna shake you all night

She shook me all over the dance floor
She rocked me right out of this world
She knocked me through a wall
Like a little rag doll
Then my stomach started churnin
And a burnin
Yeah, she shook me til I hurled
(repeat chorus)

Now I won’t take no for an answer
Man I’m so in love with that girl
I never knew a shakin night
Could make me feel so right
Until I’m barfin from her punch
I toss my lunch
Yeah, she shook me til I hurled
Yeah, I love that girl
(repeat chorus)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Small Company

I am now working at the smallest company I have ever worked at in my adult life. ("The Dick Cavett Show," where I worked as a PA during its 13-week run on ABC in 1986, was about the same size. The Iowa Wrestling team, where I was a grad assistant coach from 1987-91, was larger, if you include Judy the office assistant and Brett Mangold the video guy.)

Here are the things I like about working at a small company:

I can wear jeans and not shave one day and no one notices.

There's pretty much one focus: build a business. Not "build a business, but don't step on Consumer Products' toes or go around Ad Sales, which is incompetent, or upset the mercurial head of Marketing or say anything bad about the chairman's son-in-law who heads eMedia."

If you have an idea, it probably hasn't been tried yet. At NBCU they've already automated the elevator system, outsourced accounting to Bangalore, and super-sized their shows during sweeps. At some point they'll have to start recycling old, boring, stale ideas like "create good shows."

At the end of every week I can state exactly what I accomplished.

Here are the things I don't like about working at a small company:

CFO stresses about cost of paper clips.

The foam arm of my chair is crumbling.

"Matching 401K? Ha-ha."

Lovely West 35th Street.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Slogans for Old Age

In honor of my dad's birthday today, some slogans for old folks:

"70 is the new 40."

"I'm so old all my clothes are back in style."

"I'm even better looking if you take your glasses off."

"I'm available. (For a limited time only.)"

"Geriatric Delinquent."

"I'm so old my grandkids are on Social Security."

"I'm not getting older, I'm getting--um...what was I talking about?"

"Age is a state of mind. Did I mention I'm senile?"

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Kissing Betty Ford

Aside from Grace Coolidge, Betty Ford was the hottest First Lady. Not only that, she could mix a mean daiquiri. She was also the only First Lady I've ever kissed. So far, anyway.

Mr. and Mrs. Ford came to Durango in the summer of 1981, when I was working as a $3.50/hour radio producer at KIUP (AM 930, "Playing for You"). (No, I didn't write that great tagline, but I made several clever ads for Durango Travel Service, including one in which I did the voice of Robin and uttered the memorable line, "Holy travel carriers, Batman.")

But I digress.

The Fords were co-owners of the station, and while they were in town they took all the employees to the Bar-D Chuckwagon, north of Durango, for an outdoor supper and show. I sat a few feet down, on the same long bench. At the end of the show we all said our goodbyes. I shook Mr. Ford's hand, and then hugged Mrs. Ford and kissed her on the cheek.

Afterwards I thought, hmm, was that inappropriate to kiss the First Lady? I didn't know the protocol. No Secret Serviceman intervened, alas.

My impression was that they were genuinely nice people. And I'm truly sorry about the daiquiri joke above.

The British Skulls

Samuel and I went to see the debut concert of The British Skulls last night. The Skulls are a "girl group." By that I mean they are between the ages of 8 and 9. They played to a full house in the living room of the co-lead singer.

Unfortunately, all did not go smoothly. They belted out the first two numbers without incident. The first was called "We Rock," and the second had something to do with a ghost. But on the opening notes of the third, there was some sort of communication problem.

I think the actual words were, "Just shut up and play the song."

The keyboard player stomped off the stage, followed by the co-lead singers.

After about twenty minutes of crowd encouragement (and some parental intervention), two of the three members returned for an encore. One held her ground and refused to take the stage. But by the end of the evening they were friends again.

Nevertheless, this is probably the end of The British Skulls. Rock-and-roll takes no prisoners.

Digital Cow

Ethan just informed me that the cow on the person's head in the Laurie Berkner DVD commercial is "probably digital."

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Questions Couples Should Ask Before Marrying (part deux)

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

Absolutely. Unless we're busy doing something really important like writing a blog entry or reading Hawkeye Wrestling message boards. But otherwise, yes, 100% of the time. It's critical.

In fact, Jennifer and I have honed our listening skills to the point where we can absorb most of what the other person is saying at a subliminal level without even paying all that much attention. Which allows us to, say, upload a YouTube video and complete an eBay transaction while discussing, say, our relationship. And efficiency is part of the glue that holds a marriage together. We both agree on that. At least I think we do. I recall Jennifer rambling on about it the other day. Or maybe she was talking about something else, I don't know.

But, yes. Definitely. Listening is key.

Worst Beatles Songs

While I procrastinate from editing holiday videos, I'll share something that's been on my mind for awhile. The White Album should've been a single rather than double album. There were some great songs on there ("Birthday," "I Will," "Julia"). But there were also some clunkers that someone should've said, "Um, guys..."

I'm thinking specifically of "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?," which, despite its initial shock value, is musically worthless. Then there's "Wild Honey Pie," "Revolution #9," and "Don't Pass Me By."

Those four alone probably account for four of the worst five Beatles songs ever. The fifth is a stumper, but if someone suggested "Good Night" I wouldn't argue. Or "Glass Onion." Whew.

Just for fun, a few other suggestions for #5:

Any of the instrumental tracks from the original "Help" album. Unless you're a sitar fan, you'll agree that these are un-listenable. Later releases of the "Help" album wisely left these out.

"Here There and Everywhere." The melody is sweet in a McCartneyesque kind of way, but, like many McCartney songs, the lyrics don't make any sense:

I want her everywhere
and if she's beside me I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere


True, they're no worse than 90% of David Gates' lyrics ("Baby, I'm-a Want You"?), but the bar is lower there.

"Yellow Submarine." Listen to it again with a fresh ear.

"Octopus' Garden." Combines sloppy songwriting with Ringo's limited vocal talents. While we're on the subject:

"Act Naturally." John & Paul get a pass on this one, as they didn't write it. But they recorded it. And they let Ringo sing lead. (Sidebar: the Cowsills do an even worse version.)

"Blue Jay Way"...

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long
or I may be asleep

At least with Ravel's Bolero you get a climax at the end of the monotony. With "Blue Jay Way," you get the monotony and then..."or I may be asleep." That's the payoff line: "or I may be asleep."