Super Songs presents…
Music, apes, and bathroom noises.
by Andrew Roller
Dana Taranova is my muse for the music playlist that follows. Dana Taranova can be found on Google, on Google’s You Tube service as “Danatar”, and on Mark Suckerberg’s Instagram.
“And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.”
– Simon and Garfunkel.
Once, I mentioned to you that I had been in the United States Air Force. You might wonder what my job was. My job was to kill your parents.
I realize I sound like someone who’s seen the film, “The Terminator” ( #1 ) too many times. However, in the 1980’s, Russia encompassed more land than it does today. My job was, if ordered, to shoot off nuclear missiles. As the U.S. and U.S.S.R. ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ) were locked in a nuclear – armed “Cold War”, it is not difficult to surmise where my missiles were aimed. ( My actual targets were classified. )
I could not do such a job today. As you, and Mari Kruchkova, are my favorite girls in the world, I wouldn’t want to blow you up. I much prefer you and Mari to my fellow Americans. ( I wouldn’t mind sending a nuclear missile in the direction of Google, which owns You Tube. )
If you wish to view a horrific use of a nuclear missile, watch a “Nixon era” Planet of the Apes film. ( Richard Millstone Nixon was the President of the United States when these particular “ape” films were made. ) The film I recommend is the second in the series, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”. Should you wish to not have a gigantic spoiler plopped in your lap, do yourself a favor. Begin your film odyssey by watching the first “ape” film, “Planet of the Apes”. A total of five “ape” films were made in the 1970’s.
I think you and I like different music. Don’t worry! Disinterest, on the part of my intended audience, doesn’t impede me. I will say this: I love your music when you are singing or dancing to it. Otherwise, I’ll stick with rock music, such as Ozzie Osbourne’s song, “Thank God for the Bomb”. Album: The Ultimate Sin.
I actually know more about you than I do about any American girl. However, I do know, from observation, a song that American girls love to dance to. ( Or, anyway, I know this as of the year 1999, when I last saw American girls dancing live. ) ( Yes, life in “the land of the free” is very fun. It’s so fun I wonder if I’d be happier six feet underground. )
American girls love to dance to a gay song. It is, “Y.M.C.A. ( Single Version )”, by the Village People. Album: 20th Century masters, The Best Of Village People: The Millennium Collection. “Y.M.C.A.” stands for the Young Men’s Christian Association. Traditionally, the Y.M.C.A. provided short term lodging for men, in an uplifting moral atmosphere. Being a homosexual, or “gay”, at the Y.M.C.A. was not an approved mode of behavior.
Hence, like much in 1970’s America, “Y.M.C.A.” was a taboo-breaking song. Check out these lyrics, which do not refer to a traditionally Christian view of male behavior:
“It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A. …
You can hang out with all the boys!”
A reason girls like to dance to “Y.M.C.A.” is because of the letters: Y M C A. The girls like to form each letter, as they dance, with their arms. ( Exactly how this is done is beyond me. I’m too old to pay attention to what beautiful young girls are doing. )
In a video game, what I’ve written above, about the song “Y.M.C.A.”, is called “an Easter egg”. It’s something you get, that you didn’t expect. I haven’t included the song “Y.M.C.A.” in this music playlist. However, you might enjoy listening to it, if you get tired of, say, listening to Ozzy Osbourne’s song, “Straight to Hell”. Album: Straight to Hell.
Now let’s proceed with:
Andrew Roller’s rock music playlist. Every song is currently available, for free, in You Tube’s Music app.
1. Your music choices influenced my pick for the first song in my playlist. That song is,
Song: The Safety Dance ( Extended Dance Version ).
Artist: Men Without Hats.
Album: Rhythm of Youth.
I was in missile school when this song became popular in the U.S. There was not much worthwhile music to listen to in that era, but I did like this song, and bought the album.
2. Song: 867-5309 / Jenny.
Artist: Tommy Tutone.
Album: Radio Hits Of The 80s.
The internet became popular in America in the mid-1990’s. Some in the public were shocked that one could write “blue” material on the internet. As a figure in a cartoon said, “I used to have to walk through the snow, to write that on bathroom walls.” Now, one could do so in comfort, in one’s pajamas, for all the world to read.
The song 867-5309 hearkens back to the days when a bathroom wall was a prime transmittal method for “blue” material. In this instance, an earnest young man, viewing a phone number on a wall, feels he’s met the girl of his dreams. He is eager to connect with her. I divine a sly joke in the song. In my opinion, the girl of this fellow’s dreams is probably a man, who likes to pose as a woman. ( Not, as the T.V. show Seinfeld would hasten to add, that there’s anything wrong with that. )
867-5309 is one of the most fun songs in the American musical oeuvre.
3. Song: Paint It, Black.
The Rolling Stones.
Album: the rolling stones singles collection * the london years.
Doubtless, there are many experts on American music. Perhaps they’re sending you music playlists. If not, you’re stuck with me, and my opinions.
I’ll give you my erudite judgement on The Rolling Stones. As best I can tell, they remain fine performers, on stage. However, every song The Rolling Stones have put out since the 1960’s is crap.
I’m not providing you with crap here. “Paint It, Black” is from the days when The Rolling Stones were at the top of the music world, in terms of their songwriting ability.
4. Song: Tales Of Brave Ulysses.
Album: Disraeli Gears.
I’ll confess: this song came and went before my time. I was alive. However, my parents were doing their utmost to “channel, raise, and rear” me – beyond the bounds of contemporary American culture. As far as my father is concerned, America must always remain, culturally, in the 1930’s. ( Specifically, in The Great Depression. No kidding. )
As far as my mother is concerned, America is to always remain, culturally, in the 1940’s. ( With World War Two rationing. No kidding. )
This has sparked a maxim by me:
“The parent channels, raises, and rears.
The child renders the verdict.”
You Tube might keep that in mind, as it seeks to “protect” its young creators, by fiercely censoring them.
Which makes the next song in this playlist most apt:
5. Song: The Sound of Silence ( Electric Version ).
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel.
Album: Sounds Of Silence.
In my early years, I was stuck with listening to church music. ( My father is a pastor. Should you ever be in need of a two hour sermon, call him. After two hours, he’ll ask: “And how are you doing?” ) ( Now you know why, if left unleashed, I can probably fill up your You Tube channel with comments. )
When I was in the sixth grade, my teacher brought a record album to school. To my delight, it was not a record album consisting of church music. ( My father didn’t actually play record albums in those days, of any sort. However, we were, as a family, in church on a frequent basis. That’s why I’m so holy today. )
My teacher’s record album consisted of music by Simon and Garfunkel. Perhaps the album was the very one I’ve mentioned above. Simon and Garfunkel was a highly successful musical duo in the 1960’s. Their fame continued into the early 1970’s.
6. Song: Pictures of Matchstick Men ( Mono Version ).
Artist: Status Quo.
Album: Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo.
I can hear it now: I love this guy. He sends me music that’s over half a century old, and expects me to listen to it.
My response: In America, the 1960’s was about the best decade ever. Consider: a U.S. president was assassinated. His assassin was assassinated. A prominent U.S. presidential candidate was assassinated. A civil rights leader was assassinated. America put its all into the Vietnam War, only to realize that victory was likely impossible. America put a man on the moon. Who can top that?
As one weighs history, a decade isn’t confined to a set number of years. In America, the 1960’s began in 1963, with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The 1960’s ended in 1974, with the resignation of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon. From such a perspective, the “1960’s” includes the U.S. “Watergate” scandal, and an Arab oil embargo. The oil embargo caused America, “the land of plenty”, to ( literally ) run out of gasoline.
Not all my time in church buildings was spent in religious services. I have memories of children ( mostly girls, as I recall ) banging out the song, “Pictures of Matchstick Men” on a piano. The entire song wasn’t played, as these girls were likely eight-years-old. Instead, the opening notes to “Matchstick Men” were favored. Another favorite song, or part thereof, was the theme song of the T.V. show, “Batman”.
What do I like best about the song, “Pictures of Matchstick Men”? The singers’ British voices. They remind me of the accents of the men who composed the band, and children’s television series, “The Monkees”. The Monkees are an American band. Nonetheless, I find a similarity in their voices to that of British singers. ( Yes, senility looms, in my life. Pretty soon, I’ll think a young You Tube star can be my girlfriend. )
7. Song: Incense And Peppermints.
Artist: Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Album: The Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Whoa! Look at the cover on this record album. Dana, these guys are cool. No, I’m not joking. First, they have long hair. This is a total outrage to “the older generation”, in 1960’s America. Second, these guys are barefoot. This is a total outrage to “the older generation”, in 1960’s America. Third, these guys are wearing Bell Bottom trousers. This is a total outrage to “the older generation”, in 1960’s America. ( Hi, dad! )
I was too young to get away with long hair, bare feet, and Bell Bottoms. ( For which I am eternally grateful, as I am for a quarter century of non-stop religious services. )
Notice the big wicker chair, on the album’s cover. Such a chair was hugely popular, in the early 1970’s. So, once again, Strawberry Alarm Clock is the essence of cool, since they had their big wicker chair in 1967.
8. Song: Hurdy Gurdy Man.
Album: the hurdy gurdy man.
I love the full, rich sound of this song, and the cacophony of background noises.
9. Song: Spirit In The Sky.
Artist: Norman Greenbaum.
Album: spirit in the sky.
To quote U.S. President Bill Clinton, “I feel your pain”. You don’t want to hear any more songs from the 1960’s. Okay, okay. Your wish is my command. Hence, “Spirit In The Sky” is from “late 1969”, according to Google. I probably didn’t hear it until 1970. Good enough?
By the early 1970’s, America’s hippie culture was wearing thin, among some young people. They wanted more than the proverbial “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” that hippiedom offered. ( Some folks are never satisfied. )
A number of hippie dissidents became “Jesus freaks”. Still sure of their moral superiority, as they had been when hippies, they now claimed to have God on their side. The movie “Godspell” catered to the “Jesus freak” culture.
I recommend listening to the album Godspell. Various versions exist on You Tube. If you see hippies dancing atop a roof, you’ve found the right version. The person who posted this version to You Tube is apparently “liddlmausi”.
I’m sure he, or she, obtained copyright permission to post Godspell. Just like I’m sure I’m Tom Cruise.
That’s meant as a criticism of You Tube, not the person who posted Godspell. You Tube never saw a copyright violation it disapproved of, but it is always finding an original video, by a young creator, that must be destroyed.
Google, You Tube’s owner, once sought to obtain all the world’s content. It is now a major destroyer of content.
10. Song: While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Artist: Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison, & Prince.
Album: Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum.
The word “museum”, in this album’s title, greatly annoys me. It’s as if these idiots think the 1960’s are over. Does my rock music playlist sound like the 60’s are dead?
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was originally a Beatles song ( from the year 1968 ). Rather than belabor you with that version, I’ve belabored you with this one. It’s at least a decade or two younger than the other version. Yes, a number of the singers in this version are now dead.
11. Song: Panic Switch.
Artist: Silversun Pickups.
Album: The Singles Collection.
Wow! This song is from 2009. Dana, you were alive when this song came out! See? I can be a modern guy, sometimes.
I heard “Panic Switch” while I was working out at the gym. As my gym’s music was generally awful, this song was a breath of fresh air. ( Okay, I was on the toilet when I first heard “Panic Switch”, but I needed some fresh air in the bathroom. )
When I worked out in a gym, in the 1960’s – I mean, recently – I stayed all night. In the morning, I hadn’t eaten in many hours. I was not in great need of a bathroom.
That wasn’t the case for others. I called those folks “the normal people”, since they worked out at a respectable hour. ( Five o’clock in the morning, for a gym. )
The normal people charged into the gym, and began exercising. Soon, they needed to use the bathroom. All of them needed to use the bathroom, and all at once. It was their first major bathroom visit since the night before.
My God! I don’t know what the ladies’ lavatory was like, but the men’s room was a factory of odious smells and noises. The sounds were so spectacularly awful, that I fantasized about recording them.
I’ve always wanted to be someone who speaks on the radio, as a “call-in” show host. I’d wait for, say, someone to phone in, and claim that You Tube’s censorship is a good thing. Then, bam! I’d play those bathroom noises. So long, buddy. Call again with your stupid opinion. I’ll have more noises ready for you.
On such an edified note, my rock music playlist concludes.
P.S. I have a photo of you, from Google. In it, you’re wearing a string headband. A diamond-shaped pendant hangs over your forehead. Though you’re not wearing flowers, you resemble, to me, a 1960’s “flower child”. I love that photo.
( Yes, my collection of photos of you begins with my favorite shots from your video, “Dana Taranova fun beach”. Like the 1960’s, “Dana Taranova fun beach” will never die. )
Copyright 2019 by Andrew L. Roller. SS, Super Songs, is a trademark of Andrew L. Roller.
I am https://andrewroller.wordpress.com
Earlier posts by me are at https://asstr.org/files/Authors/Roller/
I’m on paper at: https://www.abebooks.com > AbeBooks > Roller, Andrew
and https://www.abebooks.co.uk > AbeBooks > Roller, Andrew
I have no financial involvement in these resale items.
This is SS, Super Songs, issue number 5.
Arcana: This is SS, Super Songs, issue number 5, version 3.0