Gimme one more week

Waitdad is going to be on hold for one more week while I prepare "Castle Park" for final mixing.

12 Songs
39 minutes

263 tracks to organize.

Pray that my wife will still love me by Friday.


No seriously.

I'm gonna need Devine intervention to keep her from stabbing me in the head with a paring knife.

Or something worse.

Like a night out dancing.

Or Christmas shopping.

Five Things I just said.

Last five things I've just said.

Calvin quiet.

Calvin stop.


If I get up off this couch I am not gonna be happy.

What did I just say?

It's gonna be a long night.

To Each Word

First, rehearse your song by rote.
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand with fairy grace,
we will sing and bless this place.

I was thinking today of talking politics. But let's let that scab heal. We'll pick at the scar tissue again in a few years.

I was also thinking family stuff, but I am a smarter man than that, and I have no intention of walking into a skillet fight with only a spatula.

So why not give a little gravity to something very silly that could have only happened to me . . . ?

We've all misheard lyrics. From Iron Butterfly's "Inagottadavita." to Sondheim's "for a smaffee in America."and we kind of slough them off to the useless information pile.

If Jimi is going to "kiss the sky" or "kiss this guy", doesn't matter.  For if it sounds right, and it feels right, then it is right. We don't care what you say as much as how you say it.

Or as my producer once said "I never listen to the lyrics."

Which is just fine.

I pay him to care about the sound and the feel.

Lyrical and melodic content is my job.

And honestly, how often does a single lyric capture your imagination before you've had a chance to process the rest of the song.

Just me then?

No worries.

Cause despite how very much I want the casual listener to be tickled by my use of off beat references and how deftly I try to weave between the literal and metaphorical, filling my pop with ironic twists, sneaking a wink and nod into a power ballad, and masking my serious with silly . . . music is visceral. Its an immediate auditory experience. You've made up your mind about the song long before you've learned what its about. And yes, I want you to discover lyrical depth after several listens, I also want to zing you enough on first listen that you absolutely have to hit repeat.

Which, as a side note to Selena Gomez, you don't have to "keep" hitting repeat. Hit it once and the song will continue play over and over again. That's the beauty of the Repeat button.

You can, however, love someone like a love song. Perfectly acceptable simile.

And while I'm on my logical high horse, would someone please tell Rihanna that diamonds don't shine. They refract. And Pink Floyd can get away with it cause they are in a completely different dimension, and were talking about a "crazy diamond" and who knows how physics behaves where they're from.

But if there's anything that sits uncomfortably in the place I'll refer to as my craw, its a lame reference. thousands of years worth of poetry to reference and all you've got is TGIF, and while were on the subject, Ms. Perry, please leave California Girls to the Beach Boys and girl kissing to Jill Sobule.

+1 for dropping Russell Brand, however.

He falls into the Jerry Lewis/Martin Short category of really unfunny people who keep getting choice gigs, and frankly I've had enough of him.

Yet I persist in listening to pop music on the radio, cause yeah, I can turn a phrase, but I don't know nothing about getting asses onto the dance floor. And I love that moment when I hear a piece by someone who knows how to do both.

If only Pandora had channel for "Awesome juxtaposition of well crafted lyrics and melodic thunder."

Cause I would listen to that channel relentlessly.

So when I heard a voice on the radio singing "I am Titania!" my thought was "Hmm, cool."

I can't think of many songs that utilize the Bard's work. Every few years there is a Romeo and Juliet reference, but its always about forbidden young love and never teen suicide.

The musical "Hair" was riddled with lyrics from Hamlet and R&J, which is why I've loved it so, but the only sizable hit from that show was "The Age of Aquarius." Which to astrologist Neil Spencer regarded as "astrological gibberish" noting that Jupiter aligns with Mars several times a year, and the Moon is in the 7th house for two hours every day.

An astrologist referring to lyrics as gibberish.

tee hee.

Again, if it sounds right and feels right  . . .

Yet here is a big dance pop tune, with a Helen Reddy shout-out to female perseverance, referencing a character from A Midsummer Night's Dream. A Fairy Queen who is duped by her husband into falling in love with an ass (an ass named Bottom nonetheless) and ends the story hand in hand with her husband, calling for a song about love.

Now there are two ways to play this part:

Either Titania is a real bitch and gets her just deserts, or, a more modern interpretation, both her and Oberon are spoiled impish creatures constantly at each other's throats and this is just one episode where Oberon got the upper hand.

It's all in their body language at the ending scene, and how Titania delivers her line about the song.

She's either cowed, or on the verge of getting medieval on his ass.

I've seen both, but obviously prefer the latter.

So even though the song was merely passable from a sonic standpoint, I was intrigued by its metaphor.

And by intrigued, I mean I gave it some substantial thought.

  • Side note; me and my friend Jon once drove a big chunk of the Pacific Coast highway, from Oxnard to Santa Cruz, speaking only in Iambic Pentameter, so if you think I have a little soft spot for Shakespearian references, well, ahem, guilty.

I even googled Titania, just in case there was a reference other than to the fairy queen, and as it turns out, not really.

Titania is the name used for the daughters of the Titans in mythology, which is cool, but plural, and most likely not what the girl is singing about.

I mean it is possible she's referring to herself as the many daughters of Titans, but that might be an even greater metaphoric stretch than a Fairy Queen who has been wronged.

Yet despite all the thought I had given this single lyric, I still didn't know who the song was by. And because the verses are trampled by wall-of-sound dance production and a shitty car stereo, I had to do a little more research, for I must know more. There may be better stuff hidden in the rest of the lyrics. Hell, there may be a few B-Sides of real value. This girl may be a find. And by "a find" I mean an artist who has some really good songs deemed inaccessible to  the pop audience.

But none of the Titanias listed on iTunes were the song I'm looking for.

  • Side Note: Elvis Costello has a song called "Oberon and Titania" with the London Symphony Orchestra, but I really feel like that's cheating, proving both that no one uses Shakespearian references and that Elvis Costello is an exception to the rule.

Same thing with You Tube.

And Pandora.

So there it was. I was going to have to wait until Taylor is in the car and the song comes on.

  • Side Note: My step son Taylor is the only person I know who listens to more pop than I do. He is my go to guy whenever I don't know a particular artist. We have vastly different views as to what's good, but its like being a Steelers fan with a Green Bay fan in the car, fight all you want, it's still football.

But it might be weeks before he comes home from college, and the chances of that song coming on while we are driving together are like 7-1. (That's a joke referring to the fact that there are only seven songs being played right now and four of them are by Maroon 5).

So I let the thought drop.

And every time the song comes on, I listen just a little closer than I should, cause if I could glean a string of lyrics, I might get a possible google hit and my search will be over, but it's just not possible to hear much beyond "I am Titania."

Except last night.

Last night the song came on just as I started the car.

So I turned the engine off, and sat intently, with a pencil and my Trader Joes receipt, ready to take notes.

"Far way, Far Away"

or is it

"Fire away, fire away."

I can't tell . . . better write down both

"Shoot me down . . . 

but I won't fall . . . 

I am Tie tan ee . . um."


"I am Tie tan ee um."

What was that again?

"I am Titanium."

One more time, please?

"I am Titanium!"

Oh. Um, okay, Thank-you. That'll be all.

And I drove home in awkward silence.

I guess in retrospect titanium isn't that bad of a metaphor. It does have a wonderfully high strength to weight ratio, but its most common use is an alloy, which means it needs to be mixed with other metals to have any value, and although the lyrics assume otherwise, it is definitely not bullet proof, and the poor girl really shouldn't be telling her lover to fire away.

That will just end badly.

But the search continued. "Titanium" and not "Titania, featuring vocalist Sia, is one in a string of songs created by french producer David Guetta and featuring luminaries as Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida.

Hmm. Oh well.

There's no gold in that glitter.

Just mediocre pop lyrics with some melodic meh.

and Pandora already has a station for that:

It's called Maroon 5.


Friday Five:

Worst things ever to happen at 3:34 am:

Fire alarms need batteries:
They chirp. They chirp at the same time. I don't have four 9 volts. I have only a ladder and a hammer.

Phone rings:
It can only be the police, and some one is dead or in jail.

Have to pee:
It's decision time.

Little guy is sick:
One of us gets to sleep on the couch, the other one risks getting kicked in the crotch.

Neighbors having a fight that results In make up sex.
Good for them.

Anything that happens at 3:34am in the morning is especially bad.

Especially fire alarms running out of batteries.


Can't sit for too long tonight.

Got some steroids injected into the base of my spine this morning and I can't tell you what hurts more, the ache up and down my spine or the fact that every time I move the little bandaid used to cover the injection spot rips the delicate hair at the top of my ass crack.

And if you know anything about ass crack hair, you know how little I am kidding.

Anyhow . . . I will be getting out of bed tomorrow long enough to vote.

And maybe pee.

But mostly vote.

You should do the same.

All 27 of you.

Friday Five: The Good Book

Heard this conversation today:

Girl 1: I saw Susie at the abortion clinic yesterday.
Girl 2: Really? (Pause) What, um, were you two doing there?
Girl 1: Praying.
Girl 2: (clear sigh of relief) Oh, that's right, she's been talking about doing that. How is she doing? . . .

Now before you get your Jesus panties rustled, I have no intention of ranting. God bless. I'm a healthy, middle class white male. I don't need to rant. I vote.

But for Susie, dear Susie, who is most likely a plain faced slightly chubby girl, with an active, yet prescriptive social life, I offer you a little advice with my Friday five:

First, since your scripture condemns unbaptized children to hell, Jesus is about as likely to listen to your pleas for salvation as closely as he did your father's prayers for a son.

Second, heart disease destroys more lives than abortion does, so you really should be praying across the street from Taco Bell if you want to have the biggest bang for your buck.

But I get it. The horror. The immediacy. The finality. The hope that your actions can turn aside just one. That your presence could save just one life. But it won't. The decision has already been made and all you've done is made a horrible situation just a little worse. And when you die, St Peter isn't just going to show you the book of your life, he's going to show you your life through the eyes of the people around you, and trust me, you're gonna want that to be a good read.

So here, Susie, are five better things to make your book a better read.

Learn something:
Heaven is paved with the ignorant. Be a tour guide and not a stone.

Cook something:
Great joy is to be had through food, music, and sex, but since you shouldn't participate in the latter two, at least master the first.

Clean something:
Cleanliness is next to Godliness. (I believe this with every fiber of my being)

Earn something:
God clearly needs the money. Get a job and then give him some.

And Sin:
Every good book needs a hero and you can't be a hero in your suburban wonderland. You need a little spice. You need a little adversity. You need to hit a few bottoms to make the climb to the top that much more thrilling. You need to do some drugs, and have some dangerous sex, and be forced to choose between two horrible decisions. Jesus didn't gather a bunch of plain looking chubby middle class suburbanites. Jesus hangs with thieves and whores and thugs, because they not only make better dinner guests, but one cannot bask in the glory of the lords forgiveness without ever having done anything bad in the first place.

Good luck Susie.