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I’ve got a bone to pick with Avril Lavigne

4 Aug

Yeah, as an advocate for victims of sexual assault I have to say something about this. I just do. It’s Avril’s song Smile that’s in question. The lyric I’m about to address really upsets me. I will admit, however,  that against my better judgment and music taste, I listen to this song and all her others with a kind of paralyzed enjoyment. How awful are Girlfriend and Hot? Pretty bad, but they’re on my running mix. Moving on.

This is the lyric that I wish she would have thought more about before singing it into America’s eardrums:

Last night I blacked out, I think
What did you, what did you put in my drink
I remember making out and then, oh oh

The next line in the song explains what happened while she was blacked out: his-and-hers tattoos. But taking the previous lines by themselves, there is a strong suggestion that somebody got her drunk and/or influenced by a drug so that she wouldn’t be conscious for what came next.

The fact is, alcohol is the number one date rape drug, and alcohol facilitated sexual assaults are common. Sometimes a person chooses to drink, and sometimes he/she is manipulated into inebriation. What some may try and pass off as “drunk sex” is actually sexual assault, because in some states (like mine), an intoxicated person cannot consent to sexual activity. Intoxication muddles consent, which is often communicated nonverbally.

And that’s what I have to say.

World on Fire

25 Feb

Intravenous Music

6 Jan

I was talking with a friend recently about Ray Lamontagne’s song “Jolene.” We agreed that this song somehow gets into our bloodstream when we listen to it. Something about “Jolene” just gets into the veins (presumably through the eardrums).

It’s just a raw, gritty, longing song:

“Lately my hands they don’t feel like mine
My eyes been stung with dust and blind
Held you in my arms one time
Lost you just the same
I ain’t about to go straight
It’s too late
I found myself face down in a ditch
Booze in my hair
Blood in my lips
A picture of you holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans
Still don’t know what love means
Still don’t know what love means.”
My other favorite songs whose titles are women’s names:
Amanda – Boston
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs
Runaround Sue – Dion
Meet Virginia – Train

What’s one you like?

Entertainment of ye olde days

17 Aug

I was at a barbecue dinner the other night among a group of diversely-aged friends. After scarfing, a game of Apples to Apples and conversation, entertainment was suggested.

We had an experienced violin player among us, and she had her instrument with her. We all got comfortable sitting in a nice, simple living room where several paintings hung. The woman, with a small pregnant belly, cradled her chin and began sliding her bow over the strings.

After a few moments, I realized that we could have been in another era. We were sitting and enjoying the sound of an instrument being played much like people in long-passed decades and centuries did.

It was so nice and relaxing, and it was a few minutes of simplicity. It seems like a small gift, to personally give ears a beautiful sound by your own hands.

It’s interesting to think that casual recitals with a piano or other instrument used to be the common, and maybe primary, form of entertainment in homes. I know it probably happens today more than I think it does, but I still wonder if we’ve grown to need more than that.

Has watching DVDs and playing Wii made us easily unsatisfied with more simple options? Is it so much easier to be around people if we’re that much more distracted from them?

Bands who Twitter, bands who Tube

4 Jun

I find some bands’ additions to the social media world extremely amusing at times. I want to share some.


matkearney coldplays drummer was at the radio city show… i said “hey richard” he said “my names will”. i said “exactly”
BoyceAvenue I don’t know how or why but every once in a while I get a Little Mermaid song stuck in my head. Sebastian, what a crustacean sensation.
BoyceAvenue All kids love sandboxes. All sandboxes smell like cat pee. Therefore, all kids smell like cat pee?
BoyceAvenue Crazy that some sponges are alive, right? The modern-day sponge I hope is modeled after the sea sponge, the most absorbent of all sponges.
BoyceAvenue Ever accidentally sit on toilet with both seats/lids up? It’s the worst. Not sure why, but just feels so cold & foreign … & yuckie!


Another Starfield video that makes me laugh.
A Stellar Kart video that makes me laugh.

Unlikely Soundtrack Has Big Impact

25 May

I never watched the late 90s/early ’00s teen drama show Dawson’s Creek, but I do have the soundtrack. I, like so many others, loved that popalicious hit “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. Since I couldn’t find the band’s album, I bought the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack for that song. Sixpence is great, but the whole soundtrack ended up pleasantly surprising me.

Two songs on that CD stuck with me and gave me reason to become a fan, to this day, of James Maddock and Curtis Stigers. The songs are, respectively, “Stay You” (by Wood, Maddock’s former band) and “To Be Loved.” I definitely boast of both muscians’ music, but James Maddock is really a diamond in the rough.

James Maddock

James Maddock

While Stigers is a contemporary jazz singer and saxophonist, Maddock is of the acoustic genre. He once lightheartedly described his music as “folk rock fantasy,” and I love how perfect a catchphrase that is for him.

Lyrically, his self-written music is a great mix of hopeful love, hurtful love, reminisced memories, social satire and life experiences. He’s a guitarist, harmonica player and, as far as I know, is fluent on other instruments. And for all this he is… virtually unknown. He has some big-name support (from Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen, for one), but his career hasn’t yet lifted off into the oblivion of music success.

I mind this since his limited resources prevents him from touring much at all. At the same time I don’t mind being one in his small fan base since it means he can still communicate personally with us!

I’m glad I got that television soundtrack and know the music of this great song master.

Raspy Voices Sooth

6 Apr
Not only do I usually prefer male singing voices, but I enjoy them gruff and raspy. Ray LaMontagne, James Morrison and Jonny Lang all sing solid lyrics, accompanied by their own guitar strumming, with their wonderfully rough voices.
The raspy voices sooth my mind through my eardrums. Beautiful music.

Elton John Concert

4 Apr

Last night, Elton John performed on the campus of my school, University of Wyoming. It was his second performance here to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

It was probably the best concert I’ve been to; it was a perfect show by a legendary musician. It sounded like a studio recording!! I was totally blown away by his mastery on the piano keys and the effortlessness of his singing.

He played some of his best-known stuff, like Rocket Man, Daniel, Tiny Dancer, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Benny and the Jets, Crocodile Rock, Candle in the Wind, Your Song, etc. He also played several songs I wasn’t familiar with, but liked a lot! They were all from his earlier albums in the 1970s. He also played the song he wrote about Matthew’s death, American Triangle.

Anyway, excellent concert. I was glad for the opportunity to see him.
This is what’s cool about being on a university campus… bands, comedians, politicians and media professionals come to us.

* The photo is from the concert. He looks pretty good for 62, right.