Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Guilty Pleasures Part Forty-Nine: Maria Ponders Artistic Choices

We're back for more music and once again Fearless Maria is in the house! So Maria, what would you like to listen to this evening?

Can we do an entire version with Hannah Montana songs? Or doesn't your audience understand greatness?

Well, I'm not sure they quite understand the majesty that is Hannah Montana, Maria.

Well, at least the Old Kids on the Block aren't on the magazine covers these days!

True. Unless they are on the cover of Modern Maturity.

Well, I think we should just knock them right off the block and try something else. What do you have in your pile of scraps today, Dad?

Hmmm. Sounds appetizing, Maria. How about some random early 80s stuff? This is music I heard when I went to college back then.

Okay, let's see if you learned anything, Dad!

Well, let's start out with this one. These guys were a personal favorite of mine back then, because they were a fun band and they had a song called "Stand Down Margaret," which came in handy when I wanted to pick on my little sister. But that's not the song I have here. This one is from 1982, toward the end of their time. It's the English Beat, telling the truth at last:

I confess that the singer looks like a girl, Dad! He's wearing eye shadow and a weird beret hat thingy and earrings! And when he's shouting with the fire all around him, he sounds like a girl! Is he confused, Dad? Or is he confessing he's a girl?

I don't know, Maria. That sort of thing passed for art in those days, I guess. I confess I'm somewhat confused by it myself! Shall we move on?

Yes yes yes yes yes! I'm Miss Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!

When did that happen, Maria?

When I don't want to see that tomgirl English Beat dude, Dad!

Okay. Let's try another odd group of Englishmen, then. These guys were a big deal in England but never really broke big in the States. This song is a jaunty little number from 1982. It's The Jam, with

I bet I know why they were called The Jam, Dad.

Let's hear your theory, Maria.

Because they didn't want to be called the Jelly, or the Honey, or the Mustard, or the Chutney, or the Nectarines or Plums or something! Good thing they're not called the Jellyfish, either, even though they seem to flop around a lot like a jellyfish. Why do you think they couldn't stay in focus on the video, Dad?

That's another one of those artistic choices, Maria.

I don't know, Dad. Maybe the cameraman was from a town called malice!

Good theory, Maria. Let's try this one. Here's an odd-looking lady with her somewhat big hit and very big hair. From 1981, it's Lene Lovich, requesting a

Who would give a new toy to the likes of her, Dad? She looks she's in a too-tight and too makeup-y Halloween costume! And even worse, I think she had the all-time Bad Hair Day! I think she should use her credit card and get professional hairdo help immediately!

Well, again Maria, this is one of those "artistic choices" that people made back then.

Well, next time she makes an "artistic choice," maybe she should choose not to look so ridiculous!

Good advice, Maria. And do you want to know something really weird?

No, but I'll bet you'll tell me anyway. Right, Dad?

Well, of course I will, Maria. Did you know that a few years ago Target used that song for selling toys at Christmas?

Oh my gosh! I don't see how that would work. What were they selling, Ridiculous Hair Elmo?

I don't know, Maria, but I'm betting it didn't work. Shall we move on?

Yeah, we better.

Okay, let's get a little more mainstream. This one was a big hit for the Clash in 1982, although the video is kinda weird. They filmed it in Austin, Texas, for reasons I can't understand, but it does include some excellent armadillo footage. Here they are, singing

Wow. Bad hairdos, crawling armadillos and a trip to Burger King. What a weird video! So Dad, are those people reasonable? Or is that just some more of those artistic choices you keep talking about?

You're making me suffer for my art, Maria, aren't you?

Well, maybe this next one isn't too bad. Right?

Let's find out, shall we? It's our old pal Joan Jett, covering an old Tommy James and the Shondells tune, but with slightly less reverb but a lot more attitude.

Nice pants, Joan Jett! What is crimson, anyway?

It's a shade of red, Maria.

Okay, that makes sense. The song wouldn't work so well if was "Burgundy and Clover," I guess! So Dad, I have a question. Do you think Gino will like any of these?

Maybe, Maria. If not, he'll like this.

Yes, I bet he will, Dad. As for the rest of you, go ahead and vote in the comments section. Don't be shy! And make sure your choice is artistic, too!


Gino said...

can i vote for the last one, or was that a gimmee?

Mark Heuring said...

Of course you can, Gino. Especially if you don't like any of the other ones.