This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Setting the Mood (or "The BEST... " Part Two)

Things were finally getting back to normal around here -- well, "normal" as defined by what's normal for me and "David'Z RantZ," that is -- or at least, they were before the events of the past ten days or so kept me from posting much.

My post of October 15th, "The BEST o'the BEST o'the BEST... SIR!!!" generated a handful of seemingly-negative comments by intelligent readers who got the f**king joke. Telling me that my "facts" were "wrong," etc.

In other words, they gave me what I asked for, all in good fun.

Jusssst like the good old days.

There were a couple of points brought up by my friend John, and by Blogger-blogger Ishat's Fire which I wanted to address, however, in the interests of... well... in the interests of beating the subject of musical "bests" to death with a stick, I suppose!

John asked me "So besides Sinatra and Cat Stevens, don't you have those categories for the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s?" and I replied, "Nope. Not here, anyway. As I said, 'I'm... arbitrarily limiting the scope of my "nominations" and "winning candidates" to pop/rock artists & music from roughly 1960-1980.' "

If pressed, however, I suppose that somewhere toward the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s, I'd probably nominate Marvin Gaye -- who was around years before that -- if I had to name a single artist. (Those who want to name someone like Barry White, or anybody else, for that matter, can feel free to do so... elsewhere.) Songs like "Let's Get It On" and "Sexual Healing" were great mood-setters.

Since the 1980s, I guess the seductive music isn't as important any more.

We have Roofies now. [ducks]

Seriously, it's tough when a list is so subjective.

(But Cat Stevens' music really did work for the immediate post-hippie era young ladies. At least, in my home town. )

As for whether or not "Cherish" and "Wildflower" "actually work[ed] for rompty pompty," as Ishat's Fire asked me, that question prompts a couple of stories.

During the 1960s, I was too young for canoodling (although I started noticing girls when I was in kindergarten), but I was told (during the late 1970s and early 1980s) by two or maybe three guys who were roughly the age of my older sister that they'd always considered their chances of "getting lucky" to be increased if the band or DJ played "Cherish" (by the Association) while the guy danced with his date.

Several years later, I met Eric Gulliksen, former bass player for the group Orpheus ("Can't Find the Time," "Brown Arms in Houston"). Eric was supplementing his income as an oldies DJ. I asked him about "Cherish," but for some reason I confused "Cherish" with another slow, romantic hit of the Association's, "Never My Love!"

"Eric, is it true that guys in the sixties would have the band play 'Never My Love' by the Association if they wanted to make sure they scored with their date?"

He laughed. "Right band, wrong song. The song they always asked for was 'Cherish!' "

"I meant to say that one," I replied lamely... but I doubt he believed me.

So there you have it, Ishat (and everybody else). "Cherish" was indeed considered the go-to song for getting lucky circa 1966. Of course, in 1966, "getting lucky" more likely than not meant that the guy would get his hand inside the girl's blouse before taking her home, and not much else... but I digress.

(By the way, it occurs to me that Orpheus' "Can't Find the Time" would've been just as good at obtaining the desired result as "Cherish.")

As for Skylark's "Wildflower" -- and I obligingly embedded a YouTube video of the song in "The BEST o'the BEST o'the BEST... SIR!!!" for those unfamiliar with it -- I have a much more personal story.

In fact...

It's the kind of anecdote which I should almost put on my new blog ("The Lair of the Silver Fox") instead of "David'Z RantZ," but even I'm not sleazy enough to do that to you...

This time.

I am, however, sleazy enough to continue this "Setting the Mood" series until my next post, since I haven't been posting much lately, so I wanted to give you something tonight!

So... See you Thursday with what they call "the rest of the story!"

Thanks for your time.

[ducks again]


  1. "Dance me to the End of Love" by Cohen kicks the butt of any other song you wanna suggest for setting the mood.

    Any other suggestions are just wrong. Sorry!

    *struts off looking really confident*

    (Though while I was trying to overcome another case of The Alzheimers and remember that song title, I did think of a handful of runners-up. Maybe I have the makings of my own blog after all...)

  2. Leonard Cohen on "Dance Me To The End Of Love":

    'Dance Me To The End Of Love' ... it's curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that's why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet[1] was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin," meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song -- it's not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.

    Thinking of Nazis and gas chambers always puts me in the mood. (Hey, how did this turn into IANO's blog?)

    Anyway, listing the songs and artists for "mood-setting" during the 1960s-1970s can't really include a song from 1984, can it? [sticks tongue out behind Cake's back]

    And before other Leonard Cohen fans weigh in, I'm a fan, too. (Put the stick down, Ishat.)

  3. Hey did you guys know IANO walks like a dandy?

  4. Damn! I was going to hit you with this red baton while Cake distracted you.

    Some great love stories came out of holocausts.

    Sticks tongue out at David'Z and flips baton end to end in the air.

    Dance me to the children....

    Love is a death and if you are french it can be a wonderful little death.

    Ishat goes off and obsess over "little deaths".

  5. La la, la la la la la la, la la la lala laaaaa...laaa laaaa laaaa...

    I didn't realize it was only from 1984. Damn. I thought it was mid-70s.

    "Suzanne"? "Take This Waltz"?

    I'll have to google...

  6. Sarah: With all the Hitler & Nazi references on his blog, I'm just glad IANO doesn't goose-step.

    Ishat: Ah, yes, "le petite mort!" I love it when you come up with these obscure little references. You can flip my baton any time...

  7. Ishat: Umm, maybe you shouldn't tell Mr. Ishat's Fire -- IIRC, there is a Mr. Ishat's Fire, isn't there? -- about my open offer for you to "flip my baton any time," okay?

  8. Orpheus is one of my favorite bands of the 1960s. But, according to the leader of Orpheus, who told me this when he came to my Worcester comic book and record store in the early 80s, the song was barely played anywhere outside of New England. I was surprised to hear that because it got such heavy airplay in Massachusetts.
    By the way...I've finally posted another chapter of my blog today. It's really taking me too long to do each chapter now.

  9. Cousin Saul: Erik Gulliksen -- whom I actually met at your store -- told me the same thing. He said "Brown Arms in Houston" was a bigger hit for them nationally.

    Glad you posted a new chapter. Cake will be glad, too.

  10. Oh, he flew the coop over the summer. Five kids was too much for him to deal with. He wanted someone younger. Woman at his work. Funny, she's pregnant now. Karma... the funny side of God.

    Ishat goes back to her red baton and thinking of little death. HA.

  11. Oh. Sorry.

    There are a few dumb jokes which come to mind, but I'll take the tasteful route for a change and shut the f**k up.

    But HEY, guess what? That email I promised you, what, like, eight years ago, will be sent your way shortly.

  12. By the way, folks, I made light of the fact that "Dance Me to the End of Love" was inspired by Nazi death camps, but Mr. Cohen is right when he says that a song can take on a life beyond its own inspiration. ("[I]t's not important that anybody knows the genesis of [a song], because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.")

    The best song I ever wrote was inspired by a story of a man who'd fallen in love with a married woman who was also a heroin-addicted prostitute! But listening to the song itself, without knowing all of that, the listener just knows that the woman has some vague reason(s) -- maybe a lover -- which keep(s) her from being with the singer of the song full-time.

    Just sayin'.

  13. You wrote Roxanne! Damn you are good!


    Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have out warn....

  14. "Roxanne?" Wasn't that Steve Martin?

    Oh, the song "Roxanne!"

    Nope. Not me. I'm subtler than The Police.

    S**t, that reminds me. I have to finish my "Wildflower" post for tomorrow instead of shilly-shallying writing comments and personal emails to other bloggers!

  15. Cake & Ishat: Why do you two always seem to refer to Leonard Cohen as, simply, "Cohen?" Granted, I don't know too many other Leonard Cohen fans besides the two of you & myself, but none of those others ever referred to him by his last name only.

    Jus' curious....

  16. He likes it when we call him Cohen. Cake asked him at the concert.

  17. He said he likes it when I spin the red baton, too.

    He said it in French. Than something about death before Cake took him away. I had to relay on her translation.

    Something about liking her best.

  18. I suppose if you went home with the red baton, the night wasn't a total loss.

  19. You know what they say...

    Walk soft and carry a big red stick.

    I think I have beaten this one to death.

    Late night silliness.

    I am trying to finish of the story.

    Dance me the way they did in Babylon..

  20. "Since the 1980s, I guess the seductive music isn't as important any more.

    We have Roofies now."
    Hahahaha Great philosophy, that.


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