Bob Schwartz

Month: May, 2015

Friday Songs

The Cure

2015 good or bad? Stupid question, because here it is now, as it is. On the plus side, you can put any search term in your Spotify and see and hear any tracks that mention the term in the title, album or artist. Like “Friday”.

Today is Friday. Friday is probably the second most used day in music. No contest that Saturday is first, but we’ll leave that for another post.

Here are some Friday tracks:

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), Katy Perry – We don’t know whether in the future pop music historians will regard Katy Kat as a significant groundbreaking artist who moved music in directions no one had even conceived. We do know that she is massively popular and that her music embodies Pure Pop for Now People. T.G.I.K.

Friday Night August 14, Funkadelic – Funkadelic was not ahead of their time. They were their own time, past present future, combining the then with the now with the what will be, all on the Mothership. No boundaries here or on its album Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow. Mark Ronson successfully revived James Brown style for the biggest hit of this year, Uptown Funk. I don’t hear anyone trying to revive Funkadelic, because they are always being born. If you don’t believe me just listen.

Friday On My Mind, The Easybeats – A great slice of 60s pop. Later covered by David Bowie for his Pin Ups album covering some of his favorite oldies.

Current Favorite Friday Song: Friday I’m In Love, The Cure – The Cure bridged the changing landscape of pop from the late 70s to early 90s. Some say they were the beginning of emo, most of us don’t care because labels don’t matter and it’s only in the grooves. Maybe this irresistible hit from 1992 is sprightly emo: jangly guitar and upbeat message about the freedom of Friday. Thank you Robert Smith.

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday I’m in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate…

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday never looking back
It’s Friday I’m in love

Monday you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday watch the walls instead
It’s Friday I’m in love

Dressed up to the eyes
It’s a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise
Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It’s such a gorgeous sight
To see you eat in the middle of the night
You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It’s Friday
I’m in love

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Compassion

A primary act of compassion is to lift the load and not add to the load of others.

Easy to say, not easy to do. Can you smile if unjoyful? Can you sing a happy song when you feel like a dirge?

Being true to your little self, no matter how dark it is, might seem like a good idea—if there is a little self, separate from the rest. We may be encouraged to let it all out, whether as a shout or a sulk. The complication is that if you think you are the center of the universe, privileged to make its own weather, you are right. You are the center of the universe, but so is everyone else. If they are to live subject to your clouds and storms, so you do to theirs.

Compassion, of which joy is an instrument, is at the top of the list for two reasons. It is the most powerful. And it is the hardest. So when next you wrap yourself in a blanket of seemingly private sadness, consider that you are most probably not alone. And that the smallest bit of light might be a big gift.

Mad Men: This Is the Way the World Ends

The Real Thing

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot
The Hollow Men

Readers and viewers know whether they like or are satisfied with the way a novel or movie ends. But they may not recognize the burden of creating those endings, not just to short forms, but to sagas and epics, where possibilities are exponential, and where those dutifully following the tale and trail may be looking for those elusive treasures: resolution and meaning.

It is not surprising that the final episode of Mad Men was written and directed by the show’s creator Matthew Weiner. How could it have been otherwise?

Mad Men is a work of literature disguised as a television show. There are a number of hallmarks of literature and art, including the engagement of those who see and hear. But maybe even above that is coherence, holding together as a work, from one corner of the canvas to another, from the first to last note of the symphony.

Mad Men doesn’t fit it into any particular artistic category: impressionistic or expressionistic, realistic or fantastic, Freudian or Jungian. If anything, it delves into magical realism, where ghosts are real and real people are ghosts and anything can happen and make sense.

Or not make sense. The story of Mad Men in essence begins with the death of the original Don Draper in Korea. Over time, others die, couples come together and apart, people have sex, families are raised, business are started and bought and sold, jobs are lost and found, money is made and spent, some are miserable while others are happy, some grow and all just grow older.

All of it makes just enough sense to be a story. None of it makes enough sense to defy reality, gravity, or time. What more could you ask for? Meaning? What more were you expecting? It’s just the real thing.