Tuesday’s Theme Music

My head seems to be residing in the 1990s frequently this month. Another nineties staple, Alice in Chains’ song, “Man in the Box” (1991), has appeared in my mental stream.

It happened when I was walking yesterday afternoon. I suspect that it’s the recurrent thoughts/sensations that I often feel trapped in a box coupled with the opening strides of music that prompted the song to enter my stream. I was walking, and the music’s beat and my rhythm matched.

I always considered AIC underrated. After I bought their unplugged album, I told my buddy, “This is a really good album. You should give it a listen.”

He replied, “Dude, it’s Alice in Chains. I mean, no disrespect, but how good could it be?”

 

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Thursday’s Theme Music

Walking après writing yesterday, I was thinking of words and their meanings. Words’ meanings, especially when used in expressions, often lose their original meaning or intentions. Sometimes they’re literal for some while they’re meaningless to others.

“Thoughts and prayers” jumped into that category. Politicians are often saying, like a jerk reflex, “Our thoughts and prayers are with” some victims of murder or disaster. It seems like an expression they can use without thinking or doing anything else. Meanwhile, thoughts and prayers are powerful to others.

“I love you” also jumped into my thinking. I was reminded of a sitcom called King of Queens. It was on for a while years ago. While it ended production, the show can probably be seen in syndication. I confess, I’m a sitcom addict. Most make me wince but I still watch them, hoping for one that’ll satisfy. Admittedly, I watch less of them now than a few years ago. They’re too insipid. While I’m fond of shows like The Kominsky Method and Grace and Frankie, I’m instead turning to darker comedy like Barry, The Boys, and Stranger Things. 

But there was one episode that came to mind from the King of Queens. The main characters were Doug and Carrie, a married couple. Carrie worked for a boss for a while whose name also was Doug. Once, when she was saying good-bye to him to end a phone conversation, she said, “Okay, Doug,” and then, saying Doug, automatically added, “I love you. Bye.”

 

“I love you,” became the pivot for my thoughts. That finally brought me to today’s music. “More than Words” by Extreme (1991). The song is a ballad about wanting more demonstration of a woman’s love than just the words, “I love you”. When I first heard the song on the radio, I wondered who was singing it, and was really surprised to learn it was Extreme. Later, I saw the video, and enjoyed how the bass and drum players are just sitting to one side, variously reading books, holding up lighters, etc., since the song doesn’t require anything on their part. That cracked me up.

So, here it is at last. Sorry for the long intro. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

1991.

I usually think that INXS was performing this song. The beat and vocal delivery reminds me of INXS although, listening, it’s clearly not Michael Hutchence singing. The driving, fast rhythms always moved people in the clubs. It remains a good walking song. I have also sung it to a number of cats through the years. They always just sit down and wait it out.

Thursday Theme Music – A Twofer!

Okay, don’t know why the stream introduced this song today. See, the stream works in mysterious ways. See, right there, the stream immediately wants to flow with another song. Therefore, we’ll have *drumroll* A THURSDAY TWOfer.

First up, we have a 1964 entry, the Rolling Stones covering “Time Is on My Side”. As I wrote, I don’t know why I’m streaming it. I was eight when it came out, but I’m familiar with the song because I have seven or eight Stones CDs, and it’s on one or two of ’em. I don’t think my dreams prompted this stream. Dreams were strange — of course, yeah? — and included muddy water and male relatives from my wife’s side of the tree. Nothin’ ’bout time was featured, but it’s stuck in me head and must be released.

The second, almost naturally, has to be “Mysterious Ways” by U2 (1991). You see how that’s all connected, yeah? Sure.

Let it rock, let it roll. (And that triggered a THIRD song, but we’ll stop now.) Hope one of them works for your theme song today. If you got another, get yer ya-yas out, and let me know.

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Memories come like tides, in private cycles. In today, I cycled back to Feb, 1991. I’d just come back from an assignment with the USAF in Germany. Enroute to California, I passed through WV and Pennsylvania on leave, visiting family, and then arrived at SF, CA.

Rain was pouring in the Bay Area that day. Ted, my sponsor, picked me up at the airport. California had been in a drought, he said, hard to believe since the great deluge was making Highway 101’s traffic a slow-moving shit show.

A little later, I was in the military hotel at Moffett just outside of Mountain View. Up the road was my new assignment, a place called Sunnyvale Air Station, a.k.a., the Blue Cube. The name was changed to Onizuka Air Base to honor Ellison Onizuka, an astronaut killed in the Challenger disaster.

Onizuka turned out to be a good assignment and my last. I retired there four and a half years later. The base closed down in 2010 and the Blue Cube was demolished in 2014. I blamed myself because the base probably wasn’t the same after my tenure (ha, ha).

It was a complete unknown to me when I arrived, though. Bored and tired, I flipped through channels in my hotel room, rediscovering American pop culture after four years in Germany, and saw a video by R.E.M. called “Losing My Religion”.

Somehow, it fit the moment.

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

U2 is hot and cold for me. I really enjoy The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum albums, but I was less enthused about others. This song, “Mysterious Ways” from Achtung, Baby, is my favorite track from that album. I like the mystic romantic aspects the lyrics present, and the sharp guitar hook juxtaposed against the beat and bass line. It’s a song that I crank up, and one that I sing to my cats. I sing it to myself, too, as I contemplate the world and my writing. Talk about mysterious ways.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Let’s start with a wall of sound to blow these thoughts down, the thoughts that arrive after another mass shooting hits the news, another school’s day marked in red.

We’d just returned from living in Germany for four years, courtesy of our favorite uncle, when this song was released back in 1991. Another time? Well, we’d gone to war and were going to war back then, and we’re at war now, so nothing changed there. The Berlin Wall was torn down back then, a great moment in history, but the American border wall is being expanded this year. We thought the nuclear threat was diminishing because the U.S.S.R. had dissolved, but here we are, moving closer to midnight on the Doomsday clock twenty-six years later. Crime was higher then than now, but mass shootings were lower in 1991 than they are in 2018.

The worst mass shooting in 1991 the Luby’s shooting in Killeen, Texas. The gunman killed twenty-three people that day. It was the worse mass shooting in the U.S. at the time. It’s been surpassed. We’ve had five worse mass murders by a single shooter since then, including February 14th’s shooting in Parkland, Florida. That one, at a high school, ranks number one in the number of murders at a high school shooting in America, passing Columbine’s 1999 murders of thirteen people. 

Let’s listen to Metallica with “Enter Sandman” and think about our national nightmare.

 

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

Saw a photo that reminded me of this song.

I’d returned to America in February, nineteen ninety-one, taking up residence in the SF Bay area with an assignment as the Superintendent of the 750th Space Group Command Post at Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale. Most of the airmen assigned to the command post were young, and in their first assignment. Naturally, they listened to current music that ranged across the spectrum.

This song had been a major hit in America the previous year, so it was still heard often. It was also natural as comedic fodder because of its style. Something would happen, and someone would remark, “You can’t touch this.” Yes, it’s “U Can’t Touch This,” with MC Hammer.

Ah, it was fun times back in the days of yore, with a good group of people. The base is gone, and the people have spread out across the planet. I stay in contact with some via Facebook an other social media. I wish them all well.

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