When the snark rules the mind …

OK, VH1, what is Owner of a Lonely Heart doing in a list of “Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs”? And where did you get these tools dissecting the lyrics (they’re abstract — get over it!) and speaking through their noses, Mo Rocca-style, as they conclude that “we allowed Yes” to have this No. 1 song but then made them sink back into obscurity?

And will the guy griping about every white guy doing hip-hop shut up by the time we get to Eminem?

These shows have really gone downhill since I Love the 70s. I think I’ll see what Alton Brown is up to.

James … the band

(Yes, that name is shared with a relative.)

Seems like most critics have the impression that the band James, which disbanded in 2001 after a career of almost 20 years, is remembered solely for the good song Sit Down and the bad song Laid.

For a second opinion, here are the top downloads for James at iTunes:

  1. Laid
  2. Laid
  3. Born of Frustration
  4. Laid (live)
  5. Laid
  6. Say Something
  7. Sit Down

For once, popular sentiment is almost right. Laid is a fun song, and Say Something isn’t bad. But Born of Frustration is brilliant — swirling guitar, perky trumpet, lyrics that evoke hope amid disillusionment. The British have a knack for doing those songs, perhaps because The Knack was actually a California band.

OK, that was awful.

Anyway, I heard Born of Frustration on my Christmas present — XM radio. It’s as good as everyone says. I find myself listening to the “Fred” and “Ethel” alternative channels, both of which recall WHFS and Atlanta’s 99X in their better days, but I’m also exploring the jazz, bluegrass and Christian rock options. And the kids channel is nice and upbeat, mixing in bouncy tunes like A Fifth of Beethoven with kiddy tunes.

Purging before the New Year

In 2005, this blog will not discuss politics. I’ll still talk about theology and certainly some pop culture trends, but not conventional Democrat-Republican-Libertarian-Green stuff.

That means I’m purging a bit (see last two posts), and I plan to do one big essay on the decline of American community before the end of the year. Then I’ll segue into the important discussions — music, family, TV, etc.

In my mind, Duke wins the NCAA title every year …

“I definitely would prefer to believe that God created me than that I’m 50th cousin to a silverback ape,” says a Pennsylvanian in favor of the local school board’s move to teach “intelligent design” alongside evolution.

OK, fine. Then I prefer to believe that the world is flat. I believe global warming is caused by ferrets. I believe the Redskins won the Super Bowl last year. I believe the Constitution guarantees my right to ask the TV networks to keep one ratings-deprived show per year on the air. (This year, that would be Arrested Development, of course.) I believe that Coca-Cola was divinely inspired.

I’ll stop before I meander into a Bull Durham ripoff.

The Post story linked here is one of the few on the topic that gives a voice to those who argue for some sort of “intelligent design” but are not arguing against Darwin. The notion that God or some other outside force must have guided evolution can’t be proved or disproved, and it’s an engaging abstract argument. Unfortunately, that notion has been hijacked by people trying to push the narrow interpretation of creationism — six days to create everything on our 6,000-10,000-year-old planet — into the schools. And that means we’ll create another generation of kids that thinks it can simply choose what to believe, no matter what the evidence shows.