I recently switched jobs and am heading up my own department.  Which is to say, I’m the only member and don’t have people sitting that close to me.  Good for productivity, and it also means I can jam out a little bit when not actively focused on writing something brilliant.

While I prefer some things about streaming-music-site Slacker, I’ve been giving Pandora a chance lately for variety.  Throughout the work day, I have banal thoughts about the music to which I’m listening. And as having my Twitter feed up at the office would be painfully obvious, I’ve tucked away my thoughts to record them here.

Today’s station:

Based off of the song “We Are the Normal,” with the variety addition of the artist Hanson. We are the Hanson.

Today’s commentary:

Live, Lighting Crashes. Okay, this is the musical equivalent of a shaggy-dog joke.  I suffer through it for six-plus minutes, all building up to that part at the end I sort of love, when Ed Kowalczyk really rocks it up a notch, taking an extra octave or two.  “Oh, I feel it coming ba-ack a-GAIN…. YEAH-EAH-EAH.”  But you can’t just fast-forward to this spot.  You must slog uphill through the lower-register sadness and the placenta talk.

Journey, Don’t Stop Believin. Dear Lord, this song, with the Laguna Beach and the The Sopranos and the Glee. Will it never end.  Apparently not, and apparently it jives with GGD and Hanson.  Catchy as hell?  Certainly. Strangely inspiring?  Yes.  Crowd please?  Hell to the of course. But the lyrics?  Make NO sense. You think it’s a song about a small-town girl and a city boy.  But then it’s all streetlights, people, and never-ending movies.  Oh-oh-OH!  And don’t stop believing in what?  Finding true love in a smokey room?  Getting the f*ck out of Detroit?  No one knows.

Barenaked Ladies, One Week.  Before Pat Monohan rhymed “soul sister” with “Mr. Mister” (but around the same time he rhymed “alligators” and “carburetors”), these chubby lads from Canada DOMINATED at the nonsensical-rhyme game.  “Watching X-Files with no lights on, we’re dans la maison …. Like Harrison Ford I’m getting Frantic, like Sting I’m tantric.”  And etc. Another song that makes no sense at all.  But it was their easily their biggest-ever hit. Figures.

Counting Crows, Mr. Jones. Speaking of nonsensical rhymes. This bad boy of mid-90s goodness doesn’t rhyme at all. Think about it.  It’s a stream of consciousness, potentially drug-induced rambling.  While it is clean, it isn’t neat. And this makes me like it more than I did when it first came out and I was pretending I knew all the lyrics while standing in a soon-to-be-out-of-the-closet Chi Phi’s room with two sorority sisters who were much bigger Crows fans than I.  ANYWAY.

One Headlight, The Wallflowers. “This place is cold, feels like Independence Day.” This song is pretty and well-crafted, Jakob, but this lyric is problematic.  You and the boys are from the U.S. – Southern California, no less – so I imagine your “Independence Day” is, like mine, on July 4.  When it is never very f*cking cold.  Unless you mean a figurative independence, a la Martina McBride, in which case – lame! – and then why do you bolster the analogy with a “parade” reference.

The Ataris, Boys of Summer. My friend Taylor said recently that he likes the swap of “Deadhead sticker” to “Black Flag sticker.”  I feel one one hand like it is trying to hard.  On the other, it’s swapping a dirty-hippie reference for a dirty-punk-rock one.  Which I guess I can appreciate.  A little bit.