Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Then-vs.-Now Rock n' Roll

newton-john.jpg anti-monitor.gif

Some glimpses of rock across the ages:

•I mentioned Meat Loaf yesterday, and speaking of rockstar weight-gain, here’s Ann Wilson with sister Nancy in the 70s and three decades later (here looking better than she sometimes does, I think), again with Nancy. One half of Heart, still fabulous, the other, a living simulacrum of the fat-lady suit from that scene in Total Recall.

•The Los Angeles Times reported last Friday that Brian May of Queen went on to get a graduate degree in astrophysics and write a book on interstellar dust — a-aaaah! Savior of the universe!

•Mom hates this song, “You Light Up My Life” — and with good reason.

In 1978, it drearily held the record for weeks at #1 on the pop charts — and continued to hold that record until being beaten in 1981 by this song, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical,” which for all its silliness lights up one’s life far more effectively — and demonstrates, hands down, which decade was superior (Olivia Newton-John here also looks, not coincidentally, a bit like the little red-haired girl seated in front of me in class a year later — but, then, at the time it seemed there was no other logical way to look).

The song was a very early indication that things were looking up, even though it was not by any means alternative rock or New Wave. (And imagine how much more sanctimonious the implicitly pro-gay finale of that video would be if it were made today, when everyone acts as if they just invented all social patterns yesterday, after some very bold thinking.)

•It was a harbinger of better times much like the band Altered Images, recently praised by Michael Malice, who co-hosts trivia tonight at 7:30 at Chelsea Market with Jen Dziura and will surely work at least one such rock reference into the proceedings. He also likes comic books, which means knowledge of things like Crisis on Infinite Earths may help — though as it happens, I have just determined that “Anti-Monitor,” the main villain from that series, is an anagram of “I’m into no art” and “I, moron-taint,” which I hope is not the universe struggling like a sentient thing to send some sort of message.

1 comment:

jenny said...

•Mom hates this song, “You Light Up My Life” — and with good reason.

and finally, the 1977 mystery of the missing blue drapes is solved.