Thursday, August 13, 2009


When I blow my candles out on my birthday wish will be to acquire some "swagger." I'm in short supply of it these days.

If I need a little inspiration...I know where to go.

This one's not shabby either.
Go on, kid. Show 'em how to work it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

give me these moments back

So, I'm thinking you might have heard by now.

Whether you were a fan or not matters little - if you were a teen (or pre-teen) in the mid-80's, the influence of John Hughes' movies likely impacted you on some level.

I was 14 and a freshman the spring "16 Candles" came out.

And like so many girls that age, it didn't take long for me to idolize Molly Ringwald and her characters - her cool, her clothes, her car, the fantasy of the cute boy throwing over the prom queen for you and "getting you" even though you were six kinds of awkward misfit.

And after getting her boobies fondled by grandma, she developed a backbone and retorts and, while still agnsty, she stood tall in her "apartness" and was true to herself.

But more than the stories or characters on screen, what I really connected with was Hughes ear for soundtracks. He put songs my friends and I listened to on screen. Artists that probably didn't get much radio play in the days of Madonna and Whitney, but folks we worshipped on our headphones and dance floors.

His soundtracks were freakish mirrors of the mix-tapes we would make and pass around to each other.

English Beat
Everything But the Girl
Tears for Fears
Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Joe Jackson
Love and Rockets
Gene Loves Jezebel
Oingo Boingo
Jesus and the Mary Chain
General Public
Killing Joke
The Pyschedelic Furs
Wall of Voodoo
Big Audio Dynamite
New Order
Echo & the Bunnyman
The Smiths

I had "Pretty in Pink" on vinyl.
I had "Some Kind of Wonderful" on cassette.
I still have "She's Having a Baby" on CD around here somewhere.

I said it.
I own a copy of that soundtrack.

Admittedly, while not the greatest of his many hits, "She's Having a Baby" is still one of my favorites for three reasons. The soundtrack was hawesome. The silly outro of folks coming up with a baby name during the credits still makes me grin. Last, but not least, it was the first time I heard this song...

I can't embed it her version of the actual music you have to go elsewhere to watch it. Trust me, it's worth the click. (It's worth noting that Bush directed that video.)

I already knew Kate Bush.
Loved "Running Up That Hill."
But, this song.

If you ever want to see me cry like a little girl, put this song on and turn it up.

20+ years later and I still think it's one of the most beautiful songs. Ever.

My only gripe is that in '89, it wasn't nominated for an Oscar* - hey, it might have still been beat out by Carly Simon's "Let the River Run," but we'll never know because it was never nominated. Idiots. Hell, I'm still shocked that the woman was only nominated for a Grammy one time. Once. Arg.

But, this isn't about awards and accolades, it's about memories and influences and those things hardwired into your brain.

I will always think of John Hughes when I hear this song and I will always think of this song when someone mentions John Hughes.

Thank you for putting this in my head John Hughes.
And thank you for embracing a music culture apart from the mainstream.

Rest in peace.

*indeed, Bush wrote this song specifically for the film and then released it the following year on her album, "The Sensual World."