Your Cheating Heart

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A few months ago, I was helping some friends of mine put together a playlist for their wedding reception. I may have some questionable taste in music, but I also know and own a lot of music and they wanted to tap into that reservoir of free tunes. There were a few of us bouncing off song ideas, when someone suggested Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You.” Everyone agreed that they liked the song and it might have made the playlist, until I spoke up to remind everyone that if you listen to the lyrics that it is a song that is about having an affair and that it might not really be appropriate at a wedding. Everyone was shocked; they had no idea that’s what the song was about. I am a lyrics person more than a music person, so I tend to pay more attention to the words than other people:

A few stolen moments is all that we share
You’ve got your family, and they need you there
Though I’ve tried to resist, being last on your list
But no other man’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my love for you

Needless to say, that song was vetoed.

This anecdote popped into my head in the last week, as I’ve been listening to The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack on repeat; there is so much cheesy 70s goodness on there that I can hardly stand it. One of the songs is “Escape (the Piña Colada song)” by Rupert Holmes, a song that I have always really liked but that has also really bothered me, since it is essentially about two people deciding to cheat on each other. They respond to each other’s personal ads and have a good laugh about it in the song, which I am pretty sure is NOT how most people would react to such a situation. Hidden behind such a catchy hook is a song that is really kind of sad; not only were both participants in this relationship pretty OK with the idea of infidelity, but they really don’t even seem to know each other very well. I’m happy every time that I hear the song, but in the back of my head this debate wages on during every listen.

This got me thinking about the staggering number of songs that I really like that are about cheating; I’m really not sure what that says about me as a person. I guess it makes sense that there are a number of songs that deal with the topic, since there are so many passionate feelings involved. The songs about infidelity are varied – some are from the viewpoint of the cheater, some are about the cheatee and a smaller number are from the perspective of the other man or woman. The emotional component is varied as well – some are confessional, some are tearful and a fair number are confrontational. There are even a handful that are proud or bragging about what they have done. While I’ve never cheated on my significant other, I’ve known people that filled all three roles in a love triangle and these songs do a pretty good job of capturing the entire spectrum of emotions associated with having an affair.

 

“Run to You” – Bryan Adams

 

She says her love for me could never die
But that’d change if she ever found out about you and I

 

“Tempted” – Squeeze

 

Tempted by the fruit of another
Tempted but the truth is discovered
What’s been going on
Now that you have gone

 

“If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” – Meshell Ndegeocello

 

You can call me wrong and say that I ain’t right
But if that’s your boyfriend
He wasn’t last night

 

“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood

 

I might’ve saved a little trouble for the next girl,
’cause the next time that he cheats…
Oh, you know it won’t be on me!

 

“Creep” – TLC

 

So I creep yeah
Just keep it on the down low
Said nobody is supposed 2 know

 

“Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child

 

Say my name, say my name
If no one is around you,
Say baby I love you
If you ain’t runnin’ game

 

“Follow Me” – Uncle Kracker

 

I’m not worried ’bout the ring you wear
Cuz as long as no one knows than nobody can care
You’re feelin’ guilty and I’m well aware
But you don’t look ashamed and baby I’m not scared

 

“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake

 

You don’t have to say, what you did,
I already know, I found out from him
Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be
And don’t it make you sad about it

 

“O.P.P.” – Naughty By Nature

 

Have you ever known a brother who have another like ah girl or wife
And you just had to stop and just ‘cos he look just as nice
You looked at him, he looked at you and you knew right away
That he had someone but he was gonna be yours anyway

 

“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” –Journey

 

When I’m alone all by myself
You’re out with someone else
Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other

 

“You Lie” – The Band Perry

 

That ain’t my perfume
I bet she had a curfew
You told me you were out with the boys and baby I believed you
So why you lookin’ so nervous
You know you’re gonna deserve this

 

“Lyin Eyes” – The Eagles

 

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

 

“Thunder Rolls” – Garth Brooks

 

But on the wind and rain
A strange new perfume blows
And the lightnin’ flashes in her eyes
And he knows that she knows

 

“Your Love” – The Ourfield

I didn’t immediately recognize that this was a song about cheating, but it’s right there in the opening line: “Josie’s on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over.”

 

Stay the night but keep it undercover
I just wanna use your love tonight, whoa
I don’t wanna lose your love tonight

 

“Just a Friend” – Biz Markie

 

So I came to her room and opened the door
Oh, snap! Guess what I saw?
A fella tongue-kissin’ my girl in the mouth,
I was so in shock my heart went down south
So please listen to the message that I say
Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a friend

 

Now it’s your turn – what are you favorite songs about infidelity? Sound off in the comments below.

Steve Miller Band and Journey – Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 6.14.14

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Back when I was in high school, one of the concerts that everyone looked forward to each summer was the Steve Miller Band show. Though Steve Miller had become popular in the seventies, most high schoolers continued to rediscover his music over the years and claim him as one of their own. The Steve Miller Band concert served as a mini reunion over the summer; pretty much everyone that was everyone would be at that show. The show evolved into a rite of passage, a destination for all the “cool kids.”

Unfortunately for me, the Steve Miller concert also routinely coincided with when my family went on vacation, so I was never able to be a part of these summertime memories. Every year, I’d hear stories about all the fun that people had at the concert and the people watching that I had missed. Every year, I’d be annoyed that my family somehow managed to pick the one weekend that I really didn’t want to be out of town; I’m sure that my parents weren’t intentionally trying to ruin my street cred and scar me for life, but when you are 15 years old and everyone who is anyone is going to a show that you have to miss, you are going to be a little salty about it. This wasn’t a summertime phenomenon just at my high school; when I went away to college and met other people from the area, they too had made a big deal out of this summer pilgrimage to see the show. Because I never got to see Steve Miller, the concert took on something of mythical proportions in my mind; even though I am going to my 20th high school reunion this year (egad!), when the topic of the Steve Miller concerts came up in conversation earlier this year, I was still surprisingly bummed out that I never got to go.

However, the gods finally decided to smile upon me, as not long after that conversation bemoaning the fact that I didn’t get to go to the concert, SPAC announced that not only was the Steve Miller Band making a stop at the venue this summer, but they were touring with Journey. That’s right – Journey! We all know how I feel about them. Really, there couldn’t have been any clearer sign from above that my time had finally arrived. I wrangled up someone to go with me posthaste and we secured our inside seats for the show; for Steve Miller and Journey, there was no way that I was going to fraternize with the proletariat on the lawn. I’d waited over twenty years for this moment and I was going to make the most of it.

Some logistical issues meant that we didn’t arrive at the show until the opening act, Tower of Power, were finishing up their set. Normally I don’t like to skip the opener – I think that is kind of disrespectful and you may miss out on discovering a new band – but we were so overscheduled with other activities that day that I was fine with making this concession to arrive at the show later than normal (a challenge to my type A personality) in order to fit everything else in. We managed to hear the one Tower of Power song that I knew, so I’m counting that as a win overall. I’m learning to go with the flow. As long as we were there in time to see the Steve Miller Band, I was going to be a happy camper.

I hadn’t sat down to do the math before the show, but Steve Miller is 70 years old. This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, give his tenure in music, but when he walked out on stage I was a little surprised. His voice may have changed a bit, but overall he and the band were very solid and did a nice job of working their way through his many hits. In fact, I was even more impressed with his musical ability once I realized his age; 70 isn’t necessarily old, but the dexterity with which he played the guitar was especially impressive given the context. I’m in my thirties and I’m already noticing that I am starting to slow down a little, so hats off to a guy who can still rock out after 70 decades on the planet.

In addition to hearing some of my favorite songs, my hands down favorite part of the show was one of the members of the Steve Miller Band. There was a guy off to the side of the stage whose primary contribution to the band appeared to be his ability to boogie down. He would occasionally come in to harmonize on the chorus or provide some backing vocals, but he was mostly there just to dance like nobody was watching. Of course, we were watching and we were endless entertained by some of the sweet dance moves that he was busing out. I swear that he did the Batusi at one point. The stage was pretty simply decorated for their set and there wasn’t any pyro or other special effects, so this guy was really the most interesting thing to watch. At first we thought it was just us that found him so amusing, but it slowly became apparent that our entire section was just as obsessed with this guy as we had become. The quality isn’t great, but here he is in action:

 

I developed a working theory that this guy was Bob Miller, younger brother to Steve, and that he was on stage because back when they were kids their mom asked “Stevie” to find a place for “Bobby” in the band. This was obviously hogwash, but I cracked myself up with this concept. We found out later that he could really sing when he took the lead vocals on a song, but I remained committed to the idea that it was nepotism that got him on stage as a sort of hype man. He was perfection.

It turns out that seeing Steve Miller live wasn’t necessarily the life altering experience that I had built it up to be, but it was still a very good time. He has a pretty expansive catalog of hits and it was fun to sing along to so many songs that had been a big part of my teenaged experience. I didn’t know many songs beyond his greatest hits album, so there were a few new songs for me during his set. It may not have been an epic performance, but it was laid back and fun and satisfied everything that I was looking for out of a Steve Miller show.

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While I am always excited to see Journey, this was my forth time seeing the band in the last eight years or so, so some of the magic had worn off a little bit. It is no longer amazing how much Arnel Pineda sounds like Steve Perry; I now expect to hear that voice coming out of that body. This is not to say that seeing Journey is no longer a fun experience – I still have a blast rocking out to them – but it is becoming a slightly more routine experience. But a routine night with “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Faithfully” is still better than a lot of other things.

One thing of interest was that unlike the other times that I’ve seen them, the band went out of their way to highlight the other members of the bands with extensive instrumental solos. At different points in the show, everyone would leave the stage except for the member that was the focus. Neal Schon kicked things off with a pretty cool version of the national anthem and while it was very good, it seemed a little out of place and ruined the momentum of the show. I love ‘Murica as much as the next person, but it just didn’t make sense with the flow of the rest the show. The idea is to build the enthusiasm of the crowd, not give them ill-timed periods to cool off. This happened with every instrumental – I have no problem with giving everyone a moment to shine, but I don’t know that they needed to be all separate moments rather than as part of one of the songs. I’m sure that they could have found a place for a drum solo or awesome guitar riff within the context of the Journey songs that everyone was excited to hear. I was already kind of tired of these instrumentals when they doubled back to give Neal Schon a second instrumental. At this point, I began to wonder if this was a strategy to give Pineda’s voice a rest. He didn’t show signs of any vocal strain during his performances, but he was conspicuously offstage during all of these moments. This is purely speculation on my part, but it would explain some of the filler. Or perhaps the rest of the band has gotten a little jealous about all the attention that Pineda has received and wanted to reclaim some of the spotlight. I’d believe that as well – especially Schon who strikes me as a guy who enjoys attention. His wedding was a pay-per-view event, after all. Whatever was going on, I think that these breaks hurt the overall show. They were just too disruptive.

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Some other thoughts:

  • I was very surprised that Journey opted to not save “Don’t Stop Believin’” for the encore. When I heard the familiar first notes of the song earlier than anticipated, I was legitimately confused.
  • I had no idea that Steve Miller had an actual song called “Space Cowboy;” I thought that was just something from “The Joker.” I learned something new.
  • Also a surprising revelation – Journey performed “Faithfully” for the first time ever on the piano backstage at SPAC after Jon Cain wrote the song on a bus ride to Saratoga in the 1980s. Who knew?
  • I used to tell the pledges of my sorority that “you have to go through hell before you get to heaven” during their hell week phase of pledging. I’d forgotten all about that until I heard Steve Miller singing the lyrics from “Jet Airliner” that I  quoted to them (not that I think any of them ever knew what I was talking about).
  • There were two girls who were in the section ahead of us that stood for all of Journey, which didn’t necessarily bother me but was kind of rude since no one else was really standing up and they were blocking the view of pretty much everyone behind them. At the end of the show, the girl turned around and was really rude to the (older) woman behind her who must have complained, getting in her face and generally being a jerk. Poor concert etiquette all around from that one.
  • Steve Miller is inadvertently responsible for me being kicked out (temporarily) from our high school library. One of my friends had been singing “Take the Money and Run” semi-quietly to himself in the (mostly) abandoned library. When he got to the part where you clap along (after “Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas”), I did what you are contractually obligated to do and clapped. This did not sit well with the librarian who sent me packing and banned us for the rest of the week. Totally worth it.

While this wasn’t my favorite show that I’ve seen by Journey and finally seeing the Steve Miller Band wasn’t the transformative experience that I had built it up to be, it was still a great night and a very fun double bill. I’m glad that I no longer feel excluded from the Steve Miller Band club; it was a little ironic that I didn’t run into anyone that I went to high school with at the show, since that was such a big part of the concert experience when we were teenagers. I don’t know that I necessarily have to see Steve Miller again if he rolls into town (we all know that I’ll see Journey), but being able to finally cross that life experience off my list was well worth it.

 

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 Steve Miller Band and Journey are out on tour together through August; remaining dates of the tour can be found here.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Happy Thanksgiving Edition

Hooray – it’s almost Thanksgiving, though honestly I am more excited about the 4 day weekend than the actual holiday. I’ve been running around way too much in the last week and I really just need a few days to relax and get myself back on track. I’m looking forward to just sleeping in and taking it easy and watching a shameful number of movies. I’ll enjoy the turkey dinner and the moment to reflect on all that I’m thankful for (which is a lot), but I’m really ready for some R&R. The last two weeks have kicked my butt.

Before you head off to spend some time with your loved ones and eat some stuffing, get yourself up to speed on the world of pop culture with your biweekly pop culture roundup. It’s on the long side this week, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied over the long weekend. Plus you never know when you’ll have to make small talk with a relative and there is a little bit of something for everyone in this roundup. So pour over this collection of links before the tryptophan kicks in.

  • Someone indexed every death in the Game of Thrones books (so far):

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  • NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! They are remaking Road House. It has better include the line “I used to f*ck guys like you in prison” or it will be complete sacrilege.

This week in Ron Burgundy news:

  • The Channel 4 gang sang “Afternoon Delight” at the Australian premiere:

 

 

  • Baxter got his own movie poster:

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  • This article looks at how Friends decided to pair off Monica and Chandler.
  • The Mindy Project is going on hiatus due to low ratings. Other shakeups at FOX – Dads has been removed from the schedule despite receiving a full season order and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is moving to 9:30 (in The Mindy Project’s old slot).
  • James Franco and Seth Rogan did a parody of Kanye’s video for “Bound 2”:

Surprisingly, Kim and Kanye (neither known for their killer sense of humor) apparently found it funny.

  • Zach Braff may have pulled off the greatest photobomb of all time:

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  • Watch Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul read the Breaking Bad finale for the first time (spoilers if you aren’t current):

 

  • You can watch the pilots of HBO’s new comedies Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Getting On online.
  • Adam Brody (The O.C.) and Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) are engaged.
  • The surviving members of the Beastie Boys penned an open letter explain their dispute with toymaker GoldieBlox. Their song “Girls” has since been pulled from the commercial.
  • According to this graphic, many Sesame Street character have mental disorders.
  • Watch Robert DeNiro’s audition for the role of Sonny in The Godfather:

 

  • Pitbull and Ke$ha co-star in a new music video:

 

Trailers:

  • Every new trailer for HBO’s True Detective makes me more and more excited for this show:

 

  • A teaser for the new Chicago Fire spin-off, Chicago PD:

 

  • Sherlock Season 3:

 

  • The obviously NSFW trailer has arrived from Lars von Trier’s upcoming film Nymphomaniac

 

  • Season 3 trailer for HBO’s Girls:

 

  • A trailer for Devil’s Knot – yet another film about the West Memphis Three:

 

  • Another trailer for one of the movies I am most looking forward to this winter, American Hustle:

 

  • Kellen Lutz stars in Hercules: The Legend Begins:

 

  • A new trailer for Muppets Most Wanted:

 

  • Some deleted scenes from one of my all-time favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption:

 

  • I always knew It’s Sunny in Philadelphia was ahead of its time. Does this mean kitten mittens are next?
  • Whoa – Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle album was released 20 years ago. I am feeling old.

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts:

  • Mad Men without the smoking:

 

  • Reaping Ball – a Hunger Games/Miley Cryrus mashup:

 

  • The Wolf of Bedford Falls (It’s a Wonderful Life re-cut to look like The Wolf of Wall Street):

 

  • A Rob Ford/New Jack City remix:

 

  • A Rob Ford/Chris Farley mashup (Farley would have been amazing playing Ford on SNL):

 

  • Team Coco put together a supercut of season 3 of Conan:

 

  • The Sesame Street gang did a Hunger Games parody:

 

  • And finally……a Dawson’s Creek/The Walking Dead mashup, Governor’s Creek:

 

The blog is probably going to take a few days off for the holidays, unless I just can’t help myself. Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!!!!