Last week, as you may recall, we were discussing the worst song of all time, which I claimed is "You're Sixteen," as done by Ringo Starr. Buoyed by your response, I'm going to the musical well one more time.
Johnny Cash was no saint. Neither are most high school students. Few of us grow up to be criminals or folk heroes. Most of us are somewhere in between. We don't need to upend our lives for our causes, but we can nudge ourselves in the direction of righteousness.
My problem is earworms, those insidious tunes that get stuck in your head and repeat themselves over and over and over until you're completely distracted and want to strangle Carly Rae Jepsen, even though you don't have a clue who she is.
Listen to any of the songs on '1989', the new album from Taylor Swift, and you'll notice that Swift doesn't just sing those lyrics - she acts them. There are nuances and inflections that she milks with the precision of an actress.
After about three and a half decades of listening to his music, I saw and heard Billy Joel perform live recently at Fenway Park. Even though it was a stadium show, the sound proved stunningly sharp. His voice was strong and the lyrics quite clear. The audience, however, puzzled me.
Of course there are lessons to be learned from rock music. As a songwriter, I know this and I try to use it to everyone's advantage. After all, the songwriters I'm referencing all went through their own stuff and toiled to put it all to paper in a concise and relatively snappy, relatable fashion.
I can tell right when I meet someone whether or not we're gonna be able to work together. It's a common language, a sense of humor, a meeting of the minds about past experiences and especially lyrics. If I can key into someone's lyrics, then I know exactly what to do with the direction.
Earlier this month, the 5th District Illinois appellate court reversed the conviction of Olutosin Oduwole, an aspiring hip hop artist and Southern Illinois University student who was found guilty of attempting to make a terrorist threat during his 2011 trial.