Speedy Music


Thanks to everyone who keeps voting daily. Please keep voting, and rope in anybody else you can think of through 5PM May 2: http://neilgaiman.bookperk.com/engine/Details.aspx?p=A&c=29933&s=7776799&i=1

I have 420 votes right now. When I entered this competition, I could have never imagined NEEDING that many votes, let alone RECEIVING THEM. Wow. I’m just stunned. Thank you all so very much. Right now, number twenty right now has 730 votes, so I’ve got to keep drawing new people in every day, but I’m in this thing for better or worse, and I’m grateful for all of your support.

Before I get into the blog, I want you to know that if you’re reading this, it means we weren’t blown away. We moved the kids to the hall (which is our interior ‘safe place’) when we went to bed, and stayed there for about an hour ourselves while the loudest bits blew over. Fudge spent his time between the kids’ two couches on his bed, and we all fit (barely) lying head to toe. But Scott and I went back to our room in the end because we could not sleep on the purloined couch and chair cushions, and the worst had passed. Anyway, much of the northern part of the state got hit hard. To my Ohio friends, I say “think Xenia”. This morning I’m seeing a death toll in the hundreds for Alabama. To quote Caroline, “Eeks”.

Now, to the blog.

One of my biggest pet peeves, inherited from my father, is when radio stations speed up songs to fit their schedules (which is all the time). They have little tempo dials that allow them to push the beat so they can fit in more material.  By which I mean “more commercials”.  I yearn for satellite radio, but have yet to convince my husband of its benefits. It’s an ongoing debate made worse by my current efforts to become physically fit.

Because they give aerobics teachers the same damned control. So in the dance party class, when Lady Gaga sings that she was “Born This Way”, I have to wonder if maybe “this way” was “at warp speed”.  And when JLo sings “Get on the floor”, I think maybe she’s going to wind up on the ceiling.  To put this into some kind of proportion for those who don’t even notice this kind of thing, if the radio stations or aerobics teachers turned their tempo dials the same number of clicks in the opposite direction,  these songs would be absolute dirges. Gaga’s birth would occur in agonizing real time, and JLo would actually move backwards in time, approximately to the cave era when records had to be chiseled out with a hammer and wedge. 

And I don’t get the point. Want more room for commercials? Fine. Play fewer songs. Now that you don’t typically advertise a certain number of songs per hour, doing so wouldn’t interfere with your “forty five minutes of commercial free rock”. (And on a tangential note, yes, I have figured out that means fifteen minutes of commercials per hour, which means a quarter of your programming is advertising.) What good does it do me to hear my favorite song played so fast I can’t even sing along?

And as for aerobics, it’s not like these are slow songs to begin with. This is uptempo music written for the dance floor. What do you gain by increasing the speed by a full fifty percent? If the little beat pusher knobs weren’t so sophisticated, all these singers would sound like Alvin and his chipmunk pals. So that means we’re flailing around out there at greyhound pace, racing to keep up with music that’s being forced to leave us behind. Worse, it’s like the dance party instructor is some kind of failed sports coach who has to dump all that drill-sergeant pseudo-encouragement on her adult students since nobody would turn her loose on a field full of eighth graders. But my classmates love it just as much as the teachers. I swear every time I hear “Let’s pick it up here people!” , I want to just sit on the floor and stage a protest. But the others seem to like being talked to this way. They respond with comments like “Yeah let’s go!” and answer empty threats like “If you people don’t move it faster, we might have to do this one again,” with “Come on guys, speed up and work it.” And “work it” always sounds like it’s coming out of some Valley Girl’s mouth. There are even moves called “cheerleader arms” and “majorette arms”. And I enjoyed both of those until I knew their names.

I’d like to know what a dance routine to Gaga’s “Born This Way” feels like at the right tempo. Hell, I might actually enjoy JLo (feat. Pitbull) if I were trying to dance to it, not do this weird move involving my knees bending in opposite directions while I try to touch the floor. But then, I’ve  never been a real fan of the hyperdrive school of workout. I prefer dance party to the days I spend in the cardio room trying NOT to see the TV set to Fox News. But that doesn’t say much for it. What I really like is Yoga, where the music is peaceful and slow and, as far as I can tell, set at the right tempo. But the Y doesn’t have that every day, or even Zumba, where the songs are so fun that I don’t care about the speed. So I just have to make due with what I’ve got and do dance party twice a week. And since I’m stuck in this rut, do you think it’s possible to help me get these damned songs out of my head?

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4 thoughts on “Speedy Music

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday to… | jesterqueen1

  2. Pingback: The Programmable Child | jesterqueen1

  3. Pingback: Zumba | jesterqueen1

  4. Pingback: The Programmable Child - Jester Queen

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