New in Des Moines

Sep 21

Worst Number Ones - 1978 Edition

A little background on this project. I don’t do these solo. I’m in a Facebook group that got excited when I told them I was planning this and they wanted in, so once a week, I post a poll and we talk about it a lot. Last thread was pushing 300 comments and I posted it yesterday

I jumped ahead to 1978 because it was a group member’s birthday and she requested her birth year. Next week, barring some other birthday interfering, we’ll get back to the regular order.

So here we go—1978. It was the height of the disco era. How big was disco? For 22 of the first 30 weeks of the year, someone named Gibb was at number 1. Four other disco songs were number one for 10 of the remaining weeks of the year.And yet, bad as most disco music was, there’s only one song here that cracks my choices for the top 3 worst number ones.

But oh that disco entry is a doozy: Donna Summer singing MacArthur Park”. This is a discoed up version of the Jimmy Webb song first performed by Richard Harris (the original Dumbledore for you youngsters out there), and it might be one of the worst songs ever written. Follow the link above—it looks like it’s a karaoke video, but that means you get to read the lyrics while Donna Summer does her best with them. And I’m giving away the game here a bit, but it’s only the fact that Donna Summer has a glorious voice that keeps this song from running away with the award.

Entry number 2 surprised me a little: Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me.” It’s a perfectly boring song sung by a woman with terrific range. It’s so bland, though. Murray has/had great range but she didn’t put much oomph into her songs, which suited her audience just fine (an audience that included my mother). It’s not really a surprise that this made it to number one—it’s the anti- of the disco era, which meant it got some backlash support. It’s far from the only example of this phenomenon either—it’s just the one we concentrated our fire on.

Entry 3 came in at the end of the year and dueled with Chic’s “Le Freak” for the number one spot. They traded it between them twice each in November and December. It’s a duet by Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond titled "You Don’t Bring Me Flowers." In Streisand, you have one of the great voices of the period—powerful and passionate and unbelievable range—and in Diamond you have a guy who’s trying to impregnate you with every syllable that comes out of his throat, and he’s not being gentle about it either. And they combine in one of the biggest nothingburgers of a song ever written. It’s about a couple who’ve lost the magic, and by the end of the song, nothing’s changed. No one has left, no one has said “we need to fix this shit because you mean enough to me to fight for it,” no one has placed a personal ad looking for someone who likes pina coladas and walks in the rain. Nope. Nothing.

So my choice is for entry 3, Streisand and Diamond over-emoting about, well, nothing. So much possibility there, and so much of a vacuum in the end.

Next week we’re back to 1960. 

Sep 18

ghostrightsactivist:

cakeandrevolution:

I want to see a reality tv show where straight dudes have to read the shitty messages they send to women to their mothers.

to catch a redditor

(via benjaminthesnowman)

Sep 17

jencorpsichord:

young adult things: washing your colors with your whites because you don’t care you JUST don’t fucking care

I’m 45 and do this and I do laundry for my whole family.

(Source: brideofgodzilla, via benjaminthesnowman)

[video]

Sep 15

therumpus:

Corrections by Grant Snider

therumpus:

Corrections by Grant Snider

Sep 14

[video]

icecooly94:

teacupnosaucer:

whoneedsfeminism:

I need feminism because “Who hired a stripper” shouldn’t be the first thing said to me when I walk into a welding job.

women in trades are treated like absolute shit. 

NO I’M STILL STUCK ON THIS WHY WOULD ANYONE SAY THIS TO A WOMAN HOLDING A BLOWTORCH


Every morning I wake up amazed that at least half the men in the world haven’t been killed in their sleep.

icecooly94:

teacupnosaucer:

whoneedsfeminism:

I need feminism because “Who hired a stripper” shouldn’t be the first thing said to me when I walk into a welding job.

women in trades are treated like absolute shit. 

NO I’M STILL STUCK ON THIS WHY WOULD ANYONE SAY THIS TO A WOMAN HOLDING A BLOWTORCH

Every morning I wake up amazed that at least half the men in the world haven’t been killed in their sleep.

(via violetcoil)

Sep 12

“The poet and professor James Galvin, during a graduate school seminar he was teaching, once said something along the lines of: “You could burn every copy of your favorite poem, and it would still exist.” It terrified me at first—that if that happened, it would be difficult to reproduce an accurate version of the exact piece. That we would lose so much. Imagine “Prufrock,” or “One Art,” just—gone. But what’s stayed with me about that notion is this: the poem would still exist, because it would have already begun the work it was meant to do inside of me, that it was meant to do in the world—like a virus, both good and bad. Is it helpful or harmful when a thing becomes only a souvenir?” — Bring It On Home by Amy Woolard (via therumpus)

(via therumpus)

As long as you have a flag

As long as you have a flag

(via violetcoil)

Sep 10

Very similar to the uniform of “don’t leave your drink next to me or you won’t remember the rest of the night.”

Very similar to the uniform of “don’t leave your drink next to me or you won’t remember the rest of the night.”