Head for the shelter, Ma. The Apocalypse is here.
Some things are absolutes.
(*) No matter how many times I read over them, my posts on "I Totally Hear That" always will have typos.
(*) No matter when I call her, my friend Stephanie always will be at, driving to, or just returning from Target.
(*) No matter what time of day I get on the A train, I always will be riding with those kids that sell candy. If you live in New York, you know which kids I mean. Their pitch goes something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, excuse me for my interruption. I'm not here selling candy for no basketball team. I'm here trying to stay out of trouble, stay off the streets, and put a little money in my pocket. Each candy is a dollar, and all I have is M&M peanuts."
These certainties soothe me. However, not even the warmest blanket of habitual truths could protect me from the apoclayptic chill blowing over from the music world.
Here are three signs of Armageddon.
(*) Jessica Simpson has covered a Patty Griffin song. Her album "A Public Affair" came out a few weeks ago, but I was too busy shuddering at Clay Aiken's bangs to pay it much attention. Thankfully, my friend Jenni was kind enough to bring this horror to light in her recent comment on the cover songs post.
I listened to a sample of Jessica's take on "Let Him Fly," which happens to be the first Patty Griffin song I ever heard (and so signaled the beginning of my relationship with one of my favorite artists.) It's not terrible, really, but it's just so wrong. No matter how pretty their voices, starlets whose careers are built on reality shows and trashy films of old TV shows should not be allowed to cover songs by legends of contemporary folk. What's next? Will Richard Hatch be covering Joan Armatrading?
(*) "Weird" Al Yankovic has a top ten album. That's right. Check the seventh paragraph of this story. His new album, "Straight Outta Lynwood," is a smash. Granted, in today's depressed market, selling 77,000 copies will get you higher on the charts than in the past, but it's still a notable feat.
And again... it's so wrong.
Now, I have nothing against Weird Al. Like many boys, I spent my elementary school years thinking he was a genius. I memorized every song on "Even Worse," up to and including "Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White."
But since when did 2006 become the year for Al to have his biggest hit? Wasn't "Eat It" his peak? Has the world gone mad?
(*) Prince has recorded a song for an animated movie about penguins. Called "Happy Feet."
And that film's soundtrack will also feature a Hugh Jackman-Nicole Kidman cover of his song "Kiss."
I'm not made of stone. The penguin on that poster is cute in a way that could make me insane. Hell, that movie might even be cute. But Prince? Sex-freak-Jehovah's-Witness-
still-cool-after-all-these-years Prince? When did the most eccentric guy in pop--sorry Elton, it's true--get happy feet?
Oh... wait. Maybe the song is about penguins having sex. That would make sense.
Otherwise, the end times are nigh.