New Wave Wednesdays – When The World Goes Pop, Fix It With Power Pop… The Joys Of Marshall Crenshaw

Life is a mother—–r.  In a world filled with so much beauty, why is there so much pain?  I see so many people hurting right now.  Why must there be so much suffering?

I suppose without pain, healing would not have as much power… the same goes for beauty and love.  Without the opposites to help define them, life’s most wonderful treasures might be less appreciated.  But that’s a shame, isn’t it?  We must take nothing for granted… especially wonder and majesty, joy and love.  Appreciating life and all its beauty is imperative.  We must open our eyes and our ears and our souls.

So it seems then, that it is our job to appreciate the wonders of the world… the joys… the bliss, and the love as much as we can, for as long as we can. There will always be suffering… So our task is to overcome it and find the beauty and the happiness.  Very Buddhist.  Very important.

Today I woke up to find 5/10 newly acquired plants from Home Depot dead… my reputation as the Plant Killer lives on.  Yes, I can and will return them.  The news this morning added a stabbing at a high school in Pennsylvania and the passing of “Princess” Lacey Holsworth, the adorable 8-year old many of us came to know while watching March Madness, and college hoops.

It makes me want to hold my daughter so tight… kiss her and tell her how much I love her.  Not easy to do with a 13-year old, who thinks everything her Dad does is embarrassing and wrong… but I see her growing up so very fast and I need her to know how amazing and special and wonderful she is… and how deep my love for her is…

So I just e-mailed her… Yes, she’ll read it at school, but tough.

Today we need some joyous music played loud… very loud.  We need to dance and sing and remind ourselves that we need to dance and sing every single day… and love… and laugh.

Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw

Not exactly what many would consider New Wave… but he was on the list I built of New Wave artists, so we’re going for it… though mostly because listening to Marshall Crenshaw gives me true joy and makes me happy.  This is probably a lot closer to Power Pop… which I would define as catchy, infectious and melodic songs that possess some great hooks.  Crenshaw was a master… and it is no coincidence that he played Buddy Holly in the film La Bamba… He reminds many of us of Buddy physically… but also as a master songwriter.

To be clear, I LOVE Pop Music… but my definition is different from what you might be thinking.  I am not talking about the mindless Bubblegum Pop that too many teens think is great music… Oops, did I say that out loud?  I am talking about music that does not quite fit into the Rock or Alternative genres, and while it may be mainstream, has tremendous staying power and value.

Power Pop is a genre that, by all accounts, was coined by the genius Pete Townshend.  Hell, he calls The Who a Power Pop band!  I can see that, at times… though they are pretty hard rockers.  The Beatles and The Kinks were also major influences on the genre, and ditto that they also rocked it pretty hard.  It still amazes me that The Beatles have influenced almost every modern genre of music.

For me… when I think of Power Pop, I usually start with British bands… who ironically were influenced by jangly guitar, American bands like The Byrds.  My list of favorites include Teenage Fanclub, The Hollies, Raspberries, Badfinger, The Pearlfishers, Squeeze, then Big Star, JellyfishSloan, Maximo Park and of course, Marshall.  What I love about the genre is the worldwide influence and the continuation of it decade after decade.  This list alone covers the UK, Canada and the US!

One of my most favorite collections EVER is the 3-CD set Rhino Records put out called Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics… It covers the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and is so utterly enjoyable.  One might be able to survive on a desert island with these discs alone… Okay… and of course some Bruce and The Beatles

This 1982 debut album… Hold on… let me say that again… DEBUT ALBUM!!!… gets a deluxe treatment courtesy of the fabulous Rhino Records… okay, really?  Just HIRE ME ALREADY!  They are genius at taking already brilliant material and giving it an abundance of riches in the guise of demos, live tracks, bonus songs, etc.  This album goes from 12 tracks to 21!!!

This is also, at least for me, one of those rare records where each and every track is a song I adore.  I do not ever skip through this one… and on a day like today, I need an album that delivers song after song… Even though many are about lost loves, the album makes me feel fine!

Included in the bonus tracks are two of my other, most favorite Marshall tunes… a demo version of “Whenever You’re On My Mind” and “You’re My Favorite Waste Of Time.”

Just look at the original, killer track list:

  • “There She Goes Again”
  • “Someday, Someway”
  • “Girls…”
  • “I’ll Do Anything”
  • “Rockin’ Around In N.Y.C.”
  • “The Usual Thing”
  • “She Can’t Dance”
  • “Cynical Girl”
  • “Mary Anne”
  • “Soldier Of Love”
  • “Not For Me”
  • “Brand New Lover”

This is some of my most beloved music… Mmmm!  I just adore this record.  And in the face of such tragedy, finding joy is key… and music unlocks so much of that.

If we all listened to more music, the world would be a happier, calmer and more peaceful place.  Really!  Let’s give it a try.




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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me, Ramblings and Musings - The Really Random Stuff

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