Mikaela Davis: Casimir Pulaski Day

“…and the cardinal hits the window.”

I heard this one yesterday while sweeping the grounds around the swimming pool at the Surf 16 Condo/Motel in North Wildwood. My friend Ariel suggested the artist. When this song later came up in the YouTube auto-play rotation, I had to drop it here right away. Please find six minutes and a quiet space today to listen to this song and reflect on your blessings and on the beauty of this short life. Read more

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Tears For Fears: Broken/Head Over Heels

“This is my four-leaf clover.”

The next act in my #LastDayAtAKA series is receiving an introduction. I did not buy Songs From The Big Chair at my last day at AKA, but I did buy another selection from the same my-friend-Krystal-inspired ’80s Brit-pop band. I wanted to post Head Over Heels first, however, because it was rolling around in my head for the four days in early June that I was turning pedals for Habitat For Humanity’s 2018 Ride For Homes cycling fundraiser. Read more

Queensrÿche: Silent Lucidity

“If you open your mind for me, you won’t rely on open eyes to see.”

I wanted to sneak this this one in here because had been lodged in my head at work for about half the month of July. Only over the past few days has it begun to release its grip. Every now and then, every couple years, Silent Lucidity comes to my mind as something from my youth that I enjoyed but didn’t hold onto. I remind myself to look out for it in thrift stores and used CD bins. I still don’t own a copy, but maybe the time has come to take some initiative. Read more

Morrissey: Tomorrow

“The one thing that I ask of you is one thing that you’ll never do: Will you put your arms around me?”

Tomorrow ends the Morrissey segment of my #LastDayAtAKA series. Yes, I took quite a hiatus back there to wrap up the 2017-18 school year and get through the 2018 summer session for my grad school. I might take another hiatus in the fall once I begin teaching full time, but today is all about Tomorrow. Read more

Morrissey: I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday

“Please wait. Don’t lose faith.”

I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday is another highlight of Your Arsenal. It provides a bright and hopeful contrast to the previous Seasick, Yet Still Docked. It is said to have been inspired by Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, which is reasonable considering guitarist Mick Ronson’s involvement with both projects. Read more

Morrissey: Seasick, Yet Still Docked

“Wish I had the charm to attract the one I love, but you see, I’ve got no charm.”

After the relative disappointments of We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful and You’re the One For Me, Fatty, Morrissey rehabilitates Your Arsenal with two of his best tracks, Seasick, Yet Still Docked, and I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday. The first of these is a personal highlight of mine, because I find the lyrics so personally relatable. Read more

Morrissey: You’re the One for Me, Fatty

“Promise you’ll say if I’m ever in your way.”

The second of two songs in the middle of Your Arsenal that didn’t really land for me is You’re the One for Me, Fatty. Large women have been recurring bit characters in Smiths/Morrissey tunes since William, It Was Really Nothing in 1984, and continuing with Some Girls are Bigger than Others in 1986. “Fatty” takes center stage in this song, the second single from the album, which eventually reached No. 19 on the UK Singles chart. Read more

Morrissey: We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

“If we can destroy them, you bet your life we will.”

A pair of songs in the middle of Your Arsenal didn’t really land for me. I was surprised and a little confused to learn that they were chosen for the album’s two lead singles. I suppose maybe the songs I like, such as We’ll Let You Know and the forthcoming Seasick, Yet Still Docked might not be pop radio friendly, but I’ve got to assume Morrissey could have done better than these. Read more

Morrissey: We’ll Let You Know

“We are the last truly British people you will ever know.”

We’ll let you know is the third track on Your Arsenal, and the first to catch my ear and call out: “Hey. Listen to me. I’m the sort of stuff you really like.” There is an extended musique concrète interlude that I consider to be an album highlight. It immediately reminded me of two other cherished sounds. Read more