Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Music Moment: Vacation Brain

We spent the week after Christmas in Hawaii, having our brains turn to mush. That is, of course, the goal of a Hawaiian vacation, especially after such a frantic holiday season. We brought bathing suits, stacks of books, and virtually no ambition beyond a wish to float down some pineapple plantation irrigation ditches in an inner tube. (If you visit Kauai, it's a must.)

What I hadn't realized is just how much the Music of the Islands is designed to help. With 98.9 "Island Radio" playing on the rental car radio as we zipped around our daily circuit between coffee shop, shave ice store, and beach, we began noticing just how the lyrics of the songs in the 50th state are designed to be swallowed whole, no mental chewing necessary. It's best exemplified by "Hula Hooping Dancer" by Ray Leger, which we thought was a thirty minute long song but it turned out to just be on heavy rotation. 

The family came up with a basic rubric for ideal vacation music lyrics. First choose your pronoun, and set it in present tense (though who's tense around here?) Next, choose one of the following words: love, heart, sit, cry, or dance. Pair it up with guava jelly, grow stronger, like a rainbow, or ocean, throw in a mention of a local tourist site, and you are halfway to Hitsville. Here's the song we wrote in 30 seconds on the drive from Poipu to Old Koloa Town. (Note: there are scrappy wild chickens all over Kauai thanks to 1992's Hurricane Iniki, which blew the tops off all the coops.) 

"Sitting under the palm trees
Feeling a cool breeze
The chickens peck my eye
I feel like I'm gonna cry
Why? Why? Waimea Canyon."

See? Easy. I don't know if the rule holds true in the Caribbean but the fact that Bob Marley is a virtual poet laureate, what with his use of Biblical allusions, simile, and metaphor, makes me think it probably is.

But we're STILL not at the music moment yet. The vacation relaxing also extended to television screen time limits. During the frequent tropical rain showers, we trooped inside to the condo and parked our sandy butts in front of two TV marathons: The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, and Back the Future 1, 2, and 3. Regarding the former, all I can tell you is that we are considering sending an anonymous request on behalf of Clarice's owner to ask Cesar to come and adjust her using his magical Cesar Millan energy and his ch-ch-ch sounds. 

Regarding the latter, we only saw the last half of each movie, and the way Marty McFly jumped forward, backward, and sideways I never knew which one we were tuned into. The only consistent thing was McFly's high waisted jeans and the DeLorean.

The DeLorean. Hey, guess who has a new album - The Unfazed - out? Not the Spanish techno dance band the Deloreans, but the Doloreans, alt-rockers from Portland, Oregon. Here's a taste of their music. If you like Teddy Thompson, Mumford and Sons, and the Avetts, you might just like the Doloreans too. Though with a song titled "The Destruction" from an album called Violence in the Snowy Fields, it would never play on Island Radio.

Have a relaxing weekend, friends -


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