Use your illusion

Musical dissonance, a song for a fake reporter and a memory of when Santa was still real -- this week in TT.

By Salon Staff
Published March 12, 2005 2:04PM (EST)

Music and Performing Arts

Musical Dissonance

Eric -- 11:56 am Pacific Time -- Feb 27, 2005 -- #77 of 79

That's a peril of being a musician; you start hearing the parts rather than the whole. I can spot in a short period of time the songs on the radio that are local. Not because of the quality of the production, much of which is great, but because it's a pretty cool guitar riff that some vocalist is supposed to come up with a lyric and sing over. The melody doesn't really go anywhere, because the guitar part wasn't written to support it, and the lyrics are boring, because they're an afterthought.

I heard a friend and her new band do some stuff exactly like this. One in particular was a killer guitar riff, I mean really tight and powerful. But the lyrics totally didn't matter, and the song was forgettable because there was nothing there. The vocalist is excellent too, great dramatic voice, and she has written some pretty good stuff herself. But as an add-on to this band, it's totally boring. (On edit:) Oh, and she had to sing it too low, because the guitar player didn't want to relearn his killer riff in another key just so the vocal would sound good. Feh. Friggin' guitar players.

White House

The Guckert Affair

Macdaffy -- 02:57 am Pacific Time -- Mar 4, 2005 -- #1301 of 1437

You're the top! You're a press room sex toy!
You're the top! You're the White House rent boy
You're a right-wing shill! A bottom's thrill ... A plant!
You were Scottie's foil ... A West Wing spoil
A sycophant!
You're the spin on a George Bush gaffe
You're the frost on Dick Cheney's laugh
I am just amazed that they'd find ways to stop
Such a juicy front-page story! You're the top!
You're the top! You're a D.C. hooker!
You're the top ... On a pressure cooker!
You're a Novak tip that made folks hip to Plame!
You're a right-wing hack who turned Daschle back
Into What's-His-Name?!
You're the top! Whose website's revealing!
You're the top! That they hope ain't squealing!
The secret's out, other shoe's about to drop!
Tell us, Bulldog: Who's your bottom? You're the top!

White House

White House Bar & Grill X

Cat Lewis -- 05:33 pm Pacific Time -- Mar 2, 2005 -- #7588 of 8928

I dunno about a single favorite toy, but I can tell you about my favorite Christmas, when ALL the toys I received were favorites. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old. We lived in the boonies in Connecticut, and my mother had left her shopping till the last minute. But for a solid two weeks before Christmas, snow and ice storms prevented her from going to the store.

She had a Montgomery Ward's catalog that promised that if they received a telephone order a certain number of days before Christmas, they'd promise to deliver on time. My poor mother -- it didn't occur to her that if she couldn't drive to the local store, they couldn't drive to deliver, either.

On Christmas morning I came downstairs and found not a single gift. Instead, there was a huge -- about a foot high and two feet wide -- homemade envelope propped up against the tree. It was addressed to "Dear Catherine," and the return address was "Santa Claus, North Pole."

More excited than any toy could ever elicit, I rushed to open my "letter from Santa." It said that there were so many children and so many gifts, he just wasn't able to fit them all on his sleigh. It said that as soon as he could, he would be making a special run, just for me.

I was beside myself. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat. The very idea that Santa had written a letter just for me ... and that he would be making a special run, just for me -- well, it was just overwhelming.

About a week later, I came downstairs and discovered that Santa had finally arrived -- and there was another letter!!! He said that he was sorry for being late, but when he knew that he couldn't fit all the toys on his first run and had to leave one child out, he chose me, because he knew I was the only one that was grown up enough to understand. I don't remember another moment in my life when I felt such joy.

When my mother was sick and dying, she told me that the one thing she always felt guilty for was ruining that Christmas for me. My mouth fell open. I explained to her that it had been the best Christmas I'd ever had. Suddenly she understood, and a big smile came over her face. She died the next day.

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