Music Heard in the Men’s Bathroom of the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City, February 27, 2014

I heard some really great music today in the men’s bathroom of the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City conference room, which I utilized several times as I attended an all-day Microsoft Innovative Educators training being hosted there.  The music was so stellar I was tempted to cut class just to stay there and absorb those golden tones.

The first time I went in, in the morning, I heard the dramatic close of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.”  But that was just a taste of the vintage AM Gold to come. It was followed by the incredibly emotional country pop ballad, “Please Come to Boston” by Dave Loggins:

I was very pleased to come across this song; It is probably the best of its kind I’ve heard since Michael Martin Murphy’s “Wildfire,” which I have little doubt in my mind must have endowed that men’s bathroom with its haunting and mysterious tale of snowstorms paranormal horses at some other point during the day, though I did have the opportunity to hear it myself. Here is video for that song with lots of pictures of horses:

On my second visit to the restroom, I was pleasantly surprised to find the the Hyatt Place DJ (they no doubt have one on staff, an automated service could never have curated such a powerful playlist) not only embraces 1970s Country Pop crossover, but they soft and easy disco pop of Bee Gees younger brother Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want To Be Your Everything:”

But it was my final visit to the men’s room, at the close of the day, that brought the true musical revelation, a track so incredible and incredulous that I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t heard it myself echoing from the tiles and the stalls.  It began innocuously enough, an instrumental track with extensive saxophone soloing in a rather conventional smooth jazz style. However, the track had two distinctive elements that stood apart from typical smooth jazz: a stuttering bass drum beat and a unique but incessant flute refrain. A unique and incessant flute refrain that sounded uncannily like the flute refrain in Jay-Z’s 2000 Timbaland-produced single, “Big Pimpin.‘” Could it be possible that muzak versions of Jay Z songs have actually been synthesized and recorded? Could it be possible that such muzak could be viably played alongside classic 70s pop, and in such an institution as the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City?

Yes. It is real, and it is happening. If the YouTube video isn’t enough for you, please refer to the album Smooth Jazz Tribute to Jay-Z by the Smooth Jazz All Stars on Spotify. Thank you to the Internet, thank you to the Smooth Jazz All Stars for this incredible tribute, and thank you most of all to the Hyatt Place Salt Lake City for pumping such wonderful music into your conference room restrooms. I can’t wait to hear what is playing there tomorrow.

Go Ahead, Mr. Wendal

This morning at 3:10 A.M. I was awoken by the sound of my son singing/groaning, and I quickly realized that he was performing a startlingly faithful rendition of the repeating vocal sample used in the classic Arrested Development song “Mr. Wendal.” I went in and there he was, happily sitting up in his crib awake, continuing his homage to that great philosopher-hobo. It sounded exactly like this:

In our family, we also make it a practice to slightly modify the lyrics of “Mr. Wendal” to refer to one of Virginia’s heroes, Sister Wendy. Perhaps this is how the young lad has developed such a love for the song.

Man’s Search for Happiness

Man’s Search For Happiness (1964). 13 min., sound, color. USA: Brigham Young University Motion Picture Studio, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

They don’t make them like this anymore. I came across this when I was a Mormon missionary, circa 2000.  It was dubbed onto an old VHS I found in a ward meetinghouse library in Reynoldsburg, OH.  I’ve never been able to find it again, but I recently was reminded of this movie and thought to check for it on online, and found it in seconds.  Weird to realize that in 2000 there was no such thing as finding or streaming a video online; now you can find almost anything.

The church remade this movie in the 80s and I think they still distribute that version, but it fails to match the weirdness and mystery that you will see here.  I love the surrealist/proto-psychedelic moments. To a 21st century father, the scenes of the birth and the babies in the hospital feel almost dystopic, but I guess that’s just how they did things back in the 1950s and 1960s in America.  There’s many other priceless moments, such as the awkwardness and bad acting of the old moustached guy as he is welcomed into the afterlife by his various kindred dead.

Plus, as weird as it all is, I think it’s also true.  I sometimes have a desire to be both ironic and sincere at the same time.  At no time is that feeling more relevant than as I watch this film.

Concerning Ice Cream Trucks

If an ice cream truck rolls up a residential street on a quiet Saturday Afternoon and no children run out to buy ice cream, it does still make a sound. And that sound is by turns nostalgic, melancholy, excruciatingly slow, and ultimately quite creepy. And now it’s stuck in my head.

Leave our kids alone, we’ve got all the ice cream we need around here.

RE: Rolling Blackouts

I realize in retrospect that my last post, although it made perfect sense to me, may have been slightly confusing without some context.

It was in fact a record review of sorts of the album Rolling Blackouts by Brighton, UK band The Go! Team.  However, I’m a little tired of/uninterested in writing traditional record reviews (see A Change in Focus), so instead I opted for a sort of extreme-reader-response criticism/fan fiction type of record review. I hope to do more such non-traditional record reviews in the future because they are a lot more fun for me than regular record reviews.  Besides, you can find good regular reviews all over the place, so why do I need to bother with them, too?

I also would like to state for the record that Rolling Blackouts isn’t anything like my favorite album of 2011 or anything; it’s just a record I had a quick desire to write about in this method.  I hope to add more “reviews” to the site, including those written about albums that actually are my most favorites, but we know I have a poor track record of providing steady content and publishing all the things I intend to publish. So, I still have to add this disclaimer about Rolling Blackouts in case I never getting around to posting about any other albums and in their absence it appears as if it is my ultimate all-time-favorite album because it’s the only one I’ve written and published about.

That is all.  Thank you for your time.  We now return to our regular Froz-T-Freez programming, still in progress.