Friday 7, Valentine’s Day Edition (2/14/14)

1. Broadcast, The Future CrayonBest heard through earbuds at low volume on public transit, supplemented by randomly overheard chatter of other passengers (further maximized if you’re in the early stages of an oncoming flu).
2. Miley Cyrus, “Party in the U.S.A.” – Best heard on the deck of a Disney Cruise on a sunny day with dozens of kids going apeshit (not to mention a good song with synthesizers about listening to the radio).
3. Sly & the Family Stone, “Poet” – I’ve never been as big a fan of Riot as I am of Greatest Hits, but this might be Sly’s greatest vocal.
4. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (Stephen Frears) – The amazing (and too infrequent) clips of Ali throughout are a coup — against the director, as they merely underscore how pedestrian the rest of the movie really is.
5. Marge Watters, It’s Your Move: A Personal and Practical Guide to Career Transition and Job Search for Canadian Managers, Professionals and Executives
6. Guess That Song – Music app for my phone; stupid, time-wasting, weirdly addictive.
7. B-52’s, “Roam” and “Love Shack” – One day in the car recently, I heard “Roam,” which sounds as great today as it ever did, then 15 minutes later, on another station, caught the last couple minutes of “Love Shack,” one of the more annoying singles of the late ’80s (though hardly ineffective; as a wedding DJ, I endured it for years, and it rarely failed to do what it needed to do). These songs charted exactly three months apart (“Love Shack” in September ’89, “Roam” in December ’89), and each peaked at #3. I’ve thus come up with a formulation for this, called the Consecutive Disparity Rating (CDR), which tracks great pop hits immediately followed by terrible hits by the same artist (or, as in the B-52’s case, vice versa). To come up with the rating, you simply subtract the low rating from the high rating. In the example provided, “Love Shack” garners a 2.5 and “Roam” a 9.0, giving this an unusually high CDR of 6.5. I’ve perused my Billboard chart book looking for similar high CDRs — it’s an entirely subjective game, of course — but it’s harder than it looks, and I’ve thus far come up shorthanded.

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