You Are Now Entering the Dad Joke Zone

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comThis aging thing is for the birds. 

Gravity is the enemy. Time is the enemy. Clothes shrink uncontrollably.

It isn’t easy, but I’ve come to grips with most of it. And I have complained here about my ever-expanding forehead and various other unpleasant physical changes.

The other night, though I got blindsided. 

I’ve never thought of myself as an overly talented person, but I have always had a knack for making people laugh.

Since I was pre-school age, I have known I possessed this ability.

In fact, at a high school reunion just a few years ago, one of my friends told me my sense of humor is what he always remembers about me.

I am afraid, however, that my humor is nearing its expiration date.

A few nights ago, I was talking with a few people at a social gathering. During the course of the conversation, I made a comment I thought was pretty funny, but no one laughed.

Then, I joked about how no one laughed at my original joke.

A young lady in the group (who wasn’t all that young) said, “It was funny, but it was a dad joke.”

Huh?

I wasn’t 100 percent sure exactly what she meant, but I had a pretty good idea. Certainly, I knew it wasn’t meant as a compliment.

So I looked up the definition of a dad joke.

Wikipedia says, “The dad joke is a pejorative term used to describe a corny, unfunny, or predictable joke, typically a pun. Generally inoffensive, dad jokes are traditionally told by fathers among family, either with sincere humorous intent, or to intentionally provoke a negative reaction to its ‘dagginess.’”

Then I looked up dagginess. It means not trendy, out of fashion, uncool. Obviously, I was too uncool to know what dagginess meant.

Well, isn’t this just great news.

If I had known my sense of humor was going to go out of style nearly as quickly as my Member’s Only jacket, I would’ve kept up those piano lessons in the third grade.

To add insult to injury, over the weekend, my 22-year-old son said people my age who like contemporary pop music are thought of among his generation as “creepy.”

That was right after I corrected him for saying Taylor Swift had a song called “Bad Love.”

The song is titled “Bad Blood.”

Everybody knows that, right?

I don’t think liking some contemporary music makes me creepy. It’s not like I’m getting ear gauges and hanging out at a hookah lounge.

I like Taylor Swift. Of course, I cannot relate to her lyrics the way most of her fans do, but t I still appreciate the way she can write fun, hooky pop songs.

That’s pretty much all pop music is supposed to be, anyway.

What happened to “age is just a number?” In this case, it seems more like “age is just a number, and the bigger your number the more repulsive you become.”

I thought I was witty and in-touch with society. Turns out now I’m unfunny — and creepy to boot.

I’m probably on some dad joke database somewhere that precludes me from living within 300 feet where cool people congregate. I should check to see if I’ve been banned from going to the mall on weekend nights.

I should get a flower that squirts water or an exploding cigar.

On the other hand, I’ve been known to over react from time to time. Maybe that’s what I’m doing now. Maybe I’m putting too much stock in other peoples’ opinions.

I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’m going to stay the course. I’m going to keep saying the things I think are funny and hope it makes people laugh. If the millennials don’t get it, that’s not my problem.

It’s like Taylor says, “haters gonna hate.”

Musing on the Grammys

music musings, beaverdamusa.comWell, the 58th Grammys were on the other night.  Like I did with the CMA Awards a few months ago, I thought I would make notes as I watched the show and include them in this musing.

Taylor – music too loud – does her outfit run on AA or AAA battery?

Loved the comment that LL Cool J made referencing Lionel Richie and Adele.

Best Rap album award – Winner was “To Pimp A Butterfly.”  Really? By the way, where the hell is Compton?

Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt duet – Good Lord, Carrie is wearing toilet paper.  Why do I have to put up with him to watch, errrr, listen to Carrie?

The Weekend – He can’t feel his face because of that thing on his head – looks like a black Jimmy Neutron.

Loved Lt. Dan’s (Gary Sinise) shout out to the military.

Best Country album – Chris Stapleton – momentum continues.

Lionel Richie tribute and Music Cares award – Always have loved Lionel (shhhh).  John Legend did a great job on Easy.  Should have had Adele sing Hello.  Luke Bryan singing Lionel is like me trying to sing soul.  Don’t try it.  Megan Trainor got a shout out from the dear wife – “she needs a bra”.

Girl Crush by Little Big Town – the strings were nice touch.

Song of the Year – Sadly, I only knew one of the five nominees. Great Braille joke by Stevie.

The Eagles tribute – Nice touch having Jackson Browne sing in Glen Frey’s place considering their history.  Was good to see Bernie Leadon there with them.  Don Felder took to Twitter the next day to complain that he wasn’t invited.  Based on history of The Eagles, if Felder had played, Frey would have shown up and kicked his butt.  Damn allergies were acting up during the song.

Pimp A Butterfly Dude – I’m too old to understand what he is saying. Seemed angry.

Best Rock – I knew two of the five – Most were not rock to me.  Don’t like Alabama Shakes because they have Alabama in their name. Must have been the first Amish guy to win a Grammy.

Adele – yes, the mic fell into the piano and landed on a string.  You would think the engineer could have pulled that out of the mix.  Not an Adele fan, but I felt sorry for her.

Justin Bieber – Trying to pull the tough boy look while singing “my mama don’t like you” really doesn’t work.

Lady Gaga with the David Bowie tribute.  Not a Lady G or Bowie fan, but that was probably the best performance of the night.  She did a great job with costumes, makeup, and songs.

BB King tribute – pretty cool.  Bonnie Raitt proved that she can still play.

Hollywood Vampires – Joe Perry, Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp – loved it. Pretty brave for Depp to get up there and play with Perry.

In memoriam segment – Dang, there was a lot of talent lost in 2015.  Lots of them were young.

Album of year – Glad to see Taylor Swift win. Nice dig on Kayne.  It was also cool to see her be genuinely excited for other winning artists in the categories where she didn’t win.

Closing number – they said it was going to be Taxi.  That’s not Harry’s Chapin’s song that Pitbull and Robin Thicke are singing.  Time for bed.

Even if I didn’t know or like a lot of the songs/artists on the Grammy’s, it exposed me to some different music.  Didn’t like most of it, but at least I was exposed to it.

As always, thanks for reading.

Zach

Musing in Music City

 

The Basement Sessions: Shake it Off

This is what happens when my bro comes to visit. Here’s another episode of The Basement Sessions featuring some t-swizzle, and my brother Russell!

‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ Writer Fondly Recalls Taylor’s Tweet

beaverdamusa.comSometimes, a simple tweet can make a huge difference.

That’s what happened in March when Taylor Swift hash-tagged country singer Kelsea Ballerini’s “Love Me Like You Mean It” in a tweet about the artist’s debut EP “The First Time.”

The tweet garnered an avalanche of publicity for the song. And, that’s when Lance Carpenter knew he and his co-writers had a hit on their hands.

lance 3“I guess the first time I really thought ‘holy crap,’ is when Taylor Swift tweeted about it – when she was riding in her car listening to Kelsea’s EP saying, ‘This is like my favorite new song.’ That was kind of the moment when it was above and beyond all of us. Because that was totally unsolicited. Taylor just did that because she loved the song. So, that was a pretty cool moment.”

Lance and Kelsea co-wrote “Love Me Like You Mean It” with Josh Kerr and Kelsea’s producer, Forest Glen Whitehead. We talked with Lance a couple of days ago as a follow-up to our original interview with him, which published on Aug. 12, 2014. You can read it here.

Some 3 months after Taylor’s tweet, “Love Me Like You Mean It” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, making Kelsea only the 11th female artist in country music history to achieve No. 1 status with a debut release.

kelsea

Image via kelseaballerini.com (Black River Entertainment)

In the beginning, though, the writers weren’t sure what the future held for the song, since Kelsea did not have a record deal at the time.

“The night we wrote it,” Lance said, “we finished it was like 12:30 in the morning. And, we all knew it was just catchy, and simple, and we thought it sounded cool. Three weeks later, Forest (recorded Kelsea singing) a demo of it, and I do remember he called me into the studio and he was like, ‘Dude, I’ve never said this about anything that we’ve ever written, but this is a hit song.’

“We didn’t know who in the world was going to record it,” Lance said, “because It doesn’t sound like anything on country radio. So, I guess when we had the demo, that’s when we thought, ‘this thing is cool, it’s catchy, It’s fresh, it sounds different.’ But, at the time we just thought, ‘man, maybe it’ll get cut by someone.’”

Shortly thereafter, though, Black Record Entertainment signed Kelsea as an artist, and she began her recording career. And, one of her first orders of business was to re-record what would be her first hit.

“And, then, when she recorded it and put it out as a single, it went to Sirius XM-The Highway,” Lance said. “And, it did all right there, but it didn’t really fly up their charts or anything. And, then she put it out last September to mainstream radio, and it was a very slow build.”

The No. 1 ranking occurred on June 22.

Lance and Kelsea have communicated several times since then.

“She’s on cloud 9,” Lance said. “We talked the week it went No. 1, and since then we’ve been together a couple of times, at her manager’s house for a little celebration. We all jumped in the pool with our clothes on, which was kind of cool, holding up our number one (fingers), you know.”

He added, “For the writers, it will change our life a little bit; but, for her, to be only the 11th country female artist in history to have her debut go No. 1, she’s breaking a lot of records, and she’s turning a lot of heads. Her life is really changing, and I think her next single “Dibs” is going to be amazing and I think it will fly up the charts.”

Lance has nothing but praise for Kelsea. “No one sounds like her on country radio,” he said. “She’s 21, and she’s got all this spunk and charisma, but she’s also got this grace and this poise. She’s so good to her fans; and, she’s so genuine, and, I love that about her.”

Lance, the Artist

“I’ve got a new EP that’s coming out, probably the first week of August,” he told us. “I just re-signed my publishing deal with Parallel Entertainment, and they’re wanting to put out a press release — kind of get a little bit of this excitement from the No. 1 to hopefully pour over into my artist side.”

He said, “A lot of people even in Nashville don’t know that I’m an artist, and I have a band and we tour the country, you know, in a little white van and a trailer. So this is an opportunity to hopefully shine a little light on me not only as a songwriter, but to let people know the other side of me and my artistry, so I’m blessed (Parallel Entertainment is) willing to do that.

“I’m fixing to be heading up to Boston it’ll be August 7-9,” he said. “We’re playing at a place called Loretta’s which is right across the street from Fenway Park, and we’re basically the after-party for the Zac Brown Band’s 3-day event up there. So as soon as they’re off at Fenway, we go on at Loretta’s, and we’ll keep the party rocking all night long.”

He proudly added, “And, my little sister just had a baby, little Ryan Kennith Mainer, so I’m an uncle again. I’ve got nine nieces and nephews now. So, my family is all wondering when I’m going to settle down and have some kids.”

Given Lance’s recent whirlwind of success, any new adventure may have to wait just a bit.

Spotify Works, Even if it it’s not for Taylor Swift Anymore

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micEverybody’s talking about Taylor Swift taking her music off of the music streaming service, Spotify. Some people are angry they can’t listen to it on their paid service, and some people applaud her efforts for standing up for the value of music. When it comes to music business strategies, I trust Taylor Swift and her team’s decisions wholeheartedly. Every move she makes seems to be well thought-out and basically brilliant. While I think her decision to leave Spotify in the dust was a good one for her, I don’t think it would necessarily work for the “up-and-coming” artist, such as myself.
The popularity of Spotify, and other streaming services, has made it easier than ever for musicians to get their music out into the world without a record label. However, it still pains me to look at my Spotify royalties. When I see that I’m making $0.0008 per song play, my heart dies a little.
But, I knew going in to this whole shebang that I would not make money initially. I knew that I would have to spend a whole lot of money in the beginning to give people a product for free. As an artist, you have to think to yourself, “How will I gain new listeners if I make people buy something that they’re not sure they even like yet?” Even young Taylor Swift thought this way, whether she knew it or not. She began getting a large fan base off of the social media platform, Myspace. There, her music was available for free, and because it was free, people would discover her and find that they enjoyed and related to her music. Without Myspace, her music would not have reached as many people in the early stages of her career, which became a crucial springboard for her future. So, I view Spotify like I view Myspace– an avenue to reach a new audience, and hopefully captivate them and invite them into your music journey.
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That’s how I discovered new Country artist, Sam Hunt. When I heard murmurings around Nashville that he had been signed to Universal Music Group, long before his recent CD release, I immediately went to Spotify to listen to his music. He had an early EP ready to go and I started becoming acquainted with his music and style. Now that he just released his full album, here I am, already a fan, because of his Spotify presence!I’m thankful to have services like Spotify that help me get my music out into the world, and also allow me to discover new artists. I know like all things, Spotify is probably a trend, but, I will also be thankful for the proverbial day when I can take my music off of Spotify. I know that I’ll have laid the groundwork for a great family of people that value my music like Taylor Swift has. With that being said, thank you to those of you that have already bought my music. I really appreciate that you took the time to purchase it and add it to your collection. I value you and will keep trying to make the best possible music I can for you.

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