I had a whole column outlined with a somewhat generic theme. You see, I write the column over the course of the week, then Friday night I file it and make my final edits. In 2020, if you leave more than 12 hours between filing and publication, you’re likely to miss some catastrophic news item that demands acknowledgement.
Imagine my surprise when our illustrious editor Roman Gokhman messages me and asks whether I plan to file my column. I have the day off and spent it playing video games and watching Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s charity Twitch stream with Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh, so I assumed it was Saturday. Whoops!
So long story short, I put aside my other outline for a slow week (assuming we ever have a slow week) and wrote this one full of songs about Friday. Because apparently it’s Friday! And I need to be reminded! [Gokhman note: And here I am editing, and now it’s Saturday, so… but why does it feel like Sunday? Also, I expressly remember wishing an artist whom I spoke to on Monday a “Happy Wednesday.”].
Rebecca Black — “Friday”
You expected me to include this notorious trainwreck of a song, but did you expect me to put it first!? Because I did. I’m leading with Rebecca Black.
Gotta get down on Friday.
I looked up whether Rebecca Black is doing anything these days and discovered that, astoundingly, she’s still a musician. I know, I’m surprised too! In fact she was on Fox’s failed knockoff of “The Voice” with Sean “Puff ‘P Diddy’ Daddy” Combs and, inexplicably, DJ Khaled, who isn’t a singer. I can’t imagine why it didn’t catch on![Gokhman note! As someone who watched Black perform on that episode of that show (I don’t even remember what the show was) I saw how much she’s improved over the years, so Willis’ smack-down is all him. When you hate-Tweet us, I don’t know who that stranger is].
The Cure — “Friday I’m In Love”
Oh yeah, Rebecca Black to The Cure. You think the transitions are jarring in normal circumstances? Just wait until you see what happens when I freehand it!
I wasn’t kidding, by the way. People tend to assume that I just write these stream-of-consciousness, but, astoundingly, there is thought that goes into it. I come up with a topic, spend a week taking notes when I think of songs that fit it, write blurbs as I have time or an idea pops in my head, put them in order on Thursday or so, then do a final edit for consistency on Friday before filing.
This? This is stream-of-consciousness. If it reads exactly the same, don’t tell me or I’ll get even lazier than I already am.
Katy Perry — “Last Friday Night (TGIF)”
And we go back to pop!
Unrelated to this song, but I’m still mad about Katy Perry stealing the title of “I Kissed a Girl” by Jill Sobule. Sure, people use the same song title all the time, but Perry claimed it came to her in a dream rather than even giving token credit to the other artist who did the same thing.
Behold, this amazing quote from Sobule:
“When Katy Perry’s song came out I started getting tons of inquiries about what I thought. Some folks (and protective friends) were angry, and wondered why she took my title and made it into this kind of ‘girls gone wild’ thing…
As a musician I have always refrained from criticizing another artist. I was, ‘Well, good for her.’ It did bug me a little bit, however, when she said she came up with the idea for the title in a dream. In truth, she wrote it with a team of professional writers and was signed by the very same guy that signed me in 1995. I have not mentioned that in interviews as I don’t want to sound bitter or petty…
OK, maybe, if I really think about it, there were a few jealous and pissed-off moments. So here goes, for the first time in an interview: Fuck you Katy Perry, you fucking stupid, maybe ‘not good for the gays,’ title-thieving, haven’t heard much else, so not quite sure if you’re talented, fucking little slut.
God that felt good.”
Bell & James – Livin’ It Up (Friday Night)
Oh yeah, let’s get our disco on!
I have no idea why I know this relatively obscure disco song. For one thing, I am not a fan of disco. Not for any backlash reasons, but because most of it just gets on my nerves. It’s like funk but not funky, and who wants that?
However, considering I’m hastily writing this on Friday night as Gokhman keeps asking if I’m done, it’s appropriate. And the faster tempo is helping speed my typing. So, just this one, let’s disco. [Gokhman note: Yawwwwn. And, does everyone really want to know how the sausage gets made? You do? OK, then. Here’s what I’m listening to now: Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons ‘Summer’ (III: Presto)”].
The Easybeats — “Friday On My Mind”
Unless you were an avid listener of KFRC in the ’80s and ’90s, the odds are good you haven’t heard this 1966 classic. Well, now you have, and you’re welcome.
While relatively unknown in the U.S., The Easybeats are apparently fairly well-known in Australia since they were the country’s first really talented, successful rock band to have international crossover success. And they really are good! I enjoy their stuff. It’s definitely inspired by the Beatles, but it takes their early vibe and combines it with psychedelic influence.
Oddly, the band they remind me of the most is the Monkees. And I love the Monkees. In fact, I kinda assumed this was a Monkees song until I looked it up, and I’m glad I did because I learned about a new band 30-plus years after I first heard their music. Try to learn something every day!
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.