Diamond is Forever

“So which one is Neil?”  Rodney asked me between spoonfuls of what looked like rice pilaf.  “Is he behind the zombie in the sequined shirt? Or is this still the cover-band?”

I laughed and inspected my friend’s face for some sign of irony.  Surprisingly, I saw none. Rodney repeated the question, straight-faced, serious.

“Dude, you do know who Neil Diamond is, right?” I asked, somewhat dumbfounded.  ” ‘Sweet Caroline?’  ‘I’m a Believer?’  ‘America?’  Any of this make any sense?”

“These are . . . songs?” he guessed, looking down at his plate.  “That ‘Believer’ song was from Shrek, right?”

“Dude, if you didn’t know Neil Diamond, why did you agree . . .”

“Hold that thought,” he cried suddenly, shocked at the sight of his empty plate.   “I need another quesadilla.” Continue reading

Musical Haunts

Lately songs have become lodged in my head, whispering lyrics as I sleep like the ghost of some blond pop diva.  I speak of course of Natasha Bedingfold’s “Pocketful of Sunshine,” one of the most addictive songs on the radio this year.  If you happen to hear its wispy synthetic prelude, careen off to the median and throw yourself from your car immediately (or turn down the volume), lest you subject your family and loved-ones to long off-key interludes of “Take me Awaaaay . . . to my secret plaaaace . . .”  Airborne infection occurs within seconds; normal healthy siblings will fall into chorus or dance after a single verse:

Natasha’s secret place apparently excludes non-beautiful people who cannot street dance — or look horrible in white.  Ryan meanwhile took most of family to see Neil Diamond Tuesday.  The average age of the audience included 30-year old men and 40-year old women, shaking and dancing to the rhythm of Neil’s blue jeans.   During one energetic song, we told by the row behind us to sit down and slump in our seats as we stood to dance.  Apparently the older curmudgeons, too old or lazy to stand and clap, felt angry at the prospect of paying eighty bucks to watch our porcine rears shake and obstruct the stage.  Some people enjoy to dance; other enjoy to sit quietly and listen.  Either is good, but for those that choose the latter, a $20 DVD succeeds much better than an $80 concert ticket.