Weekend Open Thread   9 comments

Another week ends, so let’s do a weekend open thread, and you folks can discuss any topic you like.

For my part, I was looking over my Spotify music list, and I noticed the artist most represented there was Billy Joel, with 12 songs. It occurred to me I only mentioned him once on a weekend open thread, and that was in a category. Now let me put up my three favorite Billy Joel songs:

1. Pressure (1982): Few artists have so perfectly nailed the concept of pressure as Billy Joel. How he came up with the song is rather amusing:

When I was starting out and trying to get things going, the pressure was if you don’t get things going, they’re going to throw you out of this apartment. There was that kind of pressure. “I’m hungry,” my stomach was going, “pressure, food.” I think that’s pretty intense pressure. The pressure I was writing about in this song wasn’t necessarily music business pressure, it was writing pressure. … At the time, I was saying, “Well, I gotta write some more stuff for the album”; I was about halfway through, and I said, “Well, what am I gonna do? I don’t have any ideas, it’s gone, it’s dead, I have nothing, nothing, nothing. There’s nothing.” And then the woman who is my secretary came into the house at that point and said, “Wow, you look like you’re under a lot of pressure. I bet you that’d be a good idea for a song.” And I went, “Thank you!” (from Wikipedia)

I hope he gave that secretary a bonus…

2. My Life (1978): If ever there was a libertarian theme song, My Life is it. If I may, allow me to interpret part of the lyrics from a libertarian perspective:

They will tell you, you can’t sleep alone in a strange place [liberal nanny statism aka “let’s provide housing for everyone”]
Then they’ll tell you, you can’t sleep with somebody else [social conservative dogma]
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it’s okay to wake up with yourself [Joel slam dunks them both!]

Admittedly, I doubt Joel actually intended the song this way. The song is more of a rebuke to all the busybodies of the world who want to tell the rest of us how to live. No doubt, we have all felt empathy with this song at some point in our lives.

One added treat: The start of the following video begins with the intro of another of Joel’s songs, Stiletto, which is also one of my favorites.

3. Prelude/Angry Young Man (1976): Although this song was never officially released as a single, it first appeared on Joel’s 1976 Turnstiles album. It has been a staple of his live shows ever since, and you can find multiple videos of him doing it live on Youtube. In my opinion, I think this song, and especially the Prelude introduction, may be the most challenging piece of piano music ever written, requiring extremely good hand-eye coordination, on top of being able to play the piano quite well. I pulled up one educational video of this guy explaining how to play this song, and I noticed he missed one of the keys in Prelude. In all 4 videos which I saw Joel playing, he never missed it once. Following is one of Joel’s older performances, but it is a bit higher energy than his more recent ones. Notice the sheer speed of his hands on the piano keyboard:

Heck, I can’t even type that fast!

And on that note, enjoy your weekend folks, and let’s come back and do it again next week!

PORTFOLIO UPDATE: My IRA finished the day down 0.13%.


Posted January 17, 2014 by edmcgon in Music, Open Thread, Portfolio

9 responses to “Weekend Open Thread

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  1. Billy Joel would be my top best musician of all time. Growing up I play piano and at the age of 13 I did a good job playing Piano man.
    My top 3 would be
    3. Captain Jack
    2. We Didn’t start the fire
    1. Piano Man

  2. “Admittedly, I doubt Joel actually intended the song this way. The song is more of a rebuke to all the busybodies of the world who want to tell the rest of us how to live. No doubt, we have all felt empathy with this song at some point in our lives.”

    I agree with you Ed. It is interesting how people really put will “read” a song differently depending on their view points.
    I remember a song that went like “Sailing away…”, and not being a sailor I imagined it as drifting in my mind, but I mentioned it to a friend that sails, and he took the song quite literally.

    And it gets even more interesting over time. You have a song written say 20 years ago and with a certain culture and such, then over time view points change, and all of a sudden everyone things the song means something different.

    This works with predictions too (if properly done to be vague enough. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  3. I was called out on half of my position in ANGI. Here’s the final line.
    1-13 at 14.73. Sold Jan 15 calls for .46 reducing my cost to 14.27. Called at 15.00 for a profit of .73 5.1%. Not selling calls yet on the remaining shares I bought on 1-15 for 14.83. I’m going to gamble on it going higher. I may add more if it continues to show strength, Charts look good.
    I know there is an urge to buy stocks that are going lower. Don’t over look stocks that are showing strength. You might get better results with less risk.

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