Friday, May 31, 2013

Spirit Week Music T Friday: Formal "Police" Report

There's an unbloggable inside joke involved in today's post but since I can't write about that I'll discuss the shenanigans involved in trying to keep up with today's Spirit Week: Formal Friday festivities and reconcile it with the "Music T Friday" habit I'd started before the hiatus. To start with, I accessorized my t-shirt with my Parent-Teacher Interview suit:

Music T = check. Formal Friday = check.

And then I tried to pinpoint moments in my life soundtracked by The Police. I've always appreciated the fact that Sting started out as a teacher and I imagine Mr. Sumner would've been a fun guy, if a little distracted. The band's music has permeated so much culture that I was immediately able to snag several flashbulb memories associated with certain songs by The Police:

1) Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - Cupid "End of an Eros" (1998)

As I've met and become friends with more musicians, my understanding of the value of TV and film licensing of music for both monetary gain and exposure has deepened. As a television viewer, I appreciate the difference between a good song and the ideal song in pivotal scenes. At the end of episode 9 of the short-lived Jeremy Piven series, there is a mundane moment spun into love-match-making magic where a jaded and embittered cosmologist (that's space not make-up) turns to face his perfect mate under a spectacular canopy of an astrological observatory's laser show as this Police song cues. Over-the-top is under-rated. Moments like that one are what television and film were made for.

2) Roxanne - Moulin Rouge! (2001)


Because my parents' grasp of English was sketchy at best when they came to Canada, I heard a lot of music played as a kid with lyrics that went well over my head until I was older. (The best example of this is probably Cher's "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" which I tried to explain to my mother when I was in my 20s and Mom just wouldn't believe it.) I had heard Roxanne played multiple times throughout my life but the lyrics didn't hit home until the scene in Moulin Rouge! which, quite honestly, felt like it deviated from the central plot. I understand it was there to make Satine's circumstances clear (and to showcase some awesome dancing) but I've always felt it was a mis-step on Luhrmann's part.

3) Don't Stand So Close to Me - Glee "Ballads"

Like I said before, I figure Mr. Sumner would've been an ace teacher and the music video takes The Police back into a classroom to tell this Nabakov-esque story. And while I'm not a fan of Glee any longer, I was back in Season 1 and the mash-up of "Don't Stand" and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's "Young Girl" was brilliant.

4) Message in A Bottle 

I've always loved the story of this song where one voice in the middle of nowhere receives a "hundred billion" responses. It's a bit of a metaphor for the social media of the world today. We are so used to instant responses today that it is unthinkable to have to wait a day (forget a year) for a reaction to confirm that we actually exist, that what we say and/or do matters. But we keep putting it out there, don't we?