Feb 12, 2012
Writer Andi Sharavsky reminds me that standards are not all they are cracked up to be in the 21st century. Or are they? I recently read a tongue-in-cheek column she wrote entitled "Jazz Standards Updated for the Modern Young Lady" on McSweeney's Internet Tendency site late last month. Her playlist?
“I’ll be Seeing You (On Skype Until We Give Up On This Long-Distance Relationship)”
“Someone to Watch Over Me
(While I Pee in the Woods Behind This House Party)”
“You Do Something to Me (But I Wouldn’t Call it an Orgasm)”
“Let’s Fall in Love (On OkCupid)”
“Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Since I Got a Cat)”
“I Gotta Right to Sing the
Blues (And Eat This Economy-Sized Tub of Hummus)”
“All The Things You Are (Suck, But I’ll Still Let You Feed Me Compliments)”
“The Lady is a Tramp (But Only
Her Friends are Allowed to Call Her That)”
“You’re My Thrill (When I See Facebook Pictures of How Fat You’ve Gotten Since High School)”
“Until the Real Thing Comes
Along (I’m Not Shaving My Legs)”
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me (Because I Deferred My Student Loans)”
“How Deep Is the Ocean? (Like, Have You Ever Actually Thought About That? It’s Probably Like, Crazy Deep and Goes On Forever. I Think I Just Ate All Your Oreos. I’m Really Sorry. Are You Mad at Me? You’re Such a Good Friend. I Love You So Much. Sorry, I’ll Stop Petting Your Hair. Are You Mad at Me? I Love You So Much. Shhhh. Let’s Order Pizza)”
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (And His Name is Jim Beam)”
So is she blowing off the canon? Not really. I asked her about these love songs, and she responded:
I love jazz. To me, the standards are like Shakespeare's plays -- they'll always be around, and they'll always be relevant and moving because they capture all of what it is to be human -- love, passion, angst, longing, anger. I listen to "You Go To My Head" on repeat every time a new romantic fling is going well, and if I ever have kids, I intend to make sure they pine after their crushes to "In the Wee Small Hours." It's fun to see art from days gone by in a new context, the way "The Taming of the Shrew" became the '90s cinematic gem "10 Things I Hate About You" or "Romeo and Juliet" became "West Side Story" (a legendary work in its own right, of course). But since the lyrics of certain standards are a bit dated in their treatment of romance, my liberal-arts-educated brain couldn't resist the temptation to add a healthy dose of modern cynicism to some of my old favorites.
Follow her at http://chiblogo.tumblr.com/.