A ‘Ready: Player One’ For Middle-Aged People Who Love Pop Rock

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me start off by saying I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m essentially working in a vacuum as I develop this novel. And I write a lot of blog posts when I’m trying to distract myself from the novel problem of the moment. So, take a lot of what I write with a grain of salt relative to your personal expectations of my ability to actually make what I can articulate a reality.

But, I would note in passing that I’m kind of obsessed with the type of music I point out in this novel. So much so, that the argument could be made that if you like good music — or, at least the type of pop rock music that I like as a middle aged white man in a flyover state — this novel is shaping up to be something of a Ready: Player One for you.

At the core of this novel is how several very important characters love “good” music that fits a very wide spectrum of “pop rock.” But, this is a novel we’re talking about, not a movie. So, the actual implementation of this concept will likely be far more limited than I would like. There are plenty of people who won’t know any number of the songs I reference. But, who knows.

All I know is, I need to hurry the fuck up. If I don’t get back to writing soon, I may not be able to sell it a finished product for no other reason than I’m going to be rotting in the American Killing fields in some weaponized ICE camp.

Or, maybe I’ll escape to Canada and publish the novel there.

Wish me luck.

Deconstructing Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’

by Shelton Bumgarner

I really like Taylor Swift’s latest song. But while I won’t call it derivative, I will suggest that it’s heavily influenced by two other songs.

One of the songs is Lily Allen’s “Straight To Hell.”
The other song is Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It For the Boy.”

Swift’s song has been slowed down, however. So it’s not a one-to-one. But if you listen carefully to the background music, the “wall of sound” if you will, you can definitely hear the Allen song floating around.

Now, when it comes to Williams’ song, I think the producer of Swift’s song simply wanted to evoke the feel, the vibe of that song. But that sound was all over the place in 80s music so hearing it in Swift song is kind of driving me crazy.

Thus Swift’s song is a mixture of this song slowed down a lot:

And a big chunk of the sound of this song used as something as both a tone setter and a “cover” for the use of Allen’s song.

Both those two songs together, throw in some awkward modern lyrics about haters and…ta-da!