Author Royce Holladay describes “pattern spotters” as those who “…have a gift for seeing patterns in chaos. They make great artists and politicians and parents of two-year-olds.” If “chaos” is the mess that is my life, then I’ve been able to do this, from time-to-time. For instance, discerning my taste in music over the decades. Melodic and tending toward pop; something with a good rhythm, catchy to the listener, therefore easy to remember and sing with.
There’s another aspect I’ve finally realized, as well, and it only took me a few decades. Look, I can spot patterns somewhat, didn’t say I do it quickly. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, my music. Besides the tunes organically gathered on my own over years since childhood, have identified those who were the most influential people in that endeavor: the women in my life. From mom, her mother, my aunts, cousins, to girlfriends and acquaintances, including my eventual spouse.
All care of our fierce one.
At one time, as a parent, I’d have my iPod serenading the tykes in my car’s rear seat. No longer, and they’re not exactly “little” anymore, either. These days, my youngest plugs her phone into the vehicle’s USB port to visit her likes and tastes upon her father. Outside of occasionally finding something new at a movie theater, or chaperoning a certain someone to a concert2, tunes that wouldn’t come-a-calling on their own, now arrive via this route. Go figure.
‘Course, if I ever dare play something “current” to them, betraying even the slightest hipsterism, both will howl, “Dad, don’t ever do that again!”
All I’m saying is, this is exactly how Panic! At the Disco came into my life. Through those same car speakers, too. Dad and daughter periodically find music camaraderie this way. Even if, at times, being thunderstruck with what comes out of your child’s mouth due to a song playing. In spite of that, when one day outpoured the group’s main man vocal, Brendon Urie’s, found myself asking you-know-who, “Who is that, and what’s that song?”
Out popped in response, “Death of a Bachelor, dad.”3, with a certain twinkle in her eyes I’d seen before in other females.
Knowing full well I’ve more than a couple of Frank Sinatra’s albums in the house, suspect she knew I’d recognize the vibe the singer was throwing out4. The lead authoring in song his kiss-off to the single life with a same tinged lament as “old blue eyes.” Recreating the man’s characteristic crooning, similarly suffused in shadowed, smokey staging. No doubt, more than a few bemoaned the bittersweet expression of a bachelorhood ending, especially Urie’s.
Sure as shootin’ his wife Sarah Orzechowski, like mine, would see it differently.
Do I look lonely? I see the shadows on my face People have told me I don't look the same Maybe I lost weight I'm playing hooky, with the best of the best Put my heart on my chest, so that you can see it too I'm walking the long road, watching the sky fall The lace in your dress tingles my neck, how do I live? The death of a bachelor Oh Letting the water fall The death of a bachelor Oh Seems so fitting for Happily ever after How could I ask for more? A lifetime of laughter At the expense of the death of a bachelor I'm cutting my mind off It feels like my heart is going to burst Alone at a table for two and I just wanna be served And when you think of me am I the best you've ever had? Share one more drink with me, smile even though you're sad I'm walking the long road, watching the sky fall The lace in your dress tingles my neck, how do I live? The death of a bachelor Oh Letting the water fall The death of a bachelor Oh Seems so fitting for Happily ever after How could I ask for more? A lifetime of laughter At the expense of the death of a bachelor The death of a bachelor Oh Letting the water fall The death of a bachelor Oh Seems so fitting for Happily ever after How could I ask for more? A lifetime of laughter At the expense of the death of a bachelor
- It was my wife who got me to listen to jazz singer and songwriter Michael Franks. ↩
- The last two of these were Twenty One Pilots and the 1975. ↩
- The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and was the second best selling rock album of 2016. ↩
- “I wrote the song actually trying to make a Sinatra song…and then I hit this wall, just writing-wise, where I was getting so frustrated,” he explained to The Associated Press. “So I took a break from it and went back to this beat I had worked on like months before and it kind of had this ‘Drunk In Love,’ Beyoncé-kind of feel. …It was just like a happy accident.” ~ Songfacts ↩