Duets that never should have happened

Last night at Casa Philangelus was the night of the mixed-up music. 

First my husband told me about a commercial he’d heard for a local college team’s football. He found their theme song strangely familiar, but he couldn’t place it until he got to the very end, which he hummed for me.

I said, “Beethoven’s ninth?”

He replied, “I hadn’t recognized it because it was all done in brass!” 

Yep, the brass band, doing Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Heaven help us. Violins? Nah. Who needs ’em when you’ve got tubas and trumpets?

Of course, then I had the voice-over from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Dance” where Christine McVie says, “We’ve never done this with a brass section before,” except I kept hearing it with a German accent, and then we kept wondering: Ludwig Van McVie? Christine McBeethoven?

(For the record, my Patient Husband then blamed me for the fact that he recognized the music at all. Two years ago, he’d have heard it and thought, “I think that was some kind of classical piece.” Sorrrrrrry!)

Shortly afterward, my neighbor decided we were being insufficiently entertained and opted to share her music with the underprivileged of the world. Our back porch faces the neighbor’s, and the neighbor played something by Van Halen while we heard the sounds of splashing in the pool. We couldn’t quite make out the vocals enough to determine more than it was David Lee Roth singing, but that was definitely Eddie Van Halen’s guitar work.

(Christine Ludwig McVanHalen?)

We shut the sliding door to the porch, and thus ended that particular concert.

About an hour later, it was time to go to bed, and when I was brushing my teeth, I again heard the neighbor’s stereo. This time she was playing “Rocky Mountain High.”

No kidding. I’ve never heard her play John Denver before, but there it was, undeniably so. The lightest rock I’ve heard from there before was the Eagles.

My Patient Husband came to bed and said, “That’s got to be the most messed-up playlist in the world, with both Van Halen and John Denver’s Greatest Hits.”

I was put in mind of a fanfic I wrote for Battle of the Planets, where Jason claims Mark can’t stop him from listening to music on a mission, only to discover Mark has hacked his playlist and seeded the hard stuff with the cheesiest folk-pop he could find. I wondered aloud if the neighbor’s husband wasn’t trying to force her out of the pool, or if maybe someone hadn’t hacked their unsecured wireless network to mess with the playlist. (I’ve been wondering who “default” and “linksys” are; maybe now I know?)

My Patient Husband tried to come up with the mindset that would deliberately mix the two playlists, and I enacted the mythical meeting between Eddie Van Halen and John Denver as they tried to hammer out the details of their duet.

“Oh, you play guitar? I do too.”

“Uh, no, you don’t. Not really.”

“Do you play around the campfire?”

“No, but I have been known to set my guitar on fire.”

“Do you write your own lyrics?”


So the final lineup for the night: Ludwig McVie-Denver VanHalen.

As I lay still in the dark, a car stereo passed below my windows doing nothing but deep vibrations of bass, but before I could work “Good Vibrations” or the Beach Boys into the compilation album, I mercifully fell asleep.


  1. ivyreisner

    I can’t put my iPod on shuffle, not just because well over half the mp3 files on there are audiobooks or lectures, but because the mix is too darn strange. I have hip hop, country, rock, pop, J-pop, classic, Israeli folk, and filk. So you’d get Madonna doing “I Love New York” followed by Judith Ecklar doing “Hope’s Aerie”.