D’yer Maker What?

As we amble on back from our unplanned break, I find I’m concerned about my philodendron. Robert — I named it Robert — was a housewarming gift from my employer when I moved to Nevada, and it’s been doing pretty well in its corner by the patio door. Even that is a small miracle, as I have a solid record of botanicide. Or, since it’s unintentional, perhaps plantslaughter would be a better term.

But anyway, Robert is having a bit of a hard time, still upright, but just not looking good. The largest leaves are turning yellow, which seems, according to some Googling around, like too much water, while the smaller leaves are going brown, which apparently means not water enough. Or perhaps it’s too much sun, now that the weather has heated up, though Robert isn’t exactly ever in direct sunlight. I’m dazed and confused, alas, and so, apparently, is my philodendron. (There is also a chance Robert isn’t even a philodendron.)

But anyway, onward with our semi-theme of the moment, classic songs with rotten titles. And here is a song that, I have to acknowledge, I have heartily disliked for about, oh, 30 years now:

Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Maker” is a dumb joke of a title, yet I can’t really say it doesn’t fit this extended goof of a song. It’s a sort of reggae/doo-wop mutant, and it’s just so… I don’t know, not quite something. The lyrics are intentionally simple-minded, so much so as to be rather beyond comment. “When I read the letter you wrote me, it made me mad, mad, mad.” There is nothing, really, I can add to that.

I’ve heard this about a million times, and it somehow never sounds right. Sure, it was interesting that Zep were toying with these musical styles at all in 1973, but the vocal is overwrought, the bass is mushy, and the drums are positively leaden, dulling the effect of Page’s elegant, noodly guitar. The little solo that rolls through at about 2:40 is nice, and perks it up a bit, but this is still more or less an experiment that failed. Zeppelin, like Roxy Music (the only thing these two acts have in common) were hugely innovative, yet also had the capacity to be deeply and genuinely boring, and they are at the peak of dullness on “D’Yer Maker.”

So, anybody got any plant care advice?

About Bridey

Bridey has been a music nut since falling in love with Elton John's "Caribou" album in grade school (why that one? I was nine). She's a magazine editor by trade who writes regularly about radio, music, and related industries.
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2 Responses to D’yer Maker What?

  1. Maggie McT says:

    I surprised some workmates by saying that I have always found Led Zep ponderously dull. All the usual denials (great musicianship, Stairway to Heaven not representative, etc.), but they are still really dull.

    For the philodendron: Is it rootbound and needing a larger pot? And maybe it just needs some plant food.

  2. Bridey says:

    I hadn’t thought about that, but maybe that’s Robert’s problem — he needs some breathing room. If only I can repot it without actually doing it in…

    Thx, Maggie!