What? Who said I saw Twilight at midnight?

QUICK MOVIE REVIEW FOR A MOVIE THAT I CAN’T ACTUALLY REVIEW FOR FEAR OF RUINING THE MOVIE:

I saw Cabin in the Woods with my oldest daughter today. What a great movie–we both loved it even though we’re not fans of horror movies. I do recommend that if you’re going to see it, see it sooner than later because the less you know about the movie, the more you’ll enjoy it. It’s a unique mix of horror, humor, and sci-fi, and if you’ve loved any of Joss Whedon’s previous work (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, etc), you will recognize and enjoy the well-written dialogue.

April 29, 2012

2+ mile walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #10 of 2012

  • Behind Closed Doors–Joe Diffie
  • Behind Closed Doors–Rise Against
  • Behind the Rain–Herb Albert
  • Behind the Sea–Panic at the Disco
  • Behind the Wall–Tracy Chapman
  • Behind the Wall of Sleep–The Smithereens
  • Behind the Wall of Sleep–The Smithereens
  • Behind the Wheel–Depeche Mode
  • Behind these Hazel Eyes–Kelly Clarkson
  • Beige Sunshine–The Dead Milkmen
  • Bein’ Green–Andrew Bird
  • Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite–The Beatles
  • Being from Jersey Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry–Cobra Starship
  • Belfast Child–Simple Minds

My love of compilations and the Dixie Chicks led me to borrow from the library Tribute to Tradition, a collection of classic country songs as performed by modern artists. I have always enjoyed the Charlie Rich song “Behind Closed Doors” as I feel it’s a precursor to raps today that talk about how their woman is such a freak when the lights go out. As enjoyable as it would have been to hear Rise Against cover the song as well, their’s is a completely different song. The Herb Albert song is another instrumental piece from his Rise album.

I didn’t give Panic! at the Disco much of a listen when they first entered my house as I (wrongly) assumed they weren’t someone I’d enjoy. However, hearing more of their music, like today’s song “Behind the Sea” makes me realize how much their music is influenced by the Beatles and how that makes for entertaining songs. As up as it got me, Tracy Chapman brought me down with “Behind the Wall”, a mournful ballad about the tragic end of a domestic abuse situation in her apartment building that the police would not interfere with.

Chapman may have been talking about any wall in the title of her song, but the Smithereens decided to further specify things in “Behind the Wall of Sleep” a great rocking track that I was more than happy to hear twice. Depeche Mode is a band that owning a greatest hits collection would be more than enough, although I don’t know if they’ve yet to release a single comprehensive album like that as the hits collection I own is only for the years 1986-1998. Just a few days after getting one of her big hits “Because of You”, Kelly Clarkson returns with another, “Behind These Hazel Eyes”. Looking her up on the ‘net, it’s easy to forget that she’s had a consistent and impressive career with 10 top 10 hits.

The Dead Milkmen track is the opening number from their Metaphysical Graffiti album (a title that still makes me laugh every time I say it or see it). I think the title “Bein’ Green” is misleading as “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” would make it more identifiable to listeners, although pithy is not always bad, it’s sometimes fun to have a longer and more twisting title, like the next track “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”, which sounds more like a Victorian-era novel than a Beatles song. Not to be outdone, Cobra Starship makes an even longer and more involved title before Simple Minds goes back to the “brevity is the soul of wit” school.
3.49 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Belgium Polka–Bowling for Soup
  • Believe–Breaking Benjamin
  • Believe–Yellowcard
  • Believe Me Natalie–The Killers
  • Believe–The All-American Rejects
  • Bell Bottom Blues–Eric Clapton
  • Bell Boy–The Who
  • Bell Jar–The Bangles
  • Bella Notte–Glee Cast
  • Bella Notte—Los Lobos
  • Bella’s Lullaby–Carter Burwell
  • Bells are Ringing–They Might Be Giants
  • Belong–R.E.M.
  • Beloved–The Working Title
  • Beloved Wife–Natalie Merchant

I think Bowling for Soup joins Weird Al as the only current artists that perform polkas, although the Soupsters are rank amateurs compared to Al, as they have one and he does one per album. Three different songs named “Believe” and all were done by bands my kids love, including Breaking Benjamin, Yellowcard, and the All-American Rejects. (Technical note than no one probably cares about, but the AAR version of “Believe” is listed after the Killers “Believe Me Natalie” because for some reason when I imported all the songs from the All-American Rejects album When the World Comes Down, they end in the parenthetical (wtwcd), so the song in iTunes reads “Believe (wtwcd)”. I don’t get it either.

Just a day or two after mentioning that I enjoyed the Blues-y power of an Eric Clapton song (“Before You Accuse Me”), I get a specific blues anthem from the man, although the title is a painful reminder of one of the many poor fashion choices I suffered as a child. Why did anyone think those flared-out pants were a good idea? The Who song is a rare release from the band that features Keith Moon as the singer, and the Bangles song is another one from the Everything album that is still in rotation for me.

I got all excited when I realized the next song was going to be “Bella Notte”, forgetting that I had to hear the Glee version before I got to the Los Lobos cover of it. Nowadays, if you mention Bella, most kids are going to think of the protagonist of the Twilight series, and the next song is from the score of the first movie, a piece that plays throughout it. (yes, yes, I saw the Twilight film…ok, even worse, I saw it in theaters…ok, ok even worse, I saw it at midnight with my daughter. (She needed someone to go with her. Luckily I didn’t feel creepy at all. It’s not like I was the oldest guy in the theater by more than a decade or anything!)

I got to close the day out with songs by three favorite artists (They Might Be Giants, R.E.M., and Natalie Merchant with the oft-repeated caveat on the latter that I prefer her 10,000 Manics work). I also heard “Beloved”,  a song that wasn’t inspired by the Toni Morrison novel, but was a part of the American Wedding soundtrack, although I’ve heard many say that the two share a number of underlying themes.

Advertisements

Carrie Underwood, Psycho Ex-Girlfriend

April 28, 2012

2+ mile walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #9 of 2012

  • Beer for Breakfast–The Replacements
  • Beeswing–Richard Thompson
  • Before He Cheats–Carrie Underwood
  • Before I Fall in Love–CoCo Lee
  • Before I Forget–Slipknot
  • Before The Deluge–Jackson Browne
  • Before The Lobotomy–Green Day
  • Before You Accuse Me–Eric Clapton
  • Before Again–Colbie Callat
  • Begin The Begin–R.E.M.
  • Begin The Begin–R.E.M.
  • Begin The Beguine–Salif Keita
  • Behind Blue Eyes–The Who

I hope the Replacements aren’t trying to be role models, because suggesting we should consume beer first thing in the morning is a poor suggestion indeed! It’s times like this that we really miss the Ed Sullivan Show–if the boys had to perform this song on the program, Ed would have undoubtedly had them change it to “Milk for Breakfast” and then we would have had a song that everyone could enjoy. Nothing against the Richard Thompson song (actually I rather enjoyed it), but the one word nature of the title disappointed me. I know now it is like a bee’s wing, but wouldn’t it have been a better song if it referred to a bee swing? How would you construct a bee swing and would the bee emjoy it, or would he just get irritated and sting you?

I know that “Before He Cheats” was a monster hit and is perceived as a bit of an empowerment anthem for women, but it more likely belongs in the category of misunderstood pop songs (with the king still being “Every Breath You Take” by the Police as some people still think it’s a love song because they don’t listen to the lyrics and realize it’s more about control and stalking). Look, I’m not going to defend the actions of the man she’s seeing–he cheated on her, and that is a despicable act. But her brand of escalating vigilante justice does not fix the crime. She goes from keying his car to knifing his seats to breaking both headlights to slashing all four of the vehicle’s tires. This way, she says, the next time he cheats it won’t be on her. I think the restraining order he gets against her is the more likely deterrent, right?

Back-to-back “who does this song—never mind, I don’t care” entries before I get a Jackson Browne number. All his songs sound so mournful and filled with regret (ironic as I was filled with the regret of hearing the Slipknot song right before this one). Things continued to pick up with Green Day and Eric Clapton. I enjoyed the blues-y Clapton song in particular. Colbie Callat provided a pop sorbet next, and I’ll admit I do enjoy her voice more than I would have guessed. I was excited to then get two copies of R.E.M.’s “Begin the Begin”, as it’s one of my favorite IRS-era songs by the band. The title is a play on a Cole Porter song, “Begin the Beguine”, which followed, as I own one version of it from the incredible Red Hot + Blue compilation. The version is performed by Salif Keita, a performer I knew nothing about until owning the album.

The final track was also a contribution from an amazing album that I think everyone should own, The Who’s seminal Who’s Next.

 

Pining for Angela Lansbury

Day four of double-exercise requirements, and it’s starting to look like tomorrow will be one for the thumb, or five in a row.

Before I get to the music lists, I thought I’d take the time to recommend a couple of podcasts. To me, podcasts are an under-rated value in entertainment and an excellent medium that allows artists complete creative control of content. I have gravitated to comedy-themed podcasts recently and would like to mention two in particular. The first is Comedy Film Nerds (www.comedyfilmnerds.com), a weekly look at recent movies, DVDs, and more. Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini usually welcome a guest each week and while I don’t always agree with their movie reviews, I’m always entertained. The other podcast is also film related, Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies (http://www.douglovesmovies.com/) where comedian Doug Benson welcomes 2-4 guests to play movie-related games like the Leonard Maltin game, which we have played at family gatherings. Both are weekly highlights that my wife, kids, and I enjoy in the car.

April 27, 2012

2+ miles walking (behind a mower!) to commemorate Red Sox victory #8

  • Beautiful Girls–Sean Kingston
  • Beautiful Liar–Beyonce & Shakira
  • A Beautiful Mess–Jason Mraz
  • Beautiful Pea Green Boat–Laurie Anderson
  • The Beautiful People–Marilyn Manson
  • Beautiful Truth–The Proclaimers
  • Beautiful, Dirty, Rich–Lady Gaga
  • Beauty & Sadness–The Smithereens
  • Beauty and the Beast–Jump5
  • Beauty Has Her Way–Mummy Calls
  • Beauty School Drop-Out–Frankie Avalon
  • Beauty’s Running Wild–Scars on 45
  • Because–The Beatles

The first three songs are all from pop albums added to the collection by my kids, with the first two coming from the Now That’s What I Call Music CDs. I did enjoy the first two in particular, as I’m a fan of the voices of Sean Kingston (excellent accent) and Shakira (I find her voice so alluring). Jason Mraz isn’t bad either. An odd pairing of two musical freaks (perhaps too harsh a word) followed. The Laurie Anderson song comes from her album Bright Red and is based on the Edward Lear poem “The Owl and the Pussycat”. While I get that Anderson was all experimental and avant-garde, I don’t get the appeal. That’s also how I feel about the “shocking” manufactured personality of Marilyn Manson, but I can tolerate his band’s most famous hit “The Beautiful People” (although I did not purchase it, one of my children did). Obviously the most recent larger than life musical personality is Lady Gaga, and I got to hear one of her today as well, but I’ll admit to enjoying her music, particularly while exercising.

My wife was the Proclaimers fans at first, and thanks to her I was able to learn that the duo was about more than just their “500 miles” song. I, on the other hand, was the Smithereens fan, and still am, so getting “Beauty & Sadness” made me happy.

Here’s a sentence I don’t expect to utter often–I miss Angela Lansbury. When my kids were younger, they enjoyed Disney Mania CDs, which were filled with bubble-gum pop acts covering Disney’s animated movie songs, like “Beauty and the Beast” today (performed by Jump5). The version is so sugary-sweet it makes me wish I had the Angela Lansbury version instead. (Of course, more than anything, it points to the idea that I don’t need to keep all songs we own if no one in the family listens to them regularly, but I can’t bring myself to delete them as maybe we’ll want to hear them some day, which is probably the digital equivalent of the guy that thinks he might someday want to read that October 14, 1984 newspaper, which is why he has 600 pounds of newsprint stacked throughout his lonely, lonely apartment.) The next two songs, instead of being covers of movie songs, are the genuine artifacts, with Mummy Calls from The Lost Boys (a great, great soundtrack) and Frankie Avalon from Grease,

For people looking for new music, I highly recommend the new self-titled Scars on 45 album, that came out last month. I sampled one song when it was the free iTunes song of the week, and it hooked me enough to get the whole album. This British band has a male and female singer (like another favorite of mine, Stars), and their complementary vocals are quite striking.

I’m enjoying the (not really) random nature of this list, but certain songs are meant to be enjoyed in their proper album order, and none more than the Abbey Road medley. Hearing a song like “Because” makes me run, get the album, and listen to the entire medley.

3.75 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper-body weight work at the gym

  • Because It’s Christmas–Barry Manilow
  • Because Of You–Kelly Clarkson
  • Because of You–Ne-Yo
  • Because of You–98 Degrees
  • Because The Night–Bruce Springsteen
  • Because The Night–10,000 Maniacs
  • Become A Robot–They Might Be Giants
  • Become The Catalyst–All That Remains
  • Bed–J. Holiday
  • Bed of Roses–Bon Jovi
  • Bed of Roses–Bon Jovi
  • Bedbugs and Ballyhoo–Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Bedlam–Elvis Costello
  • Bee of the Bird of the Moth–They Might Be Giants
  • Been a Son [Live]–Nirvana
  • Been It [Live]–The Cardigans
  • Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers–ZZ Top

Other than his greatest hits CD, the one Barry Manilow track I own, “Because It’s Christmas”, comes from a Holiday compilation. It’s not one I listen to often as I tend to prefer the Christmas standards, so a newer holiday song has to be strong to make my rotation. Three different pop songs called “Because of You” followed, but the Kelly Clarkson version is the only one that I remember. “Because the Night” was of course originally made famous by Patti Smith, but ironically I don’t own that version of the song, only having the 10,000 Maniacs unplugged rendition and Springsteen’s original.

I got two They Might Be Giants songs that are really emblematic of their style with “Become a Robot” and “Bee of the Bird of the Moth”. I’m a big fan of the latter in particular, as the song is filled with goofy lyrical puns and vivid imagery. I get another scream rock entry from All That Remains and another pop hit from the That’s What I Call Music series(which I heard from five different times today) from J. Holiday.

I’m continuing to enjoy the two versions of Bon Jovi hits I keep getting on my list, thanks to picking up his This Left Feel Right album. The project is a collection of acoustic versions of his biggest hits and the resulting songs, like the second version of “Bed of Roses” have a bit of a country feel to them. I ended my workout time zigzagging through some diverse artists, including wife favorite Elvis, 80’s band Echo & The Bunnymen, two live tracks from Nirvana and The Cardigans, and a closing Texas blues number from ZZ Top.

Who does Michael Jackson better, Fall Out Boy or Fergie?

Before I get things rolling here, I’d like to ask for a moment of silence for Starburns…his name is Alex! (For those confused by the reference, Community killed it  again tonight with an awesome Law & Order parody that dropped character development for a series of jokes that killed it, with a great Wire reference thrown in as well. It was nice to laugh after a tough day, but at least I had a third straight day of double exercise, and tomorrow is going to be a fourth straight day. Go Sox!

April 26, 2012

2-mile walk to commemorate Red Sox Victory #7 of the 2012 season

  • Beast and the Harlot–Avenged Sevenfold
  • The Beast in Me–Nick Lowe
  • Beast of Burden–The Rolling Stones
  • The Beat–Elvis Costello
  • The Beat [Live]–Elvis Costello
  • The Beat–Elvis Costello
  • Beat It–Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer
  • Beat It–Michael Jackson
  • Beat It–Michael Jackson
  • Beat It 2008–Michael Jackson featuring Fergie
  • Beat the Retreat–June Tabor

It was a bit cold and windy for my outside walk, so to hear something by Avenged Sevenfold was a great was to push me right away. A7X is not a band I listen to often, but they are pretty entertaining when I’m in the right mood. So I was happy with the first of my “Beast…” trilogy. The middle section is a Nick Lowe contribution to the Sopranos soundtrack, and it’s like a treat as I don’t recollect hearing it before, and I enjoyed the song. I have, of course, heard “Beast of Burden” many times, and the Stones deliver as always.

The next seven entries on the list are only two songs, starting with three different versions of “The Beat” by Elvis Costello. Then I got four versions of the Michael Jackson classic, “Beat It”. Ironically, the first version is not by the King of Pop, but instead Fall Out Boy, with John Meyer trying to fill the drug-addled shoes of Eddie Van Halen. I like covers that bring something new to a classic song, but this one felt like a tribute band more than an artist giving a new rendition. The next two versions were two copies of the original before my last “Beat It” being the 2008 update of the song, which once again, didn’t feel like anything special, just Fergie taking some of Michael’s lines so it was more of an alternating duet than collaborative. I wondered if this was because it was released after Michael had died, but the album came out in 2008 (the 25th anniversary of Thriller) and Jackson passed in 2009, so it was just his career that was dead.

The last song of my walk was a cover that I enjoyed a bit more, with June Tabor giving her spin on Richard Thompson for the title track of the tribute compilation.

3.61 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Beat the Retreat–Richard Thompson
  • Beat the Retreat [Live]–Richard Thomspn
  • Beat the Time–Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
  • Beatbox (Diversion One)–The Art of Noise
  • Beaten to The Punch–Elvis Costello
  • Beating Around The Bush–AC/DC
  • Beatnik Beach–The Go-Go’s
  • Beats to the Rhyme–Run D.M.C.
  • Beautiful–Barenaked Ladies
  • Beautiful–Christina Aguilera
  • Beautiful–Glee Cast
  • Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)–John Lennon
  • Beautiful Bride–Flyleaf
  • Beautiful Day–U2
  • Beautiful Disaster [Live]–Kelly Clarkson

After closing my walk with the cover, I get to open gym time with studio and live versions of “Beat the Retreat” by the original artist, Richard Thompson. Mrs. Paul Simon’s group follows before we get to one of those “Why did I buy this CD again” songs. The Art of Noise CD was a college purchase that was probably driven by either “Paranomia” or  the “Peter Gunn Theme”. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the Art of Music, but when I do hear on of their songs, a little goes a long way, particularly when you consider the length of some of their songs (“Beatbox” clocks in at longer than eight and a half minutes).

From the “didn’t see that coming” file, I got another Elvis Costello song, then my pizza group, AC/DC returned. Now I enjoy the Go Go’s a great deal; I even saw them in concert in college, although the only album of theirs I own is their greatest hits, and I’m pretty content with just the one album (1 Mind on the Simple Minds scale). However, of all their tracks on that compilation, “Beatnik Beach” is my least favorite. I just feel they were trying for something and didn’t quire hit the mark with the song.

Like the Go Go’s, another “greatest hits only” act for me is Run D.M.C. I love their music–they were my second-ever rap group (I do remember being obsessed with “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang back in 1980 to the point where I’d constantly be singing/chanting the lyrics to myself, event getting a fellow 5th grader to once chastise me “enough already!”) I had no follow-up with the Sugarhill Gang, never buying an album, cassette, or single. But once I heard “Walk this Way” by Run D.M.C., I had to own the album, and I remember wearing out my cassette copy of Raising Hell. I finally got them on CD (their greatest hits), allowing me to explore other tracks from different periods of their career.

The Barenaked Ladies song “Beautiful” is a different than the more famous Christina Aguilera version. The BNL song is a serenade to a loved one, while the latter is a truly moving song for female self-image, even when Glee does it. It’s sad hearing the John Lennon tribute to his son as it makes me realize that the boy lost his father at too early an age, a pain I understand. The “Beautiful…” festival continued with Flyleaf and then U2, although that song still makes me think of the countdown to Triple H’s return from injury at the Royal Rumble years ago. I closed with the inaugural winner of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, singing one of her infectious pop numbers that show she was the right choice all those years ago. I just hope she never tries to cover “Beat It”.

I still like Hootie, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

It’s a little hard to write at this point with the slight distraction of a sudden-death overtime Game 7 featuring my hockey team. (Update–Damn…I guess I can write now.)

April 25, 2012

2-mile walk to commemorate Red Sox victoy #6 of the 2012 season

  • The Battle for Straight Time–A.C. Newman
  • The Battle March Medley–The Pogues
  • The Battle Of Evermore–Led Zeppelin
  • Battle of Evermore–The Lovemongers
  • Battle of Who Could Care Less–Ben Folds Five
  • Battleship Chains–Hindu Love Gods
  • BB Good–Jonas Brothers
  • Be Good to Yourself–Journey
  • Be My Baby–The Ronettes
  • Be My Escape–Relient K
  • Be My Escape–Relient K
  • Be My Yoko Ono–Barenaked Ladies
  • Be My Yoko Ono–Barenaked Ladies
  • Be Prepared–Lion King (movie version)

I “discovered” A.C. Newman thanks to the television show, The OC, when his “On the Table” song was included on the fourth soundtrack from the show. However, I then learned that a family friend had already given my wife Newman’s The Slow Wonder album as a gift. So I guess it’s hard to say I discovered him when his music was already in my collection–I just didn’t know it. The Pogues song is just a short instrumental interlude, which was great to hear some kickin’ Irish music and even greater that I didn’t have to hear depressing Shane McGowan lyrics.

Heard both the original Zeppelin and Lovemonger cover of “The Battle of Evermore”, a song that seems like should be playing during D&D marathons sessions. My final “Battle…” song is my favorite, the Ben Folds Five song from Whatever and Ever Amen, an album I initially purchased for “Brick” but found myself liking more and more with each listen. My wife rarely purchases iTunes singles, but “Battleship Chains” from the Warren Zevon-fronted Hindu Love Gods (a cover of a Georgia Satellites song) is one of the few, the proud, the last “Ba..” song on my list.

I don’t have a lot to contribute about the Jonas Brothers song that came next, but I did enjoy torturing my wife (who was walking with me at the time) with the Journey song that followed–as I’ve mentioned, she’s a bit of a musical snob, and Journey seems to be the band that gets under her skin most, although Duran Duran, Asia, and REO Speedwagon are also contenders for that crown. She was much happier to hear the classic pop song “Be My Baby” that followed, before we heard two copies of a Relient K song. Like the Jonas Brothers earlier, Relient K is an act my oldest daughter brought to out musical melting pot, and of the two, I prefer Relient K.

A favorite by Barenaked Ladies, “Be My Yoko Ono” got two plays (original album and greatest hits collection), which meant I had to hear their version of Yoko’s shriek singing twice, a painful process. Speaking of painful, I closed my walk with a Disney song from the film The Lion King. I have nothing against the movie (it’s great) or the music (an excellent soundtrack), I just an not sure how we came to own this song and would prefer not to exercise to it.
1.30 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Be Prepared–Lion King (Broadway version)
  • Be Somebody–Kings of Leon
  • Be The One–Hootie & The Blowfish
  • Be True to Your School–Beach Boys
  • Be With You–The Bangles
  • Be-Bop-a-Lula [Live]–Paul McCartney
  • Beantown–John Cena  Tha Trademark

Seeing that I can’t explain why I own the first, film version,of “Be Prepared”, I think it’s safe to say that I have no idea why I own the Broadway version of the number. although I think one of my kids may have borrowed the CD from our library. The Kings of Leon song confused me at first as I thought I was going to hear their follow-up hit to “Sex on Fire” but that is “Use Somebody”, not “Be Somebody”, although if you ask me, the latter is the better advice if not song.

Did the world turn on a band faster than the backlash that Hootie & The Blowfish got? Everyone loved Cracked Rear View, and then everyone hated Cracked Rear View. Listening to it and the followup album, Fairweather Johnson, which produced “Be The One”, even today would lead me to argue that they’re good albums and you don’t have to be ashamed if you like them…come on and say it “I’m a Hootie fan and damn proud!” If you’re not going to be true to Hootie, at least be true to your school as the Beach Boys say. It leads to an interesting conundrum: to which school are you most true? Is it your college or your high school? I can see arguments for both, as college sets your career and represents your first true independence, but high school also has key developmental milestones as well.

Speaking of picking high school or college, the Bangles are a group that straddled both time frames for me. Their more known hits, “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” came while I was in high school, but the album of theirs that I love and still listen to through today, Everything, came out while I was in college. I also purchased the Paul McCartney Unplugged album while in college. It’s great hearing Paul cover early Rock ‘n Roll songs like “Be-Bop-a-Lula”. It’s also great hearing John Cena rap about his love of all things Boston, including the Red Sox (although that feels a little hollow now, as Cena has proclaimed himself a Tampa Bay Rays fan now–I actually had an argument with him about it at SummerSlam a couple years ago).

My gym time got cut short here as my son needed to be picked up from work 45 minutes earlier than he thought. At least I got home in team to see the end of the Bruins game–crap!

Four Batman instrumentals and no “na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!” Really?

Nice to have to do hit double exercise today and it’s a problem I get to have tomorrow as well! That should be a good distraction for Wednesday as the build throughout the day for the greatest two words in sports, “Game Seven”.

April 24, 2012

3.20 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Barbara Ann–The Beach Boys
  • Barbarism Begins at Home–The Smiths
  • The Bare Necessities–Los Lobos
  • Bargain–The Who
  • Baroque Hoedown–They Might Be Giants
  • Barrier Reef–Old 97’s
  • The Barry Williams Show–Peter Gabriel
  • Basic Thugonomics–John Cena
  • Basket Case–Green Day
  • Bastard Wants to Hit Me–They Might Be Giants
  • Bastards of Young–The Replacements
  • Bastards of Young–The Replacements
  • Bat Cave–Danny Elfman
  • Bat Country–Avenged Sevenfold

I love the Beach Boys, but “Barbara Ann” is my least favorite single by the group (although I did enjoy the a capella version performed by Janitor and his friends on Scrubs). I find myself enjoying the music of the Smith more and more these days, and I’m so glad I picked up their greatest hits last year. I cannot recommend highly enough Los Lobos Goes Disney, a tremendous collection of covers of older Disney songs, including today’s entry, “The Bare Necessities”. I’ll admit that part of the attraction was someone gave me the CD, allowing me to sample it for free (although I would have purchased it if I knew how good it was). But the price I paid, well to quote the next song on the list, “I call that a bargain” and I love bargains as much as I love getting Who songs on the workout list.

Because I was such a fan of They Might Be Giants back to their first album, I was so happy when they found a broad audience thanks to partnering with the Disney channel and their children’s efforts in general, like “Baroque Hoedown” from a Disney mania album. Old 97’s are a band I learned to sample from the Rock Band video game, specifically the Alt-country pack of DLC, which I initially purchased for Drive-By Truckers and Lucinda Williams, but enjoyed the other entries, Old 97s, Neko Case, and Steve Earle, as well. I had higher hopes for Up by Peter Gabriel, as I was hoping to see the magic of So recreated, but that may be a once in a career type of an album. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy his other material, and “The Barry Williams Show” is a track I’m happy to hear, it’s just the weight of expectations.

As I mentioned a few days back, I actually enjoy John Cena’s rap album You Can’t See Me. Cena has focused more on in-ring and acting ventures, so there’s not a lot of musical releases from him, but it was even enough to see growth from the single “Basic Thugonomics” to the album. After a Green Day song from Dookie, I got to hear They Might Be Giants completely shift gears from the earlier Disney tune to “Bastard Wants to Hit Me” from a more adult-themed album, The Spine. (I heard They Might Be Giants talking about differentiating their kid-friendly shows and music from their “adult” shows and albums, and I agree with them that it’s an unfortunate word choice as it makes the songs sound pornographic, when it just means their regular stuff.)

The TMBG song is not the only “Bastard…” titled release in my collection, as I got to hear the great “Bastards of Young” by the Replacements twice (we own it on the studio release Tim and a greatest hits collection). Luckily the swearing song titles ends there (for now at least), and I got a Danny Elfman instrumental, which served as a sneak preview of what was to come later in the day before closing out with the hard-rocking sound of Avenged Sevenfold.

2-mile neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #5

  • Bathsheba Smiles [Live]–Richard Thompson
  • Bathsheba Smiles–Richard Thompson
  • Bathsheba Smiles–Richard Thompson
  • Bathwater–No Doubt
  • Batman Theme–Danny Elfman
  • Batman Theme Reprise–Danny Elfman
  • Batman To The Rescue–Danny Elfman
  • Battered Old Bird–Elvis Costello
  • Battered Old Bird (Alternative Version)–Elvis Costello
  • Battery [Live]–Metallica
  • Battle–Colbie Caillat
  • Battle–Gang Starr

Double shots of a single song is fairly common in my collection, but a bit rarer is the triple play. Thanks to live albums, compilations, and the stellar album Mock Tudor, I heard “Bathsheba Smiles” three times while heading around the block. If you wish to sample Mr. Thompson, Mock Tudor is an excellent place to start. It was a funny coincidence at the gym today; while I listen to my music, the gym has hits playing throughout. As I was grabbing my keys and preparing to leave, the No Doubt song “Bathwater” came on, making me laugh because I knew it would be appearing on my walk. Speaking of No Doubt, I thought I kind of liked their music, but as I listened to their greatest hits, I kept saying “Oh, I know this song–I like it!” for all 18 tracks, so I guess I’m a little more into No Doubt than I realized.

Don’t get me wrong–I loved the Batman reboot in 1989, and I think the progressively more complex superhero movie series, like Iron Man, X-Men, Spiderman, the Nolan Batman, and (I hope) Avengers all owe a debt of gratitude to the two Tim Burton Batman films, with Danny Elfman’s score helping to so effectively set the mood, but sometimes I wish I also had the goofy Batman television theme. It’s one of three TV programs that I watched religiously (along with Star Blazers and The Monkees) that if I went back and watched critically now, I’d be in for a lot of “what the hell was I thinking”. So maybe I should just leave some key elements of my childhood alone.

I don’t have a lot of opinions about Elvis Costello, but with the two versions of “Battered Old Bird”, I enjoyed the alternative version so much more. The original turned a little too discordant for my tastes, but the alternative smoothed things out and made for a more consistent aural experience. I don’t have a ton of Metallica (just 44 tracks), but was still surprised that I hadn’t heard them yet until “Battery” came up. It’s from S&M, an album they did with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and the support from the Orchestra certainly gave the tracks even more heft and emotional depth, in my opinion.

I closed with a possible battle between two very different songs named “Battle”. The first is an innocuous pop number by Colbie Caillat, and the title almost seems discordant with the singing. “Battle” seems far more appropriate a title for the second track, a rap by Gang Starr for the 8 Mile soundtrack.

Dick Clark, World War I, Bank Robberies, and the Return of the Mystery Artist

Pretty excited that I was able to exercise and blog through the weekend and today as I’ve now gone 15 straight days with a contribution, breaking the pattern of 13 on and 1 off from the previous 4 weeks. I’m also close to 700 songs into my list and tomorrow will be a double-excercise day thanks to the Sox tonight! So looking for some overall good fortune and hoping it spreads to the job hunt–I’d appreciate it if everyone could keep me in their (positive) thoughts!

April 23, 2012

3.50 miles on the elliptical plus upper-arm weight work at the gym

  • Banana Republics–Jimmy Buffet
  • Band on the Run [Live]–Paul McCartney
  • Band on the Run–Paul McCartney & Wings
  • The Band Played Waltzing Matilda–The Pogues
  • Bandera–Willie Nelson
  • Bandstand Boogie–Barry Manilow
  • Bang the Doldrums–Fall Out Boy
  • Bangin’ It (Scotty II Hotty)–WWE
  • Bangs–They Might Be Giants
  • Banjo–Leonard Cohen
  • Bank Job–Barenaked Ladies
  • Bank Vault in Heaven–Richard Thompson
  • Banks and Skylines–???
  • Banks of the Hudson–Black 47
  • Bar-B-Q–ZZ Top

While I own a Jimmy Buffet greatest hits collection, I am by no means a Parrothead. I did live amongst a few Buffet fans in college and their overplaying of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” scarred me to the point of not owning any Buffet for about 15 years after the fact. I finally gave in and borrowed the one CD from my local library. But that’s all I need, a .4 Minds on the Simple Minds Scale. Yet another live plus studio double followed with “Band on the Run”. I think that “Bohemian Rhapsody” gets a lot of credit for being a complex song that changes tempo and style, but “Band on the Run” did it first. And like the Beatles song “The Ballad of John and Yoko” yesterday, I found the McCartney number served as a nice shot of adrenaline while hitting the elliptical machine.

It’s fitting that two days after my daughter returned from her trip that started in Ireland I got to hear two Celtic punk bands. All credit to my wife; I was not a fan of either the Pogues or Black 47 until I listened to her CDs of the two groups. Now the Pogues are a group my wife can listen to daily, but while I do enjoy them from time-to-time, I can tire of their sad songs–they can make Bruce Springsteen seem like Raffi. While today’s song “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is a cover by them, McGowan just breaks your heart telling the tale of the man that loses his legs in World War 1 (also timely because my wife and I just finished the first series of Downton Abbey, and it ends with the beginning of World War I (by the way, I found myself enjoying the program much more than I would have guessed, but I do worry that today’s youth that watch it, Gosford Park, and Remains of the Day will be enticed into the glamorous world of being a servant.) The Black 47 song, like many of their other tracks, is less depressing than the Pogues (shocker!) and a big more rocking.

After a Willie Nelson number, I got a very timely Barry Manilow song (not a phrase I expect to ever type again in my life!). “Bandstand Boogie” is, of course, the theme song from the Dick Clark show American Bandstand. It was a Saturday afternoon television staple growing up, and once I got into music, I would listen to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem on the radio in the morning and then switch to the Dick Clark program where I’d get my first look at some of these new musical acts. Growing up without MTV, youtube, and cable meant this was my only opportunity to put faces with songs (well, this and Solid Gold.)

When I hear a Fall Out Boy song, I always quiz my daughter to see if she can guess which song I heard by my relative position on the overall list. Usually she has no problem getting it, but today’s entry stumped her, although it is probably due to her still needing to catch up on her sleep after the trip. In terms of working out, the Scotty II Hotty theme is one of the better WWE songs for the job. I had an odd back-and-forth for my next four songs, alternating from fun (They Might Be Giants) to somber (Leonard Cohen) back to fun (a Barenaked Ladies song about a bank robbery that goes bad because there are nuns in the banks) back to somber (Richard Thompson).

I got to play mystery song once again, as I had a title, “Banks and Skylines”, but no artist listed. Obviously this would have been a much more challenging puzzle without google at my disposal, but the song is performed by Acadia Falls, a local band here in Connecticut. My son is not sure who posted the song, but it’s fairly entertaining, and I guess the band has a new EP coming this summer, so I will keep an ear out for it. My last song of the day was “Bar-B-Q” by ZZ Top, which put me in an eating mood, not good if I want to keep moving forward in this new healthy direction.