The Narcotic Powers of Cocaine, Coffee, and Disney

Always a good weekend when you get two workouts in! A nice bonus was my wife made a few extra bucks making some deliveries for a business run by a friend and she used the found cash to treat me to a matinee of The Dark Knight Rises. Despite my Marvel leanings, the Nolan Batman trilogy is, without a doubt, the finest set of superhero movies in terms of consistency and enjoyment. (I feel both Spiderman and X-Men went off the rails in their third installments.) I did find Bane’s voice difficult to understand at times, but I thought Anne Hathaway was incredible at Catwoman. I’d like to see it a second time to better formulate my thought, but while I enjoyed the film, I preferred the second film more and enjoyed the Avengers more as well.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

3.10 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Cocaine–Eric Clapton
  • Cocaine–Jackson Browne
  • Codes and Keys–Death Cab for Cutie
  • Coffee Eyes–The Wonder Years
  • (Coffee’s For Closers)–Fall Out Boy
  • Cold–Crossfade
  • Cold As Ice–Foreigner
  • Cold As You–Taylor Swift
  • Cold Brains–Beck
  • Cold Cold Heart–Colin Raye
  • Cold Dark World–Weezer

It’s an illicit and illegal start to things with both Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne singing songs named “Cocaine”. As an FYI, one is not a cover; they’re two different songs sharing a same title (to be completely accurate the Clapton song is a cover, but it’s a cover of a JJ Cale song). The Clapton song is the far more famous of the two, but I think I prefer the melancholy of the Browne number.  The title track from Death Cab For Cutie’s 2011 album followed, and then it was time for two songs about another drug–this time a legal one. The Wonder Years number comes from my son’s collection, and Fall Out Boy is the band of choice for his twin sister. The latter makes me happy because the title refers to Alec Baldwin’s awesome rant from Glengarry Glen Ross. Before that film, I found myself tending to find Alec Baldwin the weakest link in films I otherwise loved (for example Beetlejuice, Married to the Mob, and The Hunt for Red October). To be fair to Alec, if I’d seen Miami Blues (which came out a year before Glengarry Glen Ross) first, my opinion of the man’s work would have already started to change.

Things get a little “Cold…” for the second half of the playlist, with Crossfade making their first (and I think only) appearance in our library with their hit “Cold”. I am more familiar with Foreigner song that followed and my daughters prefer the third “Cold…” song, one sung by “T Swizzle” as my oldest girl likes to call her. (Apparently that’s a legit nickname for Ms. Swift–learn something new every day!) Beck’s “Cold Brains” is an entertaining number, even if the title makes me think of a zombie heading home with a doggie bag for the next day’s snack. The Colin Raye song is one of two covers we own of the Hank Williams classic, but they’re separated because one title uses a comma between the two “cold”s and the other does not, again pointing to the need for a song title style and conventions guide. So instead of hearing another artist cover the song, Saturday’s list closed with a Weezer track from their Red album.

Sunday, July 21, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Cold Day in July–Dixie Chicks
  • Cold Day in July [live]–Dixie Chicks
  • Cold Desert–Kings of Leon
  • Cold Hearted–Paula Abdul
  • Cold Kisses–Richard Thompson
  • Cold Tea Blues–Cowboy Junkies
  • Cold Turkey–John Lennon
  • Cold, Cold Heart–Lucinda Williams
  • Collapse (Post America)–Rise Against
  • Collection of  Goods–Collective Soul
  • Cologne–Ben Folds
  • The Colonial Wing–10,000 Maniacs
  • Colors and the Kids–Cat Power
  • Colors of the Wind–Vanessa Hudgens
  • Colors of the Wind–Ashanti

I wouldn’t describe my interest in the Dixie Chicks as a “guilty pleasure”–after all, they are an extremely successful musical act. I would instead use the term “unexpected” as there aren’t many country artists in my favorites, but I proudly own five of their albums and eagerly await new material from the trio. The other day I mentioned that my interest in Kings of Leon has waned recently, and “Cold Desert does not turn that tide at all. Now in the “what was I thinking” category, buying a Paula Abdul CD in college fits just fine, but I do enjoy her hits off the release (even if someone else ultimately sang them), including “Cold Hearted”. The next two “Cold…” songs were brought to the collection by my wife, the Richard Thompson and Cowboy Junkies fan. She’s also a John Lennon fan, but I think “Cold Turkey” came from me. The last “Cold…” song was our second Hank Williams cover, and I’d argue the stronger of the two–I think Lucinda Williams is an underrated talent.

Nothing like a good Rise Against song to cheer you up. I’d argue that Rise Against sings about the end result if we don’t heed the musical warnings of Bruce Springsteen. The Boss tells us things are getting bad and then Rise Against sings about where the country ends up. I wasn’t overly familiar with the Collective Soul song–they’re a band I am content to only own their greatest hits (a sold 1.0 on the Simple Minds Scale). The Ben Folds song “Cologne” is one of his great story songs, including  a verse about the killer astronaut from a few years back. After sold 10,000 Maniacs and Cat Power songs, we end with a pair of Disney covers. For your children than can’t drink coffee (and should certainly avoid cocaine, the other drug covered at the beginning of today’s lists), what addictive substance can they enjoy? Disney, right? I remember my children, particular my youngest, wanting to watch various Disney movies again and again, and that glazed look they’d get when they did. I don’t mind the Disney movies–the soundtracks are usually excellent, but I’m not the biggest fan of the covers of the originals (such as the two “Colors of the Wind” versions today), and hearing them puts a glazed look on my face, but for a far different reason.

 

 

My racial obligation to Coldplay

I was on my own at the gym this evening as the twins purchased tickets for a Batmanathon at the local cinema. Their night started at 6:00PM with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight followed, leading up to a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I didn’t want to see the film at midnight, instead deciding to wait to see it at a lower-priced matinee and with my wife. I was just lucky enough to wake up at 2:45AM and drive to the theater to pick up my children. (At the time, I was blissfully ignorant of the Colorado tragedy–as it should go without saying, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims from that senseless tragedy.) The kids loved the movie and were so adamant that I needed to see it as soon as possible. I’ll get to my thoughts on the film in the next blog, so instead let’s jump into some exercise-fueled music!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Cliff Diving–+44
  • Climb Ev’ry Mountain–Peggy Wood
  • Climbing The Walls–They Might Be Giants
  • Clocks–Coldplay
  • Cloissone–They Might Be Giants
  • Close (To The Edit)–The Art of Noise
  • Close To the Borderline–Billy Joel
  • Closer–Kings of Leon
  • Closer To Fine–Indigo Girls
  • Closer To Fine–Indigo Girls
  • Closing–Danny Elfman
  • Closing Time–Semisonic
  • Closure–The Story So Far
  • Cloud Nine–Evanescence

I was pretty sure +44 is a band that my kids enjoy, and when I looked them up on the interwebs, I learned they were a spin-off from Blink 182, so that’s a big yes. That’s not to say I don’t like their music–in fact I found it a great exercise soundtrack, particularly when it is compared to the song that followed, a nun song from the film version of The Sound of Music. Luckily, the next “Climbing…” song was one I enjoy more and started a two out of three They Might Be Giants songs, with both coming from later albums, their last two “adult” studio albums in fact. It is amazing the long and distinguished career the band has carved for itself and I certainly hope the parents that purchased their kid’s albums decided to sample their other music as well. In between the two TMBG songs I got a Coldplay number. According to Donald Glover, I have to like Coldplay because I am white (it’s a punchline to a joke about people asking him if he likes Barrack Obama). Luckily “Clocks” is a pretty good song.

As I got close to the middle of my list, I heard my first “Close…” song, one that I used to listen to far more often in college. The Art of Noise doesn’t seem to pop into the nostalgia rotation nearly as much as other 80s/90s artists (like a proto-Spin Doctors–that’s not fair; I like the Art of Noise more than that and they don’t deserve the cheap shot). I’m not a big fan of the Billy Joel number, and after “Sex on Fire”, Kings of Leon got a little tired for me. I’ll never be tired of “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls, so having to hear it twice was not a problem for me.

After a short Danny Elfman instrumental piece from the Nightmare Revisted compilation, I got Semisonic’s biggest hit of all time “Closing Time”, followed by a Story So Far song my song loves and an Evenescence song my youngest daughter loves.

Friday, July 20th, 2012

3,00 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • The Cloud Prayer–A.C. Newman
  • Clouds–The Jayhawks
  • Cloudy–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Clown Attack–Danny Elfman
  • Clown in Broad Daylight–Ron Sexsmith
  • Clowntime is Over–Elvis Costello
  • Clubland–Elvis Costello
  • Clubland–Elvis Costello
  • Clumsy–Fergie
  • The Coast–Paul Simon

Before I go on, I’ve got a bit of a confession. With my run of (now 10 straight days and counting) of gym visits leading me to falling behind on my song-list blog posts, I have started to forget the start and stop points of my list. I promise that I’ve listened to every song listed, but one or two may be off by a day. I’ve fixed the problem by creating a word document that lists the range of songs each day to keep me on target when I fall behind. That being said, this was an excellent run of songs (if not exactly an ideal workout playlist). My Cloud trio of A.C. Newman, the Jayhawks, and Simon & Garfunkel kept things ironically sunny, particularly the Jayhawks number. Like the earlier list, I got a Danny Elfman instrumental number, but this one was from the Batman soundtrack. After indy singer Ron Sexsmith, Elvis Costello made three appearances covering two songs, and Fergie’s pop hit Clumsy followed. The list closes with a bit of serendipity as I am sitting in my living room watching a tribute to Paul Simon when he won the Gershwin prize (it’s on Netflix instant if you’d like to see it), but I don’t believe the coincidence  will extend to the extent of “The Coast” showing up on the special as well.

 

Strother Martin, Rock Star

So I am desperately hoping that my time of unemployment will end soon (please!?) and don’t want to regret not taking advantage of the time of fitness opportunity. So Wednesday, July 18th started a run of 8 (and counting) consecutive days with gym visits. It’s getting me further and further behind on the blogs, so maybe I’ll start doubling up some days here, but that may not even be enough–I may have to cover 3-4 lists per blog to truly get back and current. Nice thing is that I’m down another 4 pounds for a total of 9 since I started this blogging plan. So that makes me feel a bit better about myself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

3 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • City of Mud–The Dead Milkman
  • City of Night–Bruce Springsteen
  • Civil War–Guns ‘N Roses
  • The Civil Wars–David Byrne
  • Clairvoyant Disease–Avenged Sevenfold
  • Clampdown–The Clash
  • Clap Your Hands–They Might Be Giants
  • Clap Your Hands–A Tribe Called Quest
  • Class–Chicago Cast
  • Cleanin’ Out My Closet–Eminem
  • Clear–Miley Cyrus
  • Cliches of The World–The Kinks

The list begins with my final two “City…” songs and they are from artists as different as day and night (or mud and night I guess). I’d argue that the Milkmen are as goofy as the Boss is earnest, but I love each in their own right. I believe that the first time I saw a “get this at midnight” promotion, which is so common now for movies, video games, and music, was for the release of the two Use Your Illusion CDs from Guns ‘N Roses. I was at Indiana University at the time, and I remember the record store on Kirkwood opening special for the release (I can’t remember the name of the store, but it was across from Nick’s.) While I did buy the CDs on the first day, I waited until after classes in the afternoon. “Civil War” opens with Strother Martin’s famous “…failure to communicate…” speech from Cool Hand Luke, which I had not seen at the time, so I found the clip baffling. I wonder if he got paid for the appearance in the song. I guess one “Civil War” wasn’t enough for David Byrne, so he went for multiple “…wars”.

Thanks to Avenged Sevenfold for giving me a song to push myself to, and while it was great in its role, “Clampdown” did an even better job due to my love of the Clash and London Calling. Both TMBG and ATCQ (not sure people use the abbreviation for A Tribe Called Quest, but I think it looks great) want me to clap my hands, and although each take a different musical approach, both cases are compelling. I’m a big fan of two of the final four songs listed–can you guess which two? Time’s up–and I hope the cast of Chicago and Ms. Cyrus do not take my choices personally. But how can you choose against the bitter payback anthem from Eminem or the rock anthem from the most overlooked of what I consider the big four of British bands that started in 60’s (with the Beatles, the Who, and the Rolling Stones).

 

 

The Elliptical Fallacy

The gym is great and all, but there’s nothing like taking your hard work outdoors. So we decided that an incredibly hot and humid Sunday would be a perfect day to go on a family hike at Sleeping Giant State Park. Normally, we take the nice-and-easy trail to the tower at the top of the mountain, but the last time we went, the twins split off and found a path that traveled by some stone arches, a scenic valley, and wound along a stream before coming out in the parking lot. So we decided to mix things up and try the route. Now my kids did warn me that it was a bit more challenging than the normal flat path, but why should I worry? I’ve been going to the gym regularly, doing 3+ miles on the elliptical, even setting it on steep settings. So I should be fine, right? Well, the soaked shirt I was sporting 30 minutes into the hike would indicate otherwise, although the extreme heat and humidity probably had something to do with it as well.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

4+ mile hike to commemorate Red Sox victories #41-42 of the 2012 season

  • Church of the Poison Mind–Culture Club
  • Cigarette–Ben Folds Five
  • Cinderella–The Cheetah Girls
  • Cinderella–Play
  • Cinema–Yes
  • Cinnamon Girl–Prince
  • Circle–Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
  • Circle–Flyleaf
  • Circle Dream–10,000 Maniacs
  • Circle of Fire–Sam Phillips
  • Circle of Friends–Better Than Ezra
  • Circle of Life–Lion King Cast
  • Circle of Life–Disney Channel Circle of Stars
  • Circle of Life–Ronan Keating
  • Circles and X’s–Lucinda Williams
  • Cities–Talking Heads
  • City–Hollywood Undead
  • City Lights–Rick Trevino
  • City Love–John Mayer
  • City of Angels–10,000 Maniacs
  • City of Blinding Lights–U2
  • City of Delusion–Muse
  • City of Dreams–Talking Heads
  • City of Love–Yes

So the previous list closed with the “Chruch…” of my kid’s pop music generation (courtesy of Cobra Starship), and this list opened with the “Church…” of my generation, Culture Club’s “Church of the Poison Mind”. (Shouldn’t it be “Poisoned”?) That was followed by a great Ben Folds Five number from their amazing Whatever and Ever Amen. Now I’m sure everyone is particularly interested in which version of “Cinderella” I prefer–the Play version or the Cheetah Girls. (I believe the Play version came first then the Cheetah Girls). My answer is that I do not have a favorite among the two (that’s a nice political way of putting it, right?)  Today’s list had early and late Yes songs, both from their 90125 album–“Cinema” and “City of Love”.

Prince’s “Cinnamon Girl” is completely unrelated to the Neil Young song, so it makes me wonder why use that title a second time. Reading about the song on wikipedia, it apparently had a highly controversial video attached because Prince had the gall to suggest that we treated US-based Muslims shabbily post 9/11. The next set of songs all fit within the same “Circle…”, and interestingly enough, the first four “Circle…” songs are performed by female-fronted bands or solo artists. My least favorite of the batch is the 10,000 Maniacs number “Circle Dream”. My wife always argues that I’m too hard on the song, but I just find the repetition of “I dreamed of a circle…” so tiring, particularly when compared to the rest of the album. The first “Circle…” number sung by a male comes from the family favorite soundtrack to Empire Records. I then got to hear three different versions of the “Circle of Life”, but none were the original from the film–I got the Broadway version and two from the Disney compilations. Just as women started the “Circle..”, they closed it as well, as Lucinda Williams provided an excellent topper to the theme.

After the circle theme, things took an urban turn with nine “City…” themed songs to close the list (and it’s not an exhaustive list, as my next list will continue with “City of…” songs). Two of the songs are two of my favorite Talking Heads selections. “Cities” comes from Fear of Music, an album I used to listen to every night the summer after my senior year, and the only Talking Heads release I owned as an LP. Meanwhile, “City of Dreams” is one of my favorite songs of all time (not just Talking Heads) and I think it’s one of the greatest closing credits songs in film history when used at the end of True Stories.

After disappointing me with “Circle Dream”, 10,0o0 Maniacs comes back strong with their brutal condemnation of Los Angeles, “City of Angels”. As they describe it, that’s not a city I’d want to visit, a theme shared by “City of Blinding Lights” by U2.

Dr Dre’s Christmas Glaze!

It’s the moment (none of) you have been eagerly discussing and speculating about–I am going to catch up on a number of of exercise days by lumping a number of songs together–normally I wouldn’t do this, but the overwhelming majority of songs are “Christmas…” songs (great for working out!) and there really isn’t much to say about a dozen variations on “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”

The Week of 9, 2012

4 miles of walking to commemorate Red Sox victories #39 and #40 of the 2012 season plus several gym sessions

  • Chorale–Richard Thompson + Danny Thompson
  • Chow Down–The Lion King Cast
  • Christ for President–Billy Bragg & Wilco
  • Christian’s Inferno–Green Day
  • Christie Lee–Billy Joel
  • Christine Sixteen–Gin Blossoms
  • Christmas–Blues Traveler
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)–U2
  • Christmas All Over Again–Tom Petty
  • Christmas At 22 (featuring Laura Borucki)–The Wonder Years
  • Christmas Bells–the Rent cast
  • Christmas Canon–The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Christmas Day–Dido
  • Christmas Don’t Be Late (Chipmunk Song)–Powder
  • Christmas Eve Montage–RJD2
  • Christmas Eve Without You–Glee Cast
  • Christmas Everyday–The Temptations
  • Christmas in Hollis–Run D.M.C.
  • Christmas in Hollis–Run D.M.C.
  • Christmas in the City–Mary J. Blige
  • Christmas Is–Run D.M.C.
  • Christmas Is All in the Heart–Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Christmas Is Coming–Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Christmas Is My Favorite Time of the Year–Kenny Rogers
  • Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand–Stevie Winwood
  • Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You–SR-71
  • Christmas Pics–Barenaked Ladies
  • The Christmas Song–Christina Aguilera
  • Christmas Song–Dave Mathews & Tim Reynolds
  • Christmas Song–Dave Mathews Band
  • The Christmas Song–Hootie & The Blowfish
  • The Christmas Song–Luther Vandross
  • The Christmas Song–The Nylons
  • The Christmas Song–Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)–Celine Dion
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)–John Denver
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)–Martina McBride
  • Christmas Time–Smashing Pumpkins
  • Christmas Time Again–Extreme
  • Christmas Time Is Here–Toni Braxton
  • Christmas Time Is Here–Dianne Reeves
  • Christmas Time Is Here–Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Christmas Time Is Here–Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • A Christmas To Remember–Amy Grant, Beverly Darnall, Christopher Eaton
  • Christmas Wish–Stacie Orrico
  • Christmas Wrapping–Glee Cast
  • Christmastime (Oh Yeah)–Barenaked Ladies
  • Christmastime Is Here–Sixpence None the Richer
  • The Chronic (Intro)–Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg & Colin Wolfe
  • Chronomentrophobia–Andre 3000
  • Chump–Green Day
  • The Church of Hot Addiction–Cobra Starship
  • The Church of Hot Addiction–Cobra Starship

It’s not all Christmas, all the time–there’s a handful of songs at the beginning and end of the list that fall out of the category. The starting song was a reminder of my messed-up “fun fact” from yesterday, as I got another Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson collaboration. With a title like “Chorale”, you’d think it was from a Broadway show, so it served as a bit of a harbinger for the next song, which comes from the Broadway version of The Lion King. 

Before we get into a whole bunch of songs celebrating his birthday, Christ gets a little political love from Billy Bragg & Wilco, who suggest Christ should run for president. I’m assuming he’d have to run as an Independent, as his “actually helping the poor and not bombing the country’s enemies” would run counter to the Christian Right’s platforms and Christ seems like a man of action which wouldn’t jive well with the Left either. But the song does give me a chance to once again implore you to get any of the Mermaid Avenue releases. The song was the first of four to name someone in their title, as it led to a Green Day song about “Christian…”, a Billy Joel song about “Christie Lee” (it must be tough to have a song in your musical catalogue that you wrote about a love, only to have that love go bad. Does the song become unplayable?), and then the Gin Blossom’s excellent cover of “Christine Sixteen”.

But then the multi-day run of Christmas songs began. The first three songs come from my favorite series of holiday albums, the Very Special Christmas series. I loved the first few, as it was current artists giving their spin on classics or new songs (like the Blues Traveler, U2, and Tom Petty selections that start this run), but I haven’t given volume 7 a listen as it seems like a collection of Disney/Kids Bop artists. That may not be fair–after all, they’re just looking to support the Special Olympics as well. But it will be hard to top that first album (which produced the U2 track) and the second (Tom Petty). The Wonder Years song is a recent addition (post holiday 2011), so I haven’t given it a listen yet. I had never heard the Rent song until recently–we rotate who gets to pick the films for family movie night, and my youngest recently chose the film version of Rent. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and I did find the Christmas scenes moving.

It’s strange that I own as many Christmas CDs as I do, and do not own a single Trans-Siberian Orchestra release (this track is from a compilation). It seems like in recent year, TSO (do people use that acronym?) is the go-to group for holiday tunes–probably because the instrumental pieces are good background music as you’re doing something else. The Dido song would also do a nice job filling that role of unobtrusive tunes. Powder did an excellent job covering the Chipmunk’s signature song, although it wasn’t grouped with the originals because when the Chipmunks perform the song they get the main title and the “Christmas…” portion is the parenthetical, but for Powder the two were reversed. The “Christmas Eve Montage” number comes from my favorite Christmas/not Christmas movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, a film my youngest has grabbed and completely run with. She’s also the Glee fanatic, as mentioned before, but I did enjoy their cover of “Christmas Wrapping”, but it makes me sad that I don’t own the original version by the Waitresses.

Nice run of The Temptations and Mary J Blige surrounding three tracks from Run D.M.C., including “Christmas in Hollis”, a favorite new Christmas classic for me, particularly for the line “But I never steal from Santa, cuz that ain’t right…” which seems to indicate that stealing from others is a-OK. I think Run D.M.C. was the first repeat artist in the Very Special Christmas series, as they came right back for Volume 2 with another great new holiday number that probably gets overlooked because of just how awesome “Christmas in Hollis” is.

The next batch of six songs contains mostly innocuous numbers that again serve as excellent background music for Christmas parties and gatherings, including the first of four appearances on the list from the Vince Guaraldi Trio, the composer and group responsible for the instrumental score for the Charlie Brown Christmas special, including the great original number “Christmas Time Is Here”, which is covered later by a few artists, including Toni Braxton and Sixpence None The Richer. One of the more rocking Christmas songs is in this section, the SR-71 cover o f Billy Squier’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You”.

Then we get our run of Mel Torme’s classic song. Now when I edit lines of books, it’s important to have a style guide in order to maintain consistency. Clearly Christmas songs could benefit from this as well. There’s three different titling styles for this song alone, as some use the parenthetical, some do not, and for some reason Dave Mathews is not a fan of the definite article as a title opener (I guess that is consistent with his band name at least). I didn’t realize I had two versions of his cover of the song and wasn’t paying complete attention while I was exercising to it, so at one point I thought he had done an 8-minute version of the song, which seemed a bit excessive. I think the Hootie version is my favorite cover of the song.

After all these Christmas songs, I knew whatever followed was probably going to be a bit jarring, and having Dr. Dre’s opening track from The Chronic is about as jarring as you’re going to get, and it served as a perfect way to move on from the Holiday run. Andre 3000 stayed in thematic line with Dre, and then I got a little punky with Green Day’s second appearance on the list (both non-holiday related) before closing with two copies of the Starship Cobra hit.

A son ten years older than the father?

BBoy am I getting behind on this thing–I am going to have to pull some all-nighters to get back on schedule! Well, I’m also going to give a bit of the short shrift to the songs that I heard the week of July 9th–when I get to them I think you’ll completely understand. Meanwhile, I hit the gym to make up for lost missing car time.

Friday, July 7, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Cheyenne Anthem–Kansas
  • Chicago Is So Two Years Ago–Fall Out Boy
  • Child In Time–Deep Purple
  • Child Star–Ron Sexsmith
  • Child’s Play–WWE
  • Childhood Memories–Iris DeMent
  • Childhood Remembered–Danny Elfman
  • Children Go Where I Send Thee–Natalie Merchant
  • Children of the Dark–Richard Thompson + Danny Thompson
  • Children Play with Earth–Arrested Development
  • Chimes of Freedom–Bob Dylan
  • Chimes of Freedom [live]–Bob Dylan

Boy isn’t “Anthem” a correct (if a bit pretentious) term when describing a Kansas song? Their songs are so sweeping and over the top–I can only take them a bit at a time and then I’m all set for quite a while (and my wife is just like me, except she can do just fine with no Kansas and then she’d be all set.) Speaking of pretentious, if the song title is long, overinvolved, too clever for its own good, and possibly not actually tied to the song itself, then you’ve probably got yourself a Fall Out Boy song. The funny thing is that I like their music; I just don’t get the titles. My list then swung back to 70s power rock with a Deep Purple track. Back in the 70s, when I wasn’t a big listener of music, I do remember hearing “Smoke on the Water” quite a bit, but that was the extent of my Deep Purple knowledge.

While my Ron Sexsmith knowledge is equally shallow, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve heard from the two albums a friend gave my wife years ago. “Child’s Play” is one of my least favorite WWE Entrance themes, as I never was the biggest fan of the Eugene character. It almost feels like Iris DeMent and Danny Elfman should combine the next two songs, as “Childhood Memories Remembered” makes a lot of sense, although seeing that Elfman’s piece is from the first Batman movie, and probably refers to Bruce Wayne thinking about the brutal murder of his parents, perhaps DeMent would like to stay as far away from that childhood as possible. Iris is probably a better match for the next artist, Natalie Merchant. (After all, Natalie did cover DeMent’s “Let The Mystery Be”.) Here, Merchant is contributing one of my favorite underrated Christmas songs.

The children’s section wraps up with songs from Richard and Danny Thompson and Arrested Development, both of which (I thought) have an extra touch of irony on the kid’s front. I was prepared to discuss how Danny is the son of Richard Thompson, and it’s nice to see him performing with his father, but actual research taught me that Danny is not related to Richard (and is actually 10 years older!) So thank God for research! The second “Child..” song, “Children Play With Earth” is from the Christian rap group Arrested Development, which is of course a great childhood term. My list closed with two versions of “Chimes of Freedom”, one of which closes the 4-disc Dylan tribute set we’ve been listening to often recently.

Saturday, July 8, 2012

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

  • China Girl–David Bowie
  • China Girl–David Bowie
  • China Girl–David Bowie
  • Chinese Democracy–Guns ‘N Roses
  • The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)–The Chipmunks
  • The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)–The Chipmunks
  • Chiquitita–ABBA
  • Chiron–All That Remains
  • Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns–Mother Love Bone
  • Chop Me Up–Justin Timberlake Feat. Timberland & Three-6 Mafia
  • Chop Suey!–System of a Down

Well, if you have to hear a song three times in a row when working out, “China Girl” isn’t that bad a candidate to fill the role. As aptly demonstrated in The Wedding Singer (the soundtrack of which produced one of the versions today), it’s a great song to sing along with, but I wouldn’t recommend doing in on an elliptical machine at the gym–people give you the strangest looks. The other interesting note on the three versions of the song is that even though they are all studio cuts, and none are extended mix versions or anything like that, each has a different song length, and while there’s only a 4-second difference between the two compilation versions, the one from Bowie’s greatest hits is 1:12 shorter–I guess he was in a hurry to get to his other classic songs.

Like many Guns ‘N Roses fans, I was so excited when they finally released Chinese Democracy, the title track of which came next. And don’t get me wrong, it is great to have Axl back in my musical life. But I think the band should have a different name, as Axl without Slash doesn’t feel like GnR. But I was pining for more from that album after having to hear the Chipmunk’s signature song twice. I do have two thoughts on this group. First of all, the Chipmunks sound awesome when you’re a kid, but one of the first signs of growing up is when you realize just how grating their songs are. Second, if the Department of Child Services also covered animated talking chipmunks, I think I’d feel obligated to call them to investigate David. He just sounds evil when pushing the boys to pay attention, sing their songs, and sing them RIGHT!

ABBA is definitely a “Greatest Hits only” band (.45 on the Simple Minds Scale), and I wasn’t even aware that “Chiquitita” was one of their biggest international hits–I honestly thought it was a song about a banana. All That Remains is a band my son likes–they’re frankly not for me. The Mother Love Bone song is great and of course two members of the band went on to form Pearl Jam, so I was probably predisposed to like the song. I also enjoyed the two songs that closed the list as Timberlake is always quality music and the System of a Down song is goofy and fun as well.

Cherubs, Chess, and Chewing Gum (maybe Cherry flavored!)

Eighth straight day visiting the gym, but for the first time in a week, it was a solo trip, as my kids were both working. As I was working out, I remember thinking, “this is great–I wonder how many consecutive days I can visit the gym?” In literature, that would be foreshadowing. In a character study, that would be hubris. In real life, that would be my car’s alternator conking out the next afternoon and the repair shop not being able to get a new one until Thursday, so we’d go more than 48 hours (including the 4th of July holiday) without a car. So the streak ended the very next day, as it’s hard to get to the gym without a vehicle. Now that’s not to say I didn’t get exercise over the three-day gymless span–Tuesday I walked home from the gym and then walked another mile, Wednesday my wife and I walked to the grocery store to get some needed staples, including milk, and Thursday I walked to pick up the car. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to music during the walks, so after Monday’s list, the next list came on Friday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

3 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper-arm weight work

  • Cheeseburger in Paradise–Jimmy Buffett
  • Cheetah Sisters–The Cheetah Girls
  • Cheetah Sisters (Barcelona Mix)–The Cheetah Girls
  • Chelsea Hotel–Lloyd Cole
  • Chelsea Hotel No. 2–Leonard Cohen
  • Cherish–Madonna
  • Cherish the Moment–The Cheetah Girls
  • Cherry Bomb–John Mellancamp
  • Cherry Bomb–Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)–Garbage
  • Cherry Red–John Hiatt
  • Cherry Tree–10,000 Maniacs
  • Cherry, Cherry-Neil Diamond
  • Cherub Rock–Smashing Pumpkins
  • Chess Piece Face–They Might Be Giants
  • Chewing Gum–Elvis Costello

I was never a big Jimmy Buffett fan for the longest time (I’m still not a big fan, but I’ve mellowed enough to occasionally enjoy a track or two from the man), and my parrot-head enmity began in college, where several big Buffett fans treated the rest of our dorm to constant loud playings of the man’s music, with “Cheeseburger in Paradise” being a particular offender. But I can say that I enjoyed hearing that song more than the three Cheetah Girls numbers that were part of today’s mix. “Wait a minute Dean,” you’re probably saying right now. “How can that be true? After all, you saw the Cheetah Girls in concert!” First of all, how did you know that? Second, it was an event for my daughters, who were like 12 and 10 at the time. Finally, it was Cheetah Girls lite, as that Raven Simone wasn’t even with them. (I won the tickets on Optimum Online and took my daughters to the show).

A Leonard Cohen original song and cover followed, and it was a song and its sequel. That let to a Madonna hit, and then two different songs with the title “Cherry Bomb”. I’m far more familiar with the John Mellancamp version and after hearing both, it is still my favorite of the two. We own a Joan Jett greatest hits collection, and I don’t know much of her music besides her big hits, but the Greatest Hits collection is more than enough for me (perhaps .75 on the Simple Minds Scale). The Cherry festival continues with Garbage and John Hiatt, followed by 10,000 Maniacs and Neil Diamond. The 10,000 Maniacs song is the one with the least to do with cherries, it’s one of the group’s many “message” songs, this one about illiteracy. Luckily it doesn’t get lost in a sea of messages, as the previous and following songs are more standard musical fare–love songs. Please don’t think I’m saying those songs are lesser because they don’t have a strong moral. In fact, I may actually prefer those two, particularly the John Hiatt song.

The last three songs on the list deviate from the “Cherry…” theme and instead cover three objects that don’t often get their due in pop songs–cherubs, chess, and chewing gum. The Smashing Pumpkins hit the first topic, and of course when cherubs grow into fully-formed angels, they appear all over pop songs. I do own one song from the original Chess soundtrack, but we’ll get to that later. (Plus Chess records was a label from the early days of rock.) But this They Might Be Giants song has nothing to do with either; it’s just a clever (if unfortunate) way to describe someone’s looks from their first album. My last song comes from Elvis Costello and was from the first album of his that I ever purchased, Spike.