1111–Make a Wish

For my kids, any time they see 11:11 on a digital clock face, they say “11:11–make a wish!” When setting up my post for today, I noticed that I’ve now had 1,111 total page views, so I decided to make some wishes concerning this blog. I don’t believe I can share the specifics of the wishes if I want them to come true, but with the wishes topic being the blog, it’s probably pretty easy to guess their general direction. (And let’s just say I’d like to be making the 11,111 views wish sooner than later).

I have finally decided to catch back up, so this entry is going to be for the last several weeks, as well as 5 Red Sox victories (which will not catch me up with them, but will get me closer seeing that they’ve kindly decided to win only one game in the last week). There will be less total commentary, but you will see that I’m now over 2,000 songs and have crossed into the ‘D’ entries. (I apologize for hitting so many songs at once, but I figure it’s the only way to get back on track and on time, particularly with how little blogging I’ve done the last week, first from excitement that my job hunt may have finally ended, and then my sadness that the job hunt has to continue, and there doesn’t seem to be anything imminent).

August 4-23, 2012

Multiple gym visits plus 5 2+ mile walks to commemorate Red Sox victories 44 through 48 of the 2012 season

  • Crazy For You–Madonna
  • Crazy For You–Madonna
  • Crazy In Love–Beyonce
  • Crazy Life–Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love–Queen
  • Crazy Love, Vol. II–Paul Simon
  • Crazy Man Michael–Fairport Convention
  • Crazy Ones–John Mellencamp
  • Cream–Prince
  • Creatures of Love–Talking Heads
  • The Creep–Lonely Island
  • Creeping Death–Metallica
  • Creeping Out Sara–NOFX
  • Creeque Alley–The Mamas and the Papas
  • Cremation–Lou Reed
  • Crescent Moon–Cowboy Junkies
  • Cressida–Richard Thompson
  • Crime of the Century–Supertramp
  • Crimes of Paris–Elvis Costello
  • Crimes of Paris [Electric Edition]–Elvis Costello
  • Criminal–Disturbed
  • Crimson and Clover–Joan Jett
  • Crocodile Rock–Elton John
  • Cropduster–Pearl Jam
  • Cross Bones Style–Cat Power
  • Cross My Fingers–John Hiatt
  • Cross The Border–Icehouse
  • Cross-Eyed Mary–Jethro Tull
  • Crosseyed And Painless–Talking Heads
  • Crosseyed And Painless–Talking Heads
  • Crosseyed And Painless–Talking Heads
  • Crossroads–Cream
  • Cruella De Vil–Los Lobos
  • Cruella DeVille–The Replacements
  • Cruisin’ in the ATL (Interlude)–Outkast
  • Crumbs From Your Table–U2
  • Crunchy Granola Suite [Live]–Neil Diamond
  • Crush–Glee Cast
  • Crushcrushcrush–Paramore
  • Cry Baby Cry–The Beatles
  • Cry Freedom–Dave Mathews Band
  • Cry If You Want–The Who
  • Cry on My Shoulder–Bonnie Raitt
  • Cry To Me–Solomon Burke
  • Cry, Little Sister (Theme From The Lost Boys)–Gerard McMann
  • Crying–TV on the Radio
  • Crying in the Chapel–Elvis Costello
  • The Crying Scene–Aztec Camera
  • Crying, My Little One…–Natalie Merchant
  • Crystal–Fleetwood Mac
  • Crystal Ball–Styx
  • The Crystal Ship–The Doors
  • Cup of Coffee–Garbage
  • Cupid–Sam Cooke
  • Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America (Radio Edit)–Gym Class Heroes
  • Curiosity–k.d. lang
  • The Curse–Disturbed
  • Curtain Calls–Old 97’s
  • Cut Flowers–The Smithereens
  • Cut My Hair–The Who
  • Cuts Like a Knife–Bryan Adams
  • The Cutter–Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Cutting Corners–Transit
  • Cuyahoga–R.E.M.
  • Cuyahoga–R.E.M.
  • Cyclone–Baby Bash featuring T-Pain
  • Cyclops Rock–They Might Be Giants
  • D & W–They Might Be Giants
  • D Is for Drums–They Might Be Giants
  • D-7 [Live]–Nirvana
  • D.F. [Interlude]–Outkast
  • Dad’s Gonna Kill Me–Richard Thompson
  • Daddy Can I Turn This?–Elvis Costello
  • Daddy Come Home–Tom Tom Club
  • Daddy Go Down–David Byrne
  • Daddy Learned To Fly–Drive-By Truckers
  • Daddy Needs A Drink–Drive-By Truckers
  • Daffodil Lament–The Cranberries
  • Daft Punk Is Playing At My House–LCD Soundsystem
  • Daktari–10,000 Maniacs
  • Damaged By Love–Tom Petty
  • Damaged Goods–Fastball
  • Damnit–Blink-182
  • Damnit–Blink-182
  • Damnit Janet–The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Damn Girl–Justin Timberlake
  • Damn Girl–The All-American Rejects
  • Damn Good Times–They Might Be Giants
  • Damn It, Janet–Glee
  • Damnation’s Cellar–Elvis Costello
  • Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)–All Time Low
  • Dance–Soul II Soul
  • Dance Hall Drug–Boys Like Girls
  • Dance Inside–The All-American Rejects
  • Dance of the Dream Man–Angelo Badalamenti
  • Dance of the Reeds–Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy–Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Dance On Vasoline–David Byrne
  • Dance This Mess Around–The B-52’s
  • Dance With Me–Drew Seeley featuring Belinda
  • Dance With the Devil–Breaking Benjamin
  • Dance, Dance–Fall Out Boy
  • Dance, Dance–Fall Out Boy
  • Dance, Dance [live]–Fall Out Boy
  • Dance, Dance, Dance–The Beach Boys
  • Dance, Dance, Dance–The Steve Miller Band
  • Dancing Bear–The Mamas and The Papas
  • The Dancing Bear–Natalie Merchant
  • Dancing Choose–TV on the Radio
  • Dancing For Rain–Rise Against
  • Dancing in the Dark–Bruce Springsteen
  • Dancing in the Street–Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
  • Dancing Queen–ABBA
  • Dancing Queen–ABBA
  • Dancing Queen–Glee Cast
  • Dancing Through Life–Wicked Cast
  • Dancing With Myself–Billy Idol
  • Dancing With Myself–Glee Cast
  • Dangerous–The Who
  • Dangerous Games–The Byrds
  • Dangerous Politics–WWE
  • The Dangling Conversation–Simon & Garfunkel
  • The Dangling Conversation–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Dani California–The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Daniel–Elton John
  • Danny Says–Foo Fighters
  • Dare You To Move–Switchfoot
  • Dark Hand Over My Heart–Richard Thompson
  • The Dark I Know Well–Spring Awakening Cast
  • The Dark Of the Sun–Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Dark Side (Undertaker)–WWE
  • Dark Sneak Love Action–Tom Tom Club
  • Dark Street–Fastball
  • Dark Was The Night–Kronos Quartet
  • The Darkest Side (Remix)–WWE
  • Darkness–Peter Gabriel
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town–Bruce Springsteen
  • Darkness Surrounding–Avenged Sevenfold
  • Darlin–Avril Lavigne
  • Darlington County–Bruce Springsteen
  • Date To Church–The Replacements
  • Daughter–Pearl Jam
  • Daughters–The Story So Far
  • Daughters of Sorrow–The New Pornographers
  • Dave’s Possessed Hair/It’s What We’re All About–Sum 41
  • David Watts–Ray Davies
  • Dawn of the Dreads–Arrested Development
  • Dawn’s Ballet–Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast
  • Dawn’s Lament–Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast
  • The Day–They Might Be Giants
  • The Day I Tried To Live–Soundgarden
  • A Day in the Life–The Beatles
  • The Day That Love Come To Play–They Might Be Giants
  • The Day The Niggaz Took Over–Dr Dre featuring  RBX, Snoop Dogg, Dat Nigga Daz

Well, that is a *lot* of songs–and there’s no way I’ll be able to provide my usual (arguable) high-quality analysis per number that I usually give, so let’s hit some high (and low) points. “Crazy For You” is one of my favorite Madonna songs for a couple of reasons–first of all, I fully admit to being a sap for the slow numbers, second, it’s part of the soundtrack of a great movie, and finally, it was a big slow-dance song during high-school dances back in the day. I finish up the “Crazy…” section of my list with diverse superstar artists including Beyonce, Queen, John Mellencamp, and Paul Simon. When writing the artist for “Crazy Man Michael”, I initially assumed it was Richard Thompson thanks to the album cover, but it was actually a track from Thompson’s early band Fairport Convention–that’s the nice thing about a boxed set; you get the full spectrum of an artist’s career.

I always have had a bit of a soft spot for the Joan Jett version of “Crimson and Clover” as I won the 45 of the song at a Bar Mitzvah I attended in 8th grade. I wasn’t into music yet (that would come a year later), but I was excited to play it and “Juke Box Hero” but had to wait until I could get to the record store as my mother’s record player did not have an adapter for 45’s. So I think I had to wait until the following weekend until we could get to the Strawberries at the mall to listen to my new music. The John Hiatt song is just one of many from the awesome Perfectly Good Guitar album, a decade-plus staple on my “Desert Island Discs” list. As I have shared before, the Icehouse album Man of Colors is also on that list, which led me to purchase another selection from the group, Great Southern Land, which contains “Cross the Border”, but I did not connect with that album as much.

One effective test of a good song is how much you can tolerate consecutive listens, and three “Crosseyed and Painless” copies worked just fine for me. (Full disclosure, one was from the Stop Making Sense soundtrack, so there was some variety.) But I can honestly proclaim that I would have enjoyed a few more listens. “Cuyahoga” works with two listens for me as well. By the way, I can’t be the only person stunned that the Replacements covered a Disney song, right? I can always count on They Might Be Giants to open a letter with something from their ABCs album, but here the hit double duty, as their “Cyclops Rock” got to close ‘C’ before we started on the ‘D’ songs.  Another funny double-up happened when the Drive-By Truckers hit consecutive “Daddy…” songs as apparently he “…Learned to Fly” and “…Needs a Drink” (hopefully in that order as I assume drunk flying is just as bad as drunk driving.

I’d like to call attention to “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” by LCD Soundsystem. When it first came out, I was drawn to the song through a pair of unusual methods, with one (OC soundtracks) being a bit more unusual than the other (a video-game soundtrack, specifically an SSX game for my PSP). I will admit loving the song has yet to inspire me to purchase more LCD Soundsystem, although I did enjoy the song and video for their “Drunk Girls” song. I had another one of those grammar choices splitting to versions of a song when the Glee folks broke from the soundtrack of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and turned Damn it into two words. I’d tend to side with the original source material, but I will say that every time I type
“Damnit” as one word, I get the annoying red squiggle underline indicating a misspelling.

It’s always fun to see how quickly a new acquisition shows up in this alphabetical endeavor. My oldest daughter recently purchased the Once More With Feeling soundtrack from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and two days later I get a pair of “Dawn…” songs from the release. The irony is that she’s my least favorite character from the show. The “Day…” song that must be mentioned is the amazing “Day in the Life” by the Beatles. I’m happy that iTunes has the rights to the Beatles catalogue because otherwise I’d be afraid that Billy Crystal’s joke about kids not knowing who the Beatles are will come true. (It probably does have a kernel of truth these days–after all, the Beatles have not released music in 40+ years and two of them are no longer with us.) The last song and artist was a bit problematic for me. I love the album “The Chronic”, and I of course want to faithfully record the song and artist, but one of the words on each side is a bit problematic to type (I think it’s fairly obvious which word I mean.) But type it I did, but just don’t ask me to say it.


Weekend Worrier

The weekend’s theme was twofold. First it was father-son gym time as on both days my son went to the gym with me. Ironically, the Saturday visit was a shorter one (less than 45 minutes), and it was conceived of to “beat the heat”, as my son wanted to get in an air-conditioned area for some time before he had to go to work, and my gym has excellent AC. The other piece was this weekend saw the calendar turn from June to July and my next-job anxiety increase accordingly. While I do understand the need to be patient and that things will happen in their own time, but I can’t help but wish things would speed up a bit–I don’t do well with uncertainty.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

2 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants–Jimmy Buffett
  • Chapter 13–+44
  • Chapter Four–Avenged Sevenfold
  • Charge of the Batmobile–Danny Elfman
  • Charlie–Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Charlie, The Methadone Man–Fastball
  • Chase The Fire–The Fixx

I tend to not listen to much Jimmy Buffett in English, so putting a song title in French, and completely out of my area of knowledge and understanding, really ups the degree of difficulty. Through Google and consultation with my daughter, I think the title of the song is “Song for the Children”, but don’t hold me to that please. Through the magic of Apple’s alphabetizing, this is one of the few places where chapter 13 will come before chapter four. If ranking those two chapters by artist, I’d probably split my vote in two, with +44 being a preferred choice during normal listening situations, but Avenged Sevenfold receiving the nod when working out, particularly when going for some intensity to my cardio.

Danny Elfman’s Batman score was perfect for the film (I know, duh! that’s what he’s supposed to do when scoring the film, but his style of music and Tim Burton’s filmmaking vision is such a natural pairing) and I still enjoy listening to the soundtrack from time to time, even if Nolan’s Batman has surpassed Burton’s in just about every way possible. The Red Hot Chili Peppers tell us about “Charlie”, but I’m pretty sure that Fastball had another “Charlie” in mind, which is why they provided such a helpful qualifier, “…The Methadone Man”.  This short visit to the gym ended with a nice live track from the Fixx–not one of their big hits, but still a fun song anyway.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

3 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • The Chase, Part 2–A Tribe Called Quest
  • Chasing Cars–Snow Patrol
  • Chasm–Flyleaf
  • Chavito Ardiente–WWE
  • Cheap Day Return–Jethro Tull
  • Cheap Sunglasses–ZZ Top
  • Cheap Sunglasses [live]–ZZ Top
  • Cheatin’–Gin Blossoms
  • Check It Out–John Mellencamp
  • Check On It–Beyonce & Slim Thug
  • Check Yes Juliet–We The Kings
  • Check Yes Juliet–We The Kings
  • Check Your Time–Westbound Train
  • Checkout Time in Vegas–Drive-By Truckers

Strong start to the Sunday workout with a bit of A Tribe Called Quest. I only have one of their albums, Midnight Marauders, an oversight I need to correct. However, if I’m going to buy another 90s rap album, I will be getting De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising first. It’s frustrating that it’s not available on iTunes and I will have to get it through a used CD store to add it to my collection. The next song is a more modern number, the big Snow Patrol pop hit, “Chasing Cars”. As I’ve mentioned before, Flyleaf is a band that my kids like more than me, but like A7X, their tracks can be pretty invigorating when working out. The WWE song was the theme music for Chavo Guerrero; I think he would be better off with Jethro Tull in that role.

I only own one ZZ Top album–a greatest hits compilation, but that one collection produced two different versions of their classic “Cheap Sunglasses” (studio and live). I expect that more with dance/pop acts who fill an album with remixes of existing songs, but getting the same song (or variations thereof) twice by a classic rock act seems rare. Not that I mind that much–as ZZ Top songs go, “Cheap Sunglasses” is one of their better numbers. Speaking of better numbers, I love “Cheatin’ “, the final track from the Gin Blossoms’ New Miserable Experience. The entire album is outstanding and the country-flavored “Cheatin’ ” is a nice bow on the package. The lyrics like “You can’t call it cheatin’ if she reminds me of you” are a wee bit cynical, but that’s rock music, right? Rock with a tiny country edge continued on my list with John Hoosier Mellancamp’s “Check It Out”, a song that also continued the theme of cynicism as well as the theme of great songs.

A pair of pop hits cover the next three songs on my list, starting with the first Beyonce appearance. I’ve got to believe that no matter where your musical tastes lie, you have to enjoy the works of Ms. Beyonce Knowles. Her songs are so entertaining–earworms if you will. “Check Yes Juliet” also had a great hook and was worth hearing more than once, which worked out well for me as we own two copies of the song, obtaining it once when it was the iTunes Free Song of the Week and getting a second version when we got the entire album. I’m not sure who added the Westbound Train number to the family collection, but it fulfills the occasional need for Ska music. I do know the Drive-By Truckers came from me, and it helps fulfill my constant need for awesome music.


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.