Wait–what was that song called again?

Here’s a little bit of good news–I’m back to creating a backlog of songs! Yes, I’ve managed to accumulate three gym visits in the last four days, so the conveyer belt of ‘D’ songs, which had slowed down to a crawl is up to capacity again. While I know it’s only three days, it feels great to be getting back into a routine. For me, that’s the key–I need to build some consecutive workout days. Also, there should be a simpler way to remember how great you feel after a 45-minute workout so that it isn’t so hard to get off   your butt and get moving.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Diarrhea Moustache–David Cross
  • The Diary–Hollywood Undead
  • The Diary of Jane–Breaking Benjamin
  • Dice–Finley Quaye & William Orbit
  • Dick in a Box–The Lonely Island & Justin Timberlake
  • Dick Wagner’s Rinse Cycle–Johnny Socko
  • Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?–Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson
  • Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby–Emmylou Harris, Alison Krause, and Gillian Welsh
  • Die–Iron & Wine
  • Die For You–Megan McCauley
  • Die Hard the Hunter–Def Leppard

I do love listening to the comedy stylings of Mr. David Cross, whose routines can stand up to repeated airings despite their political digs tied to specific timeframes, but man those odd titles for individual tracks (which, of course, never have any relation to the issues being discussed) can really throw you for a loop. If you haven’t listened to any of his albums, you may think “well today’s entry has to be the worst name, right?” I’d argue that there are some worse ones–I won’t list them here, but you can probably look them up on Amazon or iTunes.

It’s a bit ironic that we own two “Diary…” songs, and both are sung by bands my son brought to the mix (you know, because usually diaries are  normally associated with girls instead of boys. When we keep a record of our lives, it’s a journal, not a diary. Right? Right? Just me then?) Maybe it would be best if I moved on…luckily, I can move on to a great song like “Dice”, which is a track from the phenomenal first soundtrack of The OC. I’ve mentioned before that the show got me into a number of bands, and while I don’t own any additional material by Finley Quaye or William Orbit, it’s a song that is permanently in my playlist.

It was then time to go back to some unfortunately titled tracks, starting with the filthy, yet hilarious, number from the Lonely Island and frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake. Most people know it from the SNL Digital Short, but we also own a copy from their first two albums. Johnny Socko was a band friends and I used to go see live in graduate school at Indiana University, and I was happy to pick up their first album, although it did not contain my favorite song by them, a slowed-down countrified version of “You Shook Me All Night Long”. I looked for a version of it on youtube to show you how fun it was, but sadly, their heyday was in the era before everyone using smart phones to illegally record live concert performances and upload them to the internet. The next song was a tad more serious than the previous two, but it still had a odd title, although it may have been a metaphor for Richard and Linda’s upcoming marital problems and eventual divorce.

A song from one of the great soundtracks that I tend to forget about showed up next, and prompted me to listen to the entire album of O Brother, Where Art Thou? I closed with a trio of “Die” songs, none of which were using the definite German article. The first two came from compilations, one charity-based (the Iron & Wine number from the Dark Was the Night soundtrack) and the second from a movie soundtrack (the first Fantastic Four–don’t look at me that way; I got the album free at work!). My last song today came from the awesome 80’s and Def Leppard, or as my daughter would probably call them, one of those groups covered in the Rock of Ages musical/movie.




CSN (and sometimes Y)

It’s a little odd being home this weekend, as for the last six years, I was always on my way to WrestleMania. I decided to make the most of my change by getting in two rounds of exercise, with both walking and gym time.

March 30, 2012

1-mile neighborhood walk

  • Almost Cut My Hair–Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Almost Hear You Sigh–The Rolling Stones
  • Almost Home–Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Almost Saturday Night–John Fogerty
  • Alone–Glee Cast (featuring Kristen Chenoweth)
  • Alone & Forsaken–Social Distortion

For this short burst of exercise, there was a “classic rock” theme, starting with “Almost Cut My Hair”. Back in the days of record stores (Hey kids! Not sure what a record store is? Ask your parents if they ever went to Tower Records, Strawberries, Record Town, or like store), one store created a backing card (the dividers between different musical acts) for this group that read “CSN (and sometimes Y)”. I always loved that, and if it had been the era of cell phones with cameras, I’m sure I would have captured the card for posterity. As it is, I have to settle for the memory, which I’m assuming I find funnier that anyone else.

I own the Rolling Stones’ album Steel Wheels. That on its own is not embarrassing, but the fact that it was the first Rolling Stones album I ever owned is. That’s sad, right? It’s also an indictment of my early musical taste.Truth be told, other than Tattoo You, I still don’t own any of the Rolling Stones studio albums, settling instead for the 2-disc greatest hits collection, 40 Licks. Clearly this ranks at least 6.0 Minds on the Simple Minds scale, as discussed in Wednesday’s post.

Like many teenagers, my life used to be about absolutes, and one of those absolutes was that I hated country music. Truth be told, I really didn’t even give country music a chance for years, but Mary Chapin Carpenter started to change that for me. I still fought the change, initially trying to rationalize that Chapin-Carpenter was folk music, not country, but I now know to listen to a song and judge it for its merit, not its category. The John Fogerty solo number is from his first run post-Creedence.

Then I heard a familiar opening instrumental run, and thought to myself,  “awesome, I forgot I had this Heart song!” As Kristen Chenowith’s vocals kicked in, I remembered that I didn’t own the Heart song, we owned the Glee version. Not disappointing at all! At least I was able to close my walk with a Social Distortion cut from last year’s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes comeback album.

2.53 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Alone and Forsaken–Emmylou Harris
  • Alone at the Drive-In Movie–Grease Movie Soundtrack
  • Along Comes a Woman–Chicago
  • Alpha Dog–Fall-Out Boy
  • Alphabet Lost And Found–They Might Be Giants
  • Alphabet of Nations–They Might Be Giants
  • Alphabet Street–Prince
  • Already Gone–The Eagles
  • Already Gone–Tanya Tucker
  • Alright–Janet Jackson
  • Alright For Now–Tom Petty

My gym time started with the same song my previous walk ended with, just performed by a distinctly different artist (well, at least I see Emmylou Harris and Social Distortion as different artists–maybe you feel otherwise). The ironic thing about the Drive-in song from the Grease soundtrack is that the first time I saw Grease was at a drive-in theater. I fell asleep toward the end, so I didn’t get to enjoy the second half of the double feature, Saturday Night Fever.

Chicago is another one of those bands that gets me the glare from my wife when I put them on. She can almost tolerate the bluesy early work of the band, but not the sappy love-song festival of Chicago XVII. (You do have to hand it to the band for their attempt to help fans learn and master Roman numerals, but I think the Super Bowl and WrestleMania have that educational opportunity covered.) Some time soon I’m going to ask my oldest daughter to give me her 10 favorite Fall Out Boy songs for this blog, although I don’t know if I’ll every get a response–she hates having to make those kinds of decisions.

Parents that want to get their kids into rock music should pick up the kids albums of They Might Be Giants. They currently have 4, No!, Here Come the 123s, Here Come the ABCs, and Here Comes Science. The two alphabet songs come from the third album on that list (as you may have been able to guess). While my love of all things They Might Be Giants is likely to bias me, I think the songs are awesome for kids and adults, and I challenge you to listen to “The Alphabet Lost and Found” and disagree with me. The Prince song “Alphabet Street” is one I forget about, and then as soon as I hear it, I wonder why I don’t make more of an effort to keep it in active rotation.

As I’ve said repeatedly, I love artist tribute compilations. The country-music themed salute to the Eagles, Common Thread, is one of the first I remember seeing, but I didn’t add it to my collection until last year because of my previously mentioned blind disregard of all things country music. I don’t regret not having it earlier, as not much on the album stands out.  Speaking of standing out, this run of music ended with cuts from two of the stand-out albums of 1989, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. Now those are two albums I would have regretted not getting sooner.