Back into a routine

Boy that was quite the list of songs I dumped on you last time, and if it got to a point where your eyes glazed over and you skipped to the bottom, I understand completely and apologize. I’m attempting to make sure that doesn’t happen again, although I am now six visits behind again, although it’s for a good reason–while I was preparing that massive list, I’ve found my exercise inspiration and have gone to the gym each of the last six days (so I have to go tonight to make it a solid week!). It feels great to be back on an exercise routine–it may be my imagination, but when looking in the mirror this morning, my face looked thinner. I think I’ll have a cheeseburger to celebrate!

Friday, August 24, 2012

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

  • Day Tripper–The Beatles
  • Day Tripper–The Beatles
  • Daybreak–Barry Manilow
  • Daylight–Drive-By Truckers
  • Days/This Time Tomorrow–Ray Davies
  • Days Go By–Keith Urban
  • Days Like These–Asia
  • Daysleeper–R.E.M.
  • Dazed and Confused–Led Zeppelin

There’s certainly no problem hearing a song two consecutive times when it opens with an amazing guitar riff like “Day Tripper”, which is certainly my favorite Beatle opening and is in the all-time running as well. As an added bonus, hearing the name of the song makes me think of The Daytrippers, a great independent movie from the 90’s featuring Parker Posey. (Boy, she truly was the Queen of the Indys back then–Party Girl, Clockwatchers, The House of Yes, and more.) If you are looking for a musical talent to pair with the Beatles, there aren’t many candidates that can hang with the power of Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starr, but Manilow is one that works, right? (I kid, I kid, for the most part, but I still enjoy the occasional Manilow number.)

Two of the next three songs fit into the broad “country” label, with my preferred group being the Drive-By Truckers. The Keith Urban song is one I’m less familiar with, even though it was on one of my daughter’s first CDs she ever owned, Now That’s What I Call Music 17. Those modern-day K-Tel collections always collect 20 songs and 18-19 are pop, rock, or hip-hop, with one of two country songs thrown in, and Urban filled the quota on Volume 17. Sandwiched between the songs was one of my favorite numbers from the Ray Davies compilation of re-imagined Kinks numbers See My Friends, the medley of “Days” and “This Time Tomorrow” with Mumford & Sons. The Asia song “Days Like These” was an add-on song to their greatest hits collection (isn’t releasing a best of album after three studio albums a little ridiculous?).

After the R.E.M. song “Daysleeper”, it was time for some live Led Zeppelin. Usually I get to hear 12-15  songs during a gym workout, but today was only nine, owing to the 26-minute length of “Dazed and Confused”, meaning I thought this song would never end. (I guess when The Song Remains the Same was released as a double-record, this song was a side unto itself–easier to skip!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012 

3.12 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da–The Police
  • De Todo Un Poco–Michael Lloyd & Le Disc
  • Deacon Blues–Steely Dan
  • Dead–The Pixies
  • Dead–They Might Be Giants
  • Dead End Street–Ray Davies
  • Dead Hearts–Stars
  • Dead Horse–Guns N’ Roses
  • Dead Letter–Elvis Costello
  • Dead Man (Undertaker)–WWE
  • Dead Melodies–Beck
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales–Set Your Goals
  • Dead of the Night–Bad Company
  • Dead on Arrival–Fall Out Boy
  • Dead on Arrival–Fall Out Boy
  • Dead on Arrival–Fall Out Boy
  • Dead or Alive–Journey

Old school Police is an excellent way to get the exercise ball rolling, even if an instrumental number from the second Dirty Dancing soundtrack follows and attempts to kill all forward momentum. When I play the “worst CD purchase I ever made” game, that secondary bonus soundtrack is a strong, strong contender. It’s so bad that I even feel guilty trying to pass it off as something my wife brought into our relationship. I have to take full responsibility for it. I will also take credit for the Steely Dan in our collection, although it is only a greatest hits collection, which I think is more than enough for me.

The music of the “Dead..” starts next, and I’m talking literal titles, not selections from Jerry Garcia’s band. I own two simple “Dead” songs from great sources–The Pixies and They Might Be Giants. I’m more attached to the TMBG song historically, but who doesn’t love the source of the Pixies’ number, the amazing album Doolittle?  I then got another Ray Davies offering from See My Friends (it seems like an inordinate number of tracks on the album start with ‘D’–3 of 14 to be exact). I highly recommend this album, which has received a significant bump in plays in the family household recently.

“Dead Hearts” is an excellent number from the Montreal-based band who, if you’re looking for a new album to enjoy, will be releasing their latest, The North, next week (9/4/12).  This was followed by a hate/love combo for my wife, as she cannot stand Guns N’ Roses, but I think I could have gotten her to hang on through the song with the promise that Elvis was coming up next. Of course, a WWE theme following would have gotten her to leave post haste, even if it is one of the many cool variations on the Undertaker’s music. She’d eventually regret leaving, as she would then miss an awesome Beck number (it’s like the alphabetical list is playing tennis with my wife’s musical emotions!)

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Set Your Goals, one of the many new musical acts my son got into this past summer. I probably need to give their work more attention before making a decision. I do feel fine about one of my daughter’s groups, Fall Out Boy, but they’ve been part of our library for a much longer timeframe. (Although I’m not a big enough fan that hearing “Dead on Arrival” three times in a row made me happy.) My list closed with some Raised on Radio Journey, the album that made us realize that group was effectively “Dead…” and is now just a touring nostalgia act.

 

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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.

 

 

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.

Family fitness–hey, wait up!

For the last two days of gym visits, I have brought my oldest daughter, who asked to come along. I was the kind, borderline-patronizing dad, explaining that she might want to bring a book in case she wanted to knock off before I was finished on the elliptical, and that for these first few visits she should go at an easy pace. 50 minutes later she had crushed me by going more than half a mile farther during the same time period. Perhaps I should just keep my useful tips to myself. Today my son decided to give it a whirl, and just like my daughter, he would have left me in the dust if we were out walking together at our respective cardio paces. But the key is just making sure I get in my exercise, not that I win a race.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

3.25 miles on the elliptical plus upper-body weight work

  • Cello Song–The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
  • Cells–They Might Be Giants
  • Celluloid Heroes–Ray Davies
  • Celluloid Heroes [live]–The Kinks
  • Cemeteries of London–Coldplay
  • Centerfield–John Fogerty
  • Century City–Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Certain Leaders in Government Look Or Act Like Certain Pop Culture References!–David Cross
  • Ch-Check It Out–The Beastie Boys
  • Chain Gang–Sam Cooke
  • Chain Gang is the Click–John Cena
  • Chain Lightning–Rush
  • Chain Of Broken Hearts–Billy Bragg & Wilco
  • Challenge of the Love Warriors–Tom Tom Club
  • The Chamber of Secrets–The City of Prague Chamber Orchestra
  • Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends–Fall Out Boy

“The Cello Song” comes from the Dark Was the Night compilation, one of the later compilation albums released to benefit the Red Hot Organization, an AIDS charity. I’m a proud owner of two of their albums, including the original Red Hot + Blue, which was released in 1990 and featured current (at the time) artists covering Cole Porter standards. I get a science lesson next about “Cells” from They Might Be Giants. I like the new version of “Celluloid Heroes” from Ray Davies collaboration album See My Friends (he does this song with members of Bon Jovi), although they cut the superlong instrumental opening that built and built until the lyrics began (for reference, listen to the live version done by the Kinks). The lyrics of the song are so strong and I love getting multiple listens to it.

I am on the fence about Coldplay–I enjoy their music enough, but I don’t find it particularly memorable. It’s great background music for me, but I never say, “would someone please put a Coldplay album on!” John Fogerty is more of a must-listen for me, but I prefer his CCR music to his solo works, but “Centerfield” is one of his best solo tracks, particularly in the middle of summer. The must-listen meter continues to read higher ratings as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers top Fogerty & CCR for me, and “Century City” is a great early track from the band. There was a short break in the music as I got a comedy track from David Cross, the first track from his second album, It’s Not Funny! In a “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” manner, I can connect Cross to my next artist, as Cross played a character in the Beastie Boys’ concert film.

It’s never a bad thing when you get some Sam Cooke on your playlist, and I still find listening to John Cena tracks to be a guilty pleasure. After a Rush track, I got another Billy Bragg & Wilco Woody Guthrie track, this one from the third and most recent volume of the Mermaid Avenue releases. Thing close with the Tom Tom Club, an orchestra number from the Harry Potter films, and a Fall Out Boy overly cleverly titled song.

 

The halfway point to Christmas Eve

We’ve instituted a family movie night, where we rotate who gets to pick the movie and everyone has to watch it. Tonight was my wife’s choice, and she wanted to expose the kids to High Fidelity. (See–it’s tied to music!) Now first of all, if you haven’t read anything by Nick Hornby, who in addition to writing the novel that the move was adapted from, wrote About A Boy and Fever Pitch among others, correct that oversight as soon as possible. The movies of all are outstanding as well, but let me be clear–I have only seen the British version of Fever Pitch, where Colin Firth was obsessed with Arsenal soccer. I have not seen the Americanized version about the Red Sox (you’re probably thinking–Dean, you’re a Red Sox fan, why not?) starring Jimmy Fallon (and you have your answer). High Fidelity is my favorite of the three, as the drifting slacker, the music, and the interest in making lists all speak to me, plus this was Jack Black at his peak.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3.31 miles on the elliptical plus upper-body weight work

  • Carol of the Bells–The Calling
  • Carol of the Bells–Barenaked Ladies
  • Carol of the Bells–The Nylons
  • Carol of the Bells [Instrumental]–David Foster
  • Carol of the Bells/Jingle Bells–Barry Manilow
  • Caroline, No–The Beach Boys
  • Carolina, No–They Might Be Giants
  • Carousel–Blink-182
  • Carouselambra–Led Zeppelin
  • The Carpal Tunnel of Love–Fall Out Boy
  • Carpetbaggers–Jenny Lewis featuring Elvis Costello
  • Carpetbaggers–Jenny Lewis featuring Elvis Costello
  • Carry On–The Byrds
  • Carry On–Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Carry On Wayward Son–Kansas
  • Carry Out–Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake
  • Carry That Weight–The Beatles

Somewhat timely that exactly 6 months before Christmas Eve sees me getting another run of Christmas music, specifically five different versions of the “Carol of the Bells” (although thankfully, the Family Guy “Ding, Fries Are Done” version is not included). I’ve actually always thought of this number more as an instrumental than a lyrical song, so you’d think the David Foster version would appeal to me most among these, but I like several of the others for different reasons as well. The Barenaked Ladies version is instrumental as well, and they take the song a bit more seriously than some of the other standards on their holiday album, so it works for me as well. While the Nylons version involves singing, the a cappella group sings the dings and dongs of the tune. And who doesn’t like  a good holiday medley when Mr. Barry Manilow is crooning the selections? Just me then? Moving on…

I feel that “Caroline, No” (which apparently was supposed to be titled “Carol I Know” originally, but when sang, Brian Wilson eventually changed it to the homonym phrase version) isn’t a Beach Boys song I gravitate toward listening to as much as their other hits even though I prefer their later work to the early sun, beach, girls, and cars tunes. The They Might Be Giants cover is a strange one, and it comes from one of their many EPs (they seem to be one of the few acts that have continued the awesome concept of releasing EPs with one-two songs from a current album plus bonus rarities and covers).

Two of the next three numbers come from bands that my kids love, with Blink-182 being a favorite of my son and Fall Out Boy beloved by my oldest daughter. In between I got a Led Zeppelin song that came from my collection (much to my wife’s chagrin). I get her dislike an anger over the 70s-initial-rock-but-then-softer-sounds bands like Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journe, but her dislike of Zeppelin (and a band I get later on during this list, Kansas) is a bit more puzzling to me. On the Kansas front, who’s against listening to “Carry On Wayward Son”? Luckily for my wife, a song she really does enjoy came next on the list (two times!). We both already liked Jenny Lewis thanks to Rilo Kiley, but when she released a single teaming with my wife’s favorite, Elvis Costello, and it was a great song, that love became permanent and complete.

Five “Carry…” songs carried me through the rest of my workout. Four of the five were old 60-70’s hits, including two “Carry On” songs by the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, as well as the aforementioned Kansas number. I also got an Abbey Road number, specifically the penultimate song from the medley. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I prefer hearing the medley in its entirety, and any time I hear one song, it makes me want to put the whole album on to hear it all properly. The last “Carry…” song is far and away the most modern, a Timbaland/Timberlake collaboration. It’s not a favorite, but it does get the blood moving when working out.

Who ya gonna call? Dr. Love!

It’s a new week, and a big one–just two more days and my kids will be finished with school for the year. Then we’ll be together in the house, spending quality time in a house without central air with temperatures set to reach triple digits by the end of the week…good lord, will someone please help me get a job as soon as possible!

Monday, June 18, 2012

2+ mile neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #33 of the 2012 season

  • Calling All Nations–INXS
  • Calling All the People–4 Non-Blondes
  • Calling Dr. Love–Shandi’s Addiction
  • Calling For You–Iris DeMent
  • Calling You–Blue October
  • Calm Before The Storm–Fall Out Boy
  • Calm Inside The Storm–Cyndi Lauper
  • Calm Like A Bomb–Rage Against The Machine
  • The Calvary Cross–Richard Thompson
  • Calypso–Suzanne Vega
  • Calypso–Suzanne Vega
  • Came Out Swinging–The Wonder Years
  • The Camera Eye–Rush
  • Camisado–Panic! At the Disco
  • A Campfire Song–10,000 Maniacs
  • Campfire Song Song–Spongebob Squarepants

I own and enjoy both Kick and by INXS, but have never bothered to purchase the group’s earlier albums or the later ones before they tragically lost lead singer Michael Hutchence. I know the band eventually added a new lead singer thanks to the power of reality TV, but I never bothered watching the show or listening to the new band that resulted from the show–I think I’d like to keep them preserved as the lineup from the late 80’s and early 90’s. I’ve spoken in the past about albums I’ve purchased on the strength of a first song, and whether it turned out to be a wise decision or not. I’d probably categorize the purchase of Bigger, Better, Faster, More! by 4 Non-Blondes decidedly in the “not” side of the ledger. The look of the group and their sound feels like an early 90’s time capsule that has not aged well.

I like the “Calling Dr. Love” cover, but apparently the band, Shandi’s Addiction, was a one-time gathering, featuring artists from Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Faith No More. So don’t waste your time looking for that 20th Century Masters Collection featuring all the band’s hits–you’re more likely to find Dean Miller’s greatest hits (that joke doesn’t actually work because there is a country artist that has tried to steal my identity–I had it first, and just because I wasn’t doing much with it (and the fact that you were born four years earlier) mean that you can take it from me.

I don’t own a lot of Blue October (in fact, this song and “Into The Ocean” are it), but I do enjoy what I’ve heard. This song comes from the American Wedding soundtrack, and is one of my favorite tracks from the movie. The next two songs create an interesting debate–which would be better to be in–Fall Out Boy’s “Calm Before the Storm” or Cyndi Lauper’s “Calm Inside The Storm”? While in Lauper’s version you’re already halfway through the storm, you still have more storm to go. If you are in the calm before the storm, there’s always a chance the storm will miss you. I’d suggest the best is “Calm After the Storm” because you know that there’s no more storm to come. Of course, if your calm is “…Like a Bomb” as Rage Against the Machine suggests, there’s not much difference between it and the storm.

Richard Thompson goes and gets all religious on us, singing about the “Calvary Cross”. I remember playing Calvary Christian in basketball my senior year. I was the last player off the bench, going in when the game was way out of hand. Calvary Christian had a player who was bragging before the game that he was going to dunk on us, a rare talent in small-school New Hampshire basketball. He just needed the right circumstances, a breakaway, which he finally got in the last few minutes of a blowout. I was heading back on D, realizing the crowd was on the feet, knowing what was to come. Not on my watch–he wasn’t going to dunk on me. I knocked him dow from behind to prevent the layup, but really angered the crowd and the opposing team. And there I thought they were good Christians…

After two slightly different versions of Suzanne Vega’s “Calypso”, the tempo certainly increased, first to pop punk from The Wonder Years, followed by a track from the seminal Rush album Moving Pictures. After a Panic! At the Disco song, I got a track from the album that introduced me to 10,000 Maniacs, In My Tribe. Michael Stipe guests on “A Campfire Song”, and I guess early 10,000 Manic tours were with R.E.M. and he’d come out and sing it with Natalie and the boys. When I saw 10,000 Manics on their Blind Man’s Zoo tour, they were the headliners and Stipe was nowhere to be seen, so she picked someone out of the audience, and the idiot didn’t even know the lyrics. If you think I was bitter in the back, knowing how much I would have wowed the group with my musical stylings, you are way off…time for the next (last on this list) song…oh, it’s another Spongebob song, the “Campfire Song Song”. I just mentioned it to my daughter, specifically my 18-year-old daughter, and she immediately sang it to me. Ahh, to be young…

 

Opening April with a whole bunch of America

New month, same goal–exercise every day, eat better, eat less.

April 1, 2012

3.29 miles on the elliptical and leg and arm weight work at the gym

  • Am I The Only One?–Barenaked Ladies
  • Am I Wasting My Love On You?–Richard Thompson
  • Amanda–Aisha Duo
  • Amanda–Boston
  • Amazing Grace–Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues
  • America–Simon & Garfunkel
  • America–Simon & Garfunkel
  • America [Live]–Simon & Garfunkel
  • America (Wake Up Amy)–Bowling for Soup
  • America’s Suitehearts–Fall Out Boy
  • America’s Suitehearts–Fall Out Boy
  • American Dream–Lucinda Williams
  • American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria/Modern Word–Green Day
  • American Flag–Cat Power
  • American Gangster Time–Elvis Costello
  • American Idiot–Green Day
  • American Tune–Simon & Garfunkel

While the opening song “Am I The Only One” by Barenaked Ladies shares a title with the Dixie Chicks song that closed yesterday, the similarities end there. This is one of the lesser-known BNL songs for me, so I should rectify that with a more focused listen, as I’ll admit to being distracted during the beginning of the list as the Celtics-Heat game was on an overhead TV at the gym. It was difficult to follow what was going, as the close captioning words were appearing right in the middle of the screen (excellent idea!). It was a close game a halftime, but the Celtics blew it open in the 3rd quarter, or to be more specific, Rajon Rondo blew it open in the third quarter. This lack of focus also left me with little of interest to say about the Richard Thompson song, and the first “Amanda” song, which I think came free with one of our computers.

Now the second, more well known, “Amanda” was a Boston track from their Third Stage album. I can only assume that it infuriates longtime fans of Boston and the rock style of their first two albums that “Amanda” is the most successful song (only one to go to #1) from the band.

I don’t own much Cat Power–only one album and a track from the Dark Was the Night compilation, but material from both showed up today. The first is her version of “Amazing Grace” from the compilation.  While I liked it at first, I find her liberties with the actual lyrics too distracting to give the song the Ebert thumb’s up in the end. I then got to hear a song of Moon Pix later in my run.

Hope everyone’s feeling patriotic as three versions (two studio, one live) of the Simon & Garfunkel hit America begins my run of songs that start with America. It’s probably good the gym was a little crowded in my section, as if I was walking by myself in the neighborhood or if I though I was isolated at the gym, I may have submitted to the urge to sing along to this song. It’s one I think I’ve owned since 8-track days, although I’ve never tried a Mrs. Wagner pie in all those years.

The bands of my daughters follow, first Bowling for Soup returns and then it’s Fall Out Boy with “America’s Suitehearts” which we own both from the studio album and the greatest hits collection. Then I was really cheered up by Lucinda Williams and her savage destruction of the “American Dream”. The first of two Green Day songs today came from the 21st Century Breakdown album, which had the unenviable task of being the followup to American Idiot, the title track of which came a few songs later. I think if the release order was reversed, and Breakdown came first, I would have enjoyed it more. “American Idiot” is a tremendous title track and opening song for a stupendous album, one that works from beginning to end.

The good of “American Tune” is that it is my second-favorite song of all time, trailing only “The Weight” by The Band. The version that I enjoy is the live version from the concert at Central Park, with both Simon & Garfunkel performing the song as opposed to just Paul Simon on the studio version. The only bad of the song is that it’s not exactly an inspiring workout ditty. Everything in its proper place I guess.