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.




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.

Tough to exercise when you eat yourself silly

Took the day off with family visiting for a nice Easter dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Ham, potatoes, green beans, and a sugar coma from cake and Easter candy. It was  such a beautiful day that I intended to go for a walk, but it would have been rude to do my headphone-wearing power walk when we had company, it would have been rude to not have a second helping of my wife’s outstanding ham and from-scratch dinner rolls, and it would have been rude not to pilfer candy from my kids’ baskets and eggs. Not to mention that the Red Sox bullpen punched me in the groin twice yesterday afternoon.

The gym would have been impossible, as it was only open from 7AM-2PM yesterday (which I appreciate them being open at all on a holiday like that), so my streak of 13 straight days going to the gym ended. However, it’s nice to see that for the past 4 weeks, my pattern has been work out at the gym 13 days, get a Sunday off, work out another 13 days, get a Sunday off. It’s like I’m a pre-union American factory worker!

Hope today was Day 1 of another (at least) 13-day run…

April 9, 2012

3.31 miles on the elliptical plus upper arm weight work at the gym

  • Another One Bites the Dust–Glee Cast
  • Another Postcard–Barenaked Ladies
  • Another Postcard [acoustic]–Barenaked Ladies
  • Another Saturday–Stuart Murdoch
  • Another Saturday Night–Sam Cooke
  • (Another Song) All Over Again–Justin Timberlake
  • Another Spin–Barenaked Ladies
  • Another State of Mind–Social Distortion
  • Another State of Mind–Green Day
  • Another Tricky Day–The Who
  • Another Year Ends–The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
  • “The Answer Is No”–Dialogue from The Muppets
  • Answering Machine–The Replacements
  • Ant–They Might Be Giants
  • The Anthem–Good Charlotte
  • Anthem of the Angels–Breaking Benjamin
  • Anticipation [live]–Carly Simon
  • Any Colour You Like–Pink Floyd

I don’t have anything personal against Glee covers, particularly with how happy they make my daughter. I just feel that they do much better with pop and Broadway standards than rock hits, so it was probably good that I didn’t get the two versions of “Another One Bites the Dust” back-to-back. For Barenaked Ladies, I though “Another Postcard” was an attempt to re-capture the joy and charm of the hit “One Week”, and it was more successful that the previous album’s try, “Pinch Me.” In particular, I like the song bridges where he describes the different kinds of chimpanzee postcards he’s received.

When “Another Saturday” came on, I was a bit confused, as I didn’t remember purchasing that Belle & Sebastian song. It’s not, as it is a solo song for Stuart Murdoch from the AIDS benefit album Dark Was The Night, an amazing 2-disc collection that I highly recommend, as it has great Arcade Fire, Spoon, and so many more. Of course, when I think about musical “another Saturdays”, Sam Cooke’s contribution still comes to mind first, and probably always will.

I think my wife was really worried about me when I decided to purchase FutureSex/LoveSounds, but it’s a decision I defend to this day. We got it when visiting relatives in Indiana and listened to it several times on the ride back to Connecticut. Every song on it is enjoyable, and the smooth, effective transitions between them make it hard to dive in and out as opposed to hearing it all in one sitting.

I then got a BNL song sung by Kevin Hearn, followed by two versions of “Another State of Mind”–the original by Social Distortion and a cover by Green Day. The Green Day cover is fairly faithful, so I hope it gets more music fans into Social Distortion. One of my favorite Who songs (and the first Who song of the 86 I own to be heard on this project) really got me to up my speed on the elliptical. The “Another Year Ends” piece is from a Harry Potter movie–we borrowed from our local library a CD that contains instrumental score selections from multiple films. Speaking of films, a seven-second clip of dialogue from last November’s The Muppets came next. It was a great movie, and you don’t have to have kids to enjoy it.

I get two artists that I’ve already heard several songs from back-to-back, with The Replacements followed by They Might Be Giants. I love “Ant” and I do hope that someday that Ant will grow up to be President. “The Anthem” is one of two songs I heard today from the American Wedding soundtrack, a nice coincidence as I’ve watched all three American Pie films over the past three days in order to prepare for the fourth one in theaters. They all hold up well, and while the first led to some awful raunchy comedies, those films (like Tomcats) seemed to miss the point of mixing crude humor with characters you actually like.

Breaking Benjamin is more of an artist for my kids than me, but it was an excellent workout song. But then again, I enjoyed working out to “Anticipation” as well, so maybe my opinion has less value than I’d like to believe.

I knew my workout was winding down, so when I heard the beginning of a Pink Floyd song, I started to worry I was getting a 10-minute number. Luckily, it was one of their shorter songs, and I was able to finish my weight work and not have to put in an extra 10 minutes in order to complete the song.

1-mile walk

  • Any Man of Mine–Shania Twain
  • Any Other Girl–N.U.
  • Any Time At All–The Beatles
  • Any Way You Want It–Journey
  • Any Way You Want It/Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ Another–Glee Cast
  • Anybody Seen My Baby–The Rolling Stones

I took advantage of a nice day and walked about a mile outside as well (and as I’m writing this, I’m excited to report that tomorrow I will have to do my first additive 2-mile Red Sox win walk in addition to my regular exercise!). There’s the CDs you love and the CDs you regret buying, and then there’s the third category–the CDs you don’t remember getting.  Apparently, at some point we got a CD collection of 1996 Grammy nominees, including a Shania Twain song (she was up for Best New Artist that year). It’s not a bad collection of pop hits, and serves as a nice reminder of what was big that year. I then got my second American Wedding song and a Beatles release, before getting an awesome Journey hit and the Glee medley cover of the song. This one didn’t bother me as much as the Queen cover from earlier in the day–perhaps the mashing of the two songs is why. The Rolling Stones then led me to the end of Monday’s exercise, a day for undoing the overeating damage of the holiday.