The Replacements wrote a song just for me? (is what I’d say if my name was Tim)

While my walks in the neighborhood walks are at a somewhat leisurely pace, I do like to work up a sweat in order to feel like I’m accomplishing my exercise goals. Well, when the temperature outside approaches 100 degrees like it did today, working up that sweat is not problem–in fact, my shirt was soaked through by the time I got back (isn’t that a nice visual for you all!).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2+ mile neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #35 of the 2012 season

  • Can’t Hardly Wait–The Replacements
  • Can’t Hardly Wait (Tim Version)–The Replacements
  • Can’t Have You–Jonas Brothers
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love–Elvis Presley
  • Can’t Help Myself–Icehouse
  • Can’t Ignore the Train–10,000 Maniacs
  • Can’t Keep–Pearl Jam
  • Can’t Keep Johnny Down–They Might Be Giants
  • Can’t Let Go–Death of the Cool
  • Can’t  Let Go–Lucinda Williams
  • Can’t Let Her Get Away–Michael Jackson
  • Can’t Repeat–The Offspring
  • Can’t Run But–Paul Simon
  • Can’t Smile Without You–Barry Manilow

Great to start my walk with the Replacements, particularly two copies of a great song like “Can’t Hardly Wait.” It’s funny to think that this song shares a title with a mediocre teen movie, although when I was looking at the IMDB page for that film, I realized that it is loaded with future stars. I don’t think it’s interesting enough to make me see it again, but it is worth noting. The second version of the song was labeled on my iPod with a parenthetical “(Tim Version)”. If my name was Tim, I would show that to everyone and say it was written specifically for me. Now if some know-it-all reminded me that the Replacements had an album named Tim, I would counter that the whole album was specifically written for me as well. But my name is not Tim, so it won’t work for me. All you readers named Tim however, feel free to steal my ego trip!

Kind of appropriate to go from the Replacements to this century’s version of The Replacements, The Jonas Brothers. I’m pretty sure it’s an appropriate comparison. I think if the Disney Channel was up and creating original content in the 80’s, The Replacements would have had their own teen focused show–after all, their songs were the inspiration for Teen-focused movies, right? Wouldn’t “Bastards of Young” made for a great show theme? No? The next song is of course, a famous number by the King, but in high school, a friend and I (but him more than me) were big fans of the cover version from the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. (For those that don’t know, it’s a John Hughes film that follows Pretty in Pink fairly closely, but with flipped gender roles and ending–plus Mary Stuart Masterson!!!) The band that did the cover was a Celtic group named Lick the Tins. I remember us always looking for more music by them back in the day, but never finding anything (it was always harder to do in the pre-Internet age, particularly when you lived in New Hampshire, which wasn’t exactly awash with good record stores).

The Icehouse song is from the second album of theirs I purchased, Great Southern Land. I liked it, but was ultimately disappointed, as I loved, loved, loved Man of Colors (one of my desert-island discs) and was hoping I’d enjoy more of the band’s work as well, but it didn’t live up to my expectations.  I then got a nice run of three enduring bands from my favorite acts pantheon, starting with a 10,000 Maniacs song from The Wishing Chair, which I had to go back to buy after hearing and loving In My Tribe so much. Pearl Jam came next, and then I got to finish with a track from They Might Be Giants’ most recent album. Despite the negativity of them all being “Can’t…” songs, I felt good hearing them all. Now the next two songs not only share a common title, but they also were both available to play in Rock Band, with the Death of the Cool song being on the original game’s soundtrack, and the superior Lucinda version being available as downloadable content. My wife has always been a huge Lucinda Williams fan, and I think she found it stunning that her music would appear in a video game. But that’s what I love the most about Rock Band, the sheer variety of musical styles and genres in the game.

With so many hits, it’s rare to find an “album cut” from Michael Jackson, but “Can’t Let Her Get Away” qualifies as one. An incredible 9 of the 14 tracks off Dangerous were released as singles, and all were top 10 hits somewhere in the world. The Offspring track was a new song included on their Greatest Hits album, a time-honored trick to ensure that fans who own all the group’s previous recordings still have to buy the compilation, even just to get one or two new songs. Things closed with a Paul Simon track from his Rhythm of the Saints album, and a classic ballad from Barry Manilow that I have to hide from the world–particularly if I want to sing along with him.



Goin’ Streaking!

Coming soon to the Milford town square…

I have been out of it. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I got hit with a nasty cold that kept me on the couch feeling crappy. While I was recuperating, a few streaks started. On the good side, the Red Sox won three straight against the Tigers to finally get on the good side of .500 (although that run ended last night). But the other streak, the not-so-good one of me not exercising while sick puts be figuratively behind in blog postings and literally behind in Red Sox commemorative victory walks. (4 behind to be exact). So in order to catch up this weekend, I’ll have to do some streaking! Both of the exercise and blogging variety! Before an amber alert is sounded throughout Connecticut, I will be clothed, although in shorts so you can spy my sexy gams if that’s your cup of tea!

May 31, 2012

2+ mile neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #23 of the 2012 season

  • Boys on the Radio–Hole
  • Boyz–M.I.A.
  • Brackett, WI–Bon Iver
  • Brain Damage–Pink Floyd
  • Brain of J.–Pearl Jam
  • Brain Stew–Green Day
  • Brainy–The National
  • Brand New Cadillac–The Clash
  • Brandy Alexander–Feist
  • Brass in Pocket–The Pretenders
  • Brat–Green Day
  • Brat in the Frat–The Dead Milkmen
  • Bravest Face–Rush
  • Brawl for All Theme–WWE
  • Break Down the Walls (Chris Jericho Theme)–WWE
  • Break It Down (D-Generation X)–WWE
  • Break My Fall–Breaking Benjamin
  • Break On Through (To the Other Side)–The Doors
  • Break The Spell–The Rolling Stones
  • Break the Walls Down–WWE
  • Break Through–Colbie Caillat
  • Break Your Heart–Barenaked Ladies
  • Break Your Little Heart–All Time Low
  • Breakaway–Bruce Springsteen
  • Breakaway–Kelly Clarkson

Courtney Love and her band started things off. Back when I was working at WWE, a coworker and I used to discuss whether you can enjoy music if the artist has done something reprehensible. At the time, we were discussing Michael Jackson, as my coworker felt he couldn’t enjoy Jackson’s music because of the charges against the King of Pop. I felt (at least with Jackson) that I could separate the art from the artist. (Which also is relevant right now as my daughter and I just finished Chinatown, and I still can enjoy Roman Polanski films, although I completely understand the people that cannot). The reason I bring this up is every time I hear a Hole song, I cannot help but think about the conspiracy theories about Courtney Love’s involvement in Kurt Cobain’s death and it takes me out of the song–so that may be a case where I can’t separate the art from the artist. It’s hard to understand, as the charges against Jackson were far more heinous.

“Boyz” allows me to once again sing the praises of M.I.A. Do yourself a favor and go and get Kala and Maya, and look incredibly smart and hip when her next album comes out this summer and (hopefully) blows up. I think I’m supposed to like Bon Iver more than I do, and I don’t even own either of the album as the group’s only contribution to my music library is this song from the Dark Was The Night compilation album. That was followed by “Brain Damage”, the penultimate (love that word) track from Dark Side of the Moon, an album I still most associate with its long stay on Billboard magazine’s album chart (more than 10 consecutive years). The excellent music run I was on continued for some time with the lead track from the Pearl Jam album Yield up next (“Brain of J.”). I need to listen to that album more. I love the songs individually, so I’m assuming I’d really enjoy hearing the album beginning to end. I got two terrific Green Day tracks in my next six songs (always welcome), as well as selections from The National, The Clash, Feist, and the Pretenders. It felt like when you are listening to an alternative radio station and just get a magic run of music (a streak, if you will) and you just get so excited with each new track that builds the momentum even though you know it’s eventually going to end, but The Dead Milkmen and Rush kept the party going.

The next part of my list had a sports entertainment feel to it, as four of the next seven songs were WWE themes, including three in a row. Brawl for All was such a strange and unique direction for WWE before WrestleMania XV where they added some MMA flair to Raw with a tournament that Bart Gunn won. He was going to be a new star until Butterbean destroyed him.  The Jericho and D-X themes are so classic and recognizable, although they have tweaked and updated Chris Jericho’s theme over the years as the later song on the list “Break The Walls Down” is a newer version . The two themes have a definite rock sensibility, and that would continue on the list with both modern (Breaking Benjamin) and classic (The Rolling Stones and Doors) entries to follow. Obviously of the three, the Doors song is the  most memorable hit.

Things finally slowed down a bit with a Colbie Caillat ballad followed by some Barenaked Ladies. All Time Low is a band my kids like (and I think my daughter saw them in concert), so I wasn’t that familiar with their sound, but I really enjoyed “Break Your Little Heart” and it will be added to my playlist for sure. Two very different takes on the title “Breakaway” closed my list. While I’m sure more people would know the Kelly Clarkson song (and it is a great pop tune), I was a bigger fan of the Boss’s entry, although I’d love to hear him cover Kelly’s version as well.

Prom themes by Soundgarden

It’s the beginning of a crazy weekend. In the “crap, I’m getting old” department, my twins attended their junior prom last night. This led to an awesome run of chauffeuring for me, with six trips to that side of town in less than 24 hours (but don’t worry, gas is super cheap, so that’s not an issue…oh, right.)  Lots of running around Saturday and then the double-whammy of Mother’s Day and our 17th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday (or as I like to call it, the impossible to do enough day).

May 11, 2012

3.5+ miles walking in the neighborhood

  • Black Dog–Led Zeppelin
  • Black Door–The Black Keys
  • Black Flowers–Fishbone
  • Black Friday–Steely Dan
  • Black Hearted Woman–The Allman Brothers Band
  • Black Hole Sun–Soundgarden
  • Black Horse & The Cherry Tree [live]–KT Tunstall
  • Black Horse & The Cherry Tree–KT Tunstall
  • Black Jesus + Amen Fashion–Lady Gaga
  • The Black Lake–Harry Potter soundtrack
  • Black Limousine–The Rolling Stones
  • Black Night–Deep Purple
  • Black or White–Michael Jackson
  • Black or White–Michael Jackson
  • Black Sails in the Sunset–Elvis Costello
  • Black Sand–Jenny Lewis
  • Black Sky–Sam Phillips
  • Black Star–Avril Lavigne
  • Black Widow’s Eyes–The Who
  • Blackbird–The Beatles

As I mentioned it was my twins’ junior prom last night, and growing up, it seemed like “Stairway to Heaven” was the go-to prom theme. While I won’t get that song for another 18 months or so, I did lead things off with another Zeppelin classic from that album. Next I got the Black Keys (by the way, both times I types in Keys the first time, I added an extra ‘e’ to the name, i.e. The Black Keyes. I’m thinking the group would be a brand new kind of awesome if Alan Keyes was in the band. The Fishbone song comes from my continuing search for a specific number by the group. I saw them once perform on the Comedy Central show Viva Variety, and I loved the song. However, I can’t remember the name of the song, and continue to search for it (I feel a bit like Al Bundy on the episode of Married…with Children when he wanted to know the name of a song based on a tiny part of it (he kept humming it to people “hem hem hemmm”)). The easiest way to find it would be to rewatch the show, but I’ve never seen it in syndication or on DVD [DEAN IS AN IDIOT UPDATE: I just had the brainstorm to type “Fishbone Viva Variety” in youtube and found out the song was “Just Allow”.]

It’s sad because they’re a great group, but Steely Dan was my most miserable concert ever. I saw them at Indianapolis’ outdoor music venue (in scenic Noblesville!) in September. Normally, I love concerts in outdoor settings, but this day was cold and rainy and I remember just praying for it in end rather than enjoying the groups performance of hit after hit. I never saw the Allman Brothers in concert, in case you were wondering.

One of the things that interested me about my kids’ prom is that they did not have a prom theme. I know there’s been standards throughout the years (I mentioned Stairway, with Journey’s “Open Arms” being another classic–ours was “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson–look at this single cover, doesn’t it scream teen romance?

I got to thinking what would make good bad prom themes, and “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden seemed like an excellent candidate, as would most of their catalogue.

I’d like to congratulate KT Tunstall for making the right choice and not marrying the big black horse in her song “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” and avoiding another marriage controversy, although maybe people would worry less about gay marriage if inter-species nuptials were on the menu as well. I would enjoy hearing people say that God made Adam & Eve, not Mr. Ed & Eve though. That song was followed by Lady Gaga, who probably further angered the anti-marriage equality crowd with her song about Black Jesus. I always loved the image of Jesus looking like Grizzly Adams when he was born in the Middle East or Northeast Africa, so he should be at least a deep shade of brown.

After an instrumental piece from the Harry Potter movies, and singles by the Rolling Stones and Deep Purple, I got to hear “Black or White” by Michael Jackson two times.

A list my daughter would love

While this entry is super-late, I promise I did the exercise on Saturday. It’s just been a busy day filled with family time, starting with a group trip to the cinema for my second (but my wife’s first) viewing of The Avengers. As an FYI, it is even better on the second viewing, and after thinking about it, I’d move it ahead of X-Men: First Class, making it my favorite Marvel superhero movie and second only to The Dark Knight (which I watched last night to be sure) in the favorite superhero film pantheon.

Close of the weekend and I’m hoping to have the need of a bonus walk tomorrow, but the Red Sox haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, with their last win coming Monday. The last three weeks have been quite the roller coaster, with an 0-5 week followed by a 6-1 followed by a 1-4 week with one last game to go.

May 5, 2012

3+ mile walk in the neighborhood

  • Big Weekend–Tom Petty
  • Big Yellow Taxi–Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton
  • Big, Blonde, and Beautiful–Hairspray Soundtrack
  • Big, Blonde, and Beautiful [reprise]–Hairspray Soundtrack
  • Bigger Than Us–Either Hannah Montana or Miley Cryus
  • Bigmouth Strikes Again–The Smiths
  • Biko–Peter Gabriel
  • Bill–Talking Heads
  • Billie Jean–Michael Jackson
  • Billie Jean [long version]–Michael Jackson
  • Billie Jean [single version]–Michael Jackson
  • Billie Jean 2008–Michael Jackson
  • Billionaire–Glee Cast
  • Bills, Bills, Bills–Glee Cast

Tom Petty kicks things off with a number from his most recent solo album, Highway Companion, followed by the Counting Crows cover of the Joni Mitchell environmental song “Big Yellow Taxi”. What Joni clearly hasn’t considered is that maybe we have too much paradise, and not enough parking lots. Then things mostly took a turn in the direction of a playlist programmed by my youngest daughter (I think her stage name would be DJ Broadway Warbler), beginning with two different versions of “Big, Blonde, and Beautiful” (the original and the reprise) from the Hairspray soundtrack. As an FYI, on the song listing, they went for AP style and did not list the comma after “Blonde”, but I am showing my support of the Chicago Manual of Style by listing the Oxford Comma. There’s no middle ground in this war (like abortion or the death penalty), you have to choose a side in the never-ending serial comma saga, and I can be counted with Vampire Weekend.

Some Miley Cyrus pop followed before the list took a turn more toward my songs, starting with another Smiths number, as well as something from Peter Gabriel for a second consecutive day. “Biko” is, of course, Gabriel’s moving protest song about anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko, from his third solo album. I like that Gabriel refused to give any of his first four albums unique names, so all four are called Peter Gabriel and the imagery on the album cover is what differentiates them. “Bill” is a bonus track from the Talking Heads’ last album Naked. It was a sad day in the Miller household when the band officially confirmed that they were done as an entity. With death preventing the obvious choice (The Beatles) from ever happening, the Talking Heads have been for the last 20 years the group I’d most like to see in concert.

Four versions of “Billie Jean”, and each was different. with one from a greatest hits collection, and three from the 25th Anniversary anniversary of Thriller. Listening to the opening strains of the song never gets old, so having to listen to it so many times in a row was not a burden in the least. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Kanye-mixed 2008 version of the song. It feels like he’s changing the colors of the Mona Lisa.

I got to close with more favorites of my youngest from our vast collection of Glee covers, both of which we own only the Glee versions and not the originals.

Who does Michael Jackson better, Fall Out Boy or Fergie?

Before I get things rolling here, I’d like to ask for a moment of silence for Starburns…his name is Alex! (For those confused by the reference, Community killed it  again tonight with an awesome Law & Order parody that dropped character development for a series of jokes that killed it, with a great Wire reference thrown in as well. It was nice to laugh after a tough day, but at least I had a third straight day of double exercise, and tomorrow is going to be a fourth straight day. Go Sox!

April 26, 2012

2-mile walk to commemorate Red Sox Victory #7 of the 2012 season

  • Beast and the Harlot–Avenged Sevenfold
  • The Beast in Me–Nick Lowe
  • Beast of Burden–The Rolling Stones
  • The Beat–Elvis Costello
  • The Beat [Live]–Elvis Costello
  • The Beat–Elvis Costello
  • Beat It–Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer
  • Beat It–Michael Jackson
  • Beat It–Michael Jackson
  • Beat It 2008–Michael Jackson featuring Fergie
  • Beat the Retreat–June Tabor

It was a bit cold and windy for my outside walk, so to hear something by Avenged Sevenfold was a great was to push me right away. A7X is not a band I listen to often, but they are pretty entertaining when I’m in the right mood. So I was happy with the first of my “Beast…” trilogy. The middle section is a Nick Lowe contribution to the Sopranos soundtrack, and it’s like a treat as I don’t recollect hearing it before, and I enjoyed the song. I have, of course, heard “Beast of Burden” many times, and the Stones deliver as always.

The next seven entries on the list are only two songs, starting with three different versions of “The Beat” by Elvis Costello. Then I got four versions of the Michael Jackson classic, “Beat It”. Ironically, the first version is not by the King of Pop, but instead Fall Out Boy, with John Meyer trying to fill the drug-addled shoes of Eddie Van Halen. I like covers that bring something new to a classic song, but this one felt like a tribute band more than an artist giving a new rendition. The next two versions were two copies of the original before my last “Beat It” being the 2008 update of the song, which once again, didn’t feel like anything special, just Fergie taking some of Michael’s lines so it was more of an alternating duet than collaborative. I wondered if this was because it was released after Michael had died, but the album came out in 2008 (the 25th anniversary of Thriller) and Jackson passed in 2009, so it was just his career that was dead.

The last song of my walk was a cover that I enjoyed a bit more, with June Tabor giving her spin on Richard Thompson for the title track of the tribute compilation.

3.61 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Beat the Retreat–Richard Thompson
  • Beat the Retreat [Live]–Richard Thomspn
  • Beat the Time–Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
  • Beatbox (Diversion One)–The Art of Noise
  • Beaten to The Punch–Elvis Costello
  • Beating Around The Bush–AC/DC
  • Beatnik Beach–The Go-Go’s
  • Beats to the Rhyme–Run D.M.C.
  • Beautiful–Barenaked Ladies
  • Beautiful–Christina Aguilera
  • Beautiful–Glee Cast
  • Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)–John Lennon
  • Beautiful Bride–Flyleaf
  • Beautiful Day–U2
  • Beautiful Disaster [Live]–Kelly Clarkson

After closing my walk with the cover, I get to open gym time with studio and live versions of “Beat the Retreat” by the original artist, Richard Thompson. Mrs. Paul Simon’s group follows before we get to one of those “Why did I buy this CD again” songs. The Art of Noise CD was a college purchase that was probably driven by either “Paranomia” or  the “Peter Gunn Theme”. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the Art of Music, but when I do hear on of their songs, a little goes a long way, particularly when you consider the length of some of their songs (“Beatbox” clocks in at longer than eight and a half minutes).

From the “didn’t see that coming” file, I got another Elvis Costello song, then my pizza group, AC/DC returned. Now I enjoy the Go Go’s a great deal; I even saw them in concert in college, although the only album of theirs I own is their greatest hits, and I’m pretty content with just the one album (1 Mind on the Simple Minds scale). However, of all their tracks on that compilation, “Beatnik Beach” is my least favorite. I just feel they were trying for something and didn’t quire hit the mark with the song.

Like the Go Go’s, another “greatest hits only” act for me is Run D.M.C. I love their music–they were my second-ever rap group (I do remember being obsessed with “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang back in 1980 to the point where I’d constantly be singing/chanting the lyrics to myself, event getting a fellow 5th grader to once chastise me “enough already!”) I had no follow-up with the Sugarhill Gang, never buying an album, cassette, or single. But once I heard “Walk this Way” by Run D.M.C., I had to own the album, and I remember wearing out my cassette copy of Raising Hell. I finally got them on CD (their greatest hits), allowing me to explore other tracks from different periods of their career.

The Barenaked Ladies song “Beautiful” is a different than the more famous Christina Aguilera version. The BNL song is a serenade to a loved one, while the latter is a truly moving song for female self-image, even when Glee does it. It’s sad hearing the John Lennon tribute to his son as it makes me realize that the boy lost his father at too early an age, a pain I understand. The “Beautiful…” festival continued with Flyleaf and then U2, although that song still makes me think of the countdown to Triple H’s return from injury at the Royal Rumble years ago. I closed with the inaugural winner of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, singing one of her infectious pop numbers that show she was the right choice all those years ago. I just hope she never tries to cover “Beat It”.

The “Bad” luck of the Spent Poets and finding the elusive musical triples

I don’t know what makes me happier–the fact that I was so disappointed with only hitting the gym for 1.27 miles yesterday, or that I was so pumped to get back today and push myself for three-and-a-half miles today. I may have to go off the board and pick the fact that my oldest daughter is coming home from Europe tomorrow, which has the twin value of getting to see her and the end of April vacation for the kids. Overall, today was  a bit of a hit and miss sort of day–pretty happy to work out and to watch the emotional return of so many Red Sox from 40 years of watching the team during the 100th anniversary ceremony before the game today, but then watching the team drop its fourth straight game really undid a lot of the good will.

April 20, 2012

3.52 miles at the gym plus upper-arm weight work at the gym

  • Backyard–Natasha Bedingfield
  • Bad–Michael Jackson
  • Bad–U2
  • Bad Apples–Guns ‘N Roses
  • Bad Bad World–Guster
  • Bad Boy–The Beatles
  • Bad Boy–Cascada
  • Bad Boy–Miami Sound Machine
  • Bad Boy [Live]–Cowboy Junkies
  • Bad Boy (Razor Ramon)–WWE
  • A Bad Case of Melancholy–The Spent Poets
  • Bad Company–Bad Company
  • Bad Day–Daniel Powter
  • Bad Girls–M.I.A.
  • Bad Is Bad–Huey Lewis & The News
  • Bad Kids–Lady Gaga
  • Bad Love–Eric Clapton

Natasha Bedingfield’s CD belongs to my oldest daughter, and while I don’t mind her songs when they come on, I don’t actively seek them out. (For a food analogy, her songs are like biscotti, an enjoyable snack, but if I get to choose, I’ll always pick something else.)  Obviously when it comes to picking the more memorable “Bad”, Michael Jackson is going to be the choice, but thanks to Weird Al, I enjoy the U2 version more, as I cannot hear “Bad” without thinking of Yankovic’s parody “Fat”. The funny thing is that I don’t have this issue with most Weird Al parody songs; I can usually enjoy each version separately, but “Bad”/”Fat” seems to be the exception. For the second time in three days, I got a track from the first Use Your Illusion Guns N’ Roses CD, a group that, like AC/DC, is great for pumping you up for a workout. Plus, as an added bonus, it makes for an awesome contrast when infectious pop like Guster follows. (If you haven’t given Guster a chance, please give Easy Wonderful a listen–it’s a tremendous album from beginning to end.)

I then get five songs named “Bad Boy”, although two are the same, with the Cowboy Junkies a live cover of the Beatles song that is also a cover of a Larry Williams song. The Cascada song is purely an act for my daughters–I knew nothing about them until I just looked them up to discover they’re a German pop act. I can’t pass the blame on the Miami Sound Machine–that’s a CD I purchased and continue to listen to from time to time. The last “Bad Boys” is a WWE instrumental theme song for Razor Ramon. I have little to nothing to add about the Spent Poets, whose CD I received from a friend while I was in college. Sometimes I look up the acts and songs in these lists on the web and wikipedia for inspiration. I was drawing a blank on the Spent Poets and when I found that they don’t even have a Wikipedia entry, I knew I’d be floundering here. It does make me feel sorry for them. Perhaps we should have a charity drive for them.

At my first job, I had a co-worker who was obsessed with a specific sort of musical triples, namely when a band released a song from an album that all had the same name (his example was always “Living in a Box” by Living in a Box from the album Living in a Box. I tried to get They Might Be Giants included, but while the band’s first album was named They Might Be Giants, the single with that name was on their third album Flood.  On today’s list I got to hear another example of that triple, as Bad Company’s song “Bad Company” was on their self-titled first album, although in the interest of full disclosure, I own it courtesy of their greatest hits CD, 10 From 6. 

As a struggling artist looking to break though, there must be nothing like having one of your songs picked to play weekly on one of the biggest TV shows. However, I wonder if having “Bad Day” constantly play as contestants were booted from American Idol ended up getting fans sick of the song. (The funny thing is that is the only season of Idol that I watched–my kids wanted to watch an early-season episode while we were in a motel room on a road trip and we ended up watching it weekly. We never really got into any subsequent seasons.)

There’s two upcoming CDs that I am specifically looking forward to getting. The first, by the Silversun Pickups, has a specific release day (May 8th–just days after The Avengers hits theaters, so I’m hoping it’s a week of meeting high expectations), while the second, the fourth album from M.I.A., does not–just Summer 2012. Both Kala and Maya continue to get heavy play from me (“XXXO” is  my primary ringtone), and I’m really enjoying “Bad Girls”, so the excitement for that album is at its peak.

Three last songs took me in different directions, starting with a trip back to the 80’s for Huey Lewis and the News, before I was rushed forward three decades for a Lady Gaga song from her most recent album. I got to close today’s musical book with the guitar god Eric Clapton.


‘A’ in my rear-view mirror (or at least my kids never asked Twitter to ban me)

I hinted yesterday at a big milestone today, and it happened early in my bonus Red Sox walk–I finished my first letter of the alphabet and started songs that begin with B. (Hopefully a nice omen for the baseball team that plays with B on their hats and the hockey team that skates with B on their sweaters.)

Based on the recommendation of my Red Sox bulletin board, I listened to “Anna Sun” by Walk the Moon, and showed the video to my oldest daughter. We both loved the song and she bought it with iTunes cash. I suggest you look into this group (again Walk the Moon), for although they only have a EP on iTunes with “Anna Sun” and two other songs, I think they could be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Plus my oldest niece has a young daughter named Anna, and it’s always fun finding a song that shares a name with a loved one or friend. On to the list….

April 15, 2012

2-mile walk in the neighborhood to commemorate Red Sox victory #3

  • Awful–Hole
  • Awful Bliss–Guided by Voices
  • Ayo Technology (featuring Justin Timberlake)–50 Cent
  • B Movie–Elvis Costello
  • B.C. Strut–Spongebob Squarepants
  • B.O.B.–Outkast
  • B.Y.O.B.–System of a Down
  • Bab’s Uvula Who?–Green Day
  • Baba O’Reilly–The Who
  • Baba O’Reilly–The Who
  • Babe–Styx
  • Baby–Brandy
  • Baby–Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris)
  • Baby–Glee Cast

Every parent knows that at some point in the parent-child relationship, you do something to embarrass your child. I should know, if I had a nickel for every time one of my kids gave me that look that accompanies variations of “Oh my God, Dad!”, I wouldn’t be looking for a job…I’d have seven nickels! But all parents can feel good these days by comparing themselves to Hole lead singer (see, it’s still tied to the music) Courtney Love, who shamed her daughter by making some gross accusations on twitter, causing Frances Bean Cobain to remark that Twitter should ban her daughter. While my kids would probably like to see me banned from school field trips and dances, the mall, and anywhere they are congregating with friends, I’ve never been asked to leave one of the largest social media sites in the world.

I got a short Guided by Voices number before my final song that begins with the letter “A”, 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology”.  I don’t listen to the radio very much, so I’m not as up-to-date on popular songs as I could be. Some times this is too bad, as when I hear a hit that I enjoy, like “Ayo Technology” by 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake (I know some of you are shaking your heads at this, but it’s an infectiously fun song). These are the kinds of songs that I’ll never buy the complete album, but adding the single in iTunes to my primary playlist is something I like doing.

Then, on to the glorious land of ‘B’ songs (when you’re tackling such a huge undertaking, you’ve got to take the victories where you can). The first four songs start with the letter ‘B’ instead of ‘B’ words. It began with the Elvis song “B Movie” or as it would probably be called now “Straight to DVD Movie”. I then got another song from the dulcet tones of the modern-day Mel Torme, Spongebob Squarepants. I really enojyed the Outkast song “B.O.B.” as well as the System of a Down song “B.Y.O.B”; it’s ironic on the latter, for I usually am not a big fan of the screaming songs, which is how that one starts out, but it then settles into a nice groove.

For you youngsters, the title of the Green Day song comes from an old Saturday Night Live sketch that served as a public safety reminder about caring for your uvula. What made the sketch great is the premise that they were talking like the uvula is part of the reproductive organs of a woman. But do remember what the card said, “it’ll behoova ya, to care for your uvula…” I own two copies of Baba O’Reilly (which I had to explain as a freshman in college to several seniors that that was the title, and not “Teenage Wasteland”–ahh, to be the coolest guy at MIT; it’s rather being like the tannest camper at Albino Day Camp), and it’s one of those songs you don’t mind hearing two times in a row, particularly when once they’re over, you start the Babe/Baby section of the list.

I was in chorus in junior high school, and for the boys the plum solo was “Babe” by Styx, and I regretted not auditioning for it. Years later, I now understand the size and power of the bullet I dodged there. Then I finished with three songs named “Baby” all from teen idols, Brandy, Justin Beiber, and the cast of Glee.

3.50 miles on the elliptical plus upper-arm weight work

  • Baby Be Good–The Smithereens
  • Baby Be Mine–Michael Jackson
  • Baby Can I Hold You–Tracy Chapman
  • Baby Come On–+44
  • Baby Cone On (acoustic version)–+44
  • Baby Doesn’t Know What To Do With Herself–Richard Thompson
  • Baby Driver–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Baby Got  Back–Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • Baby Hold On–Dixie Chicks
  • Baby I Can’t Please You–Sam Phillips
  • Baby I’m Back–Baby Bash
  • Baby It’s You–JoJo
  • Baby It’s You–Nick Lowe & Elvis Costello
  • Baby Let Me Follow You Down [Live]–Marianne Faithful
  • Baby One More Time–Britney Spears
  • Baby Plays Around–Anne Sofie Von Otter & Elvis Costello
  • Baby Seat–Barenaked Ladies

Well, for this list, I’ve got more “Baby”s than the Octomom. Two of the opening three songs took me back to college, as I saw the Smithereens on their tour to support 11 my senior year at the Orpheum in Boston, and of course, Tracy Chapman was a Boston/Cambridge talent and her debut album released when I was a freshman in college. In between I got a rare Michael Jackson song from Thriller that wasn’t a charting single. Good lord that album was huge!

My kids got into +44 primarily because of the groups connections to Blink-182, while I’d prefer to hear Simon & Garkfunkel do “Baby Driver” even though they are  not a splinter Blink-182 act. Then I came to a song that made me happy I has at the gym near  closing time, as I couldn’t help but hum and sing along to the Sir Mix-a-Lot classic. It’s too bad that the Republican establishment didn’t have Sir Mix-a-Lot back in the day, because I think “Fonda doesn’t have a motor in the back of her Honda” is much more hurtful than “Hanoi Jane” will ever be. After such a rousing song of female empowerment, it was only fitting I get numbers from Sam Phillips and the Dixie Chicks to follow.

While what I said during my walk about not listening to the radio meaning I lose the opportunity to hear fun hits is ostensibly true, some times the other side of the coin appears, and I am glad that I don’t hear certain “hits”, including the Baby Bash and JoJo songs on today’s list. The only reason I own them is that my daughter has a few of those “That’s What I Call Music…” compilations. There are some gems on those, like the only Britney Spears song we own “Baby One More Time.” She might be a greatest hits candidate somewhere down the line–it seems wrong to own more Glee versions of her songs than originals.

Three of the closing songs come from my wife’s CDs, including two of the more obscure Elvis Costello releases (the Out of Our Idiot CD and his collaboration with Anne Sophie Von Otter pop) (I know it’s not Otter pop, but I always tie her to those frozen treats of my childhood–Alexander the Grape was always my favorite.) The Marianne Faithful song is from the 4-disc Chimes of Freedom collection we recently added. We’re still working our way through it, but the compilation has a number of standout tracks.

It’s always great to end on a solid song, and anything from Barenaked Ladies, particularly from Maroon, fits that bill. “Baby Seat” gets lost compared to most of the other tracks on the album, but I do enjoy reacquainting myself to it from time to time. I’d like to tell you this wraps up the baby portion of the list, but the youth movement will continue on tomorrow.

I believe the “baby”s are my future.