Renewing My Fitbit Vows (part 4 of 10)

OK, fact #1–I am overweight and badly need to lose many, many pounds. Fact #2–I love numbers. This combination of facts led me to purchasing a Fitbit a little more than a year ago. Before I did, I thought the concept of “wearable tech” was a stupid fad. However, my record of exercising has been spotty at best, and the idea of hitting a number on a daily basis appealed to me. Over the next twelve months, my Fitbit has pushed me to hit daily goals on a fairly regular basis. I even upped my thresholds from 10,000 steps to 11,000 steps and 5.0 miles to 5.5 miles daily. I was regularly hitting my exercise goals 5 to 6 times a week and even had 25+ day streaks on three occasions. My cardiac procedure in early April set me back a bit with the hospital time and the recovery, but I think I’m back in business, as yesterday was the fifth consecutive day I hit both step and mile goals.

I know the Fitbit and other wearable tech is not for everyone, but if you’re on the fence, I highly recommend it. There’s nothing more motivating to me than sitting on the couch at night, ready to veg in front of the TV, but looking at your step counter and seeing you’ve done fewer than 5,000 steps is a real call to action. Particularly if you add friends and family to your Friend list. It’s the reason I’d suggest Fitbit over the other wearable tech options–it has the biggest base of current members, so you can add people and then compete against them to see who can get the most steps in a day, work week, or weekend. So when I am nowhere near my goal, it pushes me because I want to do better than others and I am sure they are looking at my lack of activity and judging (which logically, I am sure no one is doing–but leave me to my self-centered paranoia, OK?)

Now the Fitbit isn’t perfect–for example, if the arm that the device is located on is locked, the steps don’t count. So if you are pushing a grocery cart around a store, it will not give you credit for your steps. You have to be moving arms and legs to increase the counter. So in my cart example, there are two workarounds. Push the cart with one hand while continuing to swing the other arm–don’t worry,  it doesn’t make you look like an idiot to all the other shoppers (actually, it does). It also makes steering the cart a bit of an adventure. That’s why the second solution, put the tracker in your pocket, a better workaround. This also works in other armlock situations, like riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill (if you plan on holding the heart sensors for any length of time). Speaking of heart sensors, my Fitbit model does not include a heart monitor in it–that was the next model up. However, I heard from a cardiologist that he does not recommend getting an exercise tracker with heart monitor–he thinks people obsess too much about the pulse numbers. He did like the idea of an exercise tracker–so if you want to get onto the wearable tech craze–save yourself some money and get a model without heart rate checking. And let me know if you do–we can be Fitbit friends!

On to part 4 of my 100 favorite songs list. There are links to parts 1-3 at the end, but now that I’m walking more again, let’s look at the next 10 songs that come up when I listen to my top 100 playlist:

  • Welcome to the Terrordome–Public Enemy
  • Around the Dial–The Kinks
  • Eminence Front–The Who
  • Scar Tissue–Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Set Adrift on Memory Bliss–P.M. Dawn
  • Floating Vibes–Surfer Blood
  • You Can Call Me Al–Paul Simon
  • Invisible Sun–The Police
  • Your Love–The Outfield
  • New Year’s Day–U2

I will admit being late to appreciated the genius that is Public Enemy. I first heard them as part of the Do the Right Thing soundtrack. It was already a powerful film, but I got to see an advanced screening of it introduced by Spike Lee while I was at MIT. Of course, I was disappointed at how the Larry Bird Celtic jersey was used in the film, but the movie blew me away. A big part of that was “Fight the Power.” One can argue that with songs like it and “911 Is a Joke,” Public Enemy was the most effective act to fix popular music and politics since the protest singers of the late 60’s. However, the Public Enemy song I enjoy the most was a different release from Fear of a Black Planet–“Welcome to the Terrordome.” All of their songs have such raw power and anger behind the lyrics, and this one is no different. I know that Flavor Flav has become a punchline in recent years, but his work on “Welcome to the Terrordome specifically and all of Public Enemy’s work in total is amazing.

As I said when I first started talking about my 100 list, I refused to place artificial constraints like one song per artist on the list, and a few artists have more than one song from the same album. One such album is Give The People What They Want by the Kinks. I remember my older sister listening to the cassette tape of the album all the time when she got a boom box for Christmas along with it, Working Class Dog, Escape, and Candy-O. I enjoyed all four albums, but the Kinks release was the best. A second song from the album cracks my top 10, but “Around the Dial” has always been a favorite, right from its radio-tuning opening. I’d argue that the message of the song–the corporatizing of radio stations–is more apt today in the Clear Channel era than it was at time of its release, although to make it more timely, we’d have to change the lyric “FM, AM, where are you?” to “FM, XM, where are you?” as you only find political, religious, and sports zealots on AM these days.

After two Who songs in the previous group of 10, they are right back with a third entry on my list. There were almost two versions of this song on the list, as a member of Sons of Sam Horn shared with us a mashup of “Eminence Front” and “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)” by Digable Planets. He called it “Cool Front” and it’s an amazing combination of two distinctly different tunes. I would recommend it, but I know it’s unavailable and I shouldn’t share it for copyright reasons. The Red Hot Chili Peppers then make their first, and only, appearance on the list with “Scar Tissue,” which like many songs by the Peppers effectively mixes rock and mourning.

Remember cass-singles? When I was carless in graduate school, I rode with a friend from Bloomington, Indiana to Tampa, Florida for holiday break. Three of those cass-singles dominated our listening time during the trip–“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature, and “Set Adrift in Memory Bliss” by P.M. Dawn. The new age-i-ness of the song always drew me in, although the song was almost permanently ruined by the parody of it done in Fear of a Black Hat. By the way, if you haven’t seen the film, I cannot recommend it enough–it’s a rap version of This Is Spinal Tap, but it really nails the different song styles, the gangster culture, and more. The soundtrack is top notch and the parody/homage to the NWA Detroit situation portrayed in Straight Outta Compton is dead on. It’s a hard movie to find, but worth the effort.

I mentioned Sons of Sam Horn earlier, and for those that don’t know, it is a online community devoted to fans of the Boston Red Sox. However, the site is not limited to baseball talk or even just sports. The site has many members knowledgeable about a number of different topics, and thanks to some, I have received some great new music recommendations. It was on the site that I learned about an indie band named Surfer Blood. Looking at the name, I would have assumed they were some sort of heavy metal group, but their sound is more pop, more surf music than blood music. I’ve become a big fan, owning all three of their albums as well as their EP. I can listen to their music at any time, but “Floating Vibes” from their first album is still my favorite.

The list has multiple Simon & Garfunkel songs, but it also has a solo song from Paul Simon. Almost anything from Graceland could have made the list, but I chose the hit, “You Can Call Me Al” (with “Boy in the Bubble” being a close runner-up). Another 80’s group that could have had numerous songs on the list, but just got one, was the Police. I love their hits, but I seem to gravitate toward their odd, darker songs like “Invisible Sun” and “King of Pain.” I’d probably put “Synchronicity II” in that category as well. But the dystopian world presented in “Invisible Sun” takes it to the top for me.

The last two songs in this batch are also 80’s entries, and from opposite bands for a number of reasons. Most guys I know that went to high school in the 80’s loved the Outfield’s album Play Deep and their hit song “Your Love.” Unfortunately for the band, most guys I know did not buy any of their subsequent albums. However, their big hit has had a bit of a resurgence recently, as the Patriots play it in their stadium and the song was part of the soundtrack for Rock Band 4. That game also is the first game of its type to have U2 songs in it. Unfortunately, you can’t play “New Year’s Day” yet, but “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from the same album is available. This is the only U2 song on the top 100, a surprisingly small number, but when you’re this limited, you have to make some tough choices. Sorry “Grace”!

If you want to read any of the earlier parts of this series, the links are below:

In Some Particular Order (part 1 of 10)

Mission Entirely Possible (part 2 of 10)

Self Tributes, and the Reason for the Star Wars Season (part 3 of 10)

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I can “C” some progress here!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Hope your special day was as nice as mine. We had a delicious bacon-and-egg brunch, I watched a family movie with my wife and kids (Better Off Dead, which none of my children had ever seen, but it’s one that stands both the test of time and works on repeated viewings–I highly recommend it, although perhaps it would work better on Mother’s Day, because you would be wise to listen to Mother, as Ricky would say). On the exercise front, it was a great weekend, as I really feel like I started to get back on track, pulling a rare weekend double-double (3+ mile neighborhood walks both mornings and 45-minute gym sessions both afternoons). All in all, I believe I covered 12 miles in total over the two days–not bad at all! (In the “going against my healthy ways department”, I did eat my first Twinkie in several years, but I don’t see that becoming a habit, as even in my junk-food junkie days, Twinkies were a rare choice for me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2+ mile (actually 3!) neighborhood walk to commemorate Red Sox victory #31 of the 2012 season

  • Bushleager–Pearl Jam
  • Business On You–Richard Thompson
  • Bust A Move–Glee
  • Bust Your Windows–Glee
  • Busted–Ray Charles
  • Busy Bees–Silversun Pickups
  • But It’s Better If You Do–Panic! At The Disco
  • But Tonight We Dance–Rise Against
  • Butterfly–Jason Mraz
  • Butterfly–Para Para Dance No. 1
  • Butterflyz–Alicia Keys
  • Button My Lip–Elvis Costello
  • Buy You A Drink (Shawty Snappin’)–T-Pain featuring Young Joc
  • Buzz Aldrin: Poster Boy For Second Place–The Wonder Years
  • Buzz Aldrin: The Poster Boy For Second Place–The Wonder Years

 

I hadn’t given Pearl Jam’s “Bushleaguer” a close listen, which is a shame as it’s one of my favorite groups making a song filled with baseball references (for those not familiar with baseball, a bushleaguer is a minor-league player. A mother/daughter combo followed next with Richard Thompson (the mother half of the equation), followed by two Glee songs from Season 1. When I get Glee songs, I now ask my daughter to guess which ones I heard, and she can generally guess correctly with few to no hints. She loves her Glee. When I first saw the song title for the Ray Charles’ number “Busted”, I assumed it referred to him being caught cheating on his woman;  however, Ray zigged when I thought he would zag and the song is about being broke (something I certainly get).

One of my most recent musical additions to the library is the new Silversun Pickups album Neck of the Woods. I’d only heard “Bloody Mary” (which did not make my list because I had passed its alphabetical position before getting the release) on the radio, but I’m liking the rest of the album, including this track “Busy Bees”. I know some people compare the band to the Smashing Pumpkins, which I get, I just enjoy the group on their own merits, style, and songwriting.  Panic! At The Disco had the next song, “But It’s Better If You Do” and frankly they (or just about any other band) seemed a more likely candidate to be the artist behind the song “But Tonight We Dance” as opposed to the actual artist, Rise Against. The title just doesn’t scream Rise Against, but then again, as my son says, once you listen to the lyrics, you think “yep, this is a Rise Against song!

I’m not sure how I feel about Jason Mraz in general and his song “Butterfly” specifically. I get that he’s got a great voice and some of his lyrics are pretty clever, but in this song, it feels like he’s trying too hard to be cool and sexy. Our second “Butterfly” track comes from the Dance Dance Revolution series, one that my youngest daughter liked enough to purchase the song on iTunes. Alicia Keys ends our session in lepidopterology with more than one butterfly, although she uses the not-so-scientific method of creating a plural noun by ending the word in ‘z’. It’s a good thing she’s got an amazing voice, otherwise I might hold that grammatical faux pas against her (which I’m sure she’d find crushing).

After an entertaining Elvis Costello number, I get T-Pain’s handy guide to picking up ladies in the club. I do have to say that I find the whole “shawty” term confusing, as it seems to possibly refer to both youngsters and hot women, so couldn’t someone misunderstand the context and think you are interested in getting with kids? Wouldn’t it just be better to avoid any potential confusion? The walking list concluded with two different versions of a Wonder Years song from my son’s almost complete collection of the band’s work.

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

  • Buzzards And Dreadful Crows–Guided by Voices
  • By My Side–INXS
  • By Surprise–Gemini Club
  • By the Time I Get to Arizona–Public Enemy
  • By Your Side–Sade
  • Bye Bye Love–Simon & Garfunkel
  • C is for Conifers–They Might Be Giants
  • C Moon–Paul McCartney
  • C.O.D–AC/DC
  • C’Etait Toi (You Were The One)–Billy Joel
  • C’mon–Sonic Chaos
  • C’mon Girl–Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Caffeinated Consciousness—TV on the Radio
  • Cage and Aquarium–They Might Be Giants
  • Caged Bird–Alicia Keys

 

Things started of with a Guided by Voices track from its Bee Thousand album (a gift my wife received from a family friend and fellow music afficianado). Normally I’m hoping for a good rocking song to start my gym workout off in a great direction, but the tempo and style of the opening song was fairly irrelevant on this occasion as the fact that my ‘B’ songs were coming to a close was pumping me up–I always get a charge when I know a new letter will be starting soon. “By…” started with an INXS ballad and continued with a Gemini Club release. Next was a great political screed from Public Enemy about Arizona’s (and to a lesser extent, New Hampshire’s) wrongheaded decision to not recognize Martin Luther King Day in the late 80’s. I lived in New Hampshire at the time and remember feeling a deep shame about the choice, but I also remember feeling annoyed that almost all the anger and protest was directed at Arizona. I get that it was (and of course, still is) the much bigger state, but it made me feel like New Hampshire wasn’t worth the attention and effort.

I got a blast from the past with Sade’s “By Your Side”, a track we own courtesy of the Japan relief album. I remember their hits from the 80’s, but apparently they kept making music through the next decade, but their sound was far more successful in the UK. ‘B’ closes with the most successful duo of all time (Simon & Garfunkel) covering a hit of one of the original great rock duos (The Everly Brothers). The song is a live track from the pair’s last studio album, which was an unusual choice that still stands out to this day.

They Might Be Giants manage to entertain and educate (edutain or entercate) with “C is for Conifers”, a song that teaches us all about pine trees. Thanks to their alphabet album, They Might Be Giants get to lead off several letters like this one. The ‘C’ silver medal goes to Paul McCartney for one of his less remembered tunes (at least by me) off his greatest hits collection. AC/DC sings about a concept that’s (other than food) virtually non-existent these days, “C.O.D”. For those that don’t know, “C.O.D.” stands for “Cash On Delivery” and I guess you used to be able to mail-order products and when the postman would deliver the item, you’d pay for it then. I remember as a kid, when I’d watch TV commercials for things like K-Tel records, they’d always clearly state “No C.O.D. please!” Frankly, as society becomes more cashless, I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more food options demand you pay via electronic payment when you order.

I’ll have to play the Billy Joel track for my daughters so see how much of the French they understand (I never took it, so the answer for me is none). Sonic Chaos sounds like a cool band name for an alternative or rock outfit, but the song comes from the Cheetah Girls soundtrack, so don’t get your hopes up–in fact, just stick to Sonic Youth in the Sonic band category. Things do take a turn for the alternative with the return of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and my first track from TV on the Radio. “Caffeinated Consciousness” is the last track from their 2011 Nine Types of Light album, which may be the group’s final album as a member of the band passed away from cancer soon after its release.

They Might Be Giants followed with a song from their second album, Lincoln, and I then got my second track today from Alicia Keys to close things out.

Listening to a musical 45 (songs, not a song)

Well, I told you in my last column that I had been walking, and that I’d just fallen behind in the blogging side of the equation. As I went to the gym on Saturday, I did a count of the songs that I’d listened to over the past week, and was shocked that it was 45, representing 8 miles of walking (which still puts me two Red Sox victories behind the pace, but that will be taken care of by midweek. So I could have engineered 4 mini-posts or one mega-post.  As you will see from the following list, I went big, partially due to the cool symbolism of the number 45.

June 5-8, 2012

8+ miles to commemorate Red Sox victories #24-#27 of the 2012 season

  • Breathe–Taylor Swift
  • Breathe–U2
  • Breathe [2AM]–Anna Nalick
  • Breathe Me–Sia
  • Breathing–Yellowcard
  • Breed–Nirvana
  • Breed [live]–Nirvana
  • Brian Wilson [live]–Barenaked Ladies
  • Brian Wilson–Barenaked Ladies
  • Brian Wilson [live]–Barenaked Ladies
  • Brick–Ben Folds Five
  • Brick By Boring Brick–Paramore
  • Brick By Brick–Train
  • Bricks–Rise Against
  • The Bride–Dirty Projectors
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water [live]–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Bright As Yellow–The Innocence Mission
  • Bright Red–Laurie Anderson
  • Brighter–Paramore
  • Brilliant Disguise–Bruce Springsteen
  • Brilliant Disguise–Elvis Costello
  • Brilliant Mistake–Elvis Costello
  • Brilliant Mistake–Elvis Costello
  • Bring It (Snakes on a Plane)–Cobra Starship
  • Bring It On Home–Led Zeppelin
  • Bring In On Home To Me–Sam Cooke
  • Bring Me To Life–Evanescence
  • Bring On The Dancing Horses–Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Bring On The Dancing Horses–Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Bring On The Night–The Police
  • Bring Tha Noise–Public Enemy
  • Bring The Noise–Public Enemy
  • The Broad Majestic Shannon–The Pogues
  • Broadway–Old 97’s
  • Broke In Two–They Might Be Giants
  • Broken–Elvis Costello
  • Broken [home demo]–Elvis Costello
  • Broken Bicycles/Junk–Anne Sofie von Otter and Elvis Costello
  • Broken Glass-Cyndi Lauper
  • Broken Man–Boys Like Girls
  • Broken Mirrors–Rise Against
  • The Brokenhearted–Bruce Springsteen
  • Brompton Cocktail–Avenged Sevenfold

The massive catch-up entry starts with pop country star Taylor Swift. I find it a bit funny that Swift is categorized as country, when to me she’s pure pop, just with a southern accent. My second “Breathe” song comes from U2’s most recent album release, No Line On The Horizon. There’s supposed to be a new U2 album, the follow-up to No Line, coming out this year, and with Danger Mouse the producer, I’m very excited to hear it. The Anna Nalick song is one I don’t really know, but that’s the consequences of not listening to current pop radio. For fans of the HBO series Six Feet Under, the song “Breathe Me” played during the series finale of Claire driving to New York intercut with the fates of each major character. I always thought it was one of the better and more emotional sequences to ever end a show, and it convinced me to buy the song.

Yellowcard apparently falls into a genre known as pop punk, and it’s a style I’m getting to know well, as it has become a favorite of my son. Other than the super obvious first choice, “Breed” may be my favorite song from Nevermind, so I certainly enjoyed hearing both the studio and live versions of the track. I loved when 2K sports used the song as part of their ad campaign for their baseball video game–any time a song like that is getting played for the general public is a great thing.

Thanks to our extensive collection of Barenaked Ladies albums, I got to hear “Brian Wilson” three times. It’s one of the rare songs that the live version seems to be more famous than the studio cut (as the live version is on the greatest hits collection we own), so I heard the song live, studio, live. I was looking up the discography of BNL when writing this entry and I was surprised to learn that they’ve only had one top 10 hit in the US (“One Week”), and only one other top 40 hit. Their music is so good? What is wrong with people?

After hearing “Brian Wilson”, a song about a man dealing with depression, three times, I sure needed a pick-me-up, and boy did Ben Fold’s “Brick” really deliver. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Brick”, particularly for the fact that it deals with a difficult issue in a sensitive manner, but that the song directly led me to purchase Whatever and Ever Amen. And my wife and I absolutely love that album. But it is a real bring down of a song and you need to be in the right mood to listen to it. It also is the only “single brick” song on my list, as the next three songs deal with multiple building blocks. Train is more interested than Paramore in masonry I guess, as they go brick by brick without editorializing that said bricks are “boring”. Meanwhile, Rise Against doesn’t believe in taking things one at a time, so they just go for all the “Bricks” at once. My load of bricks ended with a Dirty Projector’s song “Bride.”

Just as I recently had to hear a classic Simon & Garfunkel song “The Boxer” three times, I got it again, this time with three copies of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, two studio and then one from the classic Central Park show. I once read years ago that Paul Simon originally wrote it as a two-verse song, and that the third verse, the “Sail on, Silvergirl” verse, was added later. That final verse is nowhere near as strong as the first two entries, and while it would have been a shorter song, Simon maybe should have stuck with his original version.

A pair of primary colors follow in their “bright” form. First, I got yellow from the Empire Records soundtrack in the form of “Bright As Yellow” by the Innocence Mission, a fun alternative song from an awesome soundtrack. I tend to overlook some of the other tracks on the album because of my undying love of “Free” and “‘Til I Hear It From You” but everything is on the album is worth listening to over and over again. The red entry is part of a bizarre number from Laurie Anderson, “Bright Red”. Listening to her music leaves me with a “what the hell did I just hear?” feeling, and this song was no exception. Just as Paramore joined the brick brigade, they also wanted in on bright, with their song “Brighter”. It’s too bad they couldn’t add the color blue to their title, which would have given me all three primary colors. While they don’t have a color in their title, they do try to top the other songs by going superlative, and “brighter” than “bright”.

It’s not that I don’t love Elvis Costello, I just don’t feel as passionately about his work as my wife. I have, however, noticed that if he’s singing a “Brilliant…” song, I am definitely on board. The first of these is his cover of “Brilliant Disguise” by Bruce Spingsteen, a song that came off the first Bruce CD I ever purchased, Tunnel of Love. I always liked the Boss’s version of the song, but I actually enjoy Elvis’s cover even more. He makes the song more mournful than the original. I also really like the Elvis original “Brilliant Mistake”, which I got to hear two times. It does remind me of a funny story. When the computer book company I worked for in the 90’s was originally purchased by Pearson, they had a consultant come in to discuss future direction. As I sat with her and told her of our publication plans, she kept saying “brilliant”. I thought she was really impressed by what I was saying–after all, “brilliant” is such a superlative term. I later found out she was saying it like I might say “ok” when hearing a long presentation. My ego, after being so pumped up, was popped like a child’s balloon.

After the Elvis section, the list began to zig and zag a bit, starting with a band my kids love, Cobra Starship. That’s probably not fair, to pass them off on my kids, where I enjoy them as well, but if you don’t think they’re cool, I can say “oh, they’re a band for my kids.” The new of Cobra Starship gave way to a couple of classic acts, first the hard rock of Led Zeppelin and then the classic soul of Sam Cooke. Both come from me, and I’ve got to say I tend to listen to the Sam Cooke music more out of the two. Then I got one of my youngest daughter’s favorite acts, Evanescence, contributing their biggest hit ever, “Bring Me To Life”, followed by two copies of the song that introduced me to Echo & The Bunnymen. The first copy came from an album I owned first on cassette and then replaced with CD, the soundtrack to Pretty in Pink. My interest in Echo was always limited to that song and their cover of “People Are Strange” from the Lost Boys soundtrack, but I recently added two of their albums thanks to my local library.

The Police’s “Bring On the Night” came next and this song was one I always associated more with Sting (as he named his live solo album this) than the Police. I love the two versions of the Public Enemy song, both Public Enemy on their own and with Anthrax. The pure Public Enemy version talks about “…The Noise” in the title, while the Anthrax collaboration is “Bring Tha Noise” so I have to wonder about the bad grammatical influence Anthrax had on Chuck D and his mates. It’s odd hearing “The Broad Majestic Shannon” as it was always a special song my wife sang to our youngest daughter at bedtime when she was young, so I identify the song more with her than the official version. Speaking of my youngest daughter, she’s such a big fan of musical theater that I need to take her to Broadway some day to see a show, but if that doesn’t work out, I can always play the Old 97’s song for her. I don’t think she’d find it to be remotely the same, however.

I believe we have more They Might Be Giants songs than any other musical act (if not, they are definitely in the top 2-3), but it feels like awhile since they’ve made an appearance on this list. “Broke in Two” comes from The Spine, an album that gets lost in the shuffle for me, as it’s not as beloved as the group’s early work, different like the children’s albums, or in the rotation like the last two albums. It’s unfortunate and it calls for an entire album listen sooner than later. After raving earlier about Elvis Costello’s “Brilliant…” songs, I get three more by him (well two by him and one where he’s like the supporting actor for an Annie Sofie von Otter. Of the three, Annie’s song is the one I enjoyed the most. I really enjoyed the Cyndi Lauper song “Broken Glass”, which was one I really hadn’t heard because I’ve given her third album, Hat Full of Stars, short shrift (well, technically, it’s her fourth album, but I got a three pack of Lauper CDs from work, and Lauper’s third album, A Night To Remember, was not included in the pack–so that album is really getting the short shrift from me.

Music my wife and children brought into our household collection closed the list, with the first selection coming from Boys Like Girls, an act primarily liked by my girls. Now all of my kids love Rise Against, and it’s a band my wife and I both enjoy listening to know, so that was an excellent reverse osmosis musical effect. (I think the musical education has generally traveled in  the opposite direction with the two of us exposing our kids to different styles of music.)  While I spoke earlier of buying Bruce Springsteen albums, make no mistake–my wife is the truer and deeper fan of the boss. I did purchase The Promise, the recent album that produced “The Brokenhearted”, but it was a Christmas present for her. After such a long and diverse collection of music, it is always nice to kick back and relax with a cocktail, although the Avenged Sevenfold song is many things, relaxing is probably not the best term to describe it.