My racial obligation to Coldplay

I was on my own at the gym this evening as the twins purchased tickets for a Batmanathon at the local cinema. Their night started at 6:00PM with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight followed, leading up to a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I didn’t want to see the film at midnight, instead deciding to wait to see it at a lower-priced matinee and with my wife. I was just lucky enough to wake up at 2:45AM and drive to the theater to pick up my children. (At the time, I was blissfully ignorant of the Colorado tragedy–as it should go without saying, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims from that senseless tragedy.) The kids loved the movie and were so adamant that I needed to see it as soon as possible. I’ll get to my thoughts on the film in the next blog, so instead let’s jump into some exercise-fueled music!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

3.00 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • Cliff Diving–+44
  • Climb Ev’ry Mountain–Peggy Wood
  • Climbing The Walls–They Might Be Giants
  • Clocks–Coldplay
  • Cloissone–They Might Be Giants
  • Close (To The Edit)–The Art of Noise
  • Close To the Borderline–Billy Joel
  • Closer–Kings of Leon
  • Closer To Fine–Indigo Girls
  • Closer To Fine–Indigo Girls
  • Closing–Danny Elfman
  • Closing Time–Semisonic
  • Closure–The Story So Far
  • Cloud Nine–Evanescence

I was pretty sure +44 is a band that my kids enjoy, and when I looked them up on the interwebs, I learned they were a spin-off from Blink 182, so that’s a big yes. That’s not to say I don’t like their music–in fact I found it a great exercise soundtrack, particularly when it is compared to the song that followed, a nun song from the film version of The Sound of Music. Luckily, the next “Climbing…” song was one I enjoy more and started a two out of three They Might Be Giants songs, with both coming from later albums, their last two “adult” studio albums in fact. It is amazing the long and distinguished career the band has carved for itself and I certainly hope the parents that purchased their kid’s albums decided to sample their other music as well. In between the two TMBG songs I got a Coldplay number. According to Donald Glover, I have to like Coldplay because I am white (it’s a punchline to a joke about people asking him if he likes Barrack Obama). Luckily “Clocks” is a pretty good song.

As I got close to the middle of my list, I heard my first “Close…” song, one that I used to listen to far more often in college. The Art of Noise doesn’t seem to pop into the nostalgia rotation nearly as much as other 80s/90s artists (like a proto-Spin Doctors–that’s not fair; I like the Art of Noise more than that and they don’t deserve the cheap shot). I’m not a big fan of the Billy Joel number, and after “Sex on Fire”, Kings of Leon got a little tired for me. I’ll never be tired of “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls, so having to hear it twice was not a problem for me.

After a short Danny Elfman instrumental piece from the Nightmare Revisted compilation, I got Semisonic’s biggest hit of all time “Closing Time”, followed by a Story So Far song my song loves and an Evenescence song my youngest daughter loves.

Friday, July 20th, 2012

3,00 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • The Cloud Prayer–A.C. Newman
  • Clouds–The Jayhawks
  • Cloudy–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Clown Attack–Danny Elfman
  • Clown in Broad Daylight–Ron Sexsmith
  • Clowntime is Over–Elvis Costello
  • Clubland–Elvis Costello
  • Clubland–Elvis Costello
  • Clumsy–Fergie
  • The Coast–Paul Simon

Before I go on, I’ve got a bit of a confession. With my run of (now 10 straight days and counting) of gym visits leading me to falling behind on my song-list blog posts, I have started to forget the start and stop points of my list. I promise that I’ve listened to every song listed, but one or two may be off by a day. I’ve fixed the problem by creating a word document that lists the range of songs each day to keep me on target when I fall behind. That being said, this was an excellent run of songs (if not exactly an ideal workout playlist). My Cloud trio of A.C. Newman, the Jayhawks, and Simon & Garfunkel kept things ironically sunny, particularly the Jayhawks number. Like the earlier list, I got a Danny Elfman instrumental number, but this one was from the Batman soundtrack. After indy singer Ron Sexsmith, Elvis Costello made three appearances covering two songs, and Fergie’s pop hit Clumsy followed. The list closes with a bit of serendipity as I am sitting in my living room watching a tribute to Paul Simon when he won the Gershwin prize (it’s on Netflix instant if you’d like to see it), but I don’t believe the coincidence  will extend to the extent of “The Coast” showing up on the special as well.

 

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Entering my Blue Period

Well, it’s been a while, but I’ve hit another milestone! With today’s list, I’ve now heard more than 1,000 songs. The milestone song would have made my son happy, as it was a Sum 41 song, “Blood in My Eyes”. Looking at the songs in the vicinity, there wasn’t one I’d have been excited to be the one, which is sad as milestones should always be special.

May 14, 2012

2+ miles on the treadmill to commemorate Red Sox victory#15 of the 2012 season

  • Blinuet–Zoot Sims
  • Blood–Pearl Jam
  • Blood (Gangrel)–WWE
  • Blood & Roses–The Smithereens
  • Blood Doll–Anarchy Club
  • Blood in My Eyes–Sum 41
  • Blood is Thicker Than Water–Wyclef Jean featuring G&B
  • Blood Makes Noise–Suzanne Vega
  • Blood on My Hands–The Sundays
  • Blood Orgy of the Atomic Fern–The Dead Milkmen
  • Blood Pt. 2–Buck 65
  • Blood Sugar Sex Magik–Red Hot Chili Peppers

While you may not recognize “Blinuet” by name, if you’re a fan of the Wes Anderson movie Rushmore, you may remember this distinctive jazz track from the man who’s name inspired the Muppet character. Pearl Jam must be all about simple titles–when I started the “Black…” section of my list, they led off with the simple song “Black” and now they also begin the “Blood…” section with another one-word title. I guess the like getting to the point, or they’re a fan of the “Yankee Taciturnity” that my first writing teacher in college used to talk about. The other simply titled “Blood” song is the theme used by WWE Superstar Gangrel and the Brood. I always thought they were a cool group (and Edge and Christian obviously went on to bigger and better things) and I wished they (the Brood) could have stuck around longer.

I’m already a fan of the music of the Smithereens, and I particularly enjoyed the visual imagery of the song “Blood & Roses”. While Rock Band led to my children and me discovering new musical likes, some of the artists in the game didn’t connect. Anarchy Club, who’s “Blood Doll” is included in the original game, is an example. As I mentioned earlier, “Blood in My Eyes” was my 1,000th song–and as I guessed, my son was happy to hear it, telling me that he really liked the song, so at least it worked for someone in the family. Speaking of families, “Blood is Thicker than Water” gave me a chance to remember how much I enjoyed watching the Sopranos (the song is from the soundtrack) and it might be time to start rewatching the entire arc.

It’s interesting to think that to many music fans, Suzanne Vega is a one-hit wonder, particularly if the remake of “Tom’s Diner” goes to DNA. Her catalogue of songs is so strong and diverse, yet most will only think of  “Luka” when her name comes up, which is truly a shame. After the Sundays, and yet another serious “Blood…” song, we finally got a tongue-in-cheek “Blood…” number courtesy of the Dead Milkmen. My favorite part of the song is when he deadpans “God I hate poetry” in the middle of the lyrics, ironic because all pop music is a form of poetry, including the Dead Milkmen. Things get a little serious once again with Buck 65, but the Chili Peppers are another band that brings a little fun and joy to their music.

3 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper-body weight work at the gym

  • Blood to Bleed–Rise Against
  • Bloodbuzz Ohio–The National
  • Bloodbuzz Ohio–The National
  • The Bloodmobile–They Might Be Giants
  • Bloody Mary–Lady Gaga
  • Bloody Well Right–Supertramp
  • Blow it Up–The Vaccines
  • Blow Me Away–Breaking Benjamin
  • Blowin’ in the Wind–Bob Dylan
  • Blowin’ in the Wind–Joan Baez
  • Blowin’ in the Wind–Ziggy Marley
  • Blowin’ in the Wind [live]–Bob Dylan
  • Blown Away–Pixies
  • Blue–The Jayhawks
  • Blue–The Jayhawks
  • Blue–Joni Mitchell

Nice start to my elliptical work with Rise Against and then two copies of a National Song. (I really should delete one of them, which I got free from iTunes when I preordered their last album High Violet. I just have trouble getting rid of tracks, but when there’s nothing unique about it, it makes no sense to keep the second copy.) Things took a turn for the educational with a They Might Be Giants song about the circulatory system. I’ve probably said it before, but if you have children, nephews, nieces, grandkids, friends of the family, any children you want to introduce to awesome music, you should pick up the They Might Be Giants albums about the 123s, ABCs, and Science. You will learn something and love the songs as well.

The flow of blood finally ended after the dyamic duo of Lady Gaga and Supertramp. I need to listen to the Lady Gaga song more carefully to figure out whether she’s singing about the drink or the urban legend. The Supertramp boys are pretty clear in their meaning. I then got a number from one of the new acts I enjoyed discovering this past year, the Vaccines. I think their work has charted in their native UK, but has not seen much traction here in America, but I’m hoping that will change soon.

One of the greatest rock songs of all time, and probably one of the most covered, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, followed. We have four versions of the song, including original and live cuts by the man, Bob Dylan, as well as a Joan Baez cover from back in the day and a more recent version performed by Ziggy Marley. This is such a great song, one who’s lyrics are even more apt and important today than when the song was first released 40 years ago (and I wonder how Mr. Dylan would have reacted to hearing that back then).

After a Pixies song from Bossa Nova, things got “Blue…” around here, starting with two copies of the amazing Jayhawks. I completely understand that when the average music fan hears the song title “Blue”, they are far more likely to think of the Joni Mitchell number (which closed today’s list, and is an awesome song as well), but I do think the mournful number from the Jayhawks is getting the short shrift and deserves more attention.

 

Reaching the pinnacle of the Hillbilly Hits chart.

Sorry I took yesterday off–I was actually on my way to the gym, realized I wasn’t feeling well, and came home and went to bed. Felt better today, so I was able to hit the gym and the cinema

AVENGERS: What a great, fun movie. It’s better than Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, and I liked all three of those movies. (I did not like Iron Man 2–I felt it focused too much on Mickey Rourke’s character.)  The challenge of this type of movie is that with so many characters, all need something meaningful to do, and subplots can feel forced as a result. But that’s not the case here. The tone works well, there’s some great dialogue, and the action scenes are great (none of that dizzying camera action crap directors seem to rely more on these days). I need to think about it, but it may be my third favorite superhero movie, only trailing The Dark Knight and X-Men: First Class.

RIP Adam Yauch. I don’t have a lot of Beastie Boys in my library, but I love all their catalogue.

May 4, 2012

3.01 miles on the elliptical machine plus upper-body weight work at the gym

  • A Big Hunk O’ Love–Elvis Presley
  • The Big Light–Elvis Costello
  • Big Love–Fleetwood Mac
  • The Big Parade–10,000 Maniacs
  • Big Red Machine–Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner
  • Big River–Johnny Cash
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain–Harry McClintock
  • Big Shot [live]–Billy Joel
  • Big Sister–Elvis Costello
  • Big Sister’s Clothes–Elvis Costello
  • The Big Sleazy–The Dead Milkmen
  • Big Star–The Jayhawks
  • Big Tears–Elvis Costello
  • Big Tears–Elvis Costello
  • Big Ten Inch Record–Aerosmith
  • Big Time–Peter Gabriel
  • Big Time Operator–The Dead Milkman
  • Big Wall–The Fixx

It’s fitting that a list heavily flavored with Elvis Costello leads with the man whose name he took. I wasn’t into music at the time, so I’m curious whether it was seen as tribute or heresy when Declan took the King’s first name as a stage-de-plume.  I’ve never understood the latter, as no one owns a name and if you want to try and live up to the heavy burden associated with following a famous name–have at it! Clearly for my wife, Costello is the true King E, and as a result I got 5 Elvis Costello songs today (4 different) sprinkled throughout my list. Apparently, he’s a “Big” fan of “Big…” songs.

Two bands with distinctive female lead singers followed, although the Fleetwood Mac song is performed by Lindsey Buckingham. I’m realizing that I enjoy groups with singers of both genders as it helps to shift gears on each individual album. That’s not to say I don’t care for groups that stick with a single voice, as 10,000 Maniacs was, at the time they were releasing albums, my favorite group, even when the themes of their songs were a little ham-fisted, like “The Big Parade.” I know the imagery of the various mourners at the Wall should be moving, but it just felt forced to me. “Big Red Machine” still makes me think of the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970’s, which leads to the pain of the 1975 World Series. You’d think I’d be over it, particularly after the Sox won two World Series, but you still can’t help going over the losses in your head (and don’t get me started on 1986!).

A pair of older songs with a country feel come next, first with one of Johnny Cash’s hits from the 1950s, followed by an even older song, albeit from a more recent source. The soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? introduced me to some great songs for the earlier half of the 20th century, and one of my favorites was “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”. Looking it up, it apparently hit #1 on Billboard magazine’s “Hillbilly Hits” chart in 1939, according to Wikipedia. Now I know that one must be careful with facts gleaned from Wikipedia, but I hope this one is accurate, as I feel my life would be better knowing that there used to be a countdown of the top hillbilly hits in the country (even if it was just a precursor for the country chart).

I’m surprised that I only own the live version of “Big Shot” by Billy Joel, as I though I had the studio as well, but that is probably from my years of owning hit greatest hits on cassette and forgetting I never purchased it on CD. I’m used to getting multiple songs by acts like Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, or They Might Be Giants, but hearing two songs by the Dead Milkmen, but I was in luck today, getting one of their “talking” hits from Metaphysical Graffiti, followed by “Big Time Operator” from the album that introduced me to the group, Bucky Fellini (actually, that’s not completely accurate. I was introduced to the group by a friend that gave me a mix tape with several Dead Milkmen songs from Bucky Fellini on it, which led me to buying the entire CD. The funny thing is that one of my dorm-mates in college was from Michigan and a huge fan of the Detroit Tigers. One of their players that year, Jim Walewander, was a huge fan of the Dead Milkman, so knowledge of the group came from a second direction as well.)

I still hope the title of the Jayhawks song “Big Star” comes true for the group, but I then got a little distracted by the Aerosmith song that followed, as I now believe the title is, in fact, a double entendre. I believe the song not only concerns the style and size of a record album, but is also an oblique reference to a certain part of the singer’s anatomy. I will not discuss the matter further in order to keep this blog at a respectable level of decorum. (After all, when people think Dean Miller, they think decorum!)

“Big Time” was one of the perfect pop songs of the 1980’s–it was infectious then and it holds up amazingly well. I also remember how groundbreaking the videos Peter Gabriel did for it and “Sledgehammer” were at the time.  All of his videos throughout his career were amazing, and I’d suggest finding them on youtube. (In fact, I just was distracted for 15 minutes watching various videos of his, particularly “Steam”.) One of the underrated pop acts of the 1980s is the Fixx, and React is an excellent album that has both live versions of their  hits, plus a few new songs, including “Big Wall”.

A Talking Heads Sorbet

21 posts in 22 days–not sure if I can keep this going, and I certainly hope that soon I’ll have the distraction of a job competing with gym and exercise time (with Easter this Sunday ending, perhaps my joke about giving up work for Lent will end up being prescient). There’s a “grass is always greener” thing going on for sure; when you’re working, you think “I’d love to take some time off” but when work is gone, you really want to be back in the grind (and I assure you I felt this way before today and the fact that my kids were off from school for Good Friday isn’t pushing me in this direction (although their April vacation starts next Friday, so I’ve got that to look forward to!)

April 6, 2012

3.30 miles on the elliptical plus arm and leg weight work

  • Angels We Have Heard On High–Glee Cast
  • Angels With Dirty Faces–Sum 41
  • Angelyne–The Jayhawks
  • Angie–The Rolling Stones
  • Angry People–Barenaked Ladies
  • Angry Young Man [Live]–Billy Joel
  • Animal–Neon Trees
  • Animal–Pearl Jam
  • Animal–Toto
  • Animal–Glee Cast
  • Animal Bar–Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Animal I Have Become–Three Days Grace
  • Animals–Nickelback
  • Animals–Talking Heads
  • Animals [Live]–Nickelback
  • Ankle Deep–Tom Petty
  • Ann Song–Mouse Rat

Got to complete my “Angels We Have Heard on High” run with the Glee cast version, which may actually be my favorite of the 5. (I know! I’m just as surprised as you are.) It’s a nice change of pace to hear a Christmas song in April, particularly two days before Easter, but I don’t foresee me making a habit of it.

Now I’d like to clear up what is probably a common misconception. “Angels With Dirty Faces” is not the theme song from the 1938 Bogart/Cagney film with the same name; in fact, it would be 42 years after the film’s release that a member of Sum 41 was even born! Meanwhile, “Angelyne” is slowly becoming one of my favorite Jayhawks songs of all time. And the Rolling Stones may not be right for Heinz, but they are right for work-out lists, even the slower songs like “Angie”.

I tended not to give the albums Barenaked Ladies are Me and Barenaked Ladies are Men much credit when they first came out, perferring the band’s previous three albums, but now that they are effectively dead (as I’ve mentioned, I can’t enjoy them without Steven Page), I’ve been giving the albums closer listens, as they may be the last BNL I ever get, and some of the stuff, including “Angry People” has started to stick. Billy Joel is like meatloaf (the food, not the artist)–it’s almost never spectacular, but it is always solid and enjoyable.

The three different songs with the title “Animal” made for entertaining contrasts–with the Neon Trees version being a fun pop hit (one that I was initially introduced to thanks to Glee), while the Pearl Jam song is so powerful and angry. The 80s sensibility of Toto almost split the middle between the two, but then I got to loop back to fun pop original, as the Glee cast version of “Animal” closed the run (again, I may actually enjoy it to the Neon Trees version).

We don’t have a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers (I think just two albums), and this may be an undeserved short shrift as I love listening to both Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Stadium Arcadium. I have not given their most recent album a listen, so that may be my next move. Three Days Grace is a band my kids all love, although I think, like a toy from a few Christmases ago, their work is being pushed to the back of my kids’ musical closet these days. But there’s no denying the strong musical hook of “Animal I Have Become”.

Now I like to not judge the musical taste of others. I once heard a quote to the effect of “there’s no bad music, there’s just music you don’t like”, but some times Nickelback does push the line for me on this front. I’m not sure why–they haven’t wronged me in any way, and “Rockstar” is an enjoyable anthem, but hearing two songs from them, studio and live versions of “Animals” was fairly rough sledding. Luckily I had a delicious musical sorbet, the Talking Heads “Animals”, between the two. Now that’s a great song, and it’s high time someone had the courage to call the animals out on all their BS. I also was happy to have a underrated Tom Perry song, “Ankle Deep”, post-Nickelback.

Just as I opened today with music from a TV show, I closed that way as well, although from a very different TV show and artist. My love of all things Parks and Recreation les me to search the web for Mouse Rat, and it turns out that you can download for free a number of their songs. I actually put “5,000 Candles in the Wind” on my “Best of 2011” CD I made for family and friends, and the “Ann Song” is my second-favorite of their songs, as it is particularly instructive on where to look for someone if they’re missing.

All “All…” Songs, All the Time

Here’s something you may have figured out by now; when your collection is more than 10,000 songs, there are certain starting words that you will be stuck in for some time in an alphabetical question. And I am smack dab in the middle of one right now, as through today, I have listened to more than 60 songs that begin with “All”, and I still have about 20 more to go. I feel confident that I’ll be on a new word before April hits!

March 27, 2012

3.10 miles on the elliptical at the gym

  • All She Wants Is–Duran Duran
  • All She Wants To Do Is Dance–Don Henley
  • All She’s Got–Sum 41
  • All Shook Down–The Replacements
  • All Shook Up–Elvis Presley
  • All Shook Up–Ry Cooder
  • All Star–Smash Mouth
  • All Systems Go–Box Car Racer
  • All That Heaven Will Allow–Brice Springsteen
  • All That I’m Living For–Evanescence
  • All The Best–R.E.M.
  • All The Girls Love Alice–Elton John
  • All The Love–The Outfield
  • All The Right Reasons–The Jayhawks

In the mid-80’s I used to hate Duran Duran, and when you boil it down, it stemmed from one simple reason–my younger sister loved Duran Duran. From a logical standpoints, it’s an idiotic reason to dislike a band, but this is a typical sibling relationship. She loved everything they did, so I wouldn’t give them a second listen. With the possible exception of “New Moon on Monday”, I ignored all Duran Duran until “View to a Kill” until I was in college. Once I was on my own, I could go back and enjoy the pop-y goodness of the band, and I’m now (to my wife’s chagrin) a big fan.

It seemed like Joe Walsh was first out of the gate in the most successful solo Eagle competition, but then Miami Vice helped Glen Frey jump out in front. But there’s no contest in the long run–Don Henley trounced them all right? (Unless you count Timothy B. Schmidt’s five “Employee of the Month” awards at his local Kinkos.) Sum 41 is a bad that my son loves, although I heard of them first, as I remember “In Too Deep” being the closing party song in American Pie 2, a guilty pleasure movie franchise for me; and the answer is, yes, I will be seeing American Reunion on opening weekend, Easter weekend.  Box Car Racer, on the other hand, is all him. Maybe I’ll enjoy it; I haven’t really given it a chance yet.

It’s back to the Replacements and “All Shook Down” before we go in the opposite direction with the King, Elvis Presley and “All Shook Up.” Elvis was a perfect example of an artist that I’ve never owned any of his albums, but felt my library should have some representation of his work, and thanks to my local library I was able to get a selection of his history with a greatest hits CD. I did already own a cover of “All Shook Up” by Ry Cooder from the Cocktail soundtrack. In the coming months, I want to make sure this blog keeps things interesting, so I’m thinking of adding some features, like yesterday’s ultimate workout playlist. I’m also considering a “What Was I Thinking” CD review section where I talk about some of my more suspect album purchases. If I do this, the Cocktail soundtrack is a natural choice.

“All Star” will continue to be a societal guilty pleasure, a song no one want to admit liking.  Then, in a big upset, we get some more Bruce Springsteen, the sixth different song by the Boss since I’ve started this journey. Two of the next three songs make me think of my daughters. The first, the Evanescence song, makes me think of my youngest, as she loves Amy Lee and her group, and often adopts a similar singing style. The Elton John song obviously calls my oldest to mind, and I actually wonder if she’s ever heard the song. Just as she was predisposed to dislike anything by Alice in Chains, I’m thinking she’d already be liking this song. Squeezed in between is an R.E.M. song from their last album before they called it quits. While their later work was uneven, I still enjoyed it enough to be sad that they’re done as a group. I guess I can be optimistic and realize that there can’t be a reunion concert tour if they don’t first break up.

I used to talk a lot about The Outfield with colleagues at my first job. Almost all the guys that,like me, graduated from high school between 1985 and 1988, were big fans of Play Deep, and could name songs beyond “Your Love”. For me it was definitely a replacement CD (re-bought on CD to replace a tape or record). I can’t think of a better artist to hit my cool down period on the elliptical than the Jayhawks.  And that’s “All” for now.

 

Settling in for the Long Haul

It’s good to be back–particularly after seeing some real-life feedback on facebook that at least a few people are reading this. That unfortunately derails my plans to just use good old lorem ipsum text on days I want to mail it in–I couldn’t possibly let down my multitudinous loyal readers, could I? Plus, just as the daily exercise is important for my body, the daily writing is key to my mind.

March 20, 2012

1-mile neighborhood walk

  • Afternoons and Coffeespoons–Crash Test Dummies
  • Again–Flyleaf
  • Again Tonight–John Mellencamp
  • Against All Odds–Phil Collins
  • Against the Wind–Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  • Against The Wind (Live)–Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Remember that brief period between record 45’s/cass-singles and the ability to buy individual songs on iTunes, when if you liked a song, you bought the entire CD? (Yes, there were some CD singles, but I never really got into those unless it was a single plus 3 other songs not available on the actual album, like special live versions or covers of other groups’ work.) I don’t know about you, but for me, that led to some questionable album purchases, with God Shuffled His Feet being People’s Exhibit A. I enjoyed “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” so I bought the Crash Test Dummies album, and the fact that I also enjoyed “Afternoons and Coffeespoons” made me think I’d like the entire album.  But I’ve almost owned it for 20 years, and if you came into my house right now and offered me $10,000 to name a third song off the CD, you wouldn’t be leaving any money in my position (unless you really wanted to!)

Flyleaf is another group that I learned of thanks to Rock Band. All three of my kids have several of the Memento Mori songs on their playlists. John Mellencamp should have a special place in my wife’s heart, as like him, she’s a native Hoosier. But I’m the one that brought the John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp or finally, John Mellencamp into the relationship. She doesn’t mind her fellow Hoosier as much as she minds Phil Collins (my wife is a bit of a music snob). “Against All Odds” is my favorite Phil Collins song, even though it doesn’t have a cool apocryphal urban legend like “In the Air Tonight,” but maybe, as a homework assignment, readers could make one up.

I actually only own one Bob Seger album, the live Nine Tonight release, but I also got a studio recording of “Against the Wind” thanks to the Forrest Gump soundtrack. I remember thinking that “Running on Empty” was the better song during Forrest’s cross-country jogs, but it wasn’t on the soundtrack; luckily my local library had several Jackson Browne CDs.

3.10 miles on the elliptical plus upper body weight work at the gym

  • Age of Consent–New Order
  • Age of Consent–New Order
  • Ageless Beauty–Stars
  • Ain’t Good Enough For You–Bruce Springsteen
  • Ain’t Got You–Bruce Springsteen
  • Ain’t Got You–Gary Lucas’ Gods and Monsters
  • Ain’t It The Life–Foo Fighters
  • Ain’t No Crime–Billy Joel
  • Ain’t No Cure for Love–Aaron Neville
  • Ain’t No End–The Jayhawks
  • Ain’t No Make Believe–Stonefree Experience
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough–Play
  • Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me–Axel
  • Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me–WWE
  • Ain’t No Sunshine–Paul McCartney

I feel bad that we have two copies of “Age of Consent.” My kids and I are the big purchasers of iTunes songs, and are far more likely to receive and use iTunes gift cards, than my wife. Every once in awhile she gets a hankering to get a song, and she once got “Age of Consent” by borrowing some of my store credit. Two weeks later I ended up buying a New Order CD, so I feel like I invalidated her purchase.

I loved the show The OC. I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and most of all, the music. The soundtracks introduced me to a number of artists that I enjoy to this day. One of which is Stars, who’s “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” is one of my favorite tracks from the show. I’ve enjoyed their other albums as well, and “Ageless Beauty” is a great song by them.

It feels like Bruce Springsteen has been a dominant presence so far, which does make sense as we have 12 of his albums, as well as the tribute album Light of Day, which absolutely falls into the great compilation category I mentioned yesterday. A mark of a great compilation is when you consider whether a new interpretation of a song is actually superior to the original recording, and there’s a few candidates on Light of Day, at least in my opinion. (I don’t think “Ain’t Got You” falls into this category, but I’ll mention the ones that do when I get to them.) Another compilation song shows up later on this group, as “Ain’t No Cure For Love” is from one of two Leonard Cohen tribute collections we own–ironically, the most famous Cohen cover, the Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah” is not on either, as those versions come from John Cale and Bono.

A Bill Simmons column a few years back asked the question “What acts will eventually be big enough to perform at halftime of future Super Bowls?” I don’t remember if the Foo Fighters were an answer, but I think they should be. They have such a deep and memorable catalogue of hits that they seem like a no-brainer. While looking up who has performed at halftime of previous Super Bowls, I was surprised to see that Billy Joel has not done it.

Adam Corolla introduced me to the Jayhawks and now I’m a big fan. Their song “Blue” was featured in the movie “The Hammer” (which both my wife and I enjoyed), and I liked it so much, I bought it on iTunes. It led to me sampling other songs of theirs, and I keep adding to my Jayhawks collection. Play was a group my daughters loved in their pre-teen days.

Three of the last five songs are WWE themes for Superstars no longer with WWE (like me) John Morrison and Shelton Benjamin. I never understood the John Morrison theme. Clearly he was supposed to be giving off a  Jim Morrison (of the Doors) vibe, but the theme music sounds more like a Jimi Hendrix knockoff. The final song of the day came from the Paul McCartney Unplugged CD, which was a limited run, with each CD having a unique number on the back. I always thought that was cool, but it was then released wider later, which made it feel a little less special.