Man in the Mirror

The dreaded song demons are at it again. With the death of Michael Jackson, I have been listening to some of his songs the last few days. Man in the Mirror really speaks to the journey I started a couple of weeks ago. Yes, any change I want to make must start with me.

For the record, I love his music–particularly 80s and early 90s. I just want to enjoy his music for what it is. I refuse to watch the tabloid stuff about the problems in his life and ultimately his death.

Enjoy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbzMsIcp6fI

One Step at a Time

Okay, the song demons are at it again. Here’s the song speaking to me today: One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks. I had just always thought it was fun to listen. But now the lyrics are hitting home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzyys6kW8yg

The Beginning of a Journey

Okay, this is the song that is speaking to me today. Wish these songs would stopping talking so much.  🙂

No, I don’t have cancer and I’m not dying. Ignore that part of the song. Lyrics here if you want.

Things Can Only Get Better

It’s been quite a sucky week, month, year, etc. I was listening to this 80s classic by Howard Jones and it seems to really speak to me today. The video is pretty wacky. Maybe watch the video and then go back and play it a second time with your eyes closed to take in the words.

Posted in Life, Music. Tags: , . 5 Comments »

England Swings

I’m not sure what’s in the water lately, but I’ve got two friends on different ends of the country considering a move to England. The way things are going in the US, maybe it’s not a bad idea. I think England would be a blast.

Anyway, in their honor, here is England Swings by Roger Miller.

Posted in Life, Music. 4 Comments »

Kate Miller-Heidke: A Fresh, New Sound?

I was just randomly surfing around through YouTube tonight…looking for something off the wall and downright silly. Well, I found it and perhaps found a new singer to add to my list of favorites: Kate Miller-Heidke. She’s a 27-year-old Australian that originally trained in opera (puke), but then came to her senses and is now working in pop (better).

She has a completely unique sound and a quirky manner about her that I absolutely love. Check out her video for Can’t Shake It:

Like that one? Test drive Words…I think it has an even more unique sound.

Are you still with me? Then check out this “ballad”–Make It Last.

So what do you think? Maybe I’m out of my mind (okay, I know I am), but her style and sound clicked with me instantly. I’ll have to let you know if I still feel the same way after a few days.

I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates Parody

In an earlier post, I railed against the hideousness that is the song I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates. A lot of people have criticized me for this and that’s fine. This is my blog and I’ll say what I want thank you very much.

Matt has joined in the fun by pointing out this parody of the the song–Combine Harvester by The Wurlzers. I think that I actually like the parody–it’s so bad that it’s good.

I Kissed a Girl Parody

You may recall that I complained about how much I hate the song I Kissed a Girl in a previous post.

However, I’m always a big fan of a good parody. Check out this parody of the song. Thanks to Licensed to Blog for this.

I Kissed a Girl

If I hear this song played just one more time on the radio, I might swerve my car into the the nearest power pole in hopes of dying in a fiery crash. What is so appealing about this song? Yet it is so catchy that my brain radio keeps playing it and I can’t seem to change the station.

For the record, I have also kissed a girl and I also liked it. I have also eaten a cheeseburger and I liked it. But I didn’t write a song about it.

If you haven’t heard it yet, please have a listen so that you can join my tortured world.

Punday, June 22nd

His musical passing of gas is a work of fart.

You’re Gonna Miss This

I think that a lot of times we are anxious to move on to the next stage in life because we think it’s going to be so much better: When we’re in high school, we want to be adults; when we’re out of high school, we want to be married; when we’re married, we want kids; when we have kids, we sometimes look forward to them moving on; then we long for retirement so we can relax and enjoy life. We never seem content with the here and now. However, the here in now is what we have. We need to linger and enjoy every minute of it. These are the precious times that we will one day long to return to.

A fabulous song, “You’re Gonna Miss This”, by Trace Adkins does a great job of reminding us to enjoy today because it will be gone all too soon, and we’ll wish we had it back. Check out the lyrics below and/or listen here.

She was staring out the window of their SUV
Complaining, saying “I can’t wait to turn 18”
She said “I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules”
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
And she kissed her head and said “I was just like you

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”

Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her “It’s a nice place”
She says “It’ll do for now”
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says “Baby, just slow down

Cause you’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”

Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
And she keeps apologizin’
He says “They don’t bother me.
I’ve got 2 babies of my own.
One’s 36, one’s 23.
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but…

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”

The Worst Song Ever: I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates

Okay, I believe that I have stumbled upon the worst song ever recorded. It’s called “I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates (You’ve Got a Brand New Key)” by Melanie Safka.

Listen at your own risk–this song will keep you awake with it running through your head over and over.

Once you recover from listening to it, please check out the lyrics and tell me what the song is about. Is there some sort of hidden meaning?

I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you’re avoiding me
I’m OK alone but you’ve got something I need, well

I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates
You’ve got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and
Try them on to see
I been lookin’ around awhile
You got something for me
Oh, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I ride my bike, I roller skate, don’t drive no car
Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don’t drive, I been all around the world
Some people say I done all right for a girl

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said yes, but you weren’t alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you’re avoiding me
I’m OK alone but you got something I need, well

1968 Retrospect: Recorded Music Formats

In 1968, recorded music sales hit $2 billion worldwide, with about half of that being in the United States. Of the sales, 60% went to LP albums, 30% to single disks (45s), and 10% to tapes (including 4-track, 8-track, and cassette).

1968 was a turning point for the cassette format. It was the first year that cassette player sales surged past 4-track and 8-track equipment sales. Further, cassettes player sales were set to move past record players within five years.

 

A new format was introduced in 1968 that you may have never heard of: The Pocket Disc. It was introduced toward the end of the year as a truly portable format. It was 4 inches in diameter and sold for 49 cents. The idea was that you could put it in your pocket and take it with you to play at a friend’s house. It would play on a standard turntable (so long as it wasn’t one of the automatic ones) or you could purchase a smaller version of the turntable to play these discs. They even sold the discs in vending machines. However, this was a short-lived fad–passing into oblivion after only a couple of years.

Because of the short life of this format, I have not been able to find a lot of other information. The discs are extremely rare and go for hundreds of dollars now.

Hangin’ Tough?

Thanks to John for this one.

I had to check the calendar on this story. I was sure it had to be April 1st and someone was pulling my leg. Unfortunately, it’s not April Fool’s Day. So now, reason #159 that this country is doomed: The New Kids on the Block are reuniting. According to the People article:

“Eighteen years later, they’re still “Hangin’ Tough.” The oldest “Kid,” Jonathan Knight, now a real estate developer, will turn 40 later this year. Since the band’s demise, former members Donnie Wahlberg, 38, and Joey McIntyre, 35, have seen acting success, while Danny Wood, 38, has worked as a music producer and Knight’s brother, Jordan, 37, has continued to record.”

A side note: For truth in advertising, shouldn’t they change their name to “Middle Age Guys in the Suburbs”? 

My best friend’s sister was a complete NKOTB freak. Her room was a shrine to the band. I think that she had every single promotional item available. I never got it…probably because I’m a guy.

Ok, so my guilty pleasure during my high school/early college years was Debbie Gibson. Yes, that’s right. Go ahead and laugh for awhile. Then resume reading…I’ll wait. I had all of her tapes (I can hear my kids asking: Dad, what are cassette tapes?), a VHS tape of a concert, and I even attended a concert in Tri-Cities, Washington. But that was it…I didn’t do the shrine thing…no posters or any of that stuff.

Anyway, I need to run. I need to see if Debbie Gibson is planning a comeback.

So tell me, what is your most embarrassing favorite singer/group from your younger days?

Christmas Music

The Christmas season is a time of rich traditions. Music plays a big role in making it a special time of year. Certain songs can take you back in time and can evoke emotions. For instance, hearing Gene Autry or Alvin and the Chipmunks takes me back to childhood because we used to listen to their albums every Christmas; a particularly beautiful rendition of O Holy Night or Silent Night can actually get me a little misty (please don’t revoke my Man Club Membership).

In general, I prefer the more “traditional” renditions of Christmas songs. Having said that, I find Mannheim Steamroller’s unique arrangements (“18th century classical rock”) to be particularly soothing and uplifting to the soul. I also enjoy the parody hack jobs done by Bob Rivers.

However, in thinking about Christmas music, I realized that the rendition of a handful of songs by particular artists really epitomizes Christmas. That is, they have really become woven into the fabric that makes the season special. I’m not a big fan of federal mandates, but I’d almost be willing to support a federal law banning any further releases of these songs by other artists. So below is my list of songs that I think should be retired, because no one can possible do a better job than the artist listed.

  • White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  • The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Johnny Mathis
  • Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
  • Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
  • Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Gene Autry

There are a few more songs that I think probably should be retired, but I’m not quite ready to lock them in. So the songs below are candidates for retirement in the future:

  • Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
  • Winter Wonderland – Tony Bennett
  • Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms