Sunday, October 30, 2011

Life is a Song Cue

Seriously, there's hardly a conversation that goes by which doesn't set off at least one song in my head, either from the subject or some line that was spoken.  Sometimes a line will set off a song that is TOTALLY inappropriate for the conversation.  These are usually kept to myself.  I normally won't spout off a song out loud at work either - they think I'm weird enough.  Around friends, however, I'm always singing a line or two.  And it's probably a good thing that I'm always coming up with new songs from conversation, because otherwise I get songs stuck in my head.  One of the signs that my husband and I are still a good match is that he does the same thing.  We often break out in the same song during conversation.  Fortunately, our friends take this a normal now.

And since that's a really short post after a whole week with nothing, I'll give you a song to get stuck in your head.  This is what I woke up to on my internal juke box today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sweet Emotion

Being a MBLF, I often respond very emotionally to songs.  Sometimes it's the lyrics and sometimes it's the music itself, but there are a few that are going to get me every time. 

"The Hallelujah Chorus" - it's the musicality of this one.  Especially if I'm singing it (alto part).  The way this song is put together seriously energizes me.  I'm not Christian, but I can still feel all the hope and joy that the resurrection of Christ meant for Handel.

"Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg - It doesn't matter how many times I hear this song, it makes me tear up.  Just thinking about it right now is affecting my tear ducts.  I guess it's all the love and respect tied up into this song that does it.

"I Will Posses Your Heart" by Death Cab for Cutie - This song totally creeps me out.  I think it's the mix of really good music with the scary stalker lyrics.  I cannot listen to this song and will change the radio every time it comes on.  I'm sure this is not the reaction they were hoping for, but that's where it hits me.  Which is a pity, because I really like the other music I've heard out of them.

"God is a DJ" by Pink - this is one of quite a number of songs that make me want to dance.  And I will, every time I hear it.  Even if I'm in a public place where dancing isn't acceptable, I'll at the very least start moving my hips.  I am definitely the iPod commercial with this one.

And then there is this song.  It makes me energized, want to dance, and cry all at the same time.  I think the latter is Drew Barrymore's fault*, because I'm definitely not a baseball fan.

*Fever Pitch.  A movie about a relationship between a girl, a guy and the baseball team he loves.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Got ya covered!

I happen to like musical covers.  I like hearing a familiar song interpreted anew.  Granted, there are some crap covers out there, but there is a lot of good music being well reworked by good musicians.  Now, one of my personal quirks is I like odd covers.  The ones that make you stop and go "why is that riff familiar?" just before the chorus kicks in and you realize that it's because the riff IS familiar, just not normally played on an accordion.  Or strings.  Or sung to that tempo.  For example (note - most of the examples aren't actual videos because I'm grabbing deep cuts here):

This is a good cover:

It is well done.  You recognize that it's a Doors song.  Duran Duran is true to the original.

However - to me - this is a GREAT cover:

It is well done.  You recognize that it's a Doors song.  Brave Combo takes the song and twists it to their own weird and wonderful style. 

So, allow me to present to you several more pieces that I feel fall into the Great catagory:

Hopefully you enjoyed this.  I get brownie points if I hurt anyone's brain.  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Those Pesky Lyrics!

I've a weird thing with lyrics.  Being a MBLF I don't always care about the words.  If it's a good groove, then I may have to listen to a song several times before I realize what the lyrics are about.  That being said, I also have a hangup that runs - if you're going to take the trouble to write lyrics, then by golly ENUNCIATE so I can hear what you're saying.  Like I said, it's weird.  And if you want me to hear a song because you totally dig the lyrics, please try to give it to me in a format other than YouTube.  I love watching videos, mind, but I'll be distracted by the story being told in the pictures and not necessarily pick up the story being told in the lyrics (which often are two entirely different stories). 

So, because I don't care about lyrics, I've got a lot of foriegn music on my iPod.  I can't speak anything except English (although I can often suss out some Spanish when I read it), so most of these songs I have no idea what they are about.  But if I like the sound, I don't care.  I've got at least 8 languages on my iPod other than English.  I also have a a ton of instrumental music ranging from classical to heavy metal (and some heavy metal played on classical instruments.  Thank you Apocalyptica).  I'm a big opera fan as well and as long as I know the general story line, I'm fine if there isn't supertitles to get me through the show. 

Now, because I care about lyrics I tend to get techy with folks who have mush mouth.  The Frey comes to mind.  After looking up the lyrics on a couple of songs, I can say they have a good lyricist.  However, I can't understand him (especially if I'm in the car with road noise) enough to know what the heck he's saying when he's singing.  I totally dig the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers, too, but often am baffled by whatever they're saying (and it doesn't matter how many times I look up the lyrics to "Scar Tissue" I can never remember what the chorus is saying - "Birds that share?" "Birds in shade?"  "Burma Shave?" - I hear him sing it and I'm all confused again).  Another downside to this hangup is that there are several bands that I'll happily buy the records of that I won't watch in concert.  If I can see someone singing on stage, but can't or can only barely hear him/her, then I'm not a happy camper.  I've gotten to where I prefer to see soloists, because the back up bands know that they'll be fired if they let their "guitar/drum/bass ego" get in the way of the audience hearing the singer. 

So, there is my lyric hangup.  And I suppose since I mentioned them in a positive way, I should share:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Radio vs. iPod

I don't listen to the radio much anymore.  You see, I like a lot of variety in my music and the vast majority of radio stations (or at least the majority in the Dallas/Fort Worth area) are not all that into variety.  We definitely have a lot of stations of various ilks, but they tend to get into ruts as far as playlists are concerned.  The majority of stations in the area are owned by Clear Channel, an entity not known for taking chances, but even before they dominated the metroplex, D/FW radio was already loaded with repetitive radio stations that played the same songs every hour of every day until you were sick of them.  We do have Jack FM now, which does have a fairly large playlist and brags of not playing the same song twice on any given day, but they still stick to the hits for any artist they play.  Two years ago we were blessed with KXT - the public broadcasting's totally music station - which I do love whole bunches.  They play a variety of genres and they play a lot of obscure stuff by artists you know.  Also have a lot of local bands, and we've NEVER had that in D/FW.  But even with the one great station and the one good station, I still only listen to about an hour of radio a day and that's when I'm driving back and forth to work.

Now my iPod on the other hand...

My husband bought me my first one around 6 years ago.  It is the best present I've ever received.  I use it almost daily and when I'm not using it directly, I'm still playing iTunes over my PC.  I currently have 10,146 songs on my PC and 9,992 on my iPod (the Christmas music goes on the iPod the day after Thanksgiving and comes off the day after Christmas.  I like the stuff, but only in 30 day doses with a good 11 month break in between.)  Being anal retentive (helllooo Virgo!) I have 21 playlists on my iPod.  However, the majority of the time, I am happiest just putting the music on random and seeing what kind of ridiculous sets it makes.  So, you get AC/DC sandwiched between John Denver and Yoshida Brothers.  Celtic folk music up against goth music and bluegrass.  And because I like weird covers,  you may get a Metallica song played by a bluegrass band (They're called Iron Horse and they are geniuses.)  or a punk group playing traditional Irish folk music (Drop Kick Murphys, Flogging Molly or The Tossers). 

So, that's my music listening habits in a nutshell.  Or at least in a blog post.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good Music Day

Well, I'm just all sorts of posty this weekend.

Yesterday turned out to be a very good music day.  After seeing the Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga video I decided I wanted the album.  I also wanted the Neon Trees album after seeing them Thursday.  So, it was off to Best Buy to get rid of some of my discretionary funds.  Aside from those two albums - Duets II and Habits respectively - I also picked up the new Lady Gaga album, Born This Way.  Got the special edition with the second disc full of remixes.  The country remix of "Born This Way" is...interesting.  In a good way.

And then last night we went to see Tim Minchin.  For those who don't know, Mr. Minchin is an Australian, currently living in London, England, who does comedic ditties and stand up.  He is an incredible pianist as well. At one point he had us laughing just from the way he played a very complicated piece.  Did the whole show barefoot, which contrasted nicely with the tie (in my opinion).  Funny as hell, too. 

So, I suppose an example would be nice.  This is the piece he opened with.  There is strong language.

And, yes, that's his real hair. 

This piece is one of his best known.  So much so, that only 4 people in the audience didn't know it.  Which means you lose some of the impact of the joke, but it's still a funny song.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Making me happy in my music place

I like swing music.  I really like it when modern artists cover old jazz and big band songs.  So songs like the following make me feel things that are best left untyped on such a public blog:

And I also totally want her dress.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I am a Duranie

That would be a fan of the band Duran Duran, if you're uncertain.  I know some of you are going to scoff about 80s pretty boys. (And some of you are going to say "Who?"), but if you get past the flashy clothes and the naked chicks on the videos, you will find that there's 3 decades worth of good music created by this band.   True, a lot of their biggest hits were pretty much party music, but the did mature as they aged.   (Well...their music matured, I can't say on the personalities.)  They were also a very innovative band when it came to presentation.  First music videos to be shot on film as mini-movies.  First band to have the big screens on and around the stage so that those in the cheap seats could still see the band members.  So, anyway, I'm not at all ashamed to be a Duranie.  And last night they were at the Verizon in Grand Prairie.

The opening act was very impressive.  Neon Trees had one song hit the airwaves in Dallas and I very much liked it, but I never heard anything else out of them.  They made an excellent warm up band for Duran Duran.  For the first time in any DD show that I've attended, I saw the audience actually react positively to the opening act.  So the warm up band actually did warm up the audience.  A second first (if that makes sense) for me also happened at this show.  Duran Duran took the stage at the posted time.  I love the guys, but they do have a tendency to make the audience wait well past start time while they hash out the playlist or something.

Duran Duran was amazing.  All but one have passed the 50 year mark (and the one is quite close), but they have just as much energy as they did back in the 80s.  And now it's no longer fueled by cocaine so that's saying a lot.  The majority of the show was stuff off their new album, All You Need Is Now, but there was also a good smattering of older hits.  And this MBLF could not stop dancing.  The only time I actually sat down was to grab my purse to see if I could get a decent picture with my cell phone (the answer is "No, I can't.").  And I had a great view of my favorite of the guys - the surreal keyboard player, Nick Rhodes - so my inner fangirl was having as much fun as my inner musicfiend.  My concert buddy for the evening - Mel Hines the writer half of Two Lumps (shameless plug and/or name dropping) - had never seen Duran Duran live before and assured me that the show was worth the price.  So, it's not just me. 

So, here's a sample of something old - "Hungry Like the Wolf "

Something not quite so old - "Come Undone"

And something new - "All You Need Is Now"

And since they were there, too - Neon Trees "Animal"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Short Blog today

I love musical synchronicity (no, not referring to to the Police album, although I love that, too).  I love it when the music comes on and is a perfect soundtrack to whatever you're doing at the moment.  Like the time that I ran out of Wal-Mart during an unexpected downpour.  I started my car and Natasha Beddingfield sang to me "...feel the rain on your skin!.."  Last night we got a good one.  We went to a midnight showing of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.  After the movie got into the car and my favorite station was playing hillbilly music.  (Followed up by some alternative rock, so it's not like it is a mono-genre station.) 

What's your favorite example of musical synchronicity?

And since I mentioned it: