30 Day Song Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: my least favorite song

There's two of them. I'm not posting the video. Nor will you find a link here. If you haven't heard these songs, consider yourself blessed. If you want to listen to them, or watch the videos - google them at your own risk.

Now that you've been warned...

Have you ever heard of jumping the shark? Something that was of decent quality goes through something so absurd that everything after is all down hill. The failure is so horrible that it overshadows any attempts at redemption. That's what happened with my two least favorite songs.

And I really can not decide which song is worse.

First up is a Black Eyed Peas song. Everyone loves to hate on BEP - especially after their lackluster Super Bowl performance (I blame the soundman). However they used to put out some killer tunes. But break out their catalog into two categories: The pre-Fergie era and the post-Fergie era. Their first two albums are two of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time. Then Fergie joined the band and it all fell apart. No song highlights the pure suckage that is the Peas with Fergie than the song My Humps. The song is like The Ring. Once heard, it will destroy you after seven days unless you pass it on.

The other atrocity is Gwen Stefani's solo breakout. Her band - No Doubt - was fantastic, blending the worlds of Ska, pop, new wave, and dancehall reggae. They've always released great music. As she was pulling her first solo album together, it had the potential of epic proportions. I was looking forward to the upbeat sounds of No Doubt with some hip-hop productions. Instead we got a bizarre mess highlighted by the seizure inducing song Hollaback Girl.

Take your pick. Each song is more terrible than the other - blemishes on otherwise stellar music careers. I hope history forgets that either song ever existed.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 15

It's Friday, so it's time for five things. And because it's Friday, I'm happy to be starting the weekend.

Fitting that day 15 is a song that makes me happy. Here are five.

1. Mika - Grace Kelly. This song is sugary sweet, infectious, and giddy. No matter how foul my mood, this song cheers me up.

2. Bab Marley - Three Little Birds. I often wonder if I listen to this song enough, will I actually believe that every little thing is gonna be all right?

3. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Rascal King. Third wave ska, three minutes of musical happiness.

4. Soul Coughing - Circles. I'm not entirely sure why this song makes me happy. Some phenomena can't be explained.

5. New Radicals - You Get What You Give. And in the one hit wonder category... If this song doesn't make you smile, there might be something wrong with you that only therapy and medication could solve.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 14

Day fourteen is a song that makes me sad.

And that would be Twenty Three by MC Lars. Why does it make me sad? Well, watch the video and listen to the lyrics. You'll see why.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 12 (and 13)

I forgot to post yesterday. A funny thing happened. I fell asleep. Which is ironic because day twelve's topic is a song that makes you fall asleep.


That being said, After The Storm by Mumford & Sons is the perfect sleepy time song. Not because it's dull - but quite the opposite. It's a beautiful composition. Almost mesmerizing. It is like a lullaby for adults.

As for day thirteen: A guilty pleasure.

Little known fact - I have a soft spot in my heart for Euro-dance pop music. And my guilty pleasure song is the crown jewel of that electronic genre. Cascada's Every Time We Touch.

But now I'm going to head into seclusion and listen to some Mumford & Sons so that I feel better after admitting my affinity for European club tunes.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 11

Day ten: a song from a band I hate

I don't really hate the boys from blink. They're crass, irreverent, and put on a horrible live show. But I don't hate them. I don't like them either. They are the one band that I actually regret seeing in concert. They didn't play much music, just mostly talked. And they spoke like a bunch of kids from an all boys Catholic private school learning to cuss and talk about sex for the first time in their lives.

I don't have much respect for them.

But even bands that I think are worthless manage to put out a decent song or two. Here's one.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 9

Day 9: a song I can dance to

Problem one: This assumes that I can dance.
Problem two: When I do try to dance, someone usually gets hurt (and that person isn't always me).

That being said...


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 8

Day eight: songs I know by heart

If I was one to do karaoke (which I'm not) I'd follow the rules for selecting the perfect karaoke song proposed by Defective Yeti. And using those rules, these are the songs I'd probably sing.

1. Third Eye Blind: Semi-Charmed Life. Not only do I know all of the words (including that third verse trimmed from the radio version), I can get them all out without slurring the words together.

2. Foo Fighters: Monkey Wrench. I have no idea what this song is about. But it is so much fun to sing (and play).

3. Newsboys: Shine. I had this song pounded into my head the summer before my senior year of high school. It's so infectious that it's stuck with me through the years.

4. Skee Lo: I Wish. Because really, I do wish I was a little bit taller. And I wouldn't object to a 64 Impala.

5. Savage Garden: I Want You. The problem with this song isn't knowing the lyrics. The problem is being able get all out before losing your breath.

Also, interesting bit of trivia: the word karaoke is a conglomeration of two Japanese words meaning "empty orchestra."


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 7

Day seven: a song that reminds me of a certain event

This song came out last fall in the months before my grandpa passed away. It's the reason I bought the album. The first time I heard it was over the stereo on the way to pick the kids up from daycare and it just crushed me.

From the opening line "This is not the end - this is not the beginning," through the message of moving on and letting go. Every time I hear this song I think of Grandpa (even though he probably would not have ever listened to a song like this). I think of the last couple of days that I spent with him, saying goodbye, and doing my best to cope with him being gone.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 6

Day six: a song that reminds me of somewhere

It's a song that reminds me of high school. And not just the ordeal of being a teenager, but my high school. And not just the MPHS campus, but my junior year English class. To be specific.

Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings

That may sound obsessively peculiar detail for a song reminding me of a distinct place. I'll admit it - it is. But I remember sitting in my 11th grade American Lit class with this song running through my head. While my peers were studying The Scarlet Letter*, I was pondering how the line "The world is a vampire" was possibly the most profound five words in modern American literature.

And the song completely revolutionized my tastes in music. My high school experience would not have been the same without this song.

* Not to be picky, but SP's song Ava Adore would probably be a more fitting soundtrack to The Scarlet Letter than Bullet with Butterfly Wings. But I read The Scarlet Letter in the fall of 95 when Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was released.


30 Day Song Challenge: A Special Break for My Anniversary

Eight years ago today, Bekah and I sneaked out from a photo shoot - I in a black and silver tux and she in a beautiful white dress. We escaped to Jamba Juice where the store employees wanted to congratulate us on our nuptials (they also thought their store was an odd choice for the first stop in the honeymoon). When we told them that we weren't married yet and the wedding was an hour away, they asked us "isn't it bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony?"

Eight years later, I think luck is on our side.

Day five of the challenge is a song that reminds you of someone, and this is the perfect way to blog my anniversary. There's a thousand an one songs that remind me of my wife, so this should be easy enough... right?

If I wanted to pull out my indie sensibilities, I'd pick out The Longing by Eels. But this post is for my wife.

One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with Bekah is that I felt free to be a geek around her - and not only free but also completely comfortable to let my geek flag fly. And this song is about as geeky as it gets.

To my bride: I love you. Happy anniversary.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 4

Day three: a song I listen to when I'm sad

I was listening to the Gravity album on my way home from work one night about six years ago. I am a long time Our Lady Peace fan, so my listening to them wasn't anything out of the ordinary. But I hadn't listened to this album much, and when I did listen to it I didn't pay as much attention to the lyrics as I had with their previous albums.

After a trying day where I was entertaining thoughts of quitting, this song was the first to play after I started my car. Lost in my own sadness, I listened to the words of this song for the first time. The lyrical description of the disconnect between our dreams and reality was so relevant to me in that moment and the words of the song crushed me: "I remember feeling low, I remember losing hope, I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped."

Once the song ended, I skipped back to the beginning of the song and listened to it again. Then again. And again. I listened to it four times on the way home. After parking in front of my house, I sat in the car and listened to it twice more.

I still play it when I'm feeling down about my lot in life. It gives me a tremendous feeling of peace when I do.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 3

Day three: a song I listen to when I'm happy

When I'm in a good mood, I like to listen to worship music. And this ditty from David Crowder is the epitome of joy. It is upbeat and filled with elation.


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 2

Day two: a song I listen to when I'm angry

As much as the world is filled with adrenaline fueled songs of rage, there's one that always comes to mind when I need a cathartic listening experience.

Trapt: Headstrong

It's a ridiculous song. I know. But it still manages to calm me down if I'm frustrated about something. A few years ago, I had a class full of obnoxious students that could have made any teacher rethink their career decisions. I burned a mix of songs to listen to on my way to work to level my head and Headstrong was the first track. By the time class started, I was relaxed and ready to teach.


Five for Friday - 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 1

I'm back and in full force. At least through the rest of this month. And if it feels like this blog has been taken over by a music nerd, get over it. I am a music nerd.

A friend passed along this challenge on facebook and this meme was too much me to resist, so it will be the topic du jour for the moth of April. Everyday, a different starter, with a different answer. Sometimes more than one answer.

Day one: my favorite song

Unlike the Highlander where there could only be one, there's no such thing as a favorite song in my world. So, there could only be more than one.

1. Ben Folds: Still Fighting It

This is one of those rare songs that makes me cry every time I hear it (the video is also touching). The message of the song resonates with me because I know my oldest is so much like me and he's going to have to go through some of the same crap that I went through. It's just a part of growing up and it sucks.

2. Coldplay: Fix You

If I could sing a song for my dad, this would be it.

3. Poor Old Lu: Chance for the Chancers

This is one of the songs that The Tommymonsters covered at many of their shows. It's a fun song to play. I've also laid out the significance of this song here before. This song will always be a part of my life's story.

4. Blindside: Superman

Superman is another song that I've written about - just on another blog.

5. Kanye West: Can't Tell Me Nothing

I picked this as one of my favorites just because it is dripping with swagger. Yet the bravado is contradicted by the theme that money screws people up. I'm drawn to that self-contradictory lyricism that says "I'm amazing" and "I'm flawed" in the same breath. Oh, and the Zach Galifianakis produced video for this song is genius.