Monday, May 18, 2009
Music in Your Ear . . .
With eleven out of thirteen days of exercising behind me (and hundreds of days ahead (ahem)) many of you must be wondering - with only a certain number of episodes of Fringe to watch - what is keeping me on the treadmill. Well - this will shock no one but it is MUSIC.
Here's what I'm listening to right now . . .
Everything I Own, Bread - As Bruce Cohn will tell you - there is no "Greatest Hits" of "Best of" for Bread. There is only the "Anthology of Bread" and it is quite the album. I was temped to go with Guitar Man for this mix but - I've got love in my heart lately. Much love. For my girls.
Kiss The Girl, Samuel E. Wright - Ava loves The Little Mermaid. I love that the song, at 2:44 in length, is during my ramp up/walking time and not something I have to run to.
Praise You, Fatboy Slim - In the fall of 1998 you could bet on three things. One - I was eating too much. Two - I was at work or in graduate school 17 hours a day and on the Metro almost another hour. Three - I was either drunk or getting drunk the rest of the time. Add Josh, Christy and Casey in to the mix and we were probably listening to Fatboy Slim. Ah - the irony of the name. The magic of this moment in pop music. The lasting value of saying positive stuff about people "like I should."
Itsy Bitsy Spider, Dora the Explorer - The old cliche is "When in Rome." The meaning of it is "When your nearly three year old dominates your taste in music." I can't help it. I actually find this song to be catchy (a little English, a little Espanol, a little intrigue) and I like Laurie Berkner too. I chose NOT to defend myself.
A Matter of Trust, Billy Joel - Billy Joel, like the Steve Miller Band, the Beatles and marijuana is one of those things that I didn't get in to until college. Not sure why. I had plenty of high school friends that liked him and the idea of a man with pop music coming out of his piano was no stranger to me (I've loved Elton John since long before my first run in with illegal drugs). This particular song is one of my absolute favorites. I feel like I'm going to live a long, healthy and wonderful life. I have not always felt that way. I have not always believed that to be true. Now I trust in my beliefs. I trust that it is okay to hope, dream and want. It is a matter of trust. Thanks, Billy.
My Love, Justin Timberlake f/ T.I. & Timbaland - Joy loves Justin Timberlake. She's loved him since his boy band days. She'll probably always love him. I'm okay with that. She has affection (and perhaps some lust) for many men in this world. Luckily none of them deliver milk to our house (or provide any services at our home) and luckily I believe that it is okay to be obsessed with a pop star without it threatening your marriage. I don't like much of "JT's" (as we seem to call him around the house) nearly as much as Joy does but this particular song is catching. It probably helps that Timbaland is behind it (I do love me some Timbaland) and it DOES help that, at one point, T.I. says "They call me candle guy, simply because I am on fire." A giggle in the middle of my workout? Yes please.
What I Got, Sublime - During "May Weekend" (which always fell in April, confusingly enough) in the spring of 1997, we were juniors at Quinnipiac. Only Bruce and Jorge were of age. We didn't care. No one did. It was May Weekend. We got a keg. JUST for those of us that lived in our apartment. We drank and drank and drank. For like four straight days. In that time I professed my love to four different women (that I can remember - at least two of whom were my friends girlfriends (or would eventually become girlfriends)), passed out at three parties (that I can remember - one of which was in our own apartment), brought two girls back to my room (only one of which turned in to a scandal (I love you, Wifey) and only really listened to ONE song. We sobered up to the made-for-TV remake of The Shining with Rebecca Demornay and the guy from Wings and the song "Silver and Gold" sang by a kid that lived across the hall. Hey?! What can I say? Overly vivid memories of random moments in time. It's What I Got!
Young Friend, Brooke Waggoner - There are people in your life that you outgrow and there are people who outgrow you. Brooke seems to have good perspective on that. Thanks, Brooke, for putting it in perspective.
Bohemian Rhapsody, The Braids - A retake on a classic that has its own values. It is NOT Queen. It is not even close. It doesn't aim to be. It is what it is. I remember this song because my Grandma Coyle (my last grandparent) died from that miserable bitch-that-is cancer in the fall of 1997. We had her funeral on Halloween day. I did not have a car so I flew to see Grandma one last time and then I flew to and from her funeral. I was not ready, emotionally, to have no grandparents left. It was really hard on me. In hindsight, it was not so terrible (she was very sick, she had been without her husband for nearly 20 years, etc.) and - seeing my wife lose her grandfathers a full decade plus later - I realized there is NO good time to lose a grandparent. Anywho - I borrowed a friends portable CD player (yep, we're going way back to the time before iPods here) and I flew home with a bouquet of white roses from Grandma's funeral in my lap and this song playing in my ears. This song still reminds me of how wonderful it was to be with my entire family that week (I never really spent much time with aunts, uncles or cousins as a kid and - with college graduation approaching I knew my time with my brothers and parents was about to go get dicey too) and how wonderful it is to know that SOMETHINGS really matter. Toooooooo meeeeeeeee.
Dancing Machine, Jackson 5 - Just give the man (or the boy he once was) some love. Michael Jackson knew how to dance, sing and make great music. He probably still does. I will not defend him if he did the things he was accused of doing (clearly two wrongs don't make many rights) but - in the spirit of this here blog - he didn't have a normal childhood and his adulthood, frankly, seems less than idyllic. The LEAST we can do is enjoy the music that his life got screwed up over and make that sacrifice worth something. The positives. The second chances. The perspective. That's what the journey is all about, right?
The Middle, Jimmy Eat World - Okay. This song? I'm ashamed of this song. I will sweat to it though. It is good for that.
Relax. Take It Easy, Mika - I downloaded Mika's CD the day I got home from surgery. When I first returned to work I would stay late, change my clothes and walk the "tunnels" at IBM while listening to my iPod. I was still +450 pounds at this time. Sweating. Stairs were my enemy still. Hating moving. Wondering how long it would take before I felt better. This album was my friend during that period. This song reminded me to just - uh - relax. And - uh - take it easy. My Interpretation and Happy Ending are my other favorites on the CD. Totally worth the $2.97 for those thinking about splurging on the iTunes account.
Crimson and Clover, Prince (no link - you can only get this song on his new 3-CD album at Target) - The man can do no wrong. He writes for other people. He does his own stuff. He covers great songs. I once heard a joke about Prince (that I retold to Joy just yesterday). It goes like this . . . "What's the worst part about being one of Prince's girlfriend/muses? Knowing you will never be as skinny or pretty as Prince." You have to know the women Prince has spent time with to get that joke (let's just say that they are all very thin and very beautiful). I might never be as skinny as Prince but I know that, based on my FAVORITE of his women (the wonderful Rosie Gaines), Prince is more about the talent than size anyway. Speaking of Rosie - check out Prince's version of Nothing Compares 2 U (yes, he wrote it for Sinead O'Connor) or any of her work on the Diamonds and Pearls or any other Prince album that featured The New Power Generation. She's got a gift coming out of those pipes.
Baby, It's Your Life, Benji Hughes - Just check out the cover art of the Benji Hughes CD and you'll know that the man is pretty sure he's something special. And he is. The whole double-disc is killer. Reminds me a little of Cody ChestnuTT (and I love Cody ChestnuTT so that is a compliment). I like a guy with swaggart, ego and strut. This song is my favorite of the bunch (and you have to wait until the very end of the second disc to get it) and it plays right around the time I'm getting sick of running. For at least a few minutes - I don't want to stop. Well - I want to stop LESS.
Thirty-Three, Smashing Pumpkins - Smashing Pumpkins were my ONLY toe-dipping in the pool of rock/grunge/emo/whatever the hell you call it in the mid-90s. Seriously. While everyone around me was wearing flannel, buying combat boots, slashing their own jeans, crying for the loss of Kurt Cobain and wondering why Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Scott Weiland could not join forces to form the super group that would run the world - I was listening to Barenaked Ladies and pop-rap. I hated it. ALL of it. I was barely willing to allow Dave Matthews and his Band in to my world (I'm glad I did). Smashing Pumpkins though? Loved them. Always will.
My Girls, Animal Collective - I love Joy and Ava. I'm wearing sneakers, shorts and a t-shirt and suffering swamp-crotch for them. This song keeps me honest about that. And the parts where they go "Whewwwwww" makes me happy. I do it with them. Whewwwwwwwww!
Shake It, Metro Station - They play this song at the place where I get my hair cut. I think they have one mix CD that they just put on repeat so that every 80 minutes, like it or not, they are hearing the same tunes. I feel bad for the women getting three hour long dyes, colors, trims, perms and sets. I'm in and out in 30 - 45 minutes. Always the 30 - 45 minutes this song plays though. It is catchy. And almost as annoying as me in a place that calls itself a "salon." I run so that you don't have to. Deep down. You want me in that salon. You NEED me in that salon.
You Are Mine, Mute Math - Blame/credit my boss and CEO for this. The visionary that introduced me in to this agency also introduced me to Mute Math. Like with me, the reviews were mixed. The taste had to be acquired. The annoyance turned to catchiness. I thank him for both introductions. In the meantime this song seems to be about a man who thinks he owns his love but - if you really listen - the song is about how his love, by her captive energy and presence, is his one true and vice. "There are objects of affection that can mesmerize the soul," they sing. In my case, it is true. First came food. Then came Joy. I'm a lucky man.
Get Ready, The Temptations - If your workout mix is lagging just toss in some Motown. You won't regret it. Your caloric burn won't either. I walk on the treadmill and picture myself doing synchronized hand movements and hip sways like the choreography of the genre. It is a wonder those guys could sing at all in those tight suits and killer dance moves. Fitness. That's what we're all here for, I guess.
Brown-Eyed Girl, Van Morrison - I won't defend this. Joy's eyes are not brown (they are blue/green and they get more blue or green depending on her mood and where she is in her, uh, cycle). It doesn't matter. I know men who are not "butt men" that adore Sir Mix-A-Lot. It is the song. The beat. The thrill. Not the factual accuracy of the lyrics.
Quiet Dog, Mos Def - Turn the treadmill up to 6.5 MPH. Suffer through the spoken-word crap (as inspiring at is technically is) at the beginning of the track. Let the beat and lyrics kick in. Move the treadmill to 7.0. Run, fatman, run.
Upside Down, Jack Johnson - I love Jack Johnson. Good for going to sleep to. Good for a cool down. Good for a back yard backyard barbecue. Good for running errands. Just good.
Yep. A full mix with NO Coldplay. Take a minute. Let it soak in. Then move on. I'm already working on a new mix. It will feature some music from The Soloist, no doubt. I was always a Mozart/Chopin guy but . . . that movie makes me really like "Ludwin van" (as he is refered to in the movie in one of my favorite scenes).
In the meantime - we'll type again in a few days!