Let the Music Play 2.0

Happy Fourth of July!!!

This weekend was a time of road trips, cookouts, laughter, humidity, buying wedding bands and being us. There was also a little dinner meeting of our parents – wherein I learned a secret about Adam and his family.  It was low-key and perfect, even if Adam had to drive back to Texas today…

Oh well, his loss, as I’ve spent the afternoon watching DVRed episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and cross stitching a sampler for our home. I know he’s jealous.

I also spent today reflecting a bit on my blog. It was during this reflection that I realized it was time for my traditional “30 songs” post. For this post, I put my iTunes library on shuffle and then [stupidly] tell you the songs that play. You may click here for last year’s post.

I’ve told you before that my taste in music is schizophrenic, so let’s see just how random it is this year!

  1. Breakout – Swing Out Sisters. Am I the only person who thought this was Gloria Estefan? Shamefully, I admit I just realized it’s not.
  2. Speak Like a Child – The Style Council. This is 80s pop music at its finest. This song is like candy.
  3. So Lady – Mary J. Blige. I looooove Mary J. Her songs always have a great beat and you can always count on her vocals to be spot on.
  4. I’ll Never Be – Reel Big Fish. You can thank Adam for this one, he insisted I put Reel Big Fish in my library earlier this year. Truth be told, they aren’t that bad – in fact, I might kind of like them…
  5. Irresistible Delicious – Missy Elliott. I’ve loved Missy Elliot ever since high school. I remember wearing out her Miss E…So Addictive album while driving around town in my Jeep Liberty with the windows down during the summer of 2002.
  6. Rumors – Timex Social Club. When I rediscovered this song a little over a year ago I cannot stop jamming to it EVERY. TIME. IT. PLAYS. Have I mentioned I’m a hip hop fan?
  7. Straight Up – Paula Abdul. And then the cat gets let out of the bag. Yes, I have a Paula Abdul song in my iTunes library. In fact, I own every single one of her albums and I’m not at all ashamed.
  8. I’ll Be Doggone – Marvin Gaye. R&B music is the most versatile genre out there. You can dance to it, you can chill to it, you can cook to it and you can drive down scenic highways while it plays in your car. Marvin Gaye delivers every. single. time.
  9. Missing You – John Waite. 80s. Enough said.
  10. I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz. Yet another hip hop/pop tune from the 80s. Are you sensing a theme yet?
  11. Better be Good to Me – Tina Turner. I would give anything for her legs. Seriously.
  12. Blame it on My Youth – Jamie Cullum. I will take Jamie Cullum over Michael Buble any day of the week. If you haven’t ever heard of him or his music, YouTube him immediately. You’ll thank me and I’ll say, “You’re welcome”. And thus will begin our mutual appreciation of Jamie Cullum.
  13. Graceland – Paul Simon. I was raised on Paul Simon. I will forever be grateful for this.
  14. I’m a Believer – The Monkees. I was also raised on oldies like this. Many a summer vacations were spent stuck in a van [or suburban] being forced to listen to these songs. Now, I’m glad I was – they just don’t make music like they used to. (For the record, I’m 27 not 72)
  15. 1, 2, 3 – Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine. Gloria is my go to karaoke artist. Speaking of which, it’s been over a year since I’ve sung karaoke. Who wants to go??
  16. A Fifth of Beethoven – Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band. Yes, I have 70s remixes of classical pieces in my iTunes library. You don’t?
  17. Heavy Traffic – Elton John. After seeing him live in concert with my sister, I appreciate Elton even more than ever before. He’s a legend, an entertainer and a chameleon. Plus, who can’t resist a guy behind the piano decked out in bedazzled jackets?
  18. Get Up! (Before the Night is Over) – Technotronic. Early 90s dance music = it’s how I clean my apartment.
  19. My Guy – Mary Wells. Every time I hear this song I think of “Sister Act” and sing “My God”. It’s a classic.
  20. Hole in My Life – The Police. Favorite! Band! Of! All! Time!!!
  21. Hate on Me – Jill Scott. After a rough day at work, I get in my car, roll down my windows, open the sunroof and BLAST this as a I drive home. I may or may not also sing along at the top of my lungs. Oh, who am I kidding? I SO sing along. Works. Like. A. Charm.
  22. It Takes Two – Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. Another 90s dance track – for use when cleaning my apartment.
  23. Joseph’s Dreams – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. After seeing this musical over 4 times, and being of the children’s choir in middle school, it’s safe to say it’s in my Top 5 favorite musicals. I know every word to every song, and I’m close to knowing the choreography too.
  24. Elenore – The Turtles. Another oldie from my childhood. Thanks Mom and Dad for showing Maddie and me what real music sounds like.
  25. It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok – Whitney Houston. In her heyday, she could not be touched. As far as I’m concerned she’s still on top of the pack when compared to most everyone who has followed her.
  26. Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) – Digable Planets. Old school hip hop delivers yet again.
  27. All Day – Lisa Loeb. Ever since the summers of my childhood, when I listened to her cassette tapes in my Walkman while reading The Boxcar Children, I have loved Lisa and the simplicity she has in her music. It’s like medicine to me.
  28. You Got Yr Cherry Bomb – SPOON. Another band I’m thankful Adam introduced me to – or rather informed me that they had good songs other than I Turn My Camera On.
  29. Overkill – Men At Work. Have I mentioned I looooove 80s music? 🙂
  30. I Need A Man – Eurythmics. Actually, I don’t, but this song rocks – as does the band.
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Karaoke Memories

When I was 2 or 3, my cousin introduced me to Janet Jackson and I danced and sang my way through “Nasty” and “Lately”. My parents further encouraged this behavior by taping it using their VHS Camcorder. They were cool like that.

When I was about 7, I remember receiving my own personal tape player and microphone set-up, perfect for rapping to MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice on my parents’ screened in back porch. I was dope.

When I was about 12, my family started having karaoke nights, despite the fact that none of us could sing…well, we could sing, we just weren’t any good. Our karaoke machine was well loved and our song selection was impressive. We had a binder of CDs from which to choose, but inevitably I always chose “Brick House”. Complete with a little self-choreographed dance.

My adolescence was marked with age inappropriate karaoke.

Then, I went off to college, got my first apartment and realized that I could own karaoke games. Karaoke competitions? In my own home? Count. Me. In. I bought SingStar, Karaoke Revolution, and Get On Da Mic and held karaoke parties with friends. Watching each and every person try to hit a perfect score was entertaining to say the least, but best of all it provided me with 3 karaoke standards, should someone every bribe me to sing karaoke in public.

These standards have proven invaluable already, after an overconfident and unfortunate group effort involving “Scarborough Fair”… [Did you know there are more words to it than “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”? We didn’t.]

Turn the Beat Around by Gloria Estefan

9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

Wannabe by Spice Girls

image via Cuba Gallery on Flickr

Road Trip Revelations

About 2 months ago, I took a road trip to Austin, Texas with a friend. I was visiting Adam, she was visiting family [and IKEA. It’s amazing how much you can fit into a 2-door convertible]. During this trip, she decided that it would be best if I scrolled through all 6,524 songs on my iPod while she drove and made note of the songs she wanted.

Approximately 16 roundtrip hours, a cramped left thumb and 6,524 clicks of the next button later, she had chosen 1,607 songs.

It was during this trip that I realized just how revealing an iPod can be about someone. She learned things about me that I’ve made her promise never to share with anyone else, mainly because I don’t want people to know that I own every Paula Abdul album or that I enjoy Disney music or that “Barbie Girl” can be found on my iPod.

But for everything I’ve sworn her not to share I’ve got equally embarrassing dirt on her. Like that she requested both Taylor Hicks and Spice Girls. The best part of this experience was the realization that we both have guilty music pleasures that are equally embarrassing, and many of those are the same.

Here’s three embarrassing songs from my collection that I love no matter what…

Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls

Step By Step by New Kids on the Block

Straight Up by Paula Abdul

Perfect Playlists

I’ve become addicted to Songza Sets during the work week, so on this rainy Sunday afternoon I decided to re-create some of their playlists in my iTunes library. These playlists are eclectic, just like my music library, and are perfect to get you down the road, through a work day, or chill on a weekend.
Summertime, Summertime – The Jamies
Summer In The City – Lovin’ Spoonful
Heat Wave – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Bobby Vinton
Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters
Summer Of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
Summer Girls – LFO
Kodachrome – Paul Simon
Summer Nights – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone
Cruel Summer – Bananarama
Ventilator Blues – Rolling Stones
Cemetry Gates –  The Smiths
It Must Be Summer – Fountains of Wayne
California Girls – The Magnetic Fields
Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
It’s Summertime –  The Flaming Lips
The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five featuring Melle Mel & Duke Bootee
Suddenly Last Summer – The Motels
The Warmth Of The Sun – The Beach Boys
Over and Done WithThe Proclaimers
Oh Yoko!John Lennon
Making TimeThe Creation
Alone Again OrLove
Ooh La LaFaces
A Quick One, While He’s AwayThe Who
Hey JudeThe Beatles
Me and JulioPaul Simon
Needle in the HayElliott Smith
These DaysNico
Judy is a PunkThe Ramones
Stephanie SaysThe Velvet Underground
Everyone Van Morrison
Life On MarsDavid Bowie
WigwamBob Dylan
O Astronauta de Mármore (Starman) Seu Jorge
This Time TomorrowThe Kinks
StaralfurSigur Ros
Where Do You Go ToPeter Sarstedt
Heroes and VillainsThe Beach Boys
Buckeye JimBurl Ives
Let Her DanceBobby Fuller Four
Ain’t No Grave – Crooked Still
Beaumont Rest Stop – Red Molly
Beg and Borrow – Mike and Ruthy
Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby – Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch
In Spite Of Ourselves – John Prine
The Littlest Birds – Be Good Tanyas
Lock Your Devils Up – Nathan
My First Lover – Gillian Welch
Picture in My Mind – Freakwater
Mexico – James Taylor
Tamacun – Rodrigo y Gabriela
Peel Me a Grape – Diana Krall
Mi Primo Juan – Chambao
Serre Moi – Tryo
L’Amoureuse – Carla Bruni
You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
Carpe Diem – Aldebert
Mambo Gelato – Ray Gelato
Mi Primo Juan – Chambao
Serre Moi – Tryo
Mambo Italiano – Club des Belugas Remix
Level Green (Blue States Remix) – Hefner

Let the Music Play

I think it’s an annual tradition on my blog[s] that I do a post where I put iTunes on shuffle and tell you what 30 songs play. It helps flex my sometimes tired writing muscles and rescue me from boredom when there’s nothing to watch on my DVR. Here’s last year’s post.

Seeing as it’s a tradition and all, I can’t disappoint my readers [all 1 of you] now can I? Plus I need documented proof that my taste in music really is as schizophrenic as I claim it is. [Hmmm, maybe I should reconsider this whole idea now that I see it in writing] Oh well, here we go!

  1. Faces Going Places – Jose Vanders. A great young artist out of the UK you’ve probably never heard of.
  2. The Acid Queen – The Who. You can thank the boyfriend for this one. He introduced me to the music of The Who via Tommy at The Rep. Yes, I had no idea what songs they sang or that they even sang good music, but I was proven wrong. Dang that boyfriend. My only saving grace was handily beating him at pinball during intermission 🙂
  3. St. Judy’s Comet – Paul Simon. I have to be honest, I hadn’t heard this song until this little exercise but I find it quite enjoyable. I mean, who doesn’t like Paul Simon?
  4. My Boo – Ghost Town DJ’s. aaaaaand the schizophrenia begins. Yes, I’m a fan of 90’s hip-hop and yes I actually remember the words to this song.
  5. Never Surrender – Corey Hart. Did I mention I’m an 80’s music addict? C’mon, admit it, you know you are too… As a side note, did you know this song was 5 minutes long? That’s a lot of 80’s pop musicality.
  6. Oh Yeah – Yello. I told you I was an 80’s music addict. Now do you believe me? I love the ch-chchikaaah’s in this song, btdubs.
  7. Hold Me – Fleetwood Mac. Anytime a Fleetwood Mac song begins to play I smile. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. Plus, there’s some cowbell in this and I hear it’s a great prescription for fevers.
  8. Jungle Love – The Time. Embarrassing, really embarrassing even if it is an early Prince track, but I can’t help but sing along with the “oh-wee-oh-wee-oh’s”.
  9. Farther Along – Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers. “Oh cheer up my brothers live in the sunshine”. I need this reminder every so often.
  10. Run Around – Blues Traveler. Ok this song? This song right here? Was one of my childhood jams. I LOVE[D] Blues Traveler and even had this on cassette. [For you young’uns out there, before invisible .mp3 files and CDs, there used to be these small plastic boxes with ribbon on gears inside. We’d put these magical boxes in a boombox, Walkman, or car stereo and our favorite music would play. It was truly amazing.]
  11. What Have You Done For Me Lately – Janet Jackson. This song and I go waaaaay back. When I was just a toddler running and dancing around my parents’ house in diapers I learned the words to “Nasty” and this was the next song on the cassette, so I learned the words to its intro as well. In fact, my parents video taped me dancing and singing “Nasty” and the intro to this song, which you can watch on YouTube.
  12. One Vision – Queen. My dad’s love of Queen was obviously passed down to me.
  13. Be My Baby – The Ronettes. Fitting, since I carried a watermelon today.
  14. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven – Phil Collins. Early 90’s Phil, is there anything better?
  15. Then Came You – Dionne Warwick & the Spinners. Did I also mention I enjoy music from the 70’s?
  16. What a Fool Believes – The Doobie Brothers. I rest my case.
  17. Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper. You can’t say you’re a fan of 80’s pop and not have this song.
  18. Sisters are Doing it for Themselves – Eurythmics. I cannot express my love for Eurythmics eloquently enough.
  19. Mo Money Mo Problems – Notorious B.I.G. May he rest in peace.
  20. Inside – Sting. Sting is my favorite artist of all time. Seriously, I cannot get enough of his music. Perfection, every.single.time.
  21. The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy. Yep, I also like classic rock. This is a sunroof open kinda song.
  22. Yesterday – The Beatles. My favorite band of all time [closely followed by The Police]. This song is just so beautiful and I love the melody. McCartney is a musical genius.
  23. Constellations – Jack Johnson. Obligatory college leftover. Surprisingly I can still listen to it. Not my favorite Jack Johnson, though.
  24. Hey Baby – Bruce Chanel. My parents raised my sister and me on Oldies. I’m pretty sure this was played on a weekly basis.
  25. Anyone Else But You – The Moldy Peaches. Anyone else a Juno soundtrack fan?
  26. Loose Ends – Imogen Heap. If you haven’t heard of Imogen YouTube her now. This woman is amazing. She can and does make beautiful music from a radiator, a sweeping broom, and any other household sound you can think of.
  27. Can’t Stop – Missy Elliot. Yeah, I listen to rap too. Missy is a favorite, even if I can’t understand half of the lyrics to her songs, her beats are sick. [Did I really just type that?]
  28. Chameleon – Elton John. After going to his the Face2Face tour with Billy Joel with my sister I have become an even bigger fan of his music. A true entertainer and, I dare say, he gets better with age [without a shadow of a doubt].
  29. Brown Eyed Girl – Steel Pulse. Is there any better summer beach music than this reggae standard? I didn’t think so.
  30. Jesus & Gravity – Dolly Parton. Ever since my sister and I skated on/polished wood floors to Dolly’s “9 to 5” record I’ve been a fan. She’s like the Betty White of the country music world.