R.I.P. Whitney. Thank you for sharing your gift with us while you were here.
What’d you think of Madonna’s halftime show? It’s gotten some mixed reviews. I thought it had some good moments, but overall, I just had sort of an, ‘eh’ feeling about it.
Did you love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? What has been your favorite or least favorite halftime show?
My daughter recently took up guitar. She plunks around on it just about every day and can now play the Peter Gunn theme and the basic blues riff of Bad to the Bone. It got me thinking of other songs she might start to try or at least listen to to get a feel for basic chord progression, and of course, just introduce more music she might like.
Obviously there is a TON of music out there and in my journey through my music library, which is still pretty huge even after I purged a bunch of stuff when I was done with my wedding DJ days, I started thinking about the different eras of music and which ones were my favorite.
First off, I have a fondness for 80s music. How lucky for me since everything 80s seems to be making a comeback. I wouldn’t say it’s the BEST era of music, but for me, it harkens back to a time when I was a kid, a pre-teen, before I had any troubles or cares really.
I like a lot of other eras as well, but for different reasons. 90s music, again, not in my opinion the best, but I like it because it reminds me of my teenage and college years, which, while different from childhood, were fun and adventurous years.
There are other eras I enjoy a lot too, ones I didn’t live through, but the music is just great, like the 40s and 50s.
What’s your favorite era of music? Does it remind you of your past or is it just the music that speaks to you?
If you’re like me, you probably get a tune stuck in your head every now and then. Sometimes it makes sense. You heard it on the radio, or wherever and it just stuck with you for the rest of the day. Some songs make less sense. Maybe you haven’t heard them in a while, but there they are, playing over and over inside your head. It almost seems like a form of madness. Especially when the song just repeats one line over and over or if it just stays stuck in there days despite your best efforts to replace it with something else.
This morning I woke up with “Hair” by Lady Gaga in my head. I listened to it last night, shortly before I went to bed. Makes sense. It’s not a bad song, but it’s just the chorus, since I don’t really know the rest of the song. And then for some reason when I was getting coffee I had a line of “Where the Streets have No Name” by U2 play through my head for no apparent reason and then go away again.
It’s one of those great mysteries.
So what about you? Are you prone to getting songs stuck in your head? Does it bother you? Are there any particular songs that seem to stick better than others?
I’m a huge fan of Motown Music. There are so many great songs and voices, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But not only is Motown’s music some of the best, true American music ever produced, it was also a powerful force in the Civil Rights Movement.
Berry Gordy, who started Motown didn’t get directly involved in civil rights himself, he left that to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the NAACP, although he did support them by donating money.
Gordy and Motown’s contribution to the movement was more subtle, but no less important. By having his artists present themselves with poise and sing songs blacks and whites could both relate to, he helped bridge the racial divide in the U.S.
Even the song lyrics served this purpose. On the surface many Motown songs are about love, romance, having fun, but if you dig a little deeper, many of them had other meanings you could take away from them as well.
Take Aretha Franklin’s “Think” for example. On the surface, it seems like a song about a troubled relationship,
I ain’t no psychiatrist,
I ain’t no doctor with degrees,
but it don’t take too much IQ,
to see what you’re doin’ to me.
but you can also see that it’s a song about the state of affairs in the U.S. at the time and the wish that people will come together.
The “freedom” refrain shows this and this line:
You need me and I need you,
Without each other, there ain’t nothing neither can do.
Songs like this did a lot to carry Dr. King’s peaceful message forward, while at the same time bringing people together with great music.
Think about when you go to a concert. You’re all there because you have at least ONE thing in common, you like the band or artist you are there to see. Music, by itself in this way is an amazing unifier. Because of this, it helped propel the movement forward in ways that may not even have been conscious or obvious at the time, but are entirely evident now.
What is your favorite Motown song?
Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season, no matter what or how you celebrate and am hopeful that this year will be the best one yet.
Besides, the holidays, I had a birthday in December. A milestone birthday – the big 35. Somebody asked me, do I feel 35? I hate that question, because I never feel my age, regardless of what that age is. I always feel much older (when I barely have the energy to keep up with my daughter) or much younger (when I still ponder what I’m going to be when I grow up).
At any rate, it was a good birthday. I actually spent it doing some Christmas shopping, but picked up a couple of CDs (gasp!) for myself for my birthday. There was a time when I bought CDs weekly. Mostly because I was a wedding DJ, but it was also a great excuse to buy whatever band or artist tickled my fancy at that time too. Unfortunately, in the 13 or so years since then, there has been precious little that I’ve actually wanted to plunk down the money for. And FAR long ago are the days where I’d carelessly by a CD based on one song in the hopes that the rest of the CD would be as good as that one song.
But there I was at Target (since, you know, most of the music stores are extinct) and I found myself flipping through the CDs. Then a song popped into my head. “Good Life” by One Republic. I like that song. I like the words, the message, the music…it’s definitely one of those songs that I would carelessly plunk down money on the whole CD in the hopes that the rest of the album is that good. So…I did. And…it was!
The only other song I’d heard from them, or knew I’d heard from them was “Apologize” which when it was getting a lot of airplay was billed more as a Timbaland song “featuring” One Republic. I liked that song too, but didn’t give it too much more thought than that, but when I heard “Good Life” for the first time, it kind of blew me away. I can’t tell you why, it’s just one of those things that hit you in the guts. Few songs have that effect on me, but when they do, it’s awesome.
So I bought the CD and played it while I finished up the rest of my shopping and then left it in the car so I could listen more and then brought it inside so I could listen to it at my computer and when I work out…you get the idea. It’s one of the first albums in a LONG time that I hear something new every time I listen and I’ve listened to it a LOT since I got it.
The band formed in 2002 and is from Colorado and get this…they are all actual musicians. Yes, they all play real instruments and all of them play more than one. I think it really comes through in the scope and depth of the music. Which I find sad. I mean, great for them, but sad that these days real musicianship is a rarity.
In any event, if you haven’t heard of this band, please do yourself a favor and check them out. “Good Life” is getting a lot of airplay at the moment and Disney even used it in one of their commercials, so you have probably heard it. Just in case you haven’t, I’ve posted the video below. I’ve kind of adopted it as my anthem for this year.
So here’s to a GREAT year and a GREAT life!
How was your New Year’s? Any plans or goals for the upcoming year? Any great music you recently discovered?
When you hear the name Johnny Mathis, the song “Chances Are” probably immediately pops into your head. But for me, it’s Christmas music, which is why I’m talking about him today. When I was younger, it was always Johnny Mathis playing in the house around Christmas time. (But I like “Chances Are” too.) Even now, it’s never 100% Christmas until I hear at least one Johnny Mathis song…hopefully, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or his version of “The Christmas Song.” My parents were big fans of his and we even saw him live at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia one year. I don’t remember very much of the show, but I remember enjoying it.
I wonder what it would have been like though if Mr. Mathis had gone with his original career choice…athletics. He received 4 athletic letters while he was in high school! Track and field, basketball, and was even asked to attend the 1956 Olympic team trials as a high jumper. Luckily for music fans, at the same time, he also had a meeting in NYC with a record label. He had a choice to make, and he chose music.
Since then, he’s sold over 350 million records worldwide, and received the Grammy Lifetime achievement award in 2003. He’s also kept ties to his athletic side by hosting several golf tournaments and has an annual track and field meet held at his alma mater, San Francisco State.
He’s also worked with charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the YMCA.
And he’s not showing any signs of stopping.
So what is your favorite Johnny Mathis song, if you have one?
Ok, I know it’s Music Monday, not Movie Monday, but we had so much fun last week talking about our favorite Christmas/Holiday songs, I figured, what the heck? Let’s talk about movies.
What is your favorite Christmas movie? That one movie or movies you MUST watch in order to have the holiday season feel complete?
Personally, I go for the classics. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the rest of the Rankin and Bass movies. I also really like “Scrooged” with Bill Murray. Carol Kane’s portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas present is the best.
So what are your favorites?
It’s that time of year again when some radio stations switch over to all holiday songs, we hear it in the stores, etc. It’s everywhere. And whether you love it or hate it, you probably have at least one that you love or hate the most…or both.
I like different kinds of holiday music from traditional carols to modern songs, but my favorite is Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s rendition of “Little Drummer Boy.” The song itself is beautiful, great melody and I like the addition of the “Peace on Earth” verse that goes with it. But what I really like is just the weirdness of it all. Bing Crosby and David Bowie?! What was that planning meeting like?
My least favorite is “The Christmas Shoes.” I know a lot of people DO like it, and that’s fine, everybody has different tastes, but there are also a lot of people who don’t like it, including comedian Patton Oswalt. You can see the video below. WARNING: The video has explicit language and imagery.
What are some of your favorite and not so favorite holiday tunes?
It’s amazing how your first few waking moments can set the tone for your entire day. I used to have my alarm clock set to the loud buzzer setting on the alarm clock. I used to be a heavy sleeper and the grating buzz buzz buzz was the only thing that would wake me up.
Now, I opt for music. But that took a while to work out too. Something too light, like classical, and it wouldn’t wake me up. Something too hard, and it’d wake me up, but then I’d usually start my day off in kind of a sour mood. Now, I have ye olde clock radio set to a nice middle of the road station. Enough energy to get me up, but not enough to jar me out of my skin. Now sometimes that first song I hear right out of bed gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day, but that’s a different story.
So what about you? Do you prefer music to wake you up? If so, what kind? If not, what gets you up in the morning?