Sunday, October 31, 2010

Earworm: Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)

Happy Halloween!

I watched the remake of Night of the Demons last night. Certain sequences were great, but for the most part it made me wish that I was watching something else instead.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of zombie movies, and The Return of the Living Dead is definitely among the best ever made. Very little has ever come close to topping its perfect blend of horror and comedy.

"Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)" by SSQ will always hold a special place in my heart. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I want the entire Return of the Living Dead soundtrack played at my funeral. Then everyone can look at each other uncomfortably while I laugh from beyond the grave, or at least until my reanimated corpse comes back for their brains.

Send more paramedics.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Earworm: Baby

I was driving iPodless yesterday and had my choice of listening to a high-school football simulcast or top-40. Given that I have no desire to either watch or listen to football, the choice was easy.

That Justin Bieber girl makes some pretty catchy music.

I kid, I kid. I'm far too old to get into the mud-slinging that comes with every generation. I lived through both New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys. This too shall pass.

In all fairness, "Baby" is a pretty great pop song. There is absolutely nothing to differentiate it from any other teenybopper song that has come out in the past 60 years. Even the lyrics ask, "Are we an item?" That sounds like something that my mother would have had on 45 when she was a teenager.

Whoops, I take that back. The Ludacris rap gives it current street cred. I shall consider myself served.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Earworm: Give It All

I'll make this brief. Rise Against is one of my favorite bands. Their later stuff doesn't do much for me anymore, but throw on "Give It All" and I'll slam-dance into anything in sight.

When Siren Song of the Culture Culture was still new, I was going to Atlanta to see Alkaline Trio in concert. The ticket said "Alkaline Trio with special guests the Masquerade," and I figured that the Masquerade was the name of the opening act. Upon pulling into town, I found out that it was actually the name of the venue. Fair enough, right? The only problem was that I still didn't know who was opening. It wasn't until we were walking up to the door that I saw Rise Against listed on the marquee. I pretty much lost my shit right there. It was one of the best concerts that I have ever seen.

This sixth-grade book report was brought to you by music. Pass it on!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Earworm: Paint Your Wagon

The Mrs. started being annoyed with me a few nights ago, when I suddenly started singing "Paint Your Wagon" from The Simpsons with different words. She had no idea what it was, nor why I was singing it. Last night, we curled up on the sofa and watched How to Train Your Dragon which, coincidentally, came in the mail from Netflix around the same time that I started singing the song. It was one of the best adventure movies that I have seen in years. Seriously. The storytelling was absolutely amazing.

Gonna train your dragon... Yeah, she isn't going to get sick of that at all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Earworm: Funky Cold Medina

Tone-Lōc's "Funky Cold Medina" hits a little too close to home. I'm not ready to share that story with the interwebs yet. Until then, some classic hip-hop sounds will have to do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Earworm: River Deep, Mountain High

Yesterday's "Bring It On" post got me curious about who sang the chorus. Well, it turns out that it was Chris Bailey from the Saints. Upon discovering this, I immediately loaded up my iPod with a bunch of songs by the Saints and drove around a national park with "River Deep, Mountain High" blasting through my car speakers.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Earworm: Bring It On

Nick Cave is one of the few artists whom I could listen to forever. Someday I'll tell you the story of how he helped me win my wife over, but for now "Bring It On" will have to do. In my opinion, this is not only the best song from 2003's Nocturama, but one of the absolute best of his long career.

Note to self: You forgot that there was a new Grinderman album. That needs to be rectified with a quickness.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Earworm: Hook

I remember when Blues Traveler started getting big. Everyone loved "Run-Around," but I couldn't get enough of "Hook," a song that I first heard on a radio-station sampler. Every time I started listening to something else that semester, the hook would bring me back.

Sorry for that. Bad puns aren't really my thing. Now I'm just ashamed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Earworm: Who Can It Be Now?

Last night I was driving in my car and "Who Can It Be Now?" by Men at Work started playing on the SlotRadio thing. I began singing along when suddenly I realized that I couldn't hear my own voice. Apparently Colin Hay's vocals cancel out my own. White noise is cool.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Earworm: Curiosity

I recently ended up getting a card for a SlotRadio player, which assumes that the listener doesn't care what they're listening to, as long as there is background noise. The card in question is a compilation of Billboard's chart-topping hits from the 1980s and 1990s. Given that I was spending my time cleaning the bathroom and kitchen from floor to ceiling, I figured that there was no better time to take it for a spin. Since then I have been letting it play in the car on the way to work.

Starting off with the 1980s-pop playlist, I encountered the typical fare from Culture Club, Duran Duran and Michael Jackson, but it's the inclusion of the Jets that threw me for a loop. Sure, I would expect to hear "You Got It All," but so far it has only assaulted my ears with "Curiosity" and "You Better Dance."

In a half-hearted attempt to make it play one of the two Jets songs that I like instead of minor hits, I managed to get "Curiosity" stuck in my head. Now if only the player would actually play one of those, all would be right with the world.

Wow, I forgot about all of these songs. I guess I can expect lots of earworms from the Jets from now on.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Earworm: Magic Dance

I really love David Bowie, but my adoration of Labyrinth has really waned over the years. It will always hold great memories for me, but there are countless other '80s movies that I would rather watch.

While"Magic Dance" is from my least-favorite era of Bowie's many incarnations. Play pretty much anything other than Labyrinth or Never Let Me Down and I'm happy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Earworm: Heart Shaped Box

Nirvana were the reigning kings of misheard lyrics in the mid-1990s. I used to think that the lyrics to "Heart Shaped Box" were "Dee-dee-dee-dee orchids."

That is all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Earworm: Oh Sheila

Hell yeah, this is my jam. There are a few bands that sound enough like Prince, yet still hold their own as independent groups to rank right up there with his best. "Oh Sheila" by Ready for the World is definitely in the cream of the crop, like a fantastic mix of Prince and New Edition.

I catch myself singing this all the time, but it's never do it on purpose. I guess that puts it near the top of my subconscious-mind's charts.

This was another tape that I wore out in the '80s. A quick search through my library shows that I don't own it anymore. I think it's time to fix that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Earworm: Zombie

Wow, I really used to love the Cranberries. While I don't particularly care for their music anymore, I certainly did in high school. I will forever identify Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? with  driving around during heavy snowfall with "Linger" playing from my car speakers.

That brings us to the song in question for today. When the second album, No Need to Argue, dropped, I was immediately drawn to "Zombie," a song that took everything from their first album and made it much, much more powerful. I played it constantly, to the point where if I had been playing guitar, my finger would have been bleeding. Instead, I just annoyed my parents with Dolores O'Riordan's voice.

Sadly, my love for the Cranberries was to be short-lived. The third album, To the Faithful Departed, annoyed me off to no end. I absolutely hate "Salvation," a terribly-written piece of preachy, screechy garbage. It didn't help that it was released during my freshman year of college, when my musical tastes were changing for the better. Look it up if you don't believe me. It's absolutely horrible.

Nostalgia is a powerful tool of erosion, though, and the Cranberries came back into my life in 2004, when I was finally nearing the end of my undergraduate career. I took a political-communication class in which we had to run a campaign for a fake politician. On April Fools' Day, my group's candidate presented a mock-press release in which she took a strong stance toward protecting the city from the zombie apocalypse. Other classmates took it upon themselves to show that our candidate didn't take the election seriously, but we won in the end with a hastily-written advertisement that was underscored by the Cranberries.

That was the most rewarding A that I have ever received.

A little shameless self-promotion here, but my dream is to get into doing voice-over work. My very first blog post is a commercial that a friend and I made for a Penske contest, but the election commercial is what made me decide that I wanted to explore voice-over acting at all. Sadly, there do not seem to be many opportunities in Knoxville, but I will continue to dream. Any leads would be most appreciated, as well.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Right Back Where We Started From

I'm really not sure where this one came from. I'm assuming that I heard it in passing while a commercial was playing on TV. Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" is a great, great song, one that will always make me feel better. That's good, as I have a huge headache coupled with nausea right now. No, I'm not pregnant.

Last summer, I was forcing myself to listen to an album that I had downloaded from eMusic, Army Navy by Army Navy. I really wasn't liking their sound until the album reached the end, and a cover of "Right Back Where We Started From." It almost made me want to listen to the whole album again. Almost. I didn't give in, but now I do want to listen to that cover again.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Earworm: Do You Know Where You're Going To

Growing up in Minneapolis in the 1980s, there were certain commercials from which a kid couldn't escape. "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" by Diana Ross was one of them. It seemed like every time I turned on the television, there was an ad for a local law firm that featured the song. It had the typically-depressed-looking people who needed an attorney for the usual criminal activities, but ended with a very hopeful woman simply saying "adoption." That stuck with me, and I've always had a soft spot for the song because of it. Why shouldn't it? I was adopted as well.

That reminds me of a summer camp story. When I was first starting high school, I went to camp and met a girl who was also adopted. It was exciting for both of us to have that in common, so we talked about it all the time.

There was also a very nosy kid that always listened in on our conversations. One day he asked both of us if we were Korean. It was understandable, since there were a ton of children adopted from Korea in the 1970s. The only problem is that the girl and I both had blond hair and blue eyes.

We both said that we were.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Earworm: Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

My buddy Matt sent me this last night. I damn him for all eternity for creating my new obsession. "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" by Das Racist is some sort of new gateway that is going to make a great case for getting me back into indie-hop.

Okay, now I can't stop listening to "You Oughta Know."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Earworm: Stray Cat Strut

I love some Stray Cats. It was weird though. Back in my pseudo-gothy days, "Stray Cat Strut" would pack the floor every single time. There was just something about watching the children of the night dance seductively to Brian Setzer while dressed in their vinyl and wearing their Betty Page bangs that always put me in a good mood, even if it did break up the normal industrial set.

Oh wow, I don't think that I have never seen the "Stray Cat Strut" video before. This is some killer stuff.

I miss my pompadour. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Earworm: Sho Nuff

Nobody liked Fatboy Slim's "Sho Nuff" when I played it. I still don't understand why the floor cleared every time. Some people just don't appreciate good dance music, I guess.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Earworm: Layla

It took me a long time to get into Eric Clapton. Sure, I think that he is important in the history of rock music, and I know a metric ton of his songs now, but I really wasn't familiar with him until the MTV Unplugged album came out. That introduced me to a couple of songs that would go on to be staples at every single school dance from that point. In hindsight, "Tears in Heaven" was pretty creepy as a slow-dance number, but the reworked "Layla" was an instant classic.

It took me several more years to actually hear the original version of "Layla" by Clapton's group Derek and the Dominos. My mind was blown. Here was this singer who I only knew as an adult-contemporary artist making some of the most electrifying rock music that I had ever heard. Kids, take note: This is how it's done.

The entire reason "Layla" got stuck in my head? I was cutting the dog's nails while Dancing with the Stars was on in the background. It was a backing track for the episode.

Crap, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that. Oh well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Earworm: My Humps

I'm not really sure where this one came from. "My Humps" is still the most ridiculous pop single that I can think of coming out in at least the past ten years. Before that, I loved the Black Eyed Peas. The single didn't tarnish that love, but it did mark the point when I lost respect for them as artists but began appreciating them as hit-makers. Anyone who can turn those lyrics into a smash single wins in my book.

My favorite part is whenever Fergie says "Check it out!" That's great songwriting, right there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Earworm: Pop Muzik

I know perfectly well that new wave started in the 1970s, but it always throws me when I remember that M's "Pop Muzik" was actually released in 1979. I was just a wee lad of three years old, but I have vivid memories of dancing like the kids on Yo Gabba Gabba whenever I would hear it.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that my dancing is pretty much the same as it was then. A three-year-old has better moves than I do. That's not likely to change any time soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Earworm: The Final Countdown

Wait, wait, I'm pretty sure that I already wrote about "The Final Countdown" by Europe before, but I don't care. We played Rock Band and Buzz last night, and that was the unifying factor. It will have to do.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Earworm: Bleeding Love

Dammit, Leona Lewis, why couldn't you leave my ears alone? I thought we were cool, but then one of your songs played on the Musak at work. It's your one tolerable song too, although the distorted bass bugs me like crazy.

Honestly, I probably would have never noticed "Bleeding Love" if it weren't for the distortion. It's a nice song, but one that would have completely been missed by my radar if it weren't for that one little thing. Unfortunately, it gets negative attention from me.

It's weird though. The contrast of soothing melody over a harsh background just doesn't work for Leona Lewis, but I absolutely adore Sleigh Bells. I guess it's all in the production. Go figure.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Earworm: No Scrubs

TLC made some really positive songs with lyrics that encouraged their listeners to stay grounded and have respect for themselves, but one song in particular towers above the rest.

"No Scrubs" taught me that just because a man was yelling at me while driving around in his friend's car, I really didn't have to give him the time of day. That was a pretty good lesson, as offering rides to drunks on my way home from DJing wasn't the best idea in the world. Luckily that one guy just wanted take him to the strip club and left it at that.

I completely forgot about the single mix of this song. It had the elusive Left-Eye rap that wasn't found on the album. Drunk girls would always come up to the booth and yell at me for not playing the video version, but I could never find it. The Internet wasn't as abundant then as it is today. I just searched Amazon and immediately found a link for a "No Scrubs (With Rap)" MP3.  My copies of Promo Only only went so far to keep the inebriated masses from turning on one another, as well as myself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Earworm: Do Right

This one's going out to Timmy.

Back in my DJ days, this one guy would always come up to the booth and beg me to play "Do Right" by Jimmie's Chicken Shack. I didn't mind, as it was a nice change of pace from all the Jennifer Lopez and Nelly music that I was used to playing. I grew to anticipate his request and made it my goal to offer him a theme song whenever he arrived at the bar. It was usually pretty early, so I didn't have to worry about clearing the dance floor.

Timmy is really the only bar patron that I have kept in touch with over the years, and to this day, his ringtone is still "Do Right." Going back and watching the video, I'm amazed how well it worked out. Timmy looks just like Jimmy, but without the hair.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Earworm: Temptation

Certain songs are made for listening to while driving, but I'm fairly certain "Temptation" by Project Pitchfork doesn't appear on many people's lists. They should really try it though. Incidents of violence from road rage might go down, but it occurs to me that it isn't really a very soothing song. Maybe road rage would go up. I guess I'll just keep it to myself.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Earworm: Bela Lugosi's Dead

Happy October, everyone. It's my favorite month out of the year. The weather finally starts cooling off, and everything feels just a little more ominous.

I know that I have written about Bauhaus once before, but nothing sums up the mood of the season quite like "Bela Lugosi's Dead." There is just something that feels right about throwing on my headphones and taking a walk late at night while Peter Murphy provides the evening's soundtrack. The chill in the air just makes me feel a little more alive.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Earworm: Blame It

Ah, the summer of 2009. I remember it like it was yesterday. At the time, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing "Blame It" by Jamie Foxx. This struck me as particularly odd, given that I was on my honeymoon at Walt Disney World. Alternating between autotuned R&B and "It's a Small World" messes with you after a while.

Wow, it's been almost a year and a half since I have thought of that song. That isn't nearly long enough.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Earworm: Girl on TV

LFO was a terrible, terrible band, one that I was really hoping to save for a special occasion. Luckily, their big hit isn't today's earworm. Instead, it's "Girl on TV," a song that I had completely forgotten about until a few months ago when a friend randomly picked it for me to sing at karaoke night. I didn't remember the song at all, so I spoke it in the style of a drunken, authoritative William Shatner.

Upon arriving home from the bar, I searched out the song and actually remembered the video which stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as the object of the three guys' affections. I can't imagine that being stalked by three guys who look like late-'90s Jersey Shore cast members would be desirable, but some women must be into that kind of thing, right?

And now? Not only do I remember the melody enough to make a passable attempt at karaoke night, but "Girl on TV" gets stuck in my head on a fairly regular basis. I'm not happy about that at all.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Earworm: The theme song to Saved by the Bell

Okay, so I was packing up my stuff from my extended weekend and Saved by the Bell was on the television. I used to love that show. What was really exciting is that it was a greatest-hits episode of memorable clips, the kind that drove me nuts when I tuned into my favorite programs expecting a new episode but was treated to a collection of stale bits and pieces that I had already seen a million times before. This time, however? I knew that I would be treated to the single-greatest moment from the single-greatest episode in television history. If you were raised on Saved by the Bell, you know exactly which one I'm talking about.

That's right, it's Jessie Spano's mental breakdown while taking caffeine pills.

If you haven't seen the it before, you owe it to yourself to see the mother of all very special episodes. It puts the rest to shame.

I'm so excited.