Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

A few things before we get started.

A. So, I'm starting piano lessons again and i'm ready to actually commit this time. I have far fewer distractions, a lot more time on my hands and with my new lifestyle changes, a few more dollars to spend towards an actual piano in my house to practice on. I'm making a CD of good piano tunes for Ashley, my friend and teacher, to transpose for me to play and practice. Playing a simplified version of Piano Man is a lot more fun than Mary Had a Little Lamb, trust me. So here's a brief synopsis of the CD i'm making for her:
1. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond (a bar classic)
2. Piano Man - Billy Joel (another barroom classic)
3. Don't Stop Believing - Journey (after The Sopranos finale, this song will bring the house down)
4. The Luckiest - Ben Folds (for the ladies...)
5. Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie (this song kills me, i could play the intro over and over)
6. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel (one of my favorites)
7. Clocks - Coldplay (not my favorite band, but a good piano song)
8. Colorblind - Counting Crows (this song breaks hearts...)
9. Riders on the Storm - The Doors (i know it's a keyboard, but this song kicks ass.)
10. Something in The Way She Moves - James Taylor (not that i could do it justice...)
11. A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash (can't wait to sing along to this one)
12. Nightswimming - REM (just sounds good, even if nobody knows what it is)

Let me know if you have any suggestions. I'm definitely open to them.

B. There are 2 new shows coming out, one on Fox, one on NBC (i think) that are these karaoke shows in which the contestant wins by knowing the words to songs. They play the song, the person starts singing the words and then they turn the music off and the person keeps singing, or they're expected to say the next line. Why wasn't i informed that these shows were happening?!? Is there some kind of web site in which they look for contestants for these things that i don't know about? Did they identify me as a threat to their bank accounts and blacklist me? I WOULD DESTROY THESE SHOWS! I'm figuring out how to get on one of them as soon as i finish writing this.

On with the shuffle:
1. House of The Rising Sun - Bob Dylan
Is it possible to have a worse voice and still have the song sound amazing? I think no.
I mean, his voice just sounds awful, but it's so perfect at the same time. I've heard this song done a thousand different ways and by a thousand different voices and while i love The Doors' version, this one is really growing on me. I think that Dylan's voice just fits the rawness and pain of the context of this song. It sounds like the song you'd hear if you just jumped a train or were sitting around a campfire with some other downtrodden folk. It just sounds like it's from another time period altogether.

2. Captain Jack - Billy Joel
A terrific Billy Joel song about drugs and women and trying to be cool and all the stuff that make being a rock star so kickass. Is it just me or is this song the musical equivalent of Boogie Nights?

3. Stay or Leave - Dave Mathews, off of Some Devil
Some songs are inescapably connected to moments in our lives. Some good, some bad, it doesn't matter, but for those of us who view music as the soundtrack of our lives, you know what i'm talking about. It's almost symbiotic. There are songs the make me actually feel guilt, pain, happiness, goosebumps, etc. Interesting that music has this physiological affect on us...
Top 5 Songs that Completely Rip My Heart Out:
5. Brothers on a Hotel Bed - Death Cab
4. Rough Draft - Yellowcard
3. Mess - Ben Folds
2. Stay Or Leave - Dave Mathews
1. Colorblind - Counting Crows

4. American Pie - Don McLean
Totally forgot this one on the piano mix CD. I'll have to add it to the 2nd one. This is a terrific bar and sing-a-long song that any decent barroom piano player (and really, that's all i aim to be) should know.
One summer in Wyoming, my mom, brother, sister and I went on a hike up to some lake. My mom promised that there would be fishing at the lake and that it wasn't far. My sister and her mounted their horses and took off down the trail. My brother and i, having refused to ever ride (horses smell, are a pain to take care of and miserable to ride if you have testicles...) so we strapped our fishing stuff to our backs and started walking. Eight miles later we caught up at the lake, fished for about 18 minutes before realizing that there were either no fish, or they didn't want what we had, and turned around and headed back down the trail. Well i don't know how many of you have walked 16 miles in one day (not to mention 8 uphill and 8 downhill) but there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid being uncomfortable at some point. Your socks get sweaty, you get blisters, the packs start to rub your back raw, your calves and toes start to hurt from walking downhill and accidentally kicking you do what you can to pass the time and take your mind off it. Somehow i managed to bet my brother that between the two of us, we could put together every single word of this song in order..and so for a few hours on the way back to the truck we sang and sang and argued about whether the marching band refused to yield before or after jack flash sat on the candle stick...good times.

5. Let's Get High - Dr. Dre, off of Chronic 2001
Normally, i would skip this song...there's just not that much that can be said about it, and for one reason or another, i don't think this song really connects with the target audience of this me crazy.
Anyway, the reason it's being included is because there's a story behind it. Back in my senior year of high school, when i had a whole lot of jack shit to do, Danny Bogen and I would go run the bleachers or the track at Horizon at night. Inevitably, our parents realized we were at the school and logically could pick our brothers up from Marching Band practice since we were already there. So Danny and i would do our thing and then sit in the car listening to music, waiting for them. One night, there are about 30 other parents in the parking lot, all waiting for their kids and Danny grabs the Chronic 2001 cd...we're listening to it at a reasonable volume level and then this song comes on...for those of you who don't know, here are the lyrics to the first few lines of this song: "All the niggas and all these hoes is here/somebody here's gonna fuck." So what does Danny do as he sees Nole, Ron and Jack walking towards the parking lot? Of course he blasts it. I'm in my old Suburban, so Nole and Ron come running up, jump on the running boards and start rocking the shit out of my truck, thus directing even more attention to the complete vulgarity of the music we're playing ... and then come our little brothers, absolutely mortified at how we're acting in front of all the other kids and their parents. (Of course, we were the cool kids on campus, so we were actually making them cooler simply by being associated with us...) Makes me laugh every time.

Alright, have a great week. Enjoy music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Stay Or Leave is one of those songs that will forever make me feel every single emotion all at once. That and Betty and Al.