There’s a slightly convoluted story to go along with this selection. The song I’m including in this post, The Magnetic Fields’ The Book of Love, was a song I asked my friend Chris Perry to play at my wedding. He surprised us by playing a different Magnetic Fields song, It’s Only Time, which was beautiful, and totally fitting. Then, when we had our reception, seven months later, Chris came prepared to play The Book of Love for us, which he did, beautifully. I think this is truly one of the most beautiful and romantic songs ever written, with sentiment, humor and a beautiful melody. It was meant to be played at our wedding, and instead it was played at our reception, but this is the song I’m including here.
There are several songs I listen too when I’m sad, but one that always makes me feel better comes from Jann Arden, you guessed it, a Canadian singer/songwriter. Mend is heart-achingly beautiful and such a comfort after you have a fight with the one you love that feels shattering. It’s about the healing after the war. I love the way the vocals soar during the chorus, and the lyrics, so simple, yet so powerful. Now a caution before you watch the video: the only thing I could find was the song paired with a video of scenes from Dawson’s Creek. Just listen to the song, don’t watch the video and you’ll be all right. The other problems is that embedding isn’t allowed, so you have to click on the link below to listen to it. But please do, it’s worth it and it will instantly make you feel better if you’re sad.
Not only is this day 20 of my 30 Day Song Challenge, it’s also the 300th post on our blog. So there. Anyway, a song that I listen to when I’m angry… just about anything off Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine would qualify… especially Head Like a Hole, but there’s a song that strikes me as dripping with anger that is even cooler, and it has an awesome video to boot.
Dalbello is a… (wait for it)… Canadian musician who got her start as a teen pop singer (Lisa Dalbello) and matured into a sophisticated singer/songwriter/drummer (!) whose songs are direct, angry, compelling, and usually dealing with feminist issues. She’s got an amazing voice that just howls. Think Alanis Morisette about ten years earlier. The song I’ve chosen is called eLeVeN, and while it doesn’t scream with the same rage as Head Like a Hole there is a simmering fury underlying the vocals. I’m not sure what the significance of the number eleven is in the song, but Dalbello repeats the lyric, “I count eleven,” several times, and it reminds me of the warning, count to ten before acting rashly. And this video? It’s bizarre and oh so cool. Check it out.
I’ve already posted one song from my favorite album, but since it’s my favorite, I obviously don’t mind posting another. Day 1 featured my favorite song, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love. That album is the title track from my favorite album, but another favorite song off that album is The Big Sky, which is today’s highlighted song. The Big Sky is such a raucous, joyous song, the type of song Kate Bush isn’t as well known for, and lyrically it’s both silly and profound. It’s got a pulsating, driving bass line, the layered drums that were so prevalent on Hounds of Love, and vocal gymnastics to die for. The video is tons of fun, an all-out celebration of things in the sky. It’s a great song to dance to, it’s a great song to blast at high volume, and Kate looks and sounds fabulous in the video. So please, enjoy, The Big Sky.
I don’t think there is one song that describes me. I have many moods, many faces. But there is one song that paints a pretty good picture of the romantic side of me. Mae Moore’s Because of Love became a song that represented my feelings when I was in the first blush of love with Scot. It wasn’t the only song but it’s idealistically romantic sentiment rings so true to my heart. Musically it also speaks directly to my heart, and the melodic riffs and the building chorus the send tingles up my spine every time I listen to it. It’s lush and dreamy and makes me want to be a better person.
Mae Moore is a Canadian singer/songwriter. The accompanying video is just gorgeous. I can watch it over and over. It is both timeless and rooted in the present. It was part of our wedding reception mix and always make me think of Scot, but it also makes me think of my heart.
As I have stated in the past, I can usually find something I like in most genres of music, but I’m not really a fan of rap. But with the onslaught of Rap music in the 90’s even I found something to like. Not surprisingly, the rap that I gravitated to came from Salt ‘N Pepa, whose forthright, sexy, girl power rap appealed to my gay, quasi-feminist sensibilities (I said quasi). Their videos were fresh and sassy, and they had such distinct personalities. Salt was smart and sexy, Pepa was tough (and frankly a little scary) and sexy, and Spinderella was soft-spoken, sweet, and quite honestly, kind of dirty listen to her verse in the song I chose. So while some people are probably aware that I’m a fan of Salt ‘N Pepa, there are probably a lot of people I know who would be surprised to learn that I own a couple of their albums! (Of course, I probably could have surprised as many people with the fact that I own a Queensryche album, and as mentioned below, not one, but TWO Corey Hart albums. (I do not own the abysmal Sunglasses at Night.)
Anyway, for Salt ”N Pepa, and the song no one would expect me to love, I’m choosing Whatta man. How can you not love this sexy, fresh, homage to good men and relationships, while representing a strong sisterhood. They’re even backed vocally by the all-girl En Vogue. It’s a slightly raunchy video, but it’s all in good fun, there’s some fine dance moves, and those ladies made some great videos.
Guilty pleasures are interesting things, and I’m old enough not to actually feel to guilty about music I like. I could have gone with some obvious answers like ABBA or some mid-70’s schlock, but now that 70’s music is nostalgic, it’s kind of cool. Also, as I’ve stated before, the point of this exercise for me, is to post about some good music, so the song and band I have chosen I would defend as being good music. I went through a phase in the 80s of liking some unabashedly poppy stuff fronted by “pretty boys” and my guilty pleasure pick comes from one of those. I think I could have picked guiltier pleasures (I do own a couple of Corey Hart albums, and here comes a guilty admission… I was a member of the Glass Tiger fan club… as an adult!) but I’m sure some people will think I have plenty to feel guilty about regarding this band.
The band is Cutting Crew, primarily knows for their hits, (I just) Died in Your Arms Tonight and I’ve Been in Love Before. Cutting crew got the guilty pleasure rap largely I think because of that, “Ah, ha” sung before the line, “I just died in your arms tonight,” and the fact that lead vocalist Nick Van Eede was quite the pretty boy (hey, Scot, doesn’t he remind you a little of Daniel from Days of Our Lives?). But along with Mr. Van Eede (who still performs using the band name Cutting Crew) was lead guitarist and co-songwriter Kevin MacMichael, who happened to be Canadian, played with Robert Plant on one of his solo albums, and was pretty deft with the melodic, rock guitar lick. Tragically, Kevin has passed away in 2002 as a result of lung cancer. The song I’m choosing is one that probably a lot of people never heard It was the fourth single from their debut album Broadcast and didn’t crack the Top 100, although this video did get some airplay on MTV. It’s called Any Colour, and I really love this song still to this day. It’s got some great melodic guitar licks (see above), has nice lyrics, has a great tune, a nice video and gotta confess, I like Nick’s voice and he’s wearing an awesome pair of boots. Hope you enjoy!
I’ve altered today’s challenge slightly adding the “you like” to “A song you like form a band you hate.” It’s too easy to post a song from a band you hate; what’s the point of that? What’s more interesting is to post a song by a band you hate that you actually like. I had a few contenders for this one, but I ended up with something I’m satisfied with.
Coldplay is one of those bands that I always said I hated even though I didn’t really know any songs they did. They just seemed like a band I should hate, and in fact, most of the songs I’ve listened to while trying to find this elusive song that I liked, I actually do dislike. In fact Clocks, the song in question, is a song I’ve heard a few times and always really like. It’s reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, whose work I really enjoy. When I realized it was Coldplay, i was rather surprised, but as this meme shows, there’s nothing wrong with liking a song by a band you hate. I must confess though, that when I watch this video, there are several parts that make me hate them even while I’m enjoying the song. So without further ado, here is Clocks.
While Kate Bush is my favorite artist, I’ve got a couple of bands who vie at any given time for the crown. Heart and Martha & the Muffins always hover around the top of my favorite bands list, but for sheer longevity, and diversity of music, Fleetwood Mac remains on top. While I jumped on the Fleetwood Mac bandwagon like many others during their heyday in the mid-70s, I went back and explored their catalog and their roots as a British blues band starting out in the late 60s. It wasn’t until the addition of Christine McVie that things really came together for me, and obviously, the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks made magic happen for me, like the rest of the world. Since Ms. McVie’s departure from the band over ten years ago, I have to say I haven’t been as interested.
Of course, with all the terrific songs Fleetwood Mac has performed, I had trouble deciding which one to post here. I decided it had to be a Christine McVie track as she is my favorite member. I thought I’d go back to the pre-Buckingham/Nicks days, and I knew I had to choose Heroes Are Hard to Find with its sassy lyrics and funky brass licks. It’s a bit of a departure for Chris, while still recognizably her. If you haven’t heard this track, do yourself a favor and take a listen.
I don’t actually fall asleep without intending to, so I don’t think there are any songs that make me fall asleep. However, there are songs that have put me in a sleep-like trance, and there’s one song in particular, linked to one night in particular that is strong in my memory. I had just started dating someone who would turn out to be my first long-term serious relationship, and I got home one night from one of our first dates. I was living in Melrose at the time and my roommate either wasn’t home, or was already asleep. I was lying on the couch, staring up at the ceiling and the shadows that were flowing across it as cars went by on the street. I was in a state of semi-bliss and I had Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish album on. Love Rhinoceros, and that song has a somewhat hypnotic effect on me as well, but the one that really put me in a sort of trance is Crush. Between the opening bass riff, and the ethereal guitar harmonics, lead vocalist Billy Corrigan manages to restrain himself vocally. I’m kind of falling into a trance right now as I’m listening to the song and typing this. I certainly didn’t fall asleep that night, but it was a mesmerizing effect and a moment in my life I’ll always remember.