Garbled Lyrics

by on Aug.10, 2009, under family, music

I take a modicum of pride in the fact that I expose my kids to modern music rather than strictly kids stuff.  While they do listen to and enjoy some of the kids music, they mostly prefer less bubble-gummy fare.  And while I am happy that our tastes can overlap, most of this pride is in the fact that they have a keen enough sense of self to be selective in what they like.

To get to the point, one song that is on one of the CDs they listen to often in the family car, which also happens to be one of my ringtones on my phone (I like the introductory guitar sequence) is “Psycho” by Puddle of Mudd.  Often when it comes on in the car, my 2-year-old son will joke that I should answer my phone.  The other day, though, he had my wife in tears as he is singing it to himself without the song on to back him up as his interpretation of the chorus is “baby I’m a wow” (with significant twang on the word ‘wow’) – for those unfamiliar, the actual line goes “maybe I’m the one”.

Here is a video for the song (unfortunately I don’t have video of my son belting out his version):  Psycho – Puddle of Mudd

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Friday 5: For MJ

by on Jun.26, 2009, under music

In honor of the late King of Pop, here are five songs that I can appreciate of his (in no particular order):

  1. Billy Jean – Back in the day, this is the song that stood out among his popular hits. I enjoyed Beat It and P.Y.T. as well, but this one (though I didn’t really get it at the age of 8) moved me more than any of his other works at the time.
  2. Thriller – this was a classic. While most artists were trying to come up with videos to showcase their music, Michael wrote this song with the video in mind from the beginning. I’m not even sure what the message of the song is or if there really is one, but the visuals it stirs are vivid and clear (and obviously a bit spooky).
  3. Smooth Criminal – I have to admit, I never really knew or appreciated this song until Alien Ant Farm remade it recently. But having heard their version, I have a better appreciation for this song in general.
  4. The Way You Make Me Feel – ok, this one is a little hokey. But being 12 at the time, it had a feel-good sound I could appreciate.
  5. ABC – a Jackson 5 throwback (apparently actually before my time), this song just has pep and a fun sound to it. It stands up well, as far as pop songs are concerned.
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Friday 5: Pigs with Rhythm

by on Jun.12, 2009, under music

I like doing these lists of songs – music says a lot about people sometimes.  But of course, today’s list of songs are five songs that I have greatly enjoyed over the years dispite their fairly blatant chauvenism.  I’d like to say that most of them I just enjoyed for the music, but many had catchy lyrics as well.  So, in chronological order:

  1. What Girls Want by Material Issue:  Okay, I’m already embarrassed about this one.  Mostly because it is a very dated style that I can’t remember why I liked, but I did (in high school, though – I was young and stupid then).  And generally the lyrics portray women to be pretty flaky and senseless … but to a peppy beat.
  2. Heterosexual Man by The Odds:  This one I’m actually not at all embarrassed about.  This is not really negative towards women so much as pointing out how sex-driven man can be.  The characterization is sadly not far from the truth.  I first saw the video on 120 Minutes on MTV (back when they still showed music videos) and was hooked on the song and the band.
  3. Closer by Nine Inch Nails:  Again, this one doesn’t really demean women, but it portrays men as essentially a a few social conformities away from screwing anything that moves.  The video was f-ed up, but in a kind of awesome/train-wreck kind of way.
  4. She Hates Me by Puddle of Mudd:  As with others, I had gotten hooked on this song due to the video – I loved the build up with the fry cook and the kid in the classroom.  And whenever the song comes on the radio in my car (when I’m alone) I can’t help but belt out every word at the top of my lungs (the unedited lyrics of course).  And for those who are unaware, the theme of this song is of a guy pissed off about being blue-balled.
  5. Darling Nikki by Foo Fighters:  I know this is a cover of a Prince song, but I heard this version first and enjoy it a lot better.  Unfortunately, Dave Grohl wasn’t proud enough of this performance to include it in any U.S. releases and the only videos I could find were concert footage.  I suppose this song doesn’t really depict women badly so much as depict a questionable member of the gender (though that is even debatable depending on your stance on acceptable behaviors).

I’m sure there are plenty of raunchier songs out there, but these are my picks.  If you’ve got some, feel free to add your thoughts.

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Friday 5: Songs of Relationships Past

by on May.22, 2009, under music

In the spirit of giving me some writing prompts and getting me writing with some regularity, I’ve decided to start a weekly post.  I may organize most of my posts by some sort of system, but I have yet to decide what that system will be.  But this particular one I like – it is called Friday 5 (some call it Five for Friday – I’m going for brevity … in titling at least).  Each Friday I will post a list of five things on some topic.

Today’s Fiver will be five songs that remind me of my high school girlfriend (it may sound sweet, but read on before making any such assumptions).  I want to preface this list with a few disclaimers:  first – I’m very happily married and have no regrets about the relationships I’ve had; second – this list should in no way be construed as either pining or resentment as it is far from either.  I came up with this particular list subject because I happened to hear two of these songs in the car yesterday on my way home from work (and, well, as I said – they remind me of her … for various reasons as will be specified):

  1. Promise – Violent Femmes: this song was on a mix tape that she made for me when we first started dating.  While I was already a fan of the Femmes, I hadn’t heard this one prior to that tape.
  2. Sympathy for the Devil – Jane’s Addiction: this song was actually the topic of an argument we had.  See, having been a high school kid at the time, I was not well versed in a lot of music.  But this is a song that she played a lot and it seemed familiar for reasons I couldn’t place.  After a while I put together that it was a remake of a Rolling Stones song and tried to find a record in my dad’s collection that had the track (which I couldn’t).  I mentioned the origin to her anyway (sans evidence – no internet at the time) and she wouldn’t believe me.  She was adamant that Perry Farrell would never opt to reuse someone else’s work and suggested that maybe the Stones copied it.  That festered with me for some time.
  3. Loser – Beck: the memory associated with her and this song falls in my brain under the category of irony.  See, when this song became popular, she was in her third year of Spanish (I took French – I’m a lover).  And yet she couldn’t even begin to tell me what the Spanish line in the chorus translated to.  After some research and thought, I figured out that it meant, well, “I’m a Loser” (which in hindsight should have been obvious).  But she found my results to be dubious.
  4. Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra: the summer that things went south for us, she somehow got into a Frank Sinatra phase (I never quite understood that – probably because I wasn’t around her enough after that to get a chance to).  She even sent me a mix tape with this and a few other songs of his on it.  It never really grew on me.
  5. Brick – Ben Folds Five: following our split, it took me a while to grow past it.  This song actually helped by letting me imagine her as the so-described brick of which I needed to let go.  Oddly, while this song definitely was very cathartic for me at the time, hearing it again in the present pulls me back to those feelings it helped me move past (again with the irony).

So that is my first list for this new meme.  I hope you found it insightful.  Feel free to leave comments or maybe your own song list.

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What Would You Do If I Sang Out Of Tune?

by on Aug.15, 2008, under music, TV


So I was listening to the radio the other day on my commute to work and overheard an interview with Danica McKellar.  She was on promoting her new math for girls book called Kiss My Math. But as expected, the conversation easily steered in the direction of the role that she is most famous for – Winnie Cooper (if you are too young to know and appreciate this, then I feel sorry for you).  And in this conversation I learned something surprising and disappointing. (continue reading…)

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