30 day song challenge: day 5 – a song that reminds you of someone

*I'm going taking the song challenge to mean "of all time," not genre-specific. Any of these songs are subject to change at any time. 

"Still Fighting It" is really a phenomenal song for a few reasons. It reminds me of several things — growing up, children, home, and what we hope to be. When Ben sings "and you're so much like me, I'm sorry" it kills me. I feel that way sometimes when my children do certain things. So, it's not so much as a "this song reminds me of someone" as it is a song that reminds me of what life is right now for me and for so many of my friends. There are many songs I could have listed here and I've gone back and forth with two or three of them, but I'm not going to do post them because it's my blog and I'll do what I want.

DON'T MAKE ME TURN THIS BLOG AROUND.

 

tunes you need Tuesday: Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings are my new favorite band. If you like Amy Winehouse, you'll like this group. They've only been around for 10 years, but sound like they're straight out of 1968.

Listen to "100 Days, 100 Nights."

 

What did I tell you? 1968. I love this so much that I LURVE it. 

And I love "I Learned the Hard Way" even more.

 

I'm dedicating "What if We All Stopped Paying Taxes" to my fellow Americans. When I run for President this will be my theme song.

 

Finally, remember last week when I said Tunes You Need Tuesday would feature the last line of the break-up letter I posted? Get ready. The last line of the letter was "I got better things to do than remember you." I read on Best Week Ever that a member of the Dap Kings read the letter and wrote the song, "Better Things." 

 

Now, that's fantastical. Keep doing what you're doing Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Y'all rock.

tunes you need Tuesday: OK Go’s “Back From Kathmandu”

OK Go debuted their new video for "Back From Kathmandu," which happens to be my favorite song off their current album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky.  They led a parade through Los Angeles that spelled out OK Go. Why not?  


 

So the question is, do you have this album?  And if your answer is no, why not?  

tunes Tuesday: runaway dorothy

So, I follow Mr. Adam Duritz of Counting Crows on the Twitter and he's raved about a band called Runaway Dorothy, so I figured I should check them out.  I liked what I heard.  Runaway Dorothy is wonderfully authentic in a day and age where popular music is over-produced and commercial.  

In this video you'll hear some of Runaway Dorothy's music and frontman, David Parnell, talk about song writing.  


 

The band also has this embeddable player to share of their album, The Arc.  My favorite is "Katharine Song." Check them out.

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Tunes Tuesday: Delta Spirit

Delta Spirit is fantastical.  That's all you really need to know.

But here's the intro of their Wiki:

Delta Spirit is a band from San DiegoCalifornia. They are often dubbed as a “hybrid of rock and northern soul” or as an "Americana/soul" group. The group incorporates unconventional instruments (such as trash cans lids and orchestral bass drums), the multi-instrumentalism of the members and the vocal delivery and religiously/spiritually-themed lyrics of singer Matt Vasquez. The group consists of Jon Jameson (bassist), Brandon Young (percussionist), Matthew Vasquez (vocalist/guitarist), and Kelly Winrich (multi-instrumentalist).

I found out about Delta Spirit from a music site that I stumbled on and instantly loved them.  Each song is better than the last.  I've downloaded their albums History From Below and Ode to Sunshine and I really can't say enough good things about them.   These guys are the real deal.  I think you'll like them. 

"Bushwick Blues" is the first song I listened to, so I'm offering it up first.  I'm including several songs today because it was hard to pick favorites.  Good stuff.  Enjoy.


 

"White Table" is amazing.  The percussion blows me away.


 

Shut up.  "Motivation" rocks.  I like the jam session sound of it.


 

"People C'mon" may be my favorite.   


 

But maybe "Trashcan" is my favorite.  I love me some rocking piano.


 

tunes you need Tuesday: new OK Go video

So, this is less of a "Tunes You Need" and more of a "Kerry Loves the OK Go: and they have a new video."

Here is "Last Leaf" which was filmed as stop motion animation with toast.  I'm more of a bagel person, but this video is enjoyable.  


Last Leaf


OK Go | Myspace Music Videos
 

tunes you need Tuesday: Pomplamoose

If you haven't heard my new favorite band yet, well, you're about to.  I've recently discovered the musical fabulousness that is Pomplamoose.  Their name comes from the French word for grapefruit in case you didn't know (really, this blog is so freaking educational).  Pomplamoose is Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte.  Just two people who possess incredible musical talent.  

Take a listen.


 

Pomplamoose has produced three albums available on iTunes and makes fun VideoSongs for their You Tube channel.  I love the concept of a song with a video blog at the end.  Very fun.


 

"It's all for show, so bake me cookies."  Love it.

 


 

How fun are Pomplamoose?  Very fun.  And way good.


 

I adore that song.  Love the quirkiness of it and the idea that someone in a relationship has an expiration date. And the Cary Grant clips don't hurt at all.


 

"Another Day" may be my favorite.  

"Another hour
Flying by
I've yet to shower
Yet to dry
And if you told me I was wonderful I probably would 
wonder why."

Fantastic.

Of course, they covered "Beat It" for their album of covers.  I'm also partial to their version of "September" by Earth Wind and Fire.  


 

Have  I mentioned what a xylophone playing fool I was as a kid?  Oh, yeah.  I rocked the glockenspiel too.  I rocked it hard.  Can I join Pomplamoose?

I hope y'all love the Pomplamoose as much as I do.  Go download their albums and support good music.

tunes you need Tuesday: (now with more) Lonely Avenue!

As you know, I took a little trip last week and while I drove, I listened to Ben Folds and Nick Hornby's new album, Lonely Avenue.  It's quite lovely.  Not lovely in the sweet and adorable sense, lovely in the sense that these are real song gems and there are little surprises in each one.  Each one tells a story, each one could be a novel on its own and the music is simply wonderful.  I really wish someone would turn Lonely Avenue into a movie with vignettes with each song.  Hollywood — get on that.

One of these songs, "Doc Pomus" got stuck in my head and there was something recognizable about it and the more I listened to it, I realized I knew the name Pomus as a songwriter.  

Listen to this as you read.


 

 

I went to the Wikipedia and searched "Doc Pomus" to find out why I knew that name, only to find out he wrote some of the biggest hits of the last half century.   

From his wiki:

Using the stage name "Doc Pomus", Felder began performing as a teenager, becoming a white blues singer. In the 1950s, Pomus started songwriting to make more money to support a family, as he had married. By 1957, Pomus had given up performing in order to devote himself full-time to songwriting. He collaborated with pianist Mort Shuman to write for Hill & Range Music Co./Rumbalero Music at its offices in New York City's Brill Building. Their songwriting efforts had Pomus write the lyrics and Shuman the melody, although quite often they worked on both. They wrote the hit songs: "A Teenager in Love"; "Save The Last Dance For Me"; "Hushabye"; "This Magic Moment"; "Turn Me Loose"; "Sweets For My Sweet" (a hit for the Drifters and then the Searchers); "Go Jimmy Go", "Can't Get Used to Losing You"; "Little Sister"; "Suspicion"; "Surrender"; "Viva Las Vegas"; "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame".

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pomus also wrote several songs with Phil Spector: "Young Boy Blues"; "Ecstasy"; "Here Comes The Night"; "What Am I To Do?"; Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber: "Young Blood" and "She's Not You", and other Brill Building-era writers. Pomus also wrote "Lonely Avenue", which became a 1956 hit for Ray Charles.[6]

 

It also says Pomus had polio as a boy and was confined to a wheelchair in later life and reference Folds and Hornby's song and the lyric they paraphrased from Doc Pomus’ uncompleted memoir, February 21, 1984: I was never one of those happy cripples who stumbled around smiling and shiny-eyed, trying to get the world to cluck its tongue and shake its head sadly in my direction. They’d never look at me and say, “What a wonderful, courageous fellow.” 

Now, that's a song.

From Pomus to another writer/songwriter, Nick Hornby, "Working Day" must some up what every writer working today thinks: some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know, he's got his own blog.

Take a listen if there are no kids in the room.  It's a short one.


 

 

I kinda love that.

I also really love "Password."  It's a thoroughly modern slow-jam about how well you know someone by how you know their passwords and the quirky things you know about people.  And not everyone can work "you have a thing for David Blaine" into a song.  That's brilliant.  


 

 

One more.  One that a lot of you will be able to identify with.  "Claire's Ninth" is the story of Claire's 9th birthday and her parent's divorce, from her perspective and the parents'.  The melody is fantastic and the lyrics are sincere and telling.  


 

I bet half of you reading have been in Claire's shoes, having two birthdays.  I happened to me as a thirty year-old, but I can identify.  

So, combined with last week's Tunes Tuesday that's almost all the songs on Lonely Avenue.  And I promise I won't write about Ben Folds for at least a week.  Maybe.  

 

 

P.S.  I wasn't going to put up "Picture Window" because it's a sad song, but everyone goes through pain and you never know who may be reading and may be dealing with pain and needs to know they're not alone. Pain is hard, pain is miserable and these lyrics are from a place of hurt, hurt that comes through in the song.  As I've said before, it takes talent to write music that makes you feel.  A lot of people can write a hit song, but not all of them can make you think or make you feel.  That's truly something.


 

tunes you need Tuesday: Lonely Avenue

There hasn't been a Tunes You Need Tuesday in quite some time, but Ben Folds put out a new album, so I'm bringing it back, baby.

Lonely Avenue is the new album by Folds with lyrics by author Nick Hornby.  Yes, Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity and  About a Boy.  If you've read Hornby's novels or seen the films based on them, you know that music plays an important part in all of his work, but it's rare to see a novelist turned songwriter.  

My review: Hornby and Folds make a dynamite combination.  I'm a fan of both, but together they really bring it.  The lyrics are great – very much a story-telling vibe, something unlike anything you'll hear on the radio today and the music is pure Folds.  

Folds and Hornby introduce the album and explain how it was written as well as have excerpts of the songs in this lovely little video.  

This is "From Above."  Folds says Hornby wrote it about soulmates and how we must pass each other on the street, never meeting.

And because after hearing it I said "wow," here is "Levi Johnston's Blues."  Yes, as in Bristol Palin's baby daddy.  The chorus is from his My Space page.  It's kind of insane.  In a good way.

I'm sure I'll post more as more live videos pop up on the You Tube, as I'd rather give you the videos rather than just the audio.  I do love the Ben Folds live videos, he's such a great performer.  So enjoyable, just like the new album.

movies about tunes you need Tuesday: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap is one of my favorite movies.  It's all kinds of hilarious.  It's a faux-documentary that follows the faux rock band Spinal Tap on tour.  If you've never seen it, then shame on you – you need to watch it right now. If you haven't seen it in a while, watch it right now.

Here are the credits.  

I bet you didn't know that St. Hibbins was the patron saint of sensible footwear.