Saturday, April 30, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 19

day 19 - a song from your favorite album

I have numerous favorite albums but if I were to take the scientific approach to what makes an album good in my opinion I always end up at The Beatles and Revolver. This was the song Jill and I chose for our first dance at our wedding. I think it was a good choice.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 18

day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio

I love Huey Lewis and The News and so do most radio stations. They don't love this song for some reason.

Short Blog Friday: Royal Wedding Edition!

If Prince William was just some guy standing behind you at Wal~Mart you'd want him to back up that bald head of his just a bit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 17

day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio

I don't really listen to the radio but my wife listens to the 80's music channel on cable. This song gets played every day.

What am I gonna do with all this stuff?

I can't for the life of me get a song started. I've got my gear all ready to go but I just sit there wondering where to begin.

Here's about all my "studio" does. It's impressive for visitors but when they ask to hear something they'll only get to hear what I've done prior to owning this lonely gear.

I know how to use it all but I can't kick my brain into gear. The real humdinger is that I know how to write a song. It's not that hard really. You string a few chords together and find a hook or chorus that sounds decent. The rest of the song sort of fills itself in on its own. No, really. That's how easy it is to write a song. I've never been much of a lyricist and that's fine. I'm also good with puns. I seem to come up with decent ideas while I'm in the shower but there are two flights of stairs between my office and the shower so they're usually forgotten before I get there. I punch notes and things into my phone but I usually lose those as well.

Maybe I'm just too darned happy. I'll come up with something eventually. I think I need to just lock myself down here for several hours (not counting when I'm working) and just start writing until something good floats to the top.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 16

day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate

I used to be a huge disco fan. These days I hear a song like Jive Talkin' and I can't help but notice how dumb it is. There is absolutely no jive talking in the song.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 15

day 15 - a song that describes you

Sloan's "Living With The Masses" sums me up pretty well. Lyrics below.

Living with the masses
Will always get you down
And next to me they're teaching classes
On how to really bring me down

I never asked for a neighbour like you
To run around and around like a wrecking ball
Is there some renovating you should do
Maybe you should cut in the dark with your table saw

Always going faster
Than the others down the road
You should bring out the sandblaster, whoa-oh
So I can really hear your workload

I never asked for a neighbour like you
To run around and around like a wrecking ball
There's so many other people just like you
You're like the sights and the sounds of a nuclear war

The bomb-bay doors are opening
[Bomb-bay doors]
And soon they will be falling all around
The bomb-bay doors are opening
[Bomb-bay doors]
And soon they will be falling all around

Monday, April 25, 2011

Short blog Monday

There aren't any dinosaurs in the Bible because it isn't a book about dinosaurs!

Song Challenge - Day 14

day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love

I'm not what you would call a hip hop fan but I celebrate Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" and this little ditty. I don't like too many songs featuring lines like "I find a good piece o' pussy, I go up in it" but for some reason I can't get enough of this song.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 13

day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure

I know this song was written by a team of song writers for what is arguably the most obnoxious music franchises ever conceived. Still, it's got a great hook and is well produced like most of their rubbish.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 12

day 12 - a song from a band you hate

Words cannot even begin to describe how much I hate this band.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 11

day 11 - a song from your favorite band

I have numerous favorite bands that I hop back and forth between depending on my mood. Even though they're Canadian I give them a break for more somber tunes during the Winter months but by Spring I'm ready to enjoy a little rock.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 10

day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep

Music doesn't really put me to sleep but I can usually zone out and snooze a bit on an airplane while listening to this song.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 9

day 09 - a song that you can dance to

I've been known to cut a rug to this number. Michael Jackson I am not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 8

day 08 - a song that you know all the words to

I don't know the words to very many songs but I know these.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 7

day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event

My brother and I MC'd a benefit show at the Kitting Factory in Hollywood a bazillion years ago. Jude was gracious enough to headline our show. He played this song and cracked us all up. Really cool guy.

Short Blog Monday

No bare feet in restaurants. It's gross.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crappy Songs

For the past month and a half I've been posting a crappy song every day to my Facebook page. An friend of mine suggested I put them in a blog so I did.

Song Challenge - Day 6

day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere

This was a tough one. I listen to music on my iPod Shuffle while I mow the lawn so I like to have upbeat music. It usually takes an hour to do the front and back yards so my chances of hearing this song are pretty good.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 5

day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone

I can't help but think of my friend Guy every time I hear Panama.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Three of'em

I came up with this all on my own.

Three names I go by: Graham, husband pants, babe

Three places I've lived: California, Iowa, Nebraska

Three jobs I've had: mechanic, technical consultant, technical analyst

Three places I've been to: Mt. Rainier, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley

Three things I love to eat: sushi/sashimi, steak, sauce

Three things I'm looking forward to: patio, Disney World, mom visit

Three people/places that e-mail me regularly: work, blogger alerts, spam

Song Challenge - Day 4

day 04 - a song that makes you sad

I've got a soft spot for old people. This song paints a pretty vivid picture albeit a sad one. Easily one of the best songs ever written.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 3

day 03 - a song that makes you happy

Sloan will hit this list several times because I like them. The lyrics don't really mean a whole lot to me but the song itself just has a nice feeling to it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Song Challenge - Day 2

day 02 - your least favorite song

It may surprise you that I didn't pick a country song. I'm not a country fan but country music makes such a small blip on my radar I really don't take notice since it's all pretty bad.

This has thus far been declared my worst submission to my "Crappy Song Of The Day" Facebook updates. It's like the anthem for spring break drunks. Check out the unintelligible lyrics. Great. Now I'm all angry again.

I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week
Indulging in my self-defeat
My mind was thugged all laced and bugged all twisted wrong and beat
uncomfortable in three feet deep
Now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning week
Impaired my tribal lunar-speak
And of course you can't become if you only say what you would have done
So I missed a million miles of fun

I know it's up for me
Making sure I'm not in too deep
Keeping versed and on my feet

I was frying on the bench slide in the park across the street
l-a-t-e-r that week
My sticky paws were in to making straws out of big fat slurpy treats
An incredible eight foot heap
Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat
Involved an under usual feat
And I'm not only among but I invite who I want to come
So I missed a million miles of fun

I know it's up for me
Making sure I'm not in too deep
Keeping versed and on my feet

I know its done for me
Not something hard to see
Keeping dumb and built to beat

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

day 01 - your favorite song

It's impossible to pick a favorite so I picked the song I've been enjoying lately.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's another word for euphemism?

Ironically I find euphemisms very offensive.

Every year I hear overly cautious retailers and the news media mutter, "Happy Holidays" quickly so as not to offend those that don't celebrate holidays. "Merry Christmas" was perfectly acceptable for hundreds of years because it happened to be a particular day on the calendar. At some point during the later part of the 20th century some dickhead decided that he didn't like "Christ" and didn't want to speak the name of the aforementioned holiday instead opting for the more robotic "Xmas." Another dickhead took it one further and omitted "Merry" from the greeting since it had too much yuletide cheer associated with it. "Happy Xmas" had a nice ring to it but soon even that was too much and "Happy Holidays" was adopted as the suitable statement since it covered numerous holidays that fell around that time.

I get that religion irks people to no end. Does that mean we need to dilute the culture out of the world to achieve an Orwellian utopia?

A recent story was published about an individual filling eggs with candy for a certain upcoming holiday and dubbing them "Spring Spheres" so as not to upset anybody in the public school system. Now things are getting to be a little ridiculous. I can't understand how public schools would be willing to accept a name such as that since eggs aren't spherical. They're ovular. Oh right, we can't say "Spring Oval" because oval comes from the ovum which is Latin for egg and we're trying to maintain the alliteration in case there are any merchandising plans. I'm not sure why the Easter egg had to be removed at all when it's the Jesus aspects we're looking to bury. Maybe they're worried that he'll just rise again if they do so rather than take any chances they'll just whack the holiday and be done with it.

Perhaps parents were annoyed that the Jesus lovers and their Pagan counterparts were getting too much attention. If nobody cares about Earth Day then they don't care about the other Spring holiday.

How long until we've eradicated holidays? Is Thanksgiving next? We can call it "Poultry Centric Dinner" so as not to alienate people who have nothing to be thankful for.

Once we're done killing holidays to the point of where we just have days off of work for no apparent reason we can focus on celebrating things like little Brayden getting a B- in PE or when he lights the garbage on fire without burning the house down. Think of all the money retailers will save on changing out holiday specific items. That will free up space for "push presents" and other celebratory crap that people like to blow money on these days.

April 24th everybody.

Short blog Monday

The hammer: When you can't find the right tool for the job.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hey Mr. Ferguson. That's a nice song.

I was going to try to do an album review but while searching through my library for a great album I got side tracked and started listening to specific songs instead.

I've been a Sloan fan for quite some time but I've only recently discovered that of the four members (all of whom write and perform songs on each album) I find Jay Ferguson to be the most consistent. That's not to say I don't like the other members because they all have songs that make it on my playlists. Here are a few gems that he's contributed to the world of music.


The first selection is "Witch's Wand" from "Parallel Play" which I originally regarded to be a so so album but the more I've been listening the more I've discovered how good it is. This is the case for most Sloan albums.

It's got all the ingredients of a great rock song along with some soft harmonies and a smart bridge the latter of which seems beyond the reach of most groups making albums today. Thanks to à la carte digital music buying you're not forced to buy an entire album for one song though it would be okay in this instance because there are some great songs on there.

Number two is from "Never Hear The End Of It" which was an interesting Sloan album to say the least. What was a change of pace for the band still yielded the same strong tracks that make their older albums so easy to listen to over and over.

"Before The End Of The Race" is one of those songs that takes a few listens to really appreciate what is going on. The Beatles-esque beginning gives way to a song that is 100% Jay with lyrics that make me depressed that I can't come up with words that are even a fraction as good as these. Sloan occasionally likes to forgo a traditional chorus but they really don't need it as is evident here.

"Between The Bridges" is my favorite Sloan album. I like it so much I performed it in its entirety during one of my few solo shows back in California. "Take Good Care Of The Poor Boy" is a great studio track but is also great live as is evident below. This is from Troubadour in Hollywood where I've seen them numerous times. Sadly this show occurred after I moved to Nebraska.

I stand in awe of this song. It's so simple that it would seem anybody could do it just as well if not better but as somebody that's done an acoustic version I can attest that's not the case. This song goes to prove that a good bridge is more than enough to make you forget that there isn't a guitar solo. You may have noticed that I'm a sucker for a good bridge.

I'm going to slow it down a bit with "Junior Panthers" which was a bonus track from "One Chord To Another."

I love the restraint with this one. Everything is dialed back so far it keeps you on the edge of your seat or at least that's what it does for me. The harmonies are a particular treat here and do such a good job of transitioning with enough dissonance to make the every further note more meaningful.

While Ferguson's songs seem to legitimize every Sloan album I often forget that he uses Chris Murphy as one of his sharpest tools. "Who You Talkin' To?" was my gateway to the Jay Ferguson song. Here's a live version of it.

The only problem with live recordings is that dynamically you lose what the album has. Honestly, you should just buy the song and listen to it. I'll bet it sounds incredible on vinyl.

If you doubt what I have ascertained about Jay's songwriting ability here is he showing how and why you can't write a song as good as he does. I'll forgive the capo because "Cheap Champagne" is awesome.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Short blog Monday

Winter - Spring - Global Warming - Autumn