Saturday, December 31, 2011

Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon Levitt "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"

I tried to measure this video with my Cute-o-meter, but the Cuteness Factor overloaded my machine . . .

Happy New Year!

See the video on Youtube.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tom Waits "New Year's Eve"

Back in the fall, I wrote about my concerns over the idea of adding the new Tom Waits track "Back In The Crowd."

But as we got to the end of the year, it became apparent that "Bad As Me" was going to top many a critics Best Of 2012 list. With the music biz going quiet in December, it gave me time to reconsider records I'd passed over earlier in the year.

And hey, despite my hesitancy as a programmer, as a music lover, I am a full on fan of Tom Waits.

So (will a little prodding from Barbara Dacey, who had fallen head over heels for the record), I got past my programming self, and added "Back In The Crowd."

Just in time for New Years.

So let's celebrate, with another song from the record.

And, if you're one of those folks who is still unsure about Waits, I'll mention that my old friend Dan just recently posted on Facebook, that he wanted to apologize for all the years he had ignored friends who'd tried to turn him on to Tom. But after seeing a certain PBS special, we was totally won over.

Try it! You might like it . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Watch Tom Waits on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kina Grannis "In Your Arms"

I had a nice exchange of Christmas gifts with my wife this year.

I made her a book, taking some of my favorite posts from this blog that related to her and filled the book with pictures of us and the kids and whatever I was writing about.

She made me a little video, a slide show of the same kinds of pictures, telling our story.

And she set it to a song that I'd never heard before. She always claims it's hard to surprise me with music, because I hear so many things. So she felt like it was a good pick, a good share.

Nah, I'm not going to post her video here---I post a lot of personal things, but I also like to keep some things to ourselves.

But the song has a pretty neat video.

And while I'm mentioning that yes, I post a lot, I'll note that I passed the mark of 750 posts last week. That's 3/4ths of the way to my goal. I've set the challenge to myself, to get to 1,000 posts. I won't necessarily stop completely, but I may not post every day after that.

So, 240-something posts to go. I should hit number 1,000 some time in August.

Til then, lots of stories to tell. Thankfully, no jellybeans required.

See the amazing video on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lisa Hannigan "Little Bird"

Jess and I once had this discussion about high heels.

She had mentioned something about an attractive woman in heels and I expressed a dislike for heels.

"Why?" she asked.

I wasn't sure. I'd never really explored my feelings about heels and why they don't make a woman look attractive to me.

Jess pointed out that heels made a woman look taller and slimmer. They make her calves look healthier and her butt look tighter. What's not to like?

I had to laugh at my own response:

"I'm always afraid she's going to topple over!"

Really. That's it. I watch women who think they are somehow looking sexy, wobbling down the street, teetering, one crack in the sidewalk away from going ass over tea kettle, and I think, "Someone help that poor woman."

I thought about that conversation about heels, when Jess shared this video for "Little Bird."

I want to like it, but I spend the whole 4 and a half minutes being unnerved that I'm about to watch a young singer-songwriter drown.


See the video on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jesse Harris "The Secret Sun"

Today on The Lunch Hour, as I fill in for Barbara, I'm playing tracks from some of the nice comebacks to 2011. Most of them are from artists who hadn't been heard from in a while, who have new records.

But this is a song that made a comeback.

It was originally recorded several years ago, but since it appeared in a new Corona commercial, Jesse Harris was motivated to re-record it and re-release it.

It's a lovely little tune, about the little world lovers create and the special places we go.

Hear it on Youtube.

Hear the Corona commercial version on Youtube.

See the commercial on Youtube.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Robbie Robertson "When The Night Was Young"

It's an office holiday Monday, so I'm staying at home with family today, but on Tuesday it's Nose To The Grindstone time, with only 4 days to go in the year.

I'm filling in for Barbara on The Lunch Hour this week, which means I've been thinking of some themes for "Essential mvy." And since we start our Top 25 Of 2011 countdown, I've got Year End thoughts on the mind.

So tomorrow during The Lunch Hour, I think I'm going to do a set of Welcome Comebacks.

There were a number of artists who returned, after long absences, with really strong efforts. I'll remind you of some of those on the show, Tuesday.

But perhaps topping the list of Welcome Returns is Robbie Robertson, who hadn't put out a solo record in over a decade.

I had an interesting conversation with Jess about this album, in relation to the Top 25 list.

I had said that originally, I loved the record, but my passion for it had cooled after multiple listens. I expected it to make the Top 25, but be on the lower end.

Jess said that she did not love the record on first inspection. But after subsequent listens, she was quite won over by it, and she expected it to be high on the list.

The difference between Jess and me? I'm a HUGE fan of Robbie Robertson and The Band. Jess is only a casual fan.

So our expectations, going into the record, are very different.

Which makes me wonder how the voters handled this record.

Were they more like Jess, or more like me?

We'll find out on Wednesday, when the countdown starts on mvyradio.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tim Minchin "White Wine In The Sun"

My cousin Rick, who now lives in Australia, introduced me to the music of Tim Minchin, who's known as a comedian (though he's more of a hilarious performer, songwriter, showman, etc). But here he's somewhat serious and a bit sentimental.

I thought I'd post this one on Christmas Day, because it shares a view of the holiday that's as beautiful as the idealized "Christmas Song" kind of holiday, with a more true-to-life set of conflicted emotions about rampant consumerism, qualms about parts of religion, and family baggage.

It presents those conflicts, and yet it does what most of us are able to do, if we're lucky---it sets them aside to get at the heart of what we really love about the holiday, which is the simple, lovely, warmth of interaction with the people we care most about.

I hope that's the kind of day you are having.

Merry Christmas.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Futurama "The Elves' Song"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

Time's running out.

There's a pretty good chance that while you are reading this, I am feverishly (and poorly) assembling a Puppet Theatre for my kids.

Thought you'd enjoy this song, as you slave away getting ready to let Santa take all the credit tomorrow morning.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carly Simon "Night Before Christmas"

Here's a song for the night before the Night Before Christmas.

Carly often checks in with us around this time of year---I remember being totally wowed, the year she came to the mvyradio Christmas party and hung out with the staff.

And though, like a Mom who will insist that she doesn't favor one child over another, I think this song must be a little extra special to her.

I mean, she has a full album of lovely Christmas songs, but I've heard her mention this song a number of times.

We love to play it at this time of year . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bruce Springsteen "The River" (Live)

Christmas, 1986. My parents had been building up the hype of a holiday surprise. Which was kind of a joke. The opposite of the usual joke.

Usually every year, my folks would spend more money than they meant to, and starting in October, they'd say to us kids, "You know, we had a big Christmas last year, but we're just not going to be able to do that this year."

And we'd all say, "Yeah yeah yeah," because we knew that, despite their effort to downplay things, they'd still probably spend more than they meant to and we'd feel spoiled.

But this year was different, because they weren't underselling it.

Not that they were overselling it, either.

It's just that they kept alluding to the fact that they had come up with some special things for me, my sister Julie (the "forgotten" middle child) and my sister Amy (the precocious pain-in-the ass youngest).

Of course I was curious. But I wasn't the kind of kid who peeked, either.

Or, I hadn't been.

My sister Amy WAS the curious type. Also nosy. Persistent. Impatient. And not easily thwarted.

I knew where my parents hid the presents. And so did Amy.

If you are not a sibling, then I can't adequately explain to you the weird kind of sibling rivalry not-to-be-outdone feeling that came over me, when I found out that, Yes, Amy had climbed into the recesses of my parents' closet, to sneak a look at what "Santa" was bringing.

I didn't want to look. But shit, if my 9 year old sister was looking, well then hell, I wasn't gonna not look!

I got home from school early one day, before my folks were home from work, and I wormed my way through the narrow passage that was the long closet in my folks' bedroom. Under some coats and clothes was a big black trashbag, with unwrapped boxes inside.

It was dark and hard to see inside the closet, and honestly, I don't remember what else was in the bag, but I know that I reasoned out which present was for me:

Bruce Springsteen's "Live 1975-85" Boxed Set.

Was this my "big" present? Nah.

I only owned one Bruce Springsteen album, "Born In The USA." I doubted my parents even knew that. And I had certainly never professed any interest in Bruce, in front of them.

I mean, neat. They got me some Springsteen. But surely there was something else that qualified as my surprise present. Something so big that it couldn't be contained in the closet. So big, they hadn't gotten it yet . . .

Christmas morning.

After cracking open the stockings (which invariably contained the mixed message of lots of chocolate and a new toothbrush), we awaited the big announcements.

It was announced that Julie, who's best friend had just moved to Louisiana, would be going to New Orleans, during Mardi Gras season, for a week's vacation at her friend's house. Plane tickets and everything. And she'd get to miss school.


This was bigger than anything my folks had ever done.

Just, Wow!

Me next!

Hmm. The wrapped box sure looks a lot like that box I saw . . .

It was. Bruce Springsteen's "Live 1975-85" Boxed Set. On cassette.

Thankfully, my folks had really ingrained in us, the importance of being gracious. Because I felt like being a whiny little shit.

Bruce Springsteen? I don't even really like him.

And it sure as hell is not a trip to f-n Mardi Gras!

As I'm writing this, I'm wracking my brain, trying to think of what Amy might have gotten. No idea. I'm sure I was deep in my non-Christmas-spirit fugue and didn't even notice whatever nice and thoughtful thing my folks had done for her.

I understand a few things, now, as an adult.

First, I realize that my folks did something really big for Julie that year, but did big things for me other years, and Amy other years. They couldn't afford to go big for all of us at the same time, so they took turns.

Second, I realize that they realized that, to a kid, this seems like some kind of inequity. So they set about trying to come up with a wowzer of a present. It's hard, here in 2011, to remember a time when Boxed Sets were not a fact of musical life, but a whole blessed event (see the TV commercial below). "Live 1975-85" was the IT gift of 1986. Hard to come by, and considered very hip. I can give my parents credit for trying to be hip and cutting edge (something that, both then and now, they are decidedly not).

I can give them credit for something else too: My lifelong love of Bruce Springsteen.

I brought those cassettes to my room and put them in the little boom box I had, vowing to get some enjoyment out of them, even if I didn't recognize most of the songs.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Bruce won me over.

I was just wowed by those songs, his stories, the energy, the Sound. Discovering the songs that had appeared on albums 10 years previous ("before my time"), was like discovering a secret world. I couldn't believe something so fantastically well done existed, and I didn't even know about it.

Within 2 years, I would go out and buy each past Springsteen record, and get "Tunnel Of Love" on the day it came out. And then go to my first big, Arena rock show---Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band at the Worcester Centrum.

Sometimes I refer to that year as my worst Christmas. Peeking replaced the experience of being excited and surprised, with awkward expectation and anti-climax. I have never, ever again peeked, or tried to guess, at what a present might be.

But really, it was a pretty seminal Christmas gift, one that changed the way I approached artists, listened to bodies of work and integrated discovery into my habits.

So I didn't get to go to Mardi Gras. But I went down to The River.

This is the "Live 1975-1985" version, with the complete intro, where Bruce tells a story about his relationship with his Dad. Unfortunately, that means the end of the song gets cut off.

Hear it on Youtube.

See the commercial on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The cast of Twin Peaks "The 12 Days Of Christmas"


I was actually very organized about my blog this week, with posts planned for every day . . . and then I found this.

So you'll have to wait until next year, weird-Staples-Singers-Christmas-Song, because I just found something muuuuuch weirder.

I've known of KROQ in Los Angeles and their Christmas compilations for a few years now. A friend sent some AWESOME Johnny Cash fake Holiday PSAs. And I knew they had a lot of fun, original content.

But how had I never heard of this?

From 1990, it's the cast of Twin Peaks doing "The 12 Days Of Christmas" with David Lynchian-appropriate gifts.

Many of the shows characters appear on this track, including Cooper, Lucy, Bob, Bobby, Johnny, and Pete Martell.

I guarantee that this will be the only carol you'll sing this year, containing the phrase "A body, dead, wrapped in plastic!"

You can hear the song on Youtube, below, and I also found a free download.

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Leevees "How Do You Spell Channukkahh?"

With a call-back to last week's Hanukkah throw-down challenge from my friend Andrea, I'm posting this, since the Holiday begins at sundown tonight.

The Leevees record came out a few years ago, and I remember that some of the stuff was a little thin/light/but-enjoyable enough---songs about potato pancakes and whatever.

But going back to listen again, this is a pretty good tune, in line with its Guster pedigree (Leevees member Adam Gardner is one of the singer/songwriters in Guster).

Happy Chanukah, whichever way you decide to spell it!

See the video on Youtube.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lyle Lovett & Kat Edmunson "Baby It's Cold Outside"

One of the problems with Christmas tunes, is that there are only a handful (maybe TWO handfuls) of good titles, and they've been done to death.

It's hard to breathe life into these battered old tunes.

So it's refreshing when someone can pull it off.

Maybe it's Kat Edmunson's clear, fresh voice. Or maybe it's Lyle's endless, effortless charisma. But a song I'm pretty bored with, sounds really great.

Find it on Lyle's new Christmas EP.

Hear it on Youtube.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Guster "Carol Of The Meows"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

Well, this is just brilliantly evil. Listen once, and then try getting it out of your head.

Thanks, Guster.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Laura Marling "Goodbye England"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

Found this one, while when I unearth yesterday's post. I like the occasional tune that is set at Christmas, but isn't exactly a Christmas tune.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Laura Marling "Roll Away Your Stone"

I have to admit, that even though today is the last day of voting for mvyradio's Top 25 Of 2011 . . . um, I haven't come up with my list yet.

Hey, I have until 5pm!

Off the top of my head though, two major favorites have been Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling. So how excited was I to find this version of Marling covering Mumford?!?

I hope you have a chance to vote today. We'll count down the winners on the week between Christmas and New Years.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lou Monte "Dominick The Donkey"

I've mentioned that my sister has a policy. A policy of avoiding children's toys that are battery-operated and make noise/songs.

Am I going to hell for this . . .

My nephew looovvvess "Dominick The Donkey." My Mom said, "Can you help me get a copy of that song, to give to him?"

What to do? What to do?

As a parent, it just seemed like the height of cruelty to give another parent the insane nightmares that must come from having a child play that damn "HEEHAW-HEEHAW!" song over and over and over and over.

As a brother, well, it just seemed like the height of cruelty too. But brothers thrive on torturing sisters, don't they?

My nephew got the CD.

And I am on the naughty list.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baccara "Yes Sir I Can Boogie"

Barbara and I were doing some research, ahead of our coverage of the Falmouth Christmas parade.

Her very wise plan this year, was to have some interesting Christmas music facts on hand, so that we wouldn't be stumbling through the dead spaces in the parade, live on the radio.

I learned the moderately interesting piece of trivia, that only 3 songs have ever sold more that 30 million copies worldwide, and two of them are Christmas songs by Bing Crosby (the third is "Candle In The Wind" by Elton John).

That was part of a list, still pretty exclusive, of the handful of songs that have sold over 10 million copies.

You know, if you sell over 10 million copies of your song, you'd have to be pretty ubiquitous/general knowledge-y, right?

How could there be EIGHTEEN MILLION copies out there, of this song, and somehow I'm hearing it for the first time right now.

Do you know this one?

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Matisyahu "Miracle"

So I got this message from an old friend, over the weekend . . .

I'm writing to throw down the gauntlet. I realize that you are turning to Christmas on your blog. However, in the spirit of our UMASS background, I'd like to challenge your musicological expertise to find a great Chanukah song. (Choosing Adam Sandler's song would constitute automatic forfeiture.) If you are successful, I will include your pick and blog link in my social media networks. If you are not successful, your having listened to all the heinous Chanukah music out there is punishment enough. My pick to date would be Stephen Page & the Bare Naked Ladies' Hanukkah Blessings.

Your former RA,

Well she's right. Despite giving a pretty thorough run-down of Jewish songwriters who've penned Christmas tunes, I haven't posted anything Chanukah-related. Is it because (as she intimates) there aren't any good Chanukah songs?

I wracked by brain for a bit, and the first things that came to mind were pretty goofy---nothing that could hold up to the religious reverence of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" or the secular reverence of "White Christmas."

Then again, the majority of Christmas hits are way over the novelty border, too (Rudolph, Frosty, Gramma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, You're A Mean On Mr. Grinch, etc).

So here are a few faves, ordered from most reverent to least (while still staying on the tasteful side of that fence, for the most part).

Let's start with painfully earnest:

Hear Peter Paul and Mary on Youtube.

This brand new Matisyahu song is also earnest, coming out of the artist's desire "to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song." Lyrically, it does that. So don't be fooled by the super-goofy video.

See "Miracle" on Youtube.

The Maccabeats also seem pretty earnest. But the "Glee"/Boy Band vibe isn't my style. But I suppose if you are trying to explain The Festival Of Lights to "Glee" and Boy Band fans, it's a pretty solid genre-effort.

Hear "Candlelight" on Youtube.

And while this scene from "Colbert Christmas" is slathered in holiday irony, it does neatly, sweetly, smartly portray the awkward compare/contrast game that inevitably ensues when Jews try to explain Chanukah to their unaware Christian friends.

Check out "Can I Interest You In Hannukah?" on Youtube.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Julian Velard "Last Christmas"

Go to Youtube and search for nearly any popular song, and after the first few instances of the official video, and the artist doing a live version or whatever, you start to see "Youtube covers."

It's such a modern-day convention. A person who plays acoustic guitar or piano or whatever, who sets up a camera in their room, and records and uploads a video of themselves doing their favorite song, acoustically.

People have a lot of fun turning big pop hits (like Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" or Britney Spears "Oops I Did It Again") into strummy ballads. And it's propelled a few folks to some mini-online-fame.

But it's only natural that this fun exercise shouldn't just be the province of amateurs. So occasionally you'll find people like Ben Folds busting something out on the web.

One of my favorite sources is Julian Velard, who is a great combination of super talented and super hilarious.

He's made great use of the web, frequently uploading originals and covers and concert snippets and offhanded comments. It's a great release of creativity.

Enjoy this one. I like it because, despite the initial suggestion that it will be super-goofy, I think that deep-down, Julian sincerely loves this Wham classic.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pearl Bailey "5 Pound Box Of Money"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

There's nothing wrong with being direct about what you'd like from Santa.

This one gets a lot of play around our house . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Loretta Lynn "To Heck With Ol Santa Claus"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

Wishing that an accident befalls Santa, definitely gets you on the naughty list, Loretta!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nickel Creek "This Side"

Welcome to another segment of "Let Me Ruin This Song For You."

(If you missed the first entry, you should probably read this)

You, perhaps, remember this as the song that brought Nickel Creek from the bluegrass scene to a more eclectic, beyond-Americana stage. The kind of folks who say they don't like country music, but listen to Lyle Lovett and Lucinda Williams.

You remember it as a great leap forward to a wider audience from a promising young, forward-thinking band who had an exciting vision.

Let me ruin this song for you.

I saw Nickel Creek in concert around the time this album came out, where they sheepishly explained that the lyrics of this song were written after a viewing of "The Matrix."

Dude, this song is, like, totally about an alternate reality.

Whoa . . .

See the video on Youtube.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Morning Jacket "When The Bells Start Ringing"

After wowing folks/freaking people out with their most adventurous album yet, My Morning Jacket ends the year by going in the other direction: Traditional.

They are putting out a 7 song, iTunes-only EP of Christmas songs, recorded during a 14-hour studio session between tour dates in Europe.

This track is one of two that features collaboration with The Head & The Heart, and you can get it for free right now at iTunes!

Get the download.

And here's the other song the two bands collaborate on . . .

Hear it on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Billy Preston "Nothing From Nothing"

This is one of my favorite songs of the Christmas season!

Yeah, I know, it's not a Christmas song. But it's on the soundtrack to the movie "Elf," so when we start playing Christmas music at home, this one comes up (along with Louis Prima's "Pennies From Heaven").

Hey, it's good any time of year, right?

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie "Stay Young Go Dancing" (Part 2)

(Yesterday's post not withstanding . . .)

My wife is back to work, after being unemployed for nearly a year.

The upside of being unemployed was that she could be home, full-time, with our two small children. The downside to that was that, for a full year, she was nothing but Mom.

If you've never been a full-time parent, I think its hard to grasp what kind of mind-screw it can be to your perception of self.

When you spend your day fully consumed with taking care of your kids, little parts of yourself can easily go by the wayside.

People who aren't stay-at-home parents can compartmentalize a bit. I can be my work-self at work and be treated like an adult, and my home-self at home, where I am fully in service to others. If you're home full-time, you don't get the luxury of being treated like an adult for most of the day.

With my wife going back to work, and me working full-time too, it means we do some daycare now, and because my wife is a school-teacher, she leaves the house first, and I'm in charge of getting the kids out the door to daycare, before I go to work.

My wife has developed this funny ritual. Just a few minutes after she has left the house, the phone will ring. Inevitably, it will be because she has heard a song or a news story on the radio, and she wants to talk about it.

Most recently, it was George Harrison's "Taxman."

"He doesn't get enough credit. That song is amazing. I'd never really listened to it like that before."

But now that she has the forced sanctuary of her car, she takes the time to hear things like George's guitar playing.

"Remember when we used to do this all the time? Hear songs and talk about how much we loved them? I feel like that part of our lives is gone."

No doubt it is certainly obscured. The adult moments that we have these days, are inevitably devoted to "Business," meaning discussions about bills, Christmas shopping, the kids' daycare, problems with the house, etc, etc.

It's obscured, but I know it's not gone.

A few nights before, we were all in the car, and Death Cab For Cutie's "Stay Young Go Dancing" came on.

"Listen to this," I told her, putting my hand on her thigh as I drove. "It's one of the sweetest love songs I've heard in a long time."

She cocked her ear toward the speakers, straining to hear the radio, over the growing cacophony coming from the two kids in the back.

"It's got the line, 'When we move as one, we stay young.'"

She tried to hear it, but the distraction proved to great.

(In fact, to make a long story short, within a few minutes were were pulled over on a darkened sidestreet, so my 4 year old could pee on the side of the road, as she claimed she could not wait until we got home)

A few days later, all of us were together, before bedtime, in the kids' room. Legos and books and stuffed animals and trucks and balls and debris that is the result of a day-in-the-life, had been pushed to the center of the room, as we all tried to restore order before putting the kids to bed.

"I looked up the lyrics to that song," my wife said. "What do you think the opening line means?"

"Life is sweet/in the belly of the beast."

"This is it," I said. "We're in it. The belly of the beast. Life."

It's not always romantic. But it is sweet.

Hear the acoustic version on Youtube.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie "Stay Young Go Dancing" (Part One)

Well, I had a post all ready to go for the Death Cab For Cutie song, but I hadn't posted it yet.

It was a little vignette about my wife and me, and our relationship to each other, now that we are in the thick of parenting. It's about love and romance and growing together, and it related directly to this song.

I hadn't posted it yet, when I heard that Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab) and Zooey Deschanel (his wife) announced their split up.

Does that news diminish this song for you?

This is probably my favorite love song of the year, with a bunch of killer lines ("When we move as one/we stay young").

And while I hear it and transpose my own life on it, I think I'm probably a pretty typical fan, for also imagining that Ben wrote this song with his wife Zooey in mind.

So if they are getting divorced, should I feel any apprehension about imagining myself in the shoes of the song?

I have to tell you, that just writing those words sounds stupid. I mean, c'mon, it's just a song.

But that's my brain talking.

From my heart, this song is a little less for me now.

That being said, tomorrow I'll post what I had originally intended to write.

See the video on Youtube.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Feist "Please Be Patient"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

It starts off sounding like a legitimate Christmas song, then it goes all Colbert on you!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Randy Newman "Christmas In Capetown"

For the month of December, my Weekend Posts (usually a look back at obscure tunes from the 80s and 90s) will turn to Christmas. Enjoy a few odd, off-color songs to enliven your holiday!

It was Randy Newman's birthday this past week, why not start with that jolly old elf.

(Note that this song has explicit and potentially offensive lyrics!)

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, December 2, 2011

She & Him "The Christmas Waltz"

Throughout the year, as we're picking songs to put into rotation on mvyradio, we go through the comparison process of "Great Song" versus "Great Radio Song."

And the same rules apply when picking a single from a Christmas album.

"A Very She & Him Christmas" has a number of highlights on it, and on first couple of listens, many of us really liked the opening track "The Christmas Waltz."

The advantages: It's a sweetly rendered version of a song that's not overly familiar, and to some will be "new," making it stand out from the pack.

The disadvantage: It's a little slow and spare.

Unfortunately, the cons win on this one. While it serves the album really well as a lovely start to a very enjoyable collection . . . if you put it on the station in the midst of regular programming, well, the pace drags everything down.

Ultimately, we choose "Sleigh Ride" which has a nice tempo and features vocals from both Zooey and Matt, plus a nice economical guitar solo. It fits much better, in the context of the station.

But here, without having to serve a larger mix, isn't "The Christmas Waltz" lovely?

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear Sleigh Ride on Youtube.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Bangles "I Will Never Be Through With You"

I've blogged on The Bangles before, mentioning that it's easy to write them off as a bit of 80s silliness, based on their videos and their hits.

But I've come around to the point where I recognize what lots of their fans, past and present, acknowledge---they're actually a pretty rocking band, with a great 60-Pop sensibility.

If you can get past your burning desire to Walk Like An Egyptian and mock them, you'll find that this new track is a really well crafted, pop-rock song.

It's not really getting any attention anywhere, because folks are quick to dismissed an artist, based on 25-year-old feelings.

So really, discovering this song, is like discovering a new band that your friends don't know about!

Hear the song on Youtube.