Friday, February 28, 2014

The Breeders "I Just Wanna Get Along"

I posted Wednesday, offering a picture from the last page of a journal from spring 2000.

Actually, that wasn't the last page.

When I would get to the end of filling one of those yellow legal pads, on the second to last page I would kind of wrap up the preceding month, as you saw in Wednesday's post.

But on the actual last page, I would usually try to write a poem, or a song, or drop some piece of creative writing.

I think I am being pretty objective when I tell you that these poems were uniformly terrible.  I was, and am, a lousy poet.

So when I dug out this particular journal, I was getting ready to cringe at whatever crap I'd written on the final page.  What horrible metaphors or purple angst would be there.

Instead, I found this, on an otherwise blank sheet.

Here in 2014, it made me laugh out loud.

And just in case it doesn't come through, yes, I was being funny when I wrote this, not serious or dramatic.

Reading this, I'm pretty sure I came up with this line via The Breeders song "I Just Wanna Get Along," because around the time I wrote this, my friends and I would often quote the line "If You're So Special, Why Aren't You Dead?"

Much better than a crappy poem.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goldfinger "Here In Your Bedroom"

A Throwback Thursday post:

I did a post about journal entries yesterday, and that lead me to some other ideas for upcoming posts, featuring other things I found during my research.

So for Throwback Thursday, I was looking for a 90s song about being holed up in my bedroom . . . and what's more 90s than that Pop/Ska revival?

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Replacements "Everything's Coming Up Roses"

"Yeah, your late 20s can be pretty dramatic."

I was saying this to a friend of mine, who is in her late 20s.  She'd been telling me tales of drama and awkwardness and other silliness that comes with being single and having roommates and lots of independence and no money and such.

Her stories, and the emotional ups and downs within, made me think back on that same period in my life.  I've had it in my head that this was a pretty dramatic, eventful period in my life too.

But I decided to find out.

For most of my late 20s, I kept a pretty comprehensive journal.  Every month or so I'd fill up an entire yellow legal pad with the comings and goings of my life, the loves and hookups and drama, and the vomiting of feelings onto the page, as I tried to make sense of it all.

I remember it feeling dramatic.  But was it really as dramatic as it felt at the time?

At random, I grabbed a legal pad, of the dozens in a box in the basement and read through it.

In short, either I picked the most loaded journal of the bunch, or yes, life was dramatically dramatic when I was in my late 20s.

Within the month that I read through, I'd found out my Aunt had cancer, and old friend stopped speaking to me, another friend's husband committed suicide, my ex-girlfriend's cat died in the middle of the night and she made me come over to her house to deal with the cat-corpse, and, as the capper, my friends and I all lost our jobs.

Despite all this, the journal ends on an up-note, sort of.

"Well, what can you say about a month like this?  Emotionally exhausting and I'm glad it's over.  It'll certainly be interesting reading at some distant date, but right now it's pretty painful.  

Friday night we did the Relay For Life (American Cancer Society fundraiser).  Somewhere near 6am, an annoying 10 year old who'd been hanging around near me, for reasons unknown, the kid took a tennis ball and threw it as hard as he could intentionally hitting me in the nuts.  

The good news is that I think my luck might be changing."

It's nice to know that despite the drama, I kept my sense of humor and a bit of light in the darkness and pain.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Foy Vance "You And I"

Most every DJ at MVY will tell you that they've had this dream . . . the one where they're late for their shift, and all the buttons on the control board are broken, or the buttons are new and they don't know how to operate it, or the microphone is broken, or they try to speak and no sound comes out, or the record keeps skipping and they have to stall on the air, live, endlessly.

It's the DJ nightmare.

I'm sure every profession has its own nightmare.

I've never been a Record Promo person, but I imagine their nightmares go something like this.

They spend months preparing a promotional campaign to encourage radio to play their new artist Foy Vance.  And at the exact moment the promotion launches, another company starts promoting their artist, who's name is Vance Joy.

Every phone call they make to radio programmers goes like this:

"So have you heard the song I sent you from Foy Vance? . . . . . . No, not 'Riptide' . . . . . . . No, that's Vance Joy . . . he's a different guy . . . yes, a different guy, I'm talking about Foy Vance, not Vance Joy . . . yeah the names are similar, I know, but they are two different guys who sound nothing alike . . . if you just listen to the record you'll know . . . Foy Vance, that's the one I want you to hear . . . Yes I know, there is only a one letter difference between the two names . . . have you listen to Vance Joy, I mean, Foy Vance?"

Foy Vance, Vance Joy.

Seems like a joke, but it's not.

Listen to the two songs below.  Just based on their sound, there is no way you'd confuse the two artists.

But because of the name similarity, I know Record Promo folks who are having conversations like the one above, every day. 

They're living the nightmare.

Hear Foy Vance on Youtube.

Hear Vance Joy on Youtube.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tegan & Sara and The Lonely Island "Everything Is Awesome"

As a parent, you end up watching a number of shows and movies that can range from horrible, to excruciating.  You feel like it's a good day when your reaction to a movie was "well, that wasn't too terrible."

And then there are the really good days.

We took the kids to see "The Lego Movie" last week.

By the accounts of everyone in my group, the person in the theater who was laughing the loudest and the longest for the entire movie, was me.

I mean, the deck was pretty stacked, as the cast includes some of my favorite comedic actors, including Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman (both of Parks & Rec), Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Will Ferrell.  Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman are surprisingly hilarious.  There are a TON of cameos, both famous voices and also famous characters from other pop culture worlds.

And the main song in the movie is by The Lonely Island.

Bonus points:  My kids liked the movie too.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, February 21, 2014

David Bowie "Rebel Rebel"

Part of being a DJ means announcing weird or awkward things.  Things that don't come out of your mouth just right.

I always hate saying the name of this David Bowie song, because every time I do, I hear myself doing a Hamburglar imitation.

"Rabble Rabble."

Hear the song on Youtube.

See a vintage commercial on Youtube.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guided By Voices "My Valuable Hunting Knife"

A Throwback Thursday post:

That's the great thing about Guided By Voices, they could write a top-notch song about pretty much anything.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Benmont Tench "Blonde Girl Blue Dress"

Perhaps you've heard that the new song by longtime member of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers is called "Blonde Girl Blue Dress."

I'm going to do you a favor and post this Benmont Tench song here.

Because if YOU go searching Youtube for the phrase "Blonde Girl Blue Dress" then you are going to leave a trail of browsing history that is going to be hard to explain to your significant other.

"No really honey, I was searching for a Benmont Tench song!"

Consider it a favor from me to you.

(And if you really care, then by all means, search away!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sordid Humor "Barbarossa"

A Throwback Tuesday post:

I'm sure there is some kind of rule that states if you're going to post some kind of Throwback song, it should be a tune that people at least vaguely remember. 

I don't think this was much of a hit anywhere, though I did play it a ton on my Alternative show in the mid-90s. 

It lives on as a curiosity, since some of the members of Sordid Humor went on to become Counting Crows, and this particular track features Adam Duritz as a guest back-up vocalist.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Commander Cody "Hot Rod Lincoln"

Happy Lincoln's Birthday Holiday!

If we're going with cars, then I don't understand why we're also celebrating Washington and not Ford.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear an AMAZING live version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" from the mvyradio Archives.  Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen will make your head spin for 9 incredible minutes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bright Eyes "First Day Of My Life"

My wife didn't know the name Monsters Of Folk.  So when they played at Newport Folk a few years ago, she didn't realize that Conor Oberst was going to be on stage.

When he started singing "First Day Of My Life" it caught her off guard.  She knew the song, but to hear him singing it live, sincerely and unexpectedly, it brought out a well of emotion.  She still ranks Conor-Oberst-making-her-cry as one of her all-time concert highlight.

And if I didn't already associate the song with mushy, touching love-stuff, I saw the video for the first time ever, this week.

Maybe you'll have your own Conor-Oberst-making-you-cry moment.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ellen Foley "If You Can't Be Good"

I've written about Ellen Foley before, but if you don't know who she is, then you don't know The Clash, Meatloaf or Night Court.

She's got a new record out.  I figured you'd at least be curious.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

XTC "Dear God"

A Throwback Tuesday post:

I know the message is supposed to be serious in the song . . . but I am too distracted by how terrifying it is when small ghostly children sing the words of adult men.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nickel Creek "Destination"

It was notable that at Newport Folk 2012, the 3 members of Nickel Creek were all on campus, but did not play together.  Chris Thile was performing with Punch Brothers; Sara Watkins was there as a solo act, with her brother Sean as part of her band.

At the time I said to myself, they'll probably play together, but not until the time is right, and now is not the time.

18 months later, now IS the time.

In the 9 years since their last record, collectively the 3 members of Nickel Creek have put out records under their individual names, and worked on projects as part of Fiction Family, Goat Rodeo, The Decemberists and WPA, as well as making guest appearances on many, many other projects.

All of this musical exploration can only mean great things, as the already talented and progressive members of Nickel Creek can return to the band with fresh ideas, perspective and confidence.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pooh Sticks "Cool In A Crisis"

We had some friends over for dinner this past weekend.  It's one of the most wonderful social things that has come out of Parenthood:

We've become friends with other couples whose kids are the same age as ours.  We have them over the house, serve the kids dinner and then set them loose in the basement, or put on a movie.  The kids are blissfully happy, and the adults have a relaxing meal with a few cocktails until the children crash.

When someone spilled a drink, I leisurely got up and grabbed a roll of paper towels.  One of my friends remark that I always seemed to respond to things calmly.

It's true.

I won't say I never lose it. Never freak out.  It happens.

But I do have a reputation for being unflappable and calm.

There are two vignettes from my childhood that come to mind, time and time again.  I attribute my attitude to these stories.

I had a friend who's Dad worked for the Gas company.  He was super-funny and a great storyteller.  And even when his kids try to mess with him, you could not knock the man off his balance.

He told me this story that has stuck in my head these past 30+ years.  (I'll admit that I don't know how much he may have embellished his own story; and admittedly, I am probably failing to re-tell his story in any way that is accurate.  But I'll give you the gist, and note that his point was made, and taken).

He told the story of a major, dangerous Gas main breach.  The lower management-types on-site had been unsuccessful at stopping the flow.  One person on the scene was dead.  He arrived and asked if the shutdown protocols had been followed.

"Did you call and have them shut down #1?"

"Yes!" his panicked employee said.

"And #2?"  "Yes!" with great distress.

"And #3?"  "We did it.  And it won't stop."

"Let's call down again."  "But we did it already."

"Let's call," he said calmly, calling down to number one.  "Can you shut down number one?"  They were already shut down.

He called number two.  "Can you shut down number two?"

"Yes sir," came the reply.

As my friend's Dad told the story, he made the whoooshing sound of wind through a tunnel.   And now he made the sound of the wind, slow, stopping and disappearing.

Change of scenery now, to the 2nd vignette.

Sometime in my life, around the same time I heard the Gas main story, my family was on a vacation, and we'd gone to some enormous waterpark.

If I was 13 at the time, then my middle sister was 10, and my little sister was 5.

Amy was a tough cookie, and would absolutely not be deterred from doing anything her older siblings did, regardless of her age or size.

And that included the giant water tube.

Unlike a regular waterslide, which is usually a fast, slippery, fun ride, where you can look up at the sky as you zip down to a pool, the giant water tube was more of a long twisty pipe.  It was dark, and the ride was very very fast.  And at the end, instead of splashing into a pool, the tube ended about 5 feet above the pool, so you shot out of the tube and did a freefall into the water.

Just the kind of stupid fun a stupid, kinetic teenage boy would like.  And a ballsy 5 year old girl would insist on trying.

Of course, it was a little much for Amy, and I remember seeing her come out of the tube, hit the water and come up fast.  But the adrenaline and the disorientation were a little too much.  She just kinda flailed in the middle of the pool, in a panic.  She didn't know which way to swim or what to do next.

The lifeguards, I'm sure, were used to this.  They fished her out and she was fine.  I don't exactly remember, but knowing Amy, I'm sure she went again.

Both stories impressed upon me the notion that remaining as calm as possible in a crisis is the best way to see yourself clear out of the situation.  Panic can lead to missing an important bit of information, or can just completely obscure the path to safety.

Barring that approach, when faced with a crisis, it can't hurt to steel yourself with a hummable, light pop tune about remaining calm, from a band called The Pooh Sticks.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bloodhound Gang "Fire Water Burn"

Here's a Throwback Thursday post:

Over the years, I have receive many, many, many, many CDs in the mail.

Most come with some kind of bio information.

Some will include a handwritten note.

Often they may include a sticker.

Occasionally, you get a song/artist-related key chain or, if they've got a big budget, a free t-shirt.

But in my 20 years in radio, I have only received one promotional bologna sandwich.

It came in a flat envelope with the band's CD.  The sandwich had been smooshed a bit.

It was one slice of bologna and one slice of yellow/orange cheese, on 2 pieces of white bread.  It was in a sandwich bag, but the kind that just folds over at the top.  There is no seal.

I did not eat it.

But I remembered the band.

And a year later, when they put out "Fire Water Burn" and had a silly, silly hit with it, I remembered the band, and the bologna sandwich, and I thought, "Yeah, that's about right."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ingrid Michaelson "Girls Chase Boys"

I was going to write a post along the lines of "Uh, is this Robert Palmer parody a little late?"

Then I realized that "Addicted To Love" came out in 1986.  Meaning, anyone age 27 or younger (like a large swath of Ingrid Michaelson's audience), wasn't even born when the video was in heavy rotation on MTV.

The parody is so old that it's gonna be completely new to a lot a lot of people.  To some, they may not even realize it is a parody, it's so old.

Thoughts on this?

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Catherine Wheel "Waydown"

Is throwback Tuesday a thing?  I don't think so.  But I'm trying to do some good throwback songs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

These Brits had a bunch of great tunes in the 90s.  I never understood why a band that kinda bored me like Bush got popular, over a band like this that seems to have some more depth.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Benjamin Gibbard "Teardrop Windows"

By gametime, I was freaking out a bit at my own shortsightedness.

Knowing that I'd be filling in for Barbara on The Lunch Hour on Monday, I wrote on the mvyradio Facebook page:

On Monday's Lunch Hour, we will feature songs about, and artists from, the winning #Superbowl team's home state. Suggestions for Colorado or Washington State artists and songs?

Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Until I tried Googling "Artist from Colorado."

Uh, the list is pretty slim.  Not a ton you can do, beyond John Denver.

Fortunately, that's not an issue, as Seattle ran away with the game and, finally, won their first Superbowl ever.

Loads to choose from, when it comes to Seattle, including Jimi Hendrix and Fleet Foxes and Brandi Carlile and The Head And The Heart.  But I did Google "Songs About Seattle" anyway.

"Teardrop Windows" is a song I've heard hundreds of times, but never fully realized it was about Seattle.  I mean, I guess I'd heard the reference to the Needle . . .

But on further research, it turns out the song is about The Smith Building, which was the tallest building on the West Coast, prior to the building of The Space Needle.

So while the Smith Building cries at being a forgotten Number 2, congratulations to Seattle for being a memorable Number 1.

(This video is funnier than most of the Superbowl commercials)

Hear the song on Youtube.