Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s Valentine’s Day, the day when couples across the globe come together in a Hallmark-approved celebration of their love and bitter singles like me feel strangely compelled to remind everyone of the fakeness of the holiday and how if you really love somebody you don’t need a special holiday to make you show it. The central dilemma of Valentine’s Day is the conflict between true love and obligation – if you put on some big romantic display on this day of all days, are you really doing it because you love your partner or because you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do every February 14th?
I don’t know, maybe I just look at Valentine’s Day this way because I’ve been single for it every year, so I feel like I’ve always been on the outside looking in and don’t know what it’s like to share it with someone. The highlight of my Valentine’s Day every year is getting my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the mail, the exception being last year because that’s the day Radiohead announced that The King Of Limbs would be coming out later that week.
But we’re not here to talk about any of that stuff, are we? Of course not! We’re here to count down my top 5 favorite love songs in honor of Obligatory Love Day. The fun begins as soon as you click “Read the rest of this page”!
The Beach Boys are one of those rare musical acts where they’ve been around long enough, prolific enough, and most importantly good enough to say that everyone probably likes something they’ve done. Even if you’re not a diehard fan, you have to at least tip your cap to the sheer songwriting genius of Brian Wilson. His intricate song structures, diverse instrumentation, and carefully arranged vocal harmonies were so far ahead of their time that people are still having trouble keeping up with him – and Pet Sounds came out 45 years ago. If any pop or rock musician had earned the right to call his music “teenage symphonies to God,” Brian Wilson was that man.
But we’re not here to talk about Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys. That band was one of the greatest of all time. No, we’re here to talk about what that band eventually became after Brian’s drug problems and mental illness sadly phased him out of the picture. By the late 1980s and early ‘90s they’d completely abandoned nearly all traces of their classic sound, creating some depressingly lousy music in the process.
Seriously, I was shocked to discover just how far this band had fallen. But I guess that’s what happens sometimes… When Bad Songs Happen To Good Bands.
Hey everyone! Believe it or not, I’m still alive and finally writing another post. You can chalk up that lengthy hiatus to having lots of stuff to do for school. I had a whole bunch of papers to write and several exams to prepare for and I just wasn’t in the mood to write after all that. And I’d wanted to write a commemorative post celebrating the one-year anniversary of this blog, too (I registered with WordPress on New Year’s Eve 2008). I’d also planned on writing this post a lot sooner, since the holiday season only lasts so long.
But here I am, late to the Christmas party… and the New Year’s party, for that matter, but I’ve never done much for New Year’s anyway. The most I ever do is watch a movie or that Three Stooges marathon on AMC, then switch over to Dick Clark and the Times Square ball drop, have a glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and then it’s right back to the Stooges for a little bit longer. In the immortal words of James Blunt, “My life is brilliant.” (No links for those of you who are still traumatized by “You’re Beautiful.”)
So in the spirit of the season that has officially passed us by (my mother actually just took down our Christmas decorations today), here’s my Top 5 Favorite Original/Non-Traditional Christmas Songs. No “Frosty The Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” here, folks. All those songs have been done to death, but people keep doing them anyway. If I have to listen to one more version of freaking “Jingle Bell Rock,” I’m going to lose my mind.
See, back when I worked in a supermarket during high school, they played nothing but Christmas music during the holiday season. Because they apparently didn’t want to offend any non-Christians by playing songs about Jesus, that meant the soundtrack was pretty much limited to every version of “Frosty” and “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” that has ever been recorded. I still haven’t quite recovered from this.
So today we celebrate artists who dare to write their own Christmas songs — and actually succeed at it!
Hey everyone. I know I’ve really been slacking with the blog lately — not that anyone would notice, since I haven’t had a double-digit hit count since September 24 — but I just haven’t really felt like blogging for whatever reason. I’d like to say I had a better excuse than that for slacking off with this thing, but that’s just how it is.
Anyway, here’s the playlist from the 9/25/09 show. Hopefully one of these days I’ll actually write something more substantial than one of these playlist posts. That, however, would require me to stop being a lazy slacker.
1. Radiohead, “Bangers & Mash” (In Rainbows bonus disc)
2. TV On The Radio, “Golden Age” (Dear Science)
3. Arctic Monkeys, “Fake Tales Of San Francisco” (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not)
4. Cave In, “Lost In The Air” (Antenna)
5. Band Of Horses, “Is There A Ghost” (Cease To Begin)
6. RX Bandits, “Tainted Wheat” (…And The Battle Begun)
7. At The Drive-In, “A Devil Among The Tailors” (In/Casino/Out)
8. Kings Of Leon, “Notion” (Only By The Night)
9. Interpol, “Slow Hands” (Antics)
10. Deerhunter, “Saved By Old Times” (Microcastle)
11. The Clash, “Lost In The Supermarket” (London Calling)
12. British Sea Power, “Down On The Ground” (Do You Like Rock Music?)
13. Thrice, “As The Crow Flies” (The Alchemy Index: Vol. 3 — Air)
14. Foo Fighters, “Cold Day In The Sun” (In Your Honor)
15. Spoon, “Jonathon Fisk” (Kill The Moonlight)
16. My Morning Jacket, “Thank You Too!” (Evil Urges)
17. Minus The Bear, “When We Escape” (Planet Of Ice)
18. The National, “Secret Meeting” (Alligator)
19. R.E.M., “Near Wild Heaven” (Out Of Time)
20. Pavement, “Major Leagues” (Terror Twilight)
21. Radiohead, “Lucky” (OK Computer)
22. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “She’s Only 18” (Stadium Arcadium)
23. Muse, “Muscle Museum” (Showbiz)
24. Snow Patrol, “Shut Your Eyes” (Eyes Open)
25. Bloc Party, “Signs” (Intimacy)
26. Weezer, “El Scorcho” (Pinkerton)
27. The Beach Boys, “Wendy” (Endless Summer)
28. The Decemberists, “O Valencia!” (The Crane Wife)
29. Elvis Costello, “Veronica” (Spike)
30. The Beatles, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (Abbey Road)
Hey everyone. In an attempt to lighten the mood of this blog somewhat after the last post’s journey into the realm of scary music (not to mention the darker reaches of my imagination), here’s the playlist from my Valentine’s Day special on Feb. 13, 2009.
1. Jimi Hendrix, “Foxey Lady” (Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix)
2. Blur, “Coffee & TV” (13)
3. The Smashing Pumpkins, “Cupid De Locke” (Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness)
4. Spoon, “Finer Feelings” (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga)
5. Daft Punk, “Something About Us” (Discovery)
6. The Fall Of Troy, “Quarter Past” (Manipulator)
7. The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Permission To Land)
8. We Are Scientists, “Lethal Enforcer” (Brain Thrust Mastery)
9. Coldplay, “Yellow” (Parachutes)
10. The Police, “Next To You” (Outlandos d’Amour)
11. Green Day, “Extraordinary Girl” (American Idiot)
12. Queens Of The Stone Age, “In My Head” (Lullabies To Paralyze)
13. Foo Fighters, “Big Me” (Foo Fighters)
14. The Strokes, “12:51” (Room On Fire)
15. Cake, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” (Comfort Eagle)
16. Bloc Party, “Sunday” (A Weekend In The City)
17. Minus The Bear, “Pachuca Sunrise” (Menos El Oso)
18. Muse, “Unintended” (Showbiz)
19. Radiohead, “All I Need” (In Rainbows)
20. My Morning Jacket, “Knot Comes Loose” (Z)
21. Garbage, “Milk” (Garbage)
22. The Beatles, “Something” (Abbey Road)
23. Snow Patrol, “Grazed Knees” (Final Straw)
24. Weezer, “Across The Sea” (Pinkerton)
25. The Beach Boys, “God Only Knows” (Pet Sounds)
26. U2, “All I Want Is You” (Rattle & Hum)
27. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” (So)
So here it is! The last of the “old show” playlists! The last show of the Fall 2008 semester! And the last one before Christmas. We’re pretty much all caught up now.
1. The Whigs, “Like A Vibration” (Mission Control)
2. Coheed & Cambria, “A Favor House Atlantic” (In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3)
3. Foxboro Hot Tubs, “Mother Mary” (Stop Drop And Roll!!!)
4. Muse, “Exo-Politics” (Black Holes & Revelations)
5. Razorlight, “In The Morning” (Razorlight)
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Hard To Concentrate” (Stadium Arcadium)
7. Snow Patrol, “Last Ever Lone Gunman” (When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up)
8. Queens Of The Stone Age, “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” (Rated R)
9. Jimi Hendrix, “Freedom” (Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix)
10. Kings Of Leon, “Use Somebody” (Only By The Night)
11. Interpol, “Obstacle 1” (Turn On The Bright Lights)
12. Alkaline Trio, “Mr. Chainsaw” (From Here To Infirmary)
13. Double Dagger, “Camera Chimera” (Ragged Rubble)
14. Bloc Party, “Talons” (Intimacy)
15. Rancid, “Ruby Soho” (…And Out Come The Wolves)
16. Minus The Bear, “Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse” (Highly Refined Pirates)
17. The Fall Of Troy, “Chapter II: A Strange Conversation” (Phantom On The Horizon)
18. At The Drive-In, “Pickpocket” (In/Casino/Out)
19. Incubus, “I Miss You” (Make Yourself)
20. R.E.M., “Nightswimming” (Automatic For The People)
21. The National, “Fake Empire” (Boxer)
22. My Morning Jacket, “Wordless Chorus” (Z)
23. Radiohead, “Scatterbrain (As Dead As Leaves)” (Hail To The Thief)
24. Everclear, “Hating You For Christmas” (So Much For The Afterglow bonus track)
25. Thurl Ravenscroft, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
26. The Beach Boys, “Little Saint Nick”
27. The Pretenders, “2000 Miles”
28. Chuck Berry, “Run Rudolph Run”
29. The Kinks, “Father Christmas”
30. The Lonely Island, “Dick In A Box (feat. Justin Timberlake)” (from Saturday Night Live)