Musical facepalm

I’m sorry.  As far as I’m concerned Big Sean can burn in hell for eternity for the song “Dance(Ass)”.  That is the stupidest song I have ever heard.  Ever.  No seriously! EVER!!  I heard it finally on the radio while I was out today.  I can’t believe someone in all seriousness produced this crap, put their stamp of approval on it and released it on the unsuspecting public.

There are songs that I don’t like and I’ve addressed some in previous entries.  But this is the first time I have heard a song and was insulted beyond imagination.  I have never been offended by a song before.  Yes.  I was offended by this song.  Usually I hear songs like this and while I know they are dumb, they are at least entertaining enough to dance to.  This is not one of those songs.

What in the heck is the world coming to when songs like this are available for mass consumption.  Has the quality of music deteriorated so much that we are now OK with this?  I have a headache thinking about this.  I’m listening to it again right now just so I can get a purposeful and conscious listen of it.  And yes, I’m even angrier than before.  This guy is making money from this.

I’m sorry…actually, no I’m not, I hate this song.  I haven’t been this pissed off over music in a long time.  My IQ has dropped a few double digits just by hearing it.  I remember why I don’t listen to the radio to begin with.  Thank God for my Ipod hookup.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I actually wanted to hear the radio because I am trying to win tickets to NBA All Star Weekend events I never would have heard this.

I…oh my God, this is the hardest blog post I have ever written.  There are so many ways for me to say how much I hate this, but I’m gonna end it here before I say something ignorant.  If you’ve heard the song and like it, more power to you.  I envy you your happiness.

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You only got 100 years to live

Well everybody, this Sunday is my birthday!! Woohoo!!  I’ll be 33.  I am not one of those people who gets frowny at the asking of my age, because damn it all, I look good!  So I’ll be celebrating this year over chocolate fondue to Stevie Wonders “Happy Birthday” song.  This is tradition for birthdays in my family and therefore mandatory.

Admittedly, my birthday was not something that I went out of my way to celebrate.  As a kid of course, but I mean as I got older.  I looked at it as just another day and I was older, big deal right.  Then I met a wise woman who reminded me that not a lot of people get to celebrate their birthdays and that I should thank God for every one of mine.  Upon really thinking on it, I had to admit she was right.  My life though it has had it’s bright spots and dark spots, is mine.  I’m happy to have it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything or anyone elses.

I was reminded of this a few days ago when I was driving and the song “100 Years” by Five for Fighting came on.  I’ve always liked this song.  It’s beautiful.  But this time it really hit home for me as I took it’s message to my heart.  John Ondrasik nailed this one on the head.  He put his heart behind this song and he has my eternal love for it.  His voice is like warm chocolate.  Yummy!

We are only here for a moment.  Some peoples moments are shorter than others, but it’s still quite a long moment.  I remember being 5 and wishing I was a big girl.  I remember being 11 and wishing I was 16.  I remember being 16 and wishing I was 21.  I remember being 21 and wishing I was 5 again.  But time can’t go backwards.  Time marches ever forward.

I remember when I learned to ride a bike.  My first awkward and accidental kiss.  My first friend.  My first time.  My first heartbreak.  My first job.  I have so many wonderful and not so wonderful things to look back on in my life.  Which is proof that I’ve lived it.  There are so many more things that I have yet to do, but as of now, I still have a story to tell.

There have been some questionable decisions in my life.  Too many to count.  There have been people I have loved, that I’ve intentionally and unintentionally hurt.  I’ve gone through many different changes, both outside and inside, in the pursuit of self discovery and actualization.  I’ve done things that a lot of people probably never will.  Been to places that some people dream about.  My experience are uniquely mine and I own, accept and love all of them.  They have all been Gods way of educating me and leading me to where I need to be.

If I could go back and change some things, I like to say I’d tweak some things, but that would probably drastically change who I am now.  And that isn’t acceptable to me at this point.  I like who I am now.  Everything I’ve done up to this point has taught me some small thing.  One different decision back then and I’m a different person.  So I celebrate my birthday, my past, my present.  And I look forward to a bright and happy future that only I can bring.  And when I am 99, I’ll have that many years worth of things to smile about.

Fancy that?

I hate it when I am listening to a song that sounds like it’s really good and then you sit back and listen to the lyrics and are left with that ‘wtf’ moment.  It’s the weirdest, most awkward feeling in the world.  Is it normal to jam out to a song that is lyrically disturbing?  Is it OK?  Sometimes I really do feel funny about it.

The reason I bring that up because I was relaxing and had my music on shuffle and the song “Fancy” by Reba McEntire came on.  I got the CD a while ago and I think I just gave it a quick listen.  But it comes on and I’m liking the music so far, Reba starts singing.  At first it sounded like a lot of the down and out country songs I usually hear.  It’s sad, but I’m feeling it.  So I’m OK until the line “she said, Be nice to the gentlemen Fancy, They’ll be nice to you.”  If you could have seen my ‘wtf’ face at that moment.  I stopped the song and started it over again, just so I could be absolutely certain I got this right.

It starts out with a poor woman helping her eighteen year old daughter get dressed up.  She does her hair and makeup and helps her into an expensive, beautiful dress.  They had already driven home the ‘we’re seriously poor and screwed’ point by describing the house and the roaches and whatnot.  Then mom talks about the father walking out on them, she’s sick and on her deathbed and she can’t care for the youngest child.  So my original thought was, she wanted to see her daughter at her best and happiest at her senior prom before she died.  Morbid!  Noble, but morbid.

Then THAT line showed up and now I unfortunately know what’s really going on.  You are personally preparing your oldest daughter to be a street walker.  That is absolutely sick.  I felt the same when I finally figured out and understood the plot of GiGi.  I’ve loved that movie forever, know all the songs though I never thought about or questioned what they meant.  Then the time for understanding hit me and I was like ‘Holy crap! I can’t believe it.’  But there it was.  It’s amazing what upbeat and catchy music can do to a theme, no matter how torrid.  Listen to how strong and clear she sings the chorus “Here’s your one chance Fancy, don’t let me down’.  I’m pretty sure I’m never going to forget that.

So after a series of unfortunate events, she gets to a place where she is well off and living it up.  Turns out if you can position yourself to be one of them high dollar ho’s, you can do well for yourself.  Which was what dear old mom wanted all along.  So what is the moral to this story?  Is there even one to be had?  I know that times are tough and all but damn, I don’t think I could do something like that.  Not to myself.  I couldn’t imagine doing it to my own child.  But still it turned out OK.  I guess that’s the point.  Do what you gotta do.

I hate when I get blindsided with lyrics.  This song is catchy and I love Reba, but this song gives me chills and not the good kind.  It depresses the crap out of me.  It also leaves me in a weird space because I don’t know how I should feel about it.  Or if I should feel anything about it at all.  Can I enjoy the song for what it is?  A song painting a very vivid picture and telling a morbid story without thinking about the fact that somewhere, right now as I type this, this is actually happening to someone.  Enter that weird feeling.

The Chipmunk Adventure

WOW!! I’m amazed.  Six months ago today I started this blog with the desire to ramble about music in general and seek out people who love music as much as I do.  Time most certainly does fly when you’re having fun.  And fun I’ve had.  I’m so proud of myself and my blog.  Also happy to be able to have a medium in which I can voice my opinions and thoughts with the world.

OK. Recently I had a hankering for throwing on the nostalgia goggles and I watched The Chipmunks Adventure.  You remember the one with the hot air balloon race?  You know, the entertaining Chipmunk movie.  Anyway I had the urge to watch this movie again because a coworker of mine was talking to me about being mocked about it by his friends who believed he made it up.  They had never seen or heard of it and therefore did not believe it existed.  He almost started to believe him.  But we were hanging out one day and we saw it being played on tv.  He was overjoyed that he was indeed not crazy.

I, as a self professed large child, have no qualms about breaking out and watching the cartoons I saw as a kid.  So I watch this every couple of years.  I remember everything about it.  The plot, the dialogue and ALL the songs.  Heck I have the soundtrack, so this is a given.  There were 10 songs but only 7 were in the movie and each was sang in traditional awesome Alvin and the Chipmunk goodness against a backdrop of kickass(for the 80s) animation.

I like all of the songs.  Believe me when I said I figured out ways to sing them whenever possible.  I have two favorites though.  One of them is the song “Off To See The World”.  This was sang in a montage of the kids going on their adventure in exotic locales all over the world.  Even as a kid, I knew that this song was an embodiment of things that I wanted.  Here are the chorus:

“Hey don’t you know that we’re off to see the world
We’re off to find our dreams
Why are our hearts beating so fast
Why is there suddenly a brand new hope inside us
that will surely last
Hey don’t you know that we’re off to see the world
We’re off to find things new
So we will follow every clue
Just think there’s suddenly
A chance to find it, all we dreamed in dreams come true”

I still to this day get chills listening to that.  It is something in my life that I want to experience so badly.  It is a goal in my life to see as much of the world as possible.  There is too much to see and do and experience to sit at home.  One day.  I have this song to thank for constantly reminding me of this dream every time I hear it.

We’ll get to my other fave in a minute, but let me talk about the song that everyone will probably remember.  “The Girls and Boys of Rock & Roll” is the song that they sang when they met up in Greece in a mutual display of egotism to see who was better.  And it was awesome.  This is the one that I would dance to.  Why?  Because they were dancing!  Give me a break I was 8.  I never could decide if I liked the Chipmunks or Chipettes better.  At the end of the day I guess it really doesn’t matter.  They both live in the nostalgic center of my brain as equals.

Now my other song played at the end when all was revealed.  “Diamond Dolls” thank goodness is played in its entirety on the CD because it’s broken up in the movie which was always distracting.  It was mostly the music that drew me to this song because I did not know what they were saying and probably would not have understood it if I did.  It took me years to finally understand the ‘girl power’ type message behind the lyrics.  Go out there and get what you want ladies.  It may be hard work, but if that’s what it takes to get what you’re after, DO IT!

I love this movie.  I love these songs.  If you haven’t you have most certainly missed out.  Even as an 80s film I think it still holds up as very entertaining.  This is during a time when kid shows were actually entertaining.  This was quirky, cute, classic Chipmunks.

TV Time: Magnum PI

I admit it right now to all the world.  I like theme music from tv shows.  If I could get all the ones I like on my ipod I’d sure as hell would have them.  Am I alone in this?  You don’t have to say so of course, but you cannot deny that there are a lot of tv themes that kick a ton of ass.  You also can’t deny the nostalgia factor on a lot of the old school ones.  You know if you think about a show, any show, that you watched back in the day, you can’t tell me the opening theme doesn’t spring to mind.

I was trolling Youtube as I like to do and I ran into the theme for Magnum PI.  Now you would think that I as a young girl would have sat through a show like this as a kid.  An ex-Navy Seal turned private investigator that drove an awesome red Ferrari and lived in the guest house of some rich guys mansion in Hawaii.  What about any of this appealed to a little girl?

Firstly, I love mysteries.  Cop and crime dramas have always been a staple of my tv viewing.  Ever since my Scooby Doo days, I’ve always loved trying to figure out who did it.  Still do.  Secondly, THE THEME!  You can’t listen to that opening theme and not be immediately pumped!  In my mind you couldn’t have a theme like that and not have something awesome to go behind it.  Thirdly, Tom Selleck.  Even then I recognized the 100% pure awesomeness that was Tom Selleck.  He was just so freaking cool it was almost maddening to watch him, so jealous was I.  He had by far the coolest mustache in creation since Burt Reynolds.  He had swag before the term was popular.  And fourthly, Higgens.  John Hillerman as Higgens in a way made the show for me.  The Higgens character was just this rigid, stuffy, stone faced English guy, who was such an excellent foil for Selleck’s character.  I loved him.  Which is weird considering if I met a person like that I’d probably take an immediate disliking to them cause rigid people annoy me.

But back to the theme.  I have heard this theme for years and years now and I still can’t pinpoint what instruments are being used.  Drums and the guitars are given, but what is the rest of it?  I want to say I can make out a violin in there.  If there is one it’s blended in there too well for me to tell.  Despite that, I’m amazed at how well the music still holds up.  You know how you can usually tell what era certain music comes from.  With this one I can’t really pinpoint it as completely 80s.   I honestly don’t think it sounds that dated.  Whether people think it’s dated or not, you cannot deny it was an awesome theme to an awesome show.  It’s up there as one of the most recognizable and the most classic.  Now to get myself a freaking Ferrari.

Relax, relate, release

Wow! I am so late.  Sorry about that.  I have been really busy these past couple of days.  I’m trying to buy a house.  Not rent, buy.  Renting sucks and is the stupidest concept in creation.  Pay for something I can’t have?  Whatever!!  Anyway it’s a very labor intensive and stressful process.  You ever have those moments where you are just so high strung and frazzled you just want to curl up in a little cocoon and wait for the world to go away.   Of course you have.  We’ve all been there.

In times like this when I really need to de-stress, I start listening to meditation sounds.  Water running in a stream, rainfall, waves crashing against the shore, crickets in the night.  Stuff like that.  Anything natural where I can close my eyes and locate that place of perfect calm and serenity.  Take multiple deep cleansing breaths and just let the sounds take you someplace quiet.

I picked up some of these recently from the library.  One is this one called “Ocean Waves” by Dr. Jeffery Thomas is the most soothing thing I ever heard.  I really like ocean noises.  It puts me at immediate ease.  It also puts me immediately to sleep.  Seriously.  If I put this on and close my eyes, I wake up hours later completely relaxed every time.  You wouldn’t think I’d care much for beaches seeing as I can’t swim and all.  But for me, just going to the waters edge is like going to the edge of the earth.  You look out in the horizon and you just see a vast empty space.  Nothing but ocean.  So many possibilities.

Another one I got is called “Sleepy Ocean” by the same person.  This again is the sound of water.  But for me it’s different than the last one.  The last one totally makes me think of the beach.  This one makes me think of being on a boat.  Laying on deck, looking up at the stars, waves crashing against the boat.  The motion of the ocean and the sound of the waves.  That has to be the most magical feeling in the world.  Also puts me to sleep.  I dream in peace with this.

The last one I got “Meditative Stream“.  Also by Dr. Thomas.  This dude has this genre on lock!  It is the sound of a forest stream with little birdies and other little animal noises going on.  I’m not an outdoor person, but this one makes me smile.  Makes me think in a way of Bambi.  Not completely because that movie makes me cry.  But more the setting of the film.  Nature at complete harmony and balance.  Such a fantastic concept.  Not only do I use this to relax.  I also use it for yoga.

I totally recommend the use of meditative sounds as a means to achieve calm in a hectic world.  Most of us have precious little time as it is.  Work, families, and other responsibilities.  Why not take some time to just sit and relax to the point that your mind goes blank and you are in a state of total zen.  I think this is something that everybody owes to themselves to do.  Life is too darn short to be on high anxiety all the time.  Relax people!

Wind Waker

It has been an awfully long time since I last talked about game music.  As often as I listen to it I find it odd.  I really do listen to game music more than I do anything else.  For the most part it gives me feelings of nostalgia.  As if I’m being thrown right back into the adventure from which the music originates.  These are always fun memories for me.  Today I’m going to talk about a game from one of my favorite game franchises Legend of Zelda.  Wind Waker in particular.

This game came out in 03.  I was already old enough to give up on those crazy games. They’re for kids.  Luckily I said bump that and lived a relatively happy existence.  This game, like most of it’s predecessors, was epic.  The adventure was grand, the story was engrossing, the graphics were great, the gameplay was near perfect and the music was spectacular.  Music like this makes every day life an adventure…or just make it feel like one.

The soundtrack to Wind Waker gets regular rotation on my ipod when I feel like reliving the game.  I don’t have my game system to play it so all I’ve got are my memories and the music.  From the opening theme you knew this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime.  I didn’t notice at first that the opening theme housed melodies that you used in game to get through it.  And it sounds kinda nautical.  A playful nautical, but nautical nonetheless.

Ever since Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past, I’ve always looked forward to the music that plays when you fight the bosses.  It always got my adrenaline pumping.  I hear it and I just start yelling in my head ‘CHARGE’.  But of course you can’t do that.  It’s always that balance between killing the monster and staying alive.  This game was the first one, to my recollection, that all the bosses had their own theme.  Which I totally think should be the standard.  I don’t mind the shared theme idea, but in Windwaker all the bosses had their own personal theme.

Gohma had a two part theme.  It was played normally until you scored the critical hit that irritates him and gives you the chance to attack head on.  Then the music speeds up to show that the creature is seriously pissed off.  At that point it’s do or die.  This is the only boss fight theme that was like that in this game.  The best ones, in my opinion are Kalle Demos and Molgera, which I’ve mentioned on this blog before.  Those two for me are the catchiest.  I actually dance to them.  I’m very weird, but you already know this.

The overworld theme from the first game is a classic.  It’s appeared in most of the console games in some form or variation.  It’s in this game as well, but you only hear it at the beginning introduction and the end of the game.  In this game we have The Great Sea as the overworld music.  Koji Kondo nailed this music perfectly.  It fits totally with the environment of the game and sucks me in every time.  I play this music in my car when I’m driving down the highway.  The music screams ‘epic adventure ahead’.  At that time I am Link, my car is King of Red Lions and everything on the road is an obstacle.  It makes driving so much more fun.  Do I change the music to the Maritime Battle music when I see cops.  Yes I do!

The dungeons even have their own themes.  I believe that Ocarina of Time did that first though so hopefully it’s a trend they’ll stick with.  All of them, to me, are creepy as heck.  Especially the Earth Temple.  Good Lord, that place is like descending into hell.  It’s dark, there’s ghosts and those creepy redead things everywhere.  I hate redeads!  They got revamped for this game and they scream at you and it’s horrible.  Earth Temple is a terrible terrible place.  Hearing the music gives me the strongest urge to check under my bed.  It’s sad, I know, but it is what it is.

I love the fact that both Princess Zelda and Ganondorf, both have their own distinctive themes.  Both themes showed up in OoT and have been staples in every game since.  And I do love Ganons theme.  Why do bad guys always get the greatest themes?  It’s like up there with the Imperial March.  It’s freaking sweet. I also like that they revived the Hyrule Castle theme from ALTTP for the King.

Speaking of the King…the end of the game!  I cry when I beat Ganon and you have that conversation with the king while Farewell Hyrule King plays.  Though I understand why they ended the game the way they did, I still ask why there couldn’t have been another way.  That ending was so bittersweet.  Endings are supposed to be happy damn it.  But I love Farewell Hyrule King.  I enrolled in a piano class just long enough to get some basic knowledge of how to play the thing just to play this music.  Why?  Because I have the sheet music for it.

There is a spot or a situation that I can always apply this music to.  Life may not be a game, but that’s no excuse not to have a soundtrack.  The music from this game helps create the soundtrack of my life.  It adds that flare of epic to it that it deserves to have.  And as long as Koji Kondo remains a genius and continues to do music for these games, I’ll keep adding them to my lifes music library.