Caramelldansen

I’m weird.  I’ve said this often enough.  It is within that weirdness that I always find happiness.  Case in point, today, I get off work at 6am and I’m dead tired.  I get myself ready for bed as soon as I get to the house.  Turn on my music and set for random.  What is the first thing I hear when my head hits the pillow…Caramelldansen! For anyone who does not furiously troll youtube like I do in search of entertainment, you’ll have missed this little craze that cropped up about 3 or 4 so years ago that captured the attention of anime and anime music lovers everywhere.

I discovered it when my friend showed it to me.  It was the goofiest thing I had ever seen and heard.  I loved it immediately.  I am still to this day not sure of the origins of it.  Was it in a game?  A tv show?  Just a silly song?  I have no idea.  It didn’t ever occur to me to question it.  I just let myself be continuously swept up by the awesome.  And it is awesome!  I don’t care what anyone says.

Anyway, as I said, there was like a year long obsession with this song and the little dance that went along with it.  People were making their own videos with their favorite anime characters doing the dance.  There were videos of people actually doing it themselves.  I saw it being performed at Comic Con International during a masquerade skit.  It was everywhere.  It was insanity.

But back to me.  It comes on just as my head hits the pillow and I get a sudden recharge of energy.  I get up and I start doing the dance.  I can’t help but not doing the dance when I hear this music.  It’s so silly and catchy.  Not a lot of people are going to understand the warm fuzzies I get from this.  Kinda like they won’t understand the song itself anyway.  Lucky for me the song is very short.  So once the song was over, I hit my pillow and I can’t even tell you what song played afterwards.

I’m Weightless

Life has started taking such a spectacular turn.  The old me would sit back and question my good fortune.  Try to analyze it.  Wonder if it was a fluke.  The OLD me.  The new me, the person I was meant to be, is just gonna go with it and build on it.  I have never felt this happy and free.

In keeping with that just go with it attitude, I’m happy that my Ipod came across a song I didn’t remember having.  Natasha Bedingfield’s “Weightless” off her “Strip Me” album has turned into my theme for my new life.  It’s a song about not letting anything hold you back.  Freeing yourself from the weight of the world and doing your thing.  Whatever that thing is that makes you happy.  Basically, do you.

Here’s what she says:

“Sky is the limit and I just wanna float, free as a spirit on a journey of hope, cut the strings and let me go, I’m weightless, I’m weightless. Billions of balloons tethered to the ground, weight of the world try to hold us down, cut the strings and let me go, I’m weightless, I’m weightless.”

My renewed faith in God and a new found faith in myself is new, but if this is the kind of happiness that I can have with those things, I intend to extend them to the end of my lifetime.  I love when I come across songs that embody what I’m feeling at a particular time.  And that it came to my attention at this time makes it all the more awesome and close to my heart.

I’ll have this at the back of my mind as I’m out achieving everything that I said that I wanted.  I have so much to offer the world.  My faith and belief will make everything possible.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  No one and nothing is going to hold me back.  There’s no reason for me to allow that.  I’m too awesome for that.  Thanks for the theme Natasha!

Operator, Can you help me find Jim Croce

I was at the bank a while back and I was watching a kid running around like a banshee while the mother stood in line completely oblivious when I heard it.  The song that I love to absolute death, but hadn’t heard in a long time.  Jim Croce’s “Operator(That’s Not the Way It Feels) is a song that is one of my favorites.  Never mind it came out 6 years before I was born.  It’s still awesome.

It occurred to me as I didn’t move from the spot I was in waiting for the song to end that I hadn’t heard any other of his songs.  Which made me quite sad.  I know enough about Jim Croce as his wife runs a restaurant named for him in my hometown of San Diego(good food).  So I decided to set aside some time to find his music and see if his other songs moved me as much as “Operator” does.

He other songs did move me and I discovered that I did know more of his music and didn’t realize it.  “I’ll Have to Say I Love You In A Song” was a song that I heard before and after hearing it again, I think this is a guy who could understand me.  It’s a great song about a person who is not good at expressing themselves through conventional means.  Just like me.  So he had to do it in a song.  Which is something I’d do.  Maybe not a song, but I do turn to poetry and short stories for things like that.  I relate to this song so much.

“Photographs and Memories” is one of the most sentimental songs I’ve ever heard.  It punches me right in the gut.  I have always been a person who has hated taking pictures.  When I do I rarely smile.  Mostly because I’m self conscious about my looks and I don’t want that captured on film.  But when I think about it, that’s not what I want to look at and remember down the road in my life.  I want to be able to look back on my memories and remember happiness.  Not that I felt awkward and self loathing.  I’m a sentimental person.  I still have birthday and Christmas cards from when I was 1 and 2 years old.  They make me smile.  Those are memories that were made for me.  I want to smile back on memories I’ve made for myself too.

I have two conflicting thoughts about the song “Next Time, This Time”.  On the one hand, this song is me in the way that when I cut someone out of my life due to hurt or betrayal, that person is cut out completely.  There is no coming back, there isn’t another chance, there is no next time.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, you are dead to me.  On the other side of it, I think this song perfectly highlights why I think I’d make a terrible girlfriend.  Which is weird because I’ve never seriously dated anyone.  Ever.  I don’t count high school boyfriends.  I’m a complete basket case.  And that could mess a guy up.  I’m afraid of really hurting and screwing someone up to the point where I just don’t bother.  I don’t want someone to make up a song like this or even think this about me.

It is a damn shame that this man is dead.  What I like about him is that he was a true musician.  He was a fantastic guitar player.  His music was all about the music and his incredible vocals.  His songs were all short, sweet and to the point.  Which I guess was a sign of the times.  His songs are beautiful and personal and hit me right in the stomach.  They make me think as I listen and touch my heart.  I’ll do my best to keep his musical legacy alive.  At least in my house.

 

 

Whitney Houston

So as we have all heard, Whitney Houston has recently passed away.  I don’t know about you but I was very heartbroken over the news.  Whitney Houston’s music was such a staple in my childhood.  In fact along side Michael, her music was the soundtrack of my young life.  I ended up breaking the news to my mom.  I think she shed tears.  We didn’t talk long enough after I told her.  She respected and admired her, despite all her flaws.

So as I type this and think about how people and things from my childhood are dying one by one, I want to take the time to reflect on Whitney’s music.  This woman had the worlds greatest voice.  I don’t care what anyone says.  Her talent came straight from her very soul.  I don’t think all of her wonderful music would have been as powerful were she a mediocre singer.

“The Greatest Love of All” is Whitney’s best song ever.  EVER! It is fact.  Anyone who thinks otherwise will be brow-beaten into submission.  It was a glorious showcase of her vocal talents and is without a doubt one of the most inspirational songs ever written.  There isn’t a person alive over age 30 that hears the phrase “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way” and not think of her.  It also makes me think of that scene in “Coming To America”, but that’s another post. SEXY CHOCOLATE!

This song is from her first album, but listening to it again in my personal celebration of her life and music, the whole thing is epic.  Though “Greatest Love of All” is a fantastic song, “You Give Good Love” is my favorite track.  I love how sensual and soulful this song is, while also being innocent and sweet.  It’s such a beautiful song.  In hindsight, letting a six year old listen to this is kind of disturbing.  Luckily my parents were intelligent and awesome and I turned out ok.

My first real memory of when I became aware of who she was the song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody(Who Loves Me)”  lived on the radio.  This song is so awesome, I’m jealous of it.  It’s so infectious and bubbly.  If you can hear this song and not tap your foot or dance or something, you have no soul.  My love of this song could have something to do with my childhood love of the video.  It’s silly to watch now.  But you can’t tell an 8 year old me that all those bright flashy colors and people flailing around is not awesome.

The “I’m Your Baby Tonight” album was the first Whitney Houston tape, yes TAPE, that I bought with my own money and it was worth every cent.  The title song “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was played in rapid succession for like 6 hours.  My poor rewind button.  A lot of people have forgotten about the song “Miracle”.  Good golly gee I love that song.  This was during my awkward phase when I really thought I could relate to pain and heartbreak.  I’ve mentioned before, I was a stupid child.  My favorite though was “My Name Is Not Susan”.  Listen to it, you’ll hear why.

Then the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” came into my possession.  And the world was forever changed.  Well not really, but you get what I’m hinting at.  Do I even need to really speak about her version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”?  Do I really?  You all know how I feel about remakes of songs.  This is the exception to that thought process.  It was perfect in ever conceivable way.  Isn’t it like one of the Top 25 songs of all time? If not, then it darn well should be.

However, my song from that soundtrack was “Run To You”.  The night the news broke, I was driving to work and this song started playing and I burst into tears at the wheel.  I was still in shock over the news, but hearing this really hit me hard.  I will never hear this woman perform this song live.  I’ve had several opportunities and I’ve missed them all.  I was so morose over the thought.  Anyway.  I love this song out of all the ones on the soundtrack.  I can’t think of any reason why other than the fact that it prods at an inner yearning.  My imprisoned romantic side at rage, I guess.

Skip a few years to the “Waiting To Exhale” soundtrack ended up in my collection.  “Exhale(Shoop Shoop)” was a defining song for the film.  It’s beautiful and sad.  Again, this is a song that tugs at that romantic side that refuses to die.  At this point you can hear in her voice that A. she had matured greatly and B. there is some real emotion behind the lyrics.  It’s there.  I can hear it.  Same as with “Why Does It Hurt So Bad”.  And that song is pretty powerful too.

Exactly one year later, “The Preacher’s Wife” came out and with it a song that I sit up there with “Greatest Love of All” as her greatest.  “I Believe in You and Me” gives me the absolute chills.  I really get emotional every time I listen to it.  This is a song that I don’t understand why it grabs me like it does.  This is one of those songs that when you hear it, you can’t do anything.  You have to stop and just listen to it.  It is arresting.  This soundtrack I don’t have so I don’t know many of the other songs.  Nor have I seen the movie.  Maybe it’s time.

The last Whitney album I got was “My Love is Your Love”.  Like everyone else at the time, I fell in love with “Heartbreak Hotel”.  Writing this blog post it occurred to me that I haven’t heard this in a while.  I will though as part of my mourning process.  The mix with her and Faith Evans and Kelly Price was magical.  At the time, those were three people I never thought I’d see performing together.  But thank God they did.  Best break up song ever.  “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK” was the ‘I’m moving on’ anthem.  Every woman everywhere was singing this song.  Me included.  Don’t judge me.  It’s a damn shame that “I Learned from the Best” came out 3 years after I needed it.  It’s ok though.  My 20 year reunion is coming up soon.

Researching I learned that she came out with albums in 02 and 09.  I don’t know how I didn’t hear about those, but I’m going to have to run out an get them, if only to complete my collection.  I also learned she is in a remake of one of my favorite movies, “Sparkle”.  I heard they were remaking it and I vowed savagely that I would not be seeing it.  But darn it all, now I have to.

This woman’s music has been in my life, for my whole life.  I have so many memories, both good and bad that I can hear one of her songs and go back to those times.  There will never be another Whitney Houston.  There will be imitators and their will be the ones that look back on her music as inspiration, but they will never be her.  She was as unique and as original as they come.  She’s irreplaceable.  I will miss her and her beautiful angelic voice.  Though we have her music to keep close to us, we’ll always be reminded that she’s gone.  And no matter what anyone thinks of her personal life, her flaws, her failings, at the end of the day all it comes down to is the music.

Rest in peace Ms. Houston.  It’s too soon, but you’re home now.

Ahh Valentines Day!

Well it’s Valentines Day!  Love is in the air.  Plenty of chocolate, roses and cards to go around.  Jewelry sales are up and Hallmark is loosing their minds.  Capitalism at it’s finest.

So, aside from the fact that I’m a cynic and don’t really care for the day, I’m going to turn my thoughts to romantic music.  Some great tunes that people can have playing as they sit across from each other over that candlelit dinner, making googly eyes at each other.  The sounds of love through the decades.

Doesn’t it seem sometimes that some music was made just for moments like this?  I know that is silly today as music has been around for thousands of years before Valentines Day existed.  But still sometimes I think that some artists had romance on the brains when they came up with a lot of their music.  Slow, sensuous, suggestive, there are far too many songs to name that people listen to when they want to get in the mood for love…or play at their weddings.

Though I may not be a fan of V-Day, I am a fan of love songs.  My perfect love song is “Truly” by Lionel Richie.  I honestly just love this song.  As much as I would love to be a bachelorette for life, I sometimes wish I had that special someone that I could attach this song to.   I’m not a girl who has ever been very good at expressing myself.  I need other avenues to do it.  Mostly through music.  Is it weird that this song is older than I am.  It came out in the 70s.  Most people identify with songs that are current.  I could be wrong about that though.

Are romantic songs always slow?  That was a question that popped into my head as I was writing this.  Of the top I couldn’t be sure.  I had to shuffle through my Ipod for a bit to see if I could locate one.  I landed on a song that I think is romantic, yet I can kind of dance to it.  “Love Song” by The Cure.  This song is groovy!  I think I first heard it in like the late 90s.  I was hanging out with one of my aunts and I heard it.  Fell in love the the music.  Don’t know what it is about 80s synthesizers but they are freaking neat.  This song proves it.  Plus the message is really sweet.

I don’t think at any point in my life I’ve had a real Valentine.  In fact, thinking on it now, I’m sure of it.  I remember in high school we had Jodeci’s “Diary of a Mad Band” out as well as R. Kelly’s “12 Play” album.  Those were what the other people were getting their Valentines on to.  I still listen to those albums now.  They are just as fantastic now as they were then.   Heck I listen to this era of music more than any other.  Name me a current album where you can get your romance on for the entire thing?  I can wait.

It’s not to say that we don’t have an recent and beautiful romantic songs.  “No Air” by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown comes to mind for me.  I listened to this song to utter death.  It was the most heartfelt, beautiful and romantic song I had heard in a while.  To be so in love with a person that you can’t bear to breath without them was touching to me.  If only love that deep truly existed.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you who care about it.  As for me, Valentines Day brings me two things.  Cheaper candy prices and cheaper wine.  Both of which I will enjoy whilst watching some old black and whites and Skyping.  Later all.

Groovies

Yeah! This post is very late.  Been having some problems lately and it makes writing a little difficult.  But here I am with more weirdness than should be humanly possible.

I was watching some retro cartoons on tv as I like to do because I’m grown.  I saw something that I haven’t seen in a while, but I definitely hadn’t forgotten about.  You guys remember about 10 years ago when Cartoon Network was awesome and it had the Groovies?  Those little songs were hilarious and fantastic.  I still remember most of them.

The one in particular that I saw was the Jabberjaw “Running Under Water” by Pain.  I love that one.  So much so that I bought the song on Itunes.   But I’d like the whole video.  The song in and of itself is great, but the video really brings it home.  I remember Jabberjaw as a kid.  I remember that I didn’t watch it as much.  In fact, I don’t think it was a very long show.  But the song sums up the show so nicely.  It makes me smile.

There was another one that had a bunch of cartoon characters walking around for no reason.  I didn’t understand the video, but LOVED the song.  This groovie gave me the song “Circles” by Soul Coughing.  And I am eternally grateful for it.  I like Soul Coughing so much.  Cartoon Network may suck now, but I give them credit for bringing this awesome group to my attention.  Find “Coffee Song”.  Right now.  Go.

Who can forget about the awesome rendition of the “Josie and the Pussycats” theme, where they sing it in several different music genres.  That one also is one where having the video as opposed to just the song is preferable.  I love how for every genre there was a different era style of dress to go along with it.  I don’t care what anyone says the KISS part is still the best part.

I actually also liked the Jonny Quest one too.  Even though it wasn’t an actual song attached to it.  The Jonny Quest theme just kicks butt.  And how it was done in like a live board game type setting.  I thought that was really creative.  I remember fondly the Six Million Dollar man sound effects thrown in there.

Cartoon Network.  A great idea.  A great network gone terribly terribly wrong.  I don’t understand why they deviated from such an awesome formula of awesome.  But they have and apparently will continue to do so going forward.  Pity.  It used to be one of my favorite channels.  Oh well.  Progress I guess.  I’ll let the kids of today have all that.  I’ll stick with the old stuff.

Avenue Q

Last week was the first of the month where I touch on a new piece of music, artist or something new.  I didn’t do that because the passing of Don Cornelius weighed heavy on my heart and it was necessary for me to discuss him and his impact on music.  But today I’ll get back on track with something I’ve discovered fairly recently, but maybe some of you have been up on since the beginning.

OK.  There is this play called Avenue Q that I’ve been put on, again too late(inside joke).  It’s a musical play that features puppets.  And we all know puppets are awesome.  Those who don’t think so, I have no idea what’s wrong with you.  But the kicker is that this is a play for adults.  I can already imagine the shock and horror of parents who took their kids to see a play because OOH PUPPETS and were in for a rude awakening.

Well I located the soundtrack and gave it a listen.  I’m happy to say that I laughed my butt off for the majority of it.  It is hilarious.  It is beyond awesome.  I really wish I had seen it while it was running.  That would have been the best.

I was already sold with the first song, “It Sucks to Be Me”.  I have woke up plenty of days feeling just like this.  Now I have a song to go with those days.  There is nothing more tragic than a bunch of people trying to make their lives sound more awful than the next.  And put to music no less.  It’s fantastic!  AND there is an actress playing Gary Coleman.  There is no end to the win.

The other song that is hilarious and yes it IS hilarious is the song, “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”.  Now such a volatile subject you would not think you could get a humorous musical number about it, but they did it.  It’s so catchy and amazing and based on truth.  I think that’s why it worked.  It talks about the subject honestly and with the knowledge that while hey racism does suck, it is what it is and it’s not going away.  Ever.  Sad but true.

The other song that cracked me up was “The Internet is for Porn”.  The internet is home to some of the largest collection of porn on earth.  Everyone who frequents the interweb on a regular basis knows this as fact.  Those who don’t will learn soon enough.  And while there is a good growing collection of a variety of other things like, music, news, other useful information and social media.  Porn still reigns supreme.  Deal with it.

Now if you are an openminded enough adult individual, I would totally find this soundtrack and give it a listen.  Or heck even begging and pleading for the play to make the rounds again so that you can see it.  So that I can see it!!  Those tracks alone made me want to go see it.  But then I’m a person who flocks to humor.  And again people, I can’t stress this enough, it has PUPPETS!!