Male-named tunes may not be as ubiquitous as female-named tunes but there are still lots of good ones to spare!
My top 5:
5. The Jam – David Watts
The Kinks got to be #1 on the girls list. I thought I’d share the wealth and include the faithful cover by The Jam (from their enjoyable All Mod Cons) in lieu of the equally solid Kinks original.
4. Blur – Colin Zeal
I’ve been on a Blur kick of late. The Universal is quickly climbing my all-time favourites list and Colin Zeal, the third track on Modern Life is Rubbish, is good enough for the #4 spot here.
3.Chantal Kreviazuk – Wayne
Yesterday I said it would be on a future top 5 list. It appears the future is now!
2. Eminem – Stan
One of the more impressive songs in recent memory. After each year of the project, I do a recap of favourite records from the previous twelve months. The Marshall Mathers LP is an early contender for the best of Project Year #3.
1. The Smiths – William it was Really Nothing
I adore the song structure: one verse followed by three choruses. 2 minutes and 10 seconds of brilliance. Leaving Frankly Mr. Shankly off the list wasn’t easy (nor was leaving Jeane off yesterday’s Top 5) but I suppose having far too many great songs to fill a top 5 is a nice problem to have.
I will be (temporarily) disappearing suddenly from the blogging world at some point over the next few weeks.
But it’s for a good cause as daughter #2 will be arriving!
My beautiful wife & I are now in the process of selecting a name for the newest member of the family.
a) find a name that hasn’t been claimed by a popular song. I’d be very interested in seeing a graph of ‘girls named Roxanne before/after 1978.’
b) find a name that’s not trying too hard to be unique, like George’s baby name idea on Seinfeld.
As observed in this clip from Family Guy (at 0:37), at least part a) could be tricky!
Though it may be unimaginative to name a song after a girl, there have been some good ones over the years.
Here are 5 of the finest, enjoy!
5. Denise – Fountains of Wayne
Before Stacy’s Mom, there was this toe-tapper.
4. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
12-string guitar, the definitive mandolin solo, how could it not be on the list? I also like the tie-in that in the video for Stacy’s Mom, the title character was played by the (now former) Mrs. Rod Stewart, Rachel Hunter.
3. Julia – Our Lady Peace
If you combined the best songs from the first two Our Lady Peace albums (Naveed and Clumsy) into one record, you’d have an undisputed Canadian classic. I enjoy how lead singer Raine Maida’s wife, Chantal Kreviazuk, also has a song named Julia. Her song Wayne would also appear on a ‘Top 5 songs with male names.’
2. Wendy Under the Stars - Odds
I’m not always in favour of censorship but the clean version of this one is superior.
1. Victoria – The Kinks
I was chatting with thomasjford this morning about the brilliance of this group. He welcomed a new baby girl to the world last month – I’ll get you to go to his site to find out the name & offer congratulations! Victoria is a great song, from a great album, and if that wasn’t enough, the How I Met Your Mother reference whenever the character ‘Victoria’ appears should seal the deal.
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me this video along with the (absolutely accurate) message, “this is right up your alley.”
The same can most definitely be said for The Who Sell Out (TWSO).
I present the following advice for aspiring musicians:
“How To Get a Rave Review from stephen1001“
In 7 easy steps!* Guaranteed Results!!** Or Your Money Back!!!***
2. Destroy my first impression of your music. I didn’t really get The Who’s appeal until I heard Live at Leeds. If I respected the group after that one, I’m now a full-fledged fan.
3. Include some tasty tambourine. The simple added percussion is the highlight of my favourite tune here, Can’t Reach You.
4. Fake commercials don’t hurt. My favourite part of SNL/Rick Mercer Report/This Hour has 22 Minutes? The faux ads. The promos sprinkled throughout TWSO aren’t supposed to be as laugh out loud hilarious but they are still fun.
5. Make the packaging a priority. Check the album art above for inspiration.
6. If possible, be from the UK in the 1960s.
7. Most important of all, make each second of the running time count. In the case of TWSO, all 2326 seconds represent time well spent.
Follow these steps & your favourable review awaits!
* May not be easy
** Results not typical
*** Refunds not typical
Tardiness etiquette as I understand it:
1. When being fashionably late is considered ‘poor form’:
- A baby going well beyond its due date (I was several weeks overdue…sorry mom)
- Arriving late to one’s own wedding (I was punctual here at least!)
2. When being fashionably late is considered, well, ‘fashionable’:
- Going on stage, after the printed-ticket start time, at the precise moment the audience reaches its peak anticipation before descending into restlessness
- Arriving to a party well into the proceedings and making a grand entrance
Which leads to my question: grand entrance notwithstanding, is arriving 39 years late to a party still considered fashionable?
Hopefully, as that’s how far behind the times I am at joining the Toys in the Attic party! Last year, by comparison, I was relatively early to the Rocks party (finally getting into it a mere 37 years after its release date).
There’s nothing new I can say about these 9 beauts. I’d just be telling the world what they already know.
Though if, by chance, anyone else has yet to RSVP, check this one out. You’ll know the first two from side two, Sweet Emotion & Walk This Way (sans Run DMC). The other 7 of 9 (for the Star Trek: Voyager fans out there) Toys tracks are equally strong, if not stronger.
Like me, I’m sure you’ll be glad to finally join the fun, better late than never!
As a happily married 32-year old father, I’m part of a key demographic for a lot of goods and services. Though, it appears, not everything: there’s a good chance that ‘Destiny’s Child albums from the early 00s’ are not part of that targeted basket of products.
A quick scan of the Bootylicious lyrics (and song title for that matter), describing the setting upon arrival at a club (my typical scene?), provided an early indication I was out of my element:
“Better move Cause we’ve arrived
Lookin’ sexy Lookin’ fly
Baddest chick Chick inside
DJ Jam tonight
Spotted me A tender thang”
This song is about me!
That being said, I found plenty of nice things to say about the debut album from Britney Spears so a favourable review here will not present a challenge.
Beyoncé is the genuine article: business savvy, distinctive voice, and for anyone who saw her Superbowl performance, she’s a proven performer with plenty of stamina. She’s been going strong since the late-90s and it doesn’t look like she’ll be slowing down anytime soon.
The girls can sing. The penultimate track, Gospel Medley, is a nice showcase for their harmonies. Michelle & Kelly are probably quite talented but the album art is indicative of the audio mix: Ms. Knowles is front & centre throughout.
Survivor also marked an upgrade in the lyrics as song titles/chorus lyrics from previous records emphasized repetition to a fault. Big hits included:
- No, No, No
- Bills, Bills, Bills
- Jumpin’, Jumpin’
The first three songs here are very catchy and there are some other memorable ones like Happy Face sprinkled throughout. None as excellent as their older tune Say My Name (I’ll proudly admit to being a fan of that one) but no completely atrocious tracks either.
Finally, I will be forever grateful to Beyoncé & friends for providing several math/accounting ‘songs of the day.’ Three of my favourites:
- Bills, Bills, Bills when distinguishing between fixed & variable expenses
- Independent Women Part I (and II) to introduce an Independent Study Unit, reminding students “it ain’t easy bein’ independent”
- The Beyoncé-solo hit Irreplaceable, notably the lyric “to the left, to the left, everything you own is in a box to the left.” In Accounting-speak, Assets are items of value, things you own. With a rudimentary Balance Sheet, Assets are listed in a box on the left. So my thanks Beyoncé, the song couldn’t be more perfect!
Want to feel old? Dookie turned 20 earlier this year.
How is that even possible?!
I should disclose I was reluctant to fully embrace Dookie at the time. For the same reason I described when I reviewed The Offspring: as a 12-year old, I struggled to conform to ‘socially acceptable’ music preferences.
Two decades on, Dookie holds up surprisingly well. It’s power chord-based, incoherent lyric-driven fun. I was very pleased to finally learn the correct lyric in Basket Case, “I went to a shrink, to analyze my dreams.“ Two decades late but I got there, nailed it!
Dookie‘s track-listing reminds me of the Normal Distribution (a Bell Curve). To quote the Postal Service song Nothing Better, I’ll use charts and graphs to explain:
1) A typical ‘Bell Curve’ displaying marks on a test.
2) A similar Bell Curve shape for the (mathematically precise measurement?) sing-along-ability of the songs on Dookie.
3) Though it could be argued that Green Day’s career fits more of a bimodal distribution pattern. Twin peaks in 1994 (Dookie) and 2004 (American Idiot).
Which means, if the pattern continues, look for a significant Green Day recording later this year!
After the first listen, I had a nifty narrative worked out for my review of Parallel Lines.
It was to be a relatively neutral review, comparing the album to the Grade 9 math topic of, you guessed it, Parallel Lines.
About how the album & the curriculum expectations were both accessible enough, easy to process & remember, but given the choice, many would likely prefer to spend their time elsewhere.
Much to my chagrin, the review had to be abandoned. Much to my listening delight however, it was because the comparison was no longer relevant; after repeated listens, it became clear that this album was much more entertaining than my Parallel Lines math lessons!
The tipping point may have been when my wife & I went to see Blue Rodeo. Before the show, we had dinner at Dianne’s Fish Bar. A surprise highlight of the meal was the evening’s soundtrack. When we were first seated, I heard Hanging on the Telephone. I thought, Blondie, nice! It was promptly followed by One Way or Another. Then Picture This. At which point I naturally complimented the server on the music selection. She informed me that Dianne’s plays albums in their entirety, on vinyl no less. Talk about knowing your audience!
So as Wayne Campbell once said, “contract or no, I will not bow to any commercial sponsor.” But when the food is great, the girls are cute (at least my dining companion was/is), and complete albums are played on vinyl, that’s a local business worth endorsing!
When a ‘pop’ album gets better with repetition, that’s also an encouraging sign as that’s rarely the case with the genre.
The music has aged well and technological advancements have solved Debbie Harry’s plea in Hanging on the Telephone. Recall that in 1978, telephones were typically fixed to the wall. Touchtone keypads existed (rotary phones still had their place) but this was a pre-speakerphone, pre-cordless, pre-mobile time. If you were on the phone, you were stuck in one location, a curly cord connecting your telephone receiver to the wall unit. So being left ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ was a relatable frustration. Now with the advancements mentioned above (plus as Donald Glover observed, it’s antiquated to use a phone as a phone), problem solved! A solid opener.
“Picture this – my telephone number
One and one is what I’m telling you
Get a pocket computer
Try to do what you used to do yeah”
In 1978, the notion of a pocket-sized computer was ludicrous. 36 years later, it’s the norm with smartphones, these ladies saw the future!
The guitar tones are terrific throughout, notably on Fade Away and Radiate. When the lead guitar enters, the sound is reminiscent of the ballads on Chinese Democracy. For me, that’s a positive association. I hadn’t realized it was Robert Fripp (of King Crimson, among many other projects) playing on the track.
I’m still not crazy about Heart of Glass but to borrow an adjective from the tune (and more recently from the addictive game Candy Crush), the bulk of Parallel Lines is “divine.”