#MusicMonday **NEW** the bird and the bee – Undone

I found this band when I picked up the Forgetting Sarah Marshall soundtrack so many years ago. Now they have a new song, featured in another Jason Segel comedy!

I love Inara George’s voice, it’s instantly recognizable, which is something I tend to look for in a vocalist. Her and Greg Kurstin have created another fun, bouncy song, great for summer parties.

If you haven’t heard of the bird and the bee before, definitely give them a listen. Smart, fun pop music.

Countdown to Mandatory Fun: Thank you @alyankovic

Well, I totally failed at doing a post a day before Mandatory Fun! So now I’m just going to put it ALL into one big EPIC post which pretty much boils down to Al Yankovic played a huge rule in my childhood and continues to play a part in my “adult” life with the release of his new album MANDATORY FUN tomorrow.

Anyone who played Rock Band with me when it initially came out will probably have heard this phrase come out of my mouth several times: “Why do I recognize this song? Oh wait, I know it as a POLKA!” Al’s Polka mixes opened me up to many songs that I had never heard before, either because of the decade they were released or the style of music wasn’t one I normally listened to. I never would have bothered with “The Humpty Dance” or “Blame It (on the alcohol)”. I don’t really listen to radio that much anymore, so I suspect there will be several songs on the new album that I will first hear as polkas or parodies.

And now there are songs that have been eclipsed, for me, by the parodies. I knew most of American Pie‘s lyrics when I was a teen. But in 1999, The Saga Begins quickly became the first thing that popped into my head when I heard the opening chords of that song.

I think one of the things that makes me stay with Al is that he is never mean to those he is parodying. He will poke some fun at the culture or subculture around them (like “Smells like Nirvana“) it never feels cruel or in poor taste. He manages to make everyone laugh, even the artists he is having fun with. And I think that is the secret to his popularity and staying power — even if you don’t know the song that is being mocked, you get most of the jokes.

And, of course, we can’t forget the original songs that parody entire musical genres such as this classic:

By the way, if you have not seen Al live, you are missing out. It’s not just a concert – it’s a performance of epic proportions. Costumes changes, classic AL TV clips, and sing-alongs. I have seen him 5 times now and I’ve loved every single show. Him and his band are just fantastic, so much energy!

So, THANK YOU AL YANKOVIC! Thank you for so many hilarious songs and wonderful memories. Whether you release another full-length album or decide to just release single tracks online, I will be here to support your music and sense of humor.

#MusicMonday The Piano Guys

This was a recent discovery (as of Saturday). My friend Stephanie posted a link to my wall of the Star Wars Parody, “Cello Wars” and then I just kept clicking and loving everything I heard! Four very talented guys who just want to play music and have some fun (you can tell by the silly grins on their faces the entire time they are playing).

 

I think if kids saw more videos like this, they would be encouraged to stick with their musical instruments a bit longer (and if music teachers let their students play movie themes and pop songs, it would also keep them practicing a bit more).

 

 

 

 

#MusicMonday Betterman — Pearl Jam (and memories)

I was driving around the other day listening to the radio (which I don’t usually do, I usually have my iPod plugged in because ever since I worked in radio for a year and I can’t really stand listening to it…but I was nice and lent my iPod to my boyfriend for his 12 hour drive to Wisconsin) and this song came on.

And as soon as I heard the opening strums of the guitar, I was hit by a wave of memories.

Peal Jam and Nirvana were super big when I was in middle school. I wasn’t into them at all. My musical tastes were still mostly focused on Disney soundtracks and whatever my Mom was listening to at the time (so, ya know, Phil Collins and Sting). Hearing the term “grunge”, I assumed that the music would be loud and screamy and not my thing. So I kind of avoided them somehow.

But there was this really nice kid in my class, his name was Alec Miller. He *loved* these bands. He sensed my resistance and after we sat and discussed music for awhile (yeah, I’m sorta shocked that we were able to have an intelligent discussion about what we liked and disliked in music when we were only 13…). Anyway, Alec was a good listener and he returned the next week with a mix tape of hand-picked Pearl Jam songs that he thought I would like. Betterman was on that tape, I think it might have been the first song actually.

It’s weird how the mind works because this song triggered this memory which lead to another memory of Alec, a memory that changed my young adult life. I can’t really remember all the details, all I know is that Alec was being bullied by some other kids in the school. I think they decided that since he wore grunge style clothes, he was some kind of punk. One day, it escalated to the point where they flat out told him they were going to beat him up that day. I have a memory of Alec being a total wreck, his eyes bloodshot from crying and we convinced him to tell a teacher, that the thing you were supposed to do was tell and adult and they would fix it.

Unfortunately, the adults had the same biases based on Alec’s look – he told them he had been threatened and they said nothing would happen and told him to go to class.

And then he got jumped by three guys on his way to class.

I’m not even sure I ever saw him after that. His mother yanked him out of our school and transferred him to another school. But I remember that day as the day I realized that you can just trust people in authority to do the right thing. If those teachers had taken him seriously, it could have been avoided.

So these are the things that go through my head when any of the low-key Pearl Jam songs come on the radio…

Do you have any songs with powerful memories attached to them? Write your own post or share in the comments!

#MusicMonday Live Your Life – Mika

OMG Mika had a new song out last year and no one TOLD me???

I love Mika’s music. It’s just fun and bouncy. Even when his songs are in French, I still dance around. We saw him in concert a year ago in Philadelphia. I was exhausted after walking the city all day (bad idea!) but when he came on stage, I couldn’t help by dance. He’s a great performer. I really want to see him again.

Spotify alerted me to his newest tune in French and I saw this one listed below that. It sorta sounds like George Michael’s “Faith” at the beginning but quickly turns into classic “dance like no one’s watching” Mika music. Enjoy!

#MusicMonday :: Grouplove — Let Me In

I find the best new music via random soundtracks. I have no interest in Fault in Our Stars, but I knew I should give the soundtrack a spin on Spotify. Found this gem right off the bat and it has already become my summer anthem. It feels like the kind of song you put the top down to and then drive around, feeling the warm sun and breeze on your face…**sigh**

(I wouldn’t bother watching the video, just push play and go back to browsing)