Thursday, July 22, 2010

From the vault: Barry!

Is there a prettier melody line than this one? "Mandy", thy name is loveliness. I LOVE that modulation 3/4 of the way in.  And wow - his voice sounds caramel-ly smooth in this live performance! I like the song so much I pasted it twice (cause crazy as it might sound, sometimes I play songs from this blog while I wash dishes or mop in the kitchen. I like having my favorites in one place!) And that bit about Manilow writing this song for his dog is, according to, an "urban myth." I think I like it better as a human to human love song anyway.

Monday, July 19, 2010

From the vault: jumping for joy

Speaking of playing air guitar on tennis rackets ... at our 6th grade talent show, back in 1984, the winning group performed a rousing lip-synced rendition of this Van Halen hit! I can still remember sitting in the cheering crowd, totally impressed by the energy on stage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

From the vault: girl power!

After listening to Rick Springfield's one hit approximately 2500 times since I heard it at the pool last week, I thought it would be fun to listen to other pivotal tunes from my growing up years.

So ... I've gotta start with the Go Gos "We Got the Beat". Here's what comes to mind when I hear those intro chords: playing air guitar in Kristin Vicari's garage with Tamara and somebody else, lost to memory. We were this close to forming a tennis racket-based tribute band!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Members Only jackets

Heard this tune at the pool this afternoon. Goodness gracious, I hope they play tons of 80's tunes like this at my 20 year reunion next month! What a song. And the feathered hair!

Do not extinguish

Elizabeth likes Arcade Fire. Joy! My work here is, perhaps, done. LOL! Allen loves it too - no surprise! Becca, do you enjoy listening when he plays this song, "Une Annee Sans Lumiere"?

The title means a year without light. (Yeah, I took five years of French. Doh!)

Wikipedia tells us helpfully that Arcade Fire's first album's title - Funeral - "referred to the deaths of several relatives of band members during its recording. These events created a somber atmosphere that influenced songs such as "Une année sans lumière" ("A Year Without Light"), "In the Backseat", and "Haïti", Chassagne's elegy to her lost homeland."

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I already posted this on FB, but "On the Willows", one of my favorite musical theater songs ever, is a reworking of Psalm 137, and I didn't really realize that until this week when I was preparing a Sunday School lesson over the psalms. What a beautiful song this is. I've loved it ever since I was a part of a Godspell production back in - whoa! - 1990!

Psalm 137 - The Mourning of the Exiles in Babylon

1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

On the Willows lyrics
On the willows, there
We hung up our lives
For our captors there
Of us songs
And our tormentors mirth
On the willows, there
We hung up our lives
For our captors there
Of us songs
And our tormentor's mirth
Saying, Sing us one
Of the songs of Sion
Sing us one
Of the songs of Sion
But how can we sing?
Sing the Lord's songs?
In a foreign land?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


We had another fantastic summer movie theater outing, this time to "Despicable Me." I'm going to write about the movie itself on my other word blog, but wanted to include the theme song here.

Graham and I were both tapping our toes during the part of the movie that this song runs through, and he kept saying, "Who is doing this song?" I couldn't place the artist, but we stuck around through all the credits (hilarious footage, of course!) til I saw the names of the actors and the musician(s).

So who did this song? Pharrell Williams. Oh, yeah! (Looks like he did some of the soundtrack music for the film too.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Modern drumming

Heather recommended the show "Modern Family" to me.

I have now watched the 5 episodes available on

It is very funny!

Here is a clip from "Modern Family". In the clip, Cameron (the drummer) is trying to impress teenagers from his niece's boyfriend's band so that they will let him sub at an upcoming gig.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is the song - "Intervention" - that introduced me to Arcade Fire, an amazing indie rock band out of Montreal. On a side note, proceeds from this single were donated to Partners in Health, Paul Farmer's medical group. How cool was that?

Win Butler, Arcade Fire's lead singer, grew up somewhat LDS in Texas; his wife, Regine Chassagne, the other singer, grew up in Haiti. These diverse influences have made their albums full of depth and flavor.

This song is from Neon Bible, their second album. The first album, Funeral, is astounding too. I am not yet familiar with the third album, The Suburbs.

(This is the summer of the Canadian indie super-ensemble groups! New albums from Broken Social Scene, the New Pornographers and Arcade Fire. Talk about a hat trick!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Here's another White Stripes song ... from "White Blood Cells", a rather jam-packed album. I downloaded it at the beginning of the summer, and turned it on this morning so that I could get some cleaning done!

"Fell in Love with a Girl" is catchy pummeling rock ... and check out this video. My kids love the lego concept.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Transatlantic flight required

I heard this song over at my friend Corinna's house during an Independence Day grill-fest. I liked it, but couldn't place the singer. Turns out it's "Holiday in Spain" by Counting Crows.

I understand the last lines particularly - he sings that he wants to "Fly away to someone new".  The desire for escape, for something else, is one we all experience at some time or another. As my friend Elizabeth reminds me, however, you always end up taking yourself along.

Attack & Release

I've been listening to the Black Keys this weekend ... and this song - "All You Ever Wanted" - the first track on their 2008 album Attack & Release, is a particular favorite. The whole album is just terrific! It's very bluesy, kinda Southern-sounding, a cool rock hybrid in my ears. It seemed perfect for the Independence day weekend.

In this particular song, there's a little Hammond organ explosion about halfway in, and boy, oh boy, I love me some Hammond organ!