Tunes From ITunes: Beating The Heat

It’s the dreaded summer swoon when it’s too hot to go outside unless you’re at the pool and all the plant-life around your house is drying up and turning to tumbleweeds (unless you actually water your plants…which we don’t). So what do I like to do? Spend my hard-earned money on music. And I’ve been a very bad boy when it comes to sharing my favorite music. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Teddybears – “Rocket Scientist” (pop/dance)
Funky new track with a serious attitude. Eve guest stars and as the ‘Bears proclaim “Them drum machines ain’t got no soul”…they obviously have tongue planted firmly in cheek. I also downloaded “Cho Cha” which features Cee Lo Green and it also adds a small dose of humor with a cool beat.

Nicole Scherzinger feat. 50 Cent – “Right There” (pop)
I’ve been hearing this one all over the radio and it’s high on the list for “dumbest lyrics of the year” award, however there’s something that I like about it once it gets past that. Catchy hook but beyond that…very sugary with lots of aftertaste.

Evaline – “Beneath The Fire” (rock)
Love me some guitar anthem rock and this band supplies it. Soaring vocals and a dramatic drumbeat, this freebie is in my playlist right now but I doubt it will be there for very long.

Matt Nathanson – “Mercy” (alternative pop)
Catchy tune (and one in a long line with the title “Mercy”) and goes well with sour lemonade.

Ziggy Marley – “Forward To Love” (reggae)
The prodigal son returns with this catchy ditty. Easy on the ears and will go well when you’re hanging by the pool bar.

Florrie – “Begging Me” (dance pop)
This track should be bigger. Don’t know why no one has picked up on this fun pop song but I have yet to hear it on pop radio. The entire EP is good but this is the diamond. Download it now if you like pop music…

Laza Morgan – “This Girl” (pop reggae)
Hmmm…how I ended up downloading this one, I’m not sure but I like the slight reggae beat and the pop sound.

Eddie Vedder – “Longing To Belong” (adult alternative)
EV slows it down to a crawl and breaks out his ukelele for this sweet song. Not much to it but I like it. Of course I’d like just about anything this dude does…

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Morning Thought” (alternative)
Slow and methodical, it’s almost hypnotic how this song grabs me. I totally dig it and it reminds me a little of Phish.

Arctic Monkeys – “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Seat” (rock)
Bluesy track with weird lyrics. You’ll either like it or you won’t. I like it…but in small doses.

Coldplay – “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” (pop)
This band is one of my favorites but they can do better than this track. It’s decidedly average but works for now. But I expect more if they’re getting ready to release a new album!

Joe Bonamassa – “Dust Bowl” (blues)
Originally released back in March, I LOVE this song. Awesome in every way. Download it now! And you might as well just get the entire album cause it’s that good!

Thievery Corporation – “Culture Of Fear” (trip hop)
Although TC isn’t really a rap group, they enlist various artists to work with them for many of their tracks on their new album. The title track is an awesome fusion of jazz and rap with Mr. Lif laying down the rap track. Excellent track!

If only Nicki could have kept the lyrics a little cleaner this would have been the PERFECT summer track in the same vein as Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” from last summer. Nevertheless…it is what it is and I love it. This song just bleeds “summertime pop” and I can’t help but turn it up everytime I hear it!


30 Day Song Challenge: A Song I Want Played At My Funeral

DAY 24: A Song I Want Played At My Funeral

What a morbid sort of category but I guess it’s gonna happen sometime…so if I were to pick a song that I would want played in celebration of my untimely death, I would have to pick “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo.

Just kidding.

In order to keep in perspective that a funeral is truly a celebration of one’s life, I think I will go with something that is quiet yet has big meaning. Pearl Jam’s “Man of the Hour” was written for the 2003 Tim Burton film, “Big Fish.” Although it’s told from a son’s perspective on his father’s death, it still holds true for almost any man and Eddie Vedder pretty much nails the emotional aspect of losing someone close.

“Man Of the Hour”
by Pearl Jam

Tidal waves don’t beg forgiveness
Crashed and on their way
Father he enjoyed collisions; others walked away
A snowflake falls in may.
And the doors are open now as the bells are ringing out
Cause the man of the hour is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now.

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land
Father ruled by long division, young men they pretend
Old men comprehend.

And the sky breaks at dawn; shedding light upon this town
They’ll all come round
Cause the man of the hour is taking his final bow
G’bye for now.

And the road
The old man paved
The broken seems along the way
The rusted signs, left just for me
He was guiding me, love, his own way
Now the man of the hour is taking his final bow
As the curtain comes down
I feel that this is just g’bye for now.

Pearl Jam (Columbus, OH – 5/6/10)

Nationwide Arena – Section 209, Row Q, Seat 4

20 years. That’s how long it’s taken me to finally see one of the greatest rock bands live & in person. I have so many memories that are attached to Pearl Jam’s music so it was almost like seeing them live was a closing of a book for me. When they first appeared on the scene, I was just out of college, working a television job in Zanesville, OH. I remember listening to “Ten” constantly back in those days. “Alive” & “Evenflow” were ALWAYS being played on the radio and I think I speak for everyone when I say that there was no inclination that PJ would still be around 20 years later. Add to the fact that when the “grunge” movement started to deflate, so did most of the bands of that time period. But Pearl Jam continued on. Past the death of Kurt Cobain, the crown prince of grunge, and past the insurgence of rap as the dominate genre on pop radio.

9 albums, a gazillion bootlegs & 60 million units sold worldwide later…Pearl Jam rocks on and they’ve never wavered from their sense of what rock can be. Through all the political leanings and the environmental posturing, lead singer Eddie Vedder has taken on the mantra of rock icon and guitarist Mike McCready is quietly considered one of the great rock guitarists of this day & age. Last year they released what I consider to be one of their best albums in their collection. “Backspacer” was loaded with rock anthems and acoustic ponderings and was a mainstay in my car stereo all year round. After 2 previous attempts to see them live through the years failed, I finally had the chance to see them live in Columbus, OH at Nationwide Arena and I’m happy to report they didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the thing about rock bands…they only go as far as their lead singer takes them. 95% of the time, if the lead singer isn’t charismatic or has some stage presence, the band falters and never becomes anything other than a band playing songs. But like so many great lead singers, Vedder knows how to command attention onstage and he is still as active and energetic as I imagine he was back in the early 90’s. Unlike some acts out there who fill their stage show with monitors and lights and props, Pearl Jam had none of that. They came out onstage with a simple backdrop and some colorful lights and proceeded to rip into a 2+ hour setlist that included their hits from their early days to songs off their latest. Vedder talked casually to the audience, reminiscing about the first time they were in Columbus in 1992. They played a meager 10 songs. Obviously, with their catalogue they were gonna play a few more this night…and they did. The highlights for me from the setlist include “Evenflow” with McCready playing his guitar solo with his guitar behind his head and “Amongst The Waves”, which just sounded amazing in the arena. At some point, Vedder started in on religion stating he and his band were starting their own…

“It has one commandment,” he said. “Don’t be an asshole.”

Sounds good to me Eddie. And just so ya know…I’ve given up on Twitter also. Hate that shit. Thanks for the great show!

1. Oceans
2. Given To Fly
3. Corduroy
4. Got Some
5. World Wide Suicide
6. Faithful
7. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
8. Amongst The Waves
9. Even Flow
10. Comatose
11. Marker In The Sand
12. Unthought Known
13. Grievance
14. Alone
15. The Fixer
16. Do The Evolution

17. Just Breathe
18. Black
19. State Of Love & Trust
20. Spin The Black Circle
21. Go

22. Come Back
23. Once
24. Hail Hail
25. Crazy Mary
26. Alive
27. Yellow Ledbetter

Lyrics You Should Know: “Just Breathe” By Pearl Jam

Tonight a friend and I are going to see Pearl Jam (and Band Of Horses) in Columbus, OH. Since their appearance in 1990 as one of the premier grunge bands, Pearl Jam has gone on to be THE standard by which most rock bands wish to aspire, with the exception of only a few (such as U2 and Green Day). I can’t believe it has taken me this long to finally see them live but the last 2 times I bought tickets I had to give them away due to work conflicts. So tonight…nothing is gonna stop me! Here is one of my favorite tracks from their last album. It’s not a rocker by any means, but I love the subtleness of the song and I certainly appreciate the lyrics.

“Just Breathe”
by Pearl Jam

Yes I understand that every life must end, aw huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw huh,..
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love.

Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, uh huh…

Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, uh huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, uh huh,..
Yeh, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.

Stay with me…
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see…
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, uh huh…
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, uh huh…
Nothing you would take…
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see…
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take…
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die…
Meet you on the other side.