Category: Music

Day 9 – A Song You Can Dance To

Deee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart

There’s a whole lot of danceable music out there. This is one of my favorites.

Day 8 – Song You Know All the Words to

Don McLean – American Pie

I know the words to ALOT of songs. Truly, I’m pretty sure I’d do pretty well on that “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” Show (If they don’t make me sing anything currently on the radio.. and if I don’t die from stage fright…) That said, a long, long time ago, back at that sleep away camp from day 5’s challenge, I sang this one by a bon fire… Surprising even myself that I actually knew all the lyrics of this uber verbose tune! Eight minutes, 92584357 verses.. enjoy…

Day 7 – A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event

Sade: No Ordinary Love

October 23, 2010, my sister got married. The day was perfect.. The wedding was beautiful. The couple was stunning (really, I know I’m a little biased..but really.. stunning!) This song was the one they danced their first dance to.

Day 6 – Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

Tyrone Wells: Sink or Swim

In 2009, after my first experience on the Rock Boat, I received three phone calls in succession, from three ladies I like to call ‘my sisters from other misters,’ with the same exact message “next year.. we’re in!”

2010, I once again boarded the Rock Boat. This time, Tina, Rachel and Jayme were my roommates… 5 Days, open water, horrible weather, motion sickness inducing swells, not to mention rain when we got to Cozumel.. It was AWESOME, and by far one of my favorite vacations ever!

As we departed the boat, all three of us had the same song stuck in our heads… we tried, really, to STOP singing it.. but every few minutes, as we stood on line to get through customs, and then again as we waited for a cab to take us to the airport, one of us would bust out with “Kamikaze Airplanes in the sky…”

Now, whenever I hear this song (which, lately, I do, almost
every time I walk in to a CVS, Duane Reade, or turn on a Shonda Rhimes show), I think of TRB X, the line to get off the boat, the taxi stand across the street from the Pier, and the best roomies, friends, sisters from other misters a girl can have!

Day 5 – Song That Reminds You of Someone

Pink Floyd: “Wish You Were Here”

Picture four teens, summer of 1988, hanging out in the woods at a sleep away camp in Lackawaxen, PA. After hours of chatting, a silence falls on our little group. The guy I’d had a crush on the previous summer, who, up until that moment, I had never really spoken to before, sighs audibly, and says, “so.” I respond with, “so you think you can tell…” He adds, “heaven from hell..”

Thus began one of the most memorable, if not THE most memorable, summer of my life.

Today, that guy is still one of my closest friends. I love him dearly.

This song is his ringtone on my phone.

Day 4 – Song that Makes You Sad

Matt Duke: Rabbit

It’s a sad song. It makes me sad. Pretty much all the explaination needed, no? However, on a truly impressive note (well, I was impressed when I heard the story), apparently Matt wrote this one in 5 minutes. The man is a genius, ’nuff said!

Day 3 – Song that Makes You Happy

Robert Randolph and the Family Band: Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That

Don’t think this one needs an explaination. Just listen to it. How can this one NOT lift your spirits? Seriously! (PS: this was a strong contender for that “Favorite” spot too!)

Day 2 – Your Least Favorite Song

Dave Matthews Band: Satellite

I definitely have songs I dislike more than this (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” comes to mind). However, I figured I’d pick a song I actually pay to be subjected to once in a while. I can honestly say there are two songs by the Dave Matthews Band that I can pretty much go the rest of my life without ever hearing again – “Satellite” and “Spoon.” Because I have been to so many DMB conerts, I have been subjected to both live (once they played both  at the same show… joy). While “Spoon” is rarely played, “Satellite” is almost a guarantee, especially when you consider the fact that I go to multiple shows per year.. it’s bound to pop up.. I am bound to use that moment as my opportunity to use the rest room. I credit this song with the reason it took me years to give DMB a chance (Seriously, until Dave Matthews performed “Love of My Life” with Carlos Santana, I wouldn’t even consider allowing any of my friends to listen to any DMB in their own cars! I really disliked this song THAT much..)

(Because I’ve been asked to explain some of my choices, I figured I just move this little excercise here)

Day 1 – Your Favorite Song

Dave Matthews Band: Dancing Nancies

With nearly 2000 physical CDs and heaven knows how many CDs and singles purchased digitally, there is no way I’d ever be able to pick an all time favorite. That said, I chose this one because it could fit into so many categories (Makes me happy, know all the words to, can dance to, describes me, listen to when I’m happy… etc). Instead of just posting it multiple times, I figured I’d do it once. Here.

Imagine all the people…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one..

John Lennon – “Imagine”

I was nine years old, trying to pretend I’d gone to sleep at a normal hour, when my mother came home from an outing with her best friend. She was crying, hard. Now, I love my mother, and I hate to hear her cry. So, out of concern for my mom, and with no care about the repercussions my being awake when it was way past my bedtime would incur, I walked out to the living room and asked her what was wrong.

“Somebody died” she told me.

“Who?” I asked, suddenly running through the roster of family members in my head, and hoping they were all okay.

“No one you know, a musician. You don’t know him, John Lennon” she said, tears streaming down her face.

“Oh, isn’t that the guy who sings that song ‘Just like Starting Over?’”

“Yes, that’s him.” – She replied, almost annoyed.

“Oh, okay. “ I was really confused. I mean, yeah, I knew it was sad when anyone died, but, this guy? Who was he to my mom???

The next day, in the car, every radio station was playing the Beatles. Again, I was confused. I mean I LOVED the Beatles so was happy to hear all my favorite songs, but what did that have to do with John Lennon?
So I asked my step father, who , turned to me, and condescendingly replied;  “well, that guy who sings that “Starting Over” song you like so much was in the Beatles, he started the Beatles.”

That’s when I started crying, surprising both my mother and my step-father.

I didn’t know.

See, my uncles played the Beatles for me incessantly growing up. I loved the music and am not exaggerating when I tell you I pretty much knew every Beatles song by heart by the time I was six years old.

My mother, who had found it amusing and a bit baffling that I was so enamored with music made by a band that had broken up before I was even born, used to tell me stories about growing up listening to the Beatles. My stepfather used to tell me stories about buying Beatles records on the black market in Russia, and getting into trouble for trying to grow his hair like theirs.  So, while I knew who the Beatles were, by virtue of their music, I didn’t know who the band members were or the impact they’d had on my parents’ generation or the impact they had and would continue to have on every aspiring musician that followed them. In my defense, I was only nine. But I have to say, that was the day my outlook on music and the folks who make it changed.

I now understood my mother’s tears. She on the other hand was baffled by my utter devastation and growing obsession with needing to know everything about the Beatles.

I started reading every news paper article, every book I could get my hands on.. everything.

I started listening to more John Lennon solo material.
I even shut up for the ten minutes of silence in memorial to John Lennon that Yoko Ono had requested.  Which, I’m sure more than anything else, REALLY surprised my folks.

And when Strawberry Fields was dedicated in memory to John, all I wanted to do was visit. Which, when I was fourteen, unbeknownst to my mother, and with assistance from my friend Julie, who told my mother we were going on a chaperoned school outing, I finally did. I literally hopped on the ferry, by myself, and headed towards Central Park. When I finally wandered into the small area allotted for Strawberry Fields and saw the “Imagine” symbol in the center of it, that little area became my favorite place to visit in NYC, and still is to this day.

Today would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. It has been thirty years since a deranged fan decided to end the life of a man who’s existence meant so much to so many and who’s work continues to influence so many artists to this day. I credit him, and the rest of the Beatles, with starting me on a path that to this day brings me more joy than I can imagine.  It was because of him and his three friends that I stopped just ‘liking’ music, thanks to them – I started paying attention to it.

It’s amazing to think of John as a 70 year old man. What amazing things would he have accomplished had he still been alive? Would the Beatles ever gotten back together? Would we really have wanted them to? (I’m going to say ‘yes…’ seriously).  Unfortunately, we will never know. Wondering ‘what if’, never really helps in any situation. Knowing, however, that in his short time here with us, he played a huge part in changing the landscape of how many folks view, record, write, and deliver music; his challenging us to imagine a world of peace and love; his messages of hope for the future; will have to be enough. I’m not going to saint him. By all accounts (and believe me I’ve read almost every book about the guy), he wasn’t a saint. He was just a man with an amazing gift, a gift he chose to share with us, and one that will still be here long after all of us are gone. One that to this day is missed by folks who may not even have been born while he was alive, but who hear his influence any time they turn on the radio or pop in a CD or pick up a guitar. That’s huge.

Happy Birthday John, wherever you are, may all you imagined be a reality one day.