Saturday, March 3, 2012

Year of the Mix: February

Intro, intro, songs for February, blah, blah, blah. :-)

1. "Music" - Madonna, Music (2000)

Since this song came out in the midst of my "I hate contemporary music! Viva la Oldies!" phase, I pretty much ignored it until Super Bowl XLVI. The lyrics are pretty simple: an ode to music and its ability to bring everyone together. Meta. I dig it.

2. "Favorite" - Liz Phair, Liz Phair (2003)

Girls of my generation are really unaware of who Liz Phair was in the 90's. To us she is not an indie pop revolutionary, she is that chick who sings "Why Can't I?" from Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! and 13 Going on 30. Another similar track off of Liz Phair's self-titled sell-out album is "Favorite", a song that compares her favorite guy to her favorite underwear...yeah.

3. "Every Other Weekend" - Reba McEntire (feat. Kenny Chesney), Reba: Duets (2007)

In this duet, Reba and Kenny play a divorced couple with joint custody. Every other weekend, they trade off taking care of the kids and regretting their divorce. However, both parties are so certain the other is over the relationship that they never speak of their true feelings and the cycle continues. Every time I listen to this song, it never fails to move me. It's a tragic romance that could only exist in the modern day.

4. "Everybody's Fool" - Evanescence, Fallen (2003)

Evanescence lead singer Amy Lee thought blonde skanky popstars were having a negative influence on her younger sister so she wrote a song about how fake their image was and how unhappy they must really be. (Just image if Britney Spears's "Lucky" was nu metal.) Interestingly, the song was written five years before its release while Britney and Christina Aguilera were still innocent and not yet a slave 4 u or dirrty. I LOVE SONGS ABOUT THE FAME!!!!

5. "Shake It" - Ian Matthews, Stealin' Home (1979)

One of my very favorite movies is a teen sex comedy from 1980 entitled Little Darlings where two girls make a bet on who will lose their dreaded, fifteen year old virginity first. This peppy and folky song about being a tease while you still can opens the film and fits perfectly.
6. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" - Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (2012)

You see, I like this song and all, but every time I listen to it I can't help but hear the desperate subtext of "I'm single and I'm OKKKAAAYYYAAAYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Only a person completely secure with being single could sing a song about being secure about being single. See? SEE? Don't worry about Kelly Clarkson. She's OKKKKKKAAAAAAYYYYYYYAAAAAYYYYY!!!!! 
P.S. This song was #1 the week of Valentine's Day. Coincidence? I'll let you be the judge.

7. "Oh My Love" - John Lennon, Imagine (1970)

This is one of the most beautiful and simple songs ever written about being in love. It's pure and without pretense or expectations.

8. "Just the Girl" - The Click Five, Greetings from Imrie House (2005)

Goddamnit, sometimes you just need something mindless and sugary. And sometimes you need it from a pop-punk band that nobody remembers. This one glorifies geeky guys being hot for mean girls. 'Cause we need more of those.

9. "Nobody's Fool" - Miranda Lambert, Four the Record (2011)

This is one of those songs that just does it for me and I can't really explain why. Maybe it's because it sort of rocks more than it countrys, which is better than it popping more than it countrys, I guess. Or maybe it's the "clever" word play of the chorus: "When they ask I'll just say he's nobody/and me, well, I'm nobody's fool." I'm a sucker for the dual meaning chorus, you know.

10. "Tides of Time" - The Cake, A Slice of Cake (1968)

You never know where Youtube will take you. I think I was looking up 50's doo-wop when I stumbled upon The Cake, a late 60's girl group with two albums and no big hits. "Tides of Time" is one of those lovely, Baroque pop ditties from the late 60's that transforms you into renaissance princess for 2 minutes. P.S. I've got a fever and the only prescription is more harpsichord.
11. "The Joker" - Steve Miller Band, The Joker (1973)

How can you not love this song? It instantly lifts your mood. Perfect for getting stoned on your best friend's roof...not that I ever did that. Seriously, I didn't. Besides, if we were to get stoned, God know we would have listened to Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory. I digress. Some people call me the space cowboy...

12. "This Love" - Maroon 5, Songs About Jane (2002)

I really don't care for Maroon 5 and I REALLY don't care for Adam Levine but I do like this track. One of the few singles released in 2004 that wasn't hip hop. Half about a break up and half about sex. I love its frankness.

13. "Beige" - Pistol Annies, Hell on Heels (2011)

I briefly touched on Pistol Annies--a country music girl group with Miranda Lambert--last summer. I wouldn't say they exactly made a splash in country music, but what they do is so refreshingly different from Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and even Miranda Lambert as a solo artist. They go back to the early days of country music and write simple, short and sweet songs that could have been performed by Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette. "Beige" is one such song. It tells of a shotgun wedding in which the "everyone in this place knows I didn't wait, cause I was wearing beige." Not really relevant to today, but that is part of its charm.

14. "Tipsy" - J-Kwon, Hood Hop (2004)

Those damn Project X ads are on ALL THE TIME and I'm only so strong. This song is fucktarded. I hate myself for putting this song on here, but I have to be honest about this month's listening habits. Fuck all.

15. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" - Whitney Houston, Whitney (1987)

Um, maybe you heard this already, but Whitney Houston died this past month. So partly out of respect (the bitch could sing) and partly out of that maudlin "Oh, she's dead. Maybe I'll listen to one of her songs" thing, I bring you my favorite Whitney Houston song. IT'S SO DAMN HAPPY!!!!

16. "Queens of Noise" - The Runaways, Queens of Noise (1977)

"I can bring you up, while you're going down." GOD, YES!!! I've mentioned my interest in and respect for the all-girls rock 'n' roll group The Runaways before. While many of their songs are sort of charming for their eager rebelliousness, this is definitely one that stands out melodically. It is of a slower tempo than most of their songs but that adds to the sex know, if rebellious jailbait is your thing.

17. "Sea of Love" - Cat Power, The Covers Record (2000)

You probably know this song from Juno. It is actually originally a R&B song from the 50's. It has since been covered a million times and here is one that I happen to like. I simply enjoy the sparse production on this one. I also enjoy the scene from Juno while this song is playing, so that has a lot to do with it.

18. "Nevermore" - Queen, Queen II (1973)

I really, really, really need to listen to more Queen. As far as male vocalists go, Freddy Mercury is waaaaaaaay up there and their songs are so damn good. "Nevermore" is the shortest track on this playlist at 1:18. Basically it's a break up song where the singer begs to not be sent to metaphorical land of Nevermore where one is loved never more. Beautiful, but far too short. :-(
19. "Fuck U Betta" - Neon Hitch, Beg, Borrow, and Steal (2012)

I found this one on Youtube while searching for Britney Spears or some other established artist. Of course I was intrigued and titillated by the title so I had me a listen. DANCE POP!!! DIRTY DANCE POP!!!! SHE CAN FUCK U GOOD, BUT I CAN FUCK U BETTA!!!! Whenever I listen to this song, I can't help but feel a little guilty because I don't have that much confidence in my carnal skills. But its fun to pretend I do.

20. "We Are Young" - fun., Some Nights (2012)

We began with a Super Bowl song and we end with a Super Bowl song. This one appeared in a commercial for some car I can't afford. The song is a soaring anthem for the young; perfect for stumbling home at the end of a drunken night with lighters in the air...or, more accurately, the Lighter App for the iPhone. (They have an App for that, right?) I love the song to pieces and I couldn't be happier that it is currently #3 on the Billboard charts.

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