Silly Love Song

I come to you tonight, not as a writer or blogmaster, but as a man who holds more failed love interests in his heart than lap records on Mario Kart. A man who may know what buttons to press for a split-second power boost, but not what chords to strum to win a heart. A man who can honestly say the occasional Blue Shell should be feared much more than the frequent blue balls.

Tonight, I bring to you, the reader, a song that mixes the two.

Keep in mind that it is not my point to steal Sam Hart’s thunder, but to praise him for a job very well done.

If you can recall a time when 8- or 16-bit video games were king, and you can relate to this whole crazy theme of ‘love’ that Hart (almost a pun, yes?) is referring to, then I believe you will absolutely love this song.

The phrases that Hart turns are nothing short of musical mastery. The music itself is not complicated, but the message is, and the two intertwine throughout the relatively short piece in such a way as to bring a very sincere meaning to the borderline kitschy lyrics. But is it not the calling of the musician to pull words and phrases from his psyche that clearly convey his feelings?

I say it is.

We can all recall a time when we felt like the Toad to our love interest’s Princess Peach, a time when we would continue to cut in front of them and foil every trap, even without recognition from the one we desired. We ‘protected them from red shells’ at every corner.
We blistered our fingers for the one we loved… and we were stepped on like a toadstool in a mucky bog.

Perhaps you are dealing with this feeling presently.

Perhaps your humble scribe is feeling this as he writes. (Don’t count on it.)

Whether the song brings a tear to our eye or a smile to our face (or perhaps… both?), those born under NES’s reign and bred into the Super Nintendo empire can share a laugh, a cry, or a melody because of this man’s contribution to the internet.

So, I say to you, reader…. listen again. Remember those times when your Princess helped to create sparks in your wheels and heart. And for those of you who have not yet experienced that odd feeling of pain from taking the fall of the banana peel in turn 3 of Rainbow Road and happiness in knowing that your Princess could ride on undisturbed, let me remind you that…

your Princess is in another castle.

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Christmas in July!

Hello, my lackadaisical dedicated readers! Hope all is well in the sweltering heat.

I thought it best to quickly post and wish everyone a happy Christmas in July! To celebrate, I thought I’d post a link to my favorite Christmas EP!

Fa-La-La-Lo-Fi, Vol. 1 by The Typewriter

Of course, I recorded it! That’s why I can get away with posting it. However, this post is mostly about celebrating with some great Christmas music and some fresh egg nog.

But, to tell you the God’s honest truth, shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone.

NOTE: Sometimes, the CLLCT music player doesn’t agree with Internet Explorer. As far as I know, all other browsers work fine with it, but CLLCT and IE like to bicker a bit. Feel free to download the whole thing if you wish.

TUSK!

It’s been a long few weeks (see the previous post for an extremely brief explanation), but that doesn’t really give me license to stop writing. So… time for a new blog post. I suppose I’ll write about my most recent addiction, a strange world that I have recently immersed myself into wholeheartedly.

No, not crocheting.

Tusk‘.

However, before I get into that, I have to make a small confession… I hate Fleetwood Mac, and by Fleetwood Mac, I mean Stevie Nicks. I really hate Stevie Nicks. If I met Stevie Nicks, I would beat her to death with her own ego.

I love ‘Tusk’. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate Stevie Nicks, but that just doesn’t matter at this point. ‘Tusk’ is borderline transcendental. The rhythms, the paranoia, and the noise are on par with any Merzbow or other various ‘experimental’ music pieces that garner high play counts on Dr. B. H. Robotnik (that’s my iPod’s name. Get used to it.) The subtle use of vocal harmonies, the random drum break, and the legendary use of the USC Trojan Marching Band are the kinds of things that make me, well… you know.

Oh, and by the way, I am only talking about the song ‘Tusk’, not the whole album. ‘Tusk’ is 3 minutes and 29 seconds of utter aural bliss, which is consequently exactly what the good Doctor ordered. But, how did I find this song now, a full 31 years after its release? Glad you asked, you inquisitive little reader.

Again, I must give all credit to the mighty radio. I don’t know what I would do if Nikola Tesla hadn’t invented the radio so many years ago. The scene is similar to that of my first discover of music. While the car is vastly different, the players are the same. My father and I were on an old road outside of Fairmont, seated safely in the front seats of a totally different station wagon. My hand played at the radio’s control this time around.

Unfortunately, the savior station wasn’t the same station to rescue me this time. The call numbers were 105.7 on the day in question. When the tuner found those numbers, my hand stopped. My ears perked. The only words I could say were: “I don’t know what’s happening on the radio right now.” Dad just shrugged his shoulders and kept driving. I remember sitting in delight, much like I had in those days long ago, smiling and absorbing everything I could about the song.

When the DJ announced that it was Fleetwood Mac, I was astonished, mainly because I was tricked into liking a Fleetwood Mac song. But, I bit the bullet, and upon returning to my house, turned to the internet to allow me to hear it again.

I’ll admit, I don’t illegally download music that much, but this one was a must. I don’t want to give Stevie Nicks any of my hard(ly)-earned money. So… I sailed on over to a certain website specializing in the art of music piracy (hint hint) and found the song.

Honestly, I listened to ‘Tusk’ ten times in a row. I listened to it every time I opened my laptop. The only reason I am not listening to it now is because I am on the phone with a pretty lady. (I’ll probably listen to it when I get off the phone and pick up my crocheting again.)

I know all 4 of you readers must be wondering if this has caused me to change my mind about Fleetwood Mac and give them another try. Honestly, ‘Tusk’ is one-of-a-kind. From what I can tell, there is no other song on that album that is comparable to it. So….

Nope.

No more Fleetwood Mac for me. I’ll sit in the corner with my ‘Tusk’ and be perfectly happy.

SIDE NOTE: I’d post a link to the song itself, but the jerk-offs running YouTube have decided they don’t want to pay Stevie Nicks any of their money either. Sometimes, the jerk-offs behind YouTube don’t have their collective head too far up their collective ass. Well done on this one, YouTube. I’ll post a link to the song when I find one.

EDIT: The Internet Gods have finally smiled upon me in my search for a link to present to my readers. Being that this is the official music video, the first 20 seconds of noise are cut off. However, you can still hear the noise build throughout the entire song, so overall, the cut isn’t so damaging. Regardless, I bring you…. TUSK!

July, July…

I suppose some of you are wondering why I have forsaken my 3 readers. I haven’t left the baby birds all alone in the nest yet, so I don’t want any of you to fly away now.

However, it has been a bit busy the past couple weeks. Last week, I was out of town.

The week before, a good friend of mine lost his life.

Today is the Fourth of July, which is always filled with plenty of music. As per every July 4th, I spent the evening in a local town, hocking baked goods and suffering through the appalling display of patriotism that is the Fairview Fourth of July Celebration.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate patriotic music, but I do hate begin stuck in Fairview with Evermore and Ambassadors of Christ.

The constant pop and snap of the fireworks was enough to warm my soul after a few hours of American kitsch and soul-crushing old-time religion.

Enjoy the fireworks, baby birds. I’ll be back soon enough with a longer post.

Turn on… Tune in…

What is it that attracts us to music?

When you think about it (and I do urge you to), music is just organized air vibrations. Nothing more, really. However, one can listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and feel his wish for a perfect world, or to Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and feel the pain of losing a son. Perhaps the words guide our emotions.

Take a listen to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” or Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain“. You can feel… something. Perhaps the words simply guide our interpretations of our emotions. Perhaps the melodies and rhythms guide our emotions.

Now, listen to John Cage’s “In the Name of the Holocaust” or Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music“. Can you feel anything? Perhaps the words just suggest what we should feel or about what we should have feelings. Perhaps the melodies and rhythms aid the words in their job. Perhaps the vibration are just vibrations.

Now, listen to the birds outside your window or the rain on your rooftop. What do you feel now? What if you close the window and listen to the hum of the computer itself?

What if you turn off everything…

and listen to nothing?

F**king Music, How Does it Work?

I’ve got this theory about Insane Clown Posse.

For as long as I have known about ICP, I’ve never really taken them seriously. At first, I thought it was a joke or novelty act (can you really blame me?). Like Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett’s “Monster Mash” or Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine, I thought ICP was just a couple of pranksters who had paired up with everyone else on Earth to trick me into thinking getting a record deal was easy. Sadly, I soon realized that people were actually serious about them. These people (who call themselves ‘Juggaloes’) are roughly as annoying and obsessed as any run-of-the-mill Twilight fan, wearing stupid shirts with annoying images of crap that I don’t care about.

Now, I know that you know my taste in music and the fact that it doesn’t encompass Insane Clown Posse. For those of you who don’t know this…

shame on you, you silly, silly person.

However, one of their more recently released songs, named ‘Miracles’, came to my attention through the overuse of a recent internet meme. It’s simply one lyric from the song itself, stating “f*ckin’ magnets, how do they work?” The internet had its fun with the phrase, and for a while, everyone was happy. But soon, my mind began to wonder. “What does the rest of this song say?” I though. “What else do Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope (those are their real stage names. Seriously.) consider miracles?”

Fast forward to now, and you can already tell what this post is about. I made the mistake of taking a trip to YouTube and searching for the entire song. Sadly, I found it (in high-def) and watched the whole thing. Twice. Not because it was good or influential, mind you. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Nothing caught my ear throughout most of the first ‘verse’, but nearing the end of said verse comes this little gem: “F*ckin’ rainbows after it rains, there’s enough miracles here to blow your brains, I fed a fish to a pelican at Frisco bay, it tried to eat my cell phone, he ran away.” Now, this is pretty bad. I’m positive that if this was Colin Meloy instead of ICP, he would’ve stopped at this point (even if he didn’t get the middle 8.) Not only are rainbows not miracles, but the line about the pelican is just ridiculous. Maybe Violent J thought it was a miracle that the pelican didn’t kill him, even though he really deserves it. Let’s face it, if I was that pelican, I would’ve beaten J and Shaggy to death with my fish-filled throat-pouch.

The second line that really hit me was the overused line that brought me to the song in the first place. In context, the line is: “Water, fire, air and dirt, f*cking magnets, how do they work?” I can’t help but thinking that it actually makes less sense in the context of the song. Whenever I would see it on the internet, I thought that maybe the ICP boys were experiencing a bit of scientific curiousity and were yearning the learn how magnets worked, but then, I listened to the song and realized that they are just douche bags.

Finally comes one of the last lines of the entire song. Believe me when I tell that I almost gave up on the song and life itself until I heard this line. Simply put, it is “Magic everywhere in this bitch!” Honestly, this is the best line of the song. When I hear the phrase “Magic everywhere in this bitch!”, I know everything is going to be alright and that the last 6 minutes of my life (4 for the song and a couple extra for buffering) have not been in vain, but have actually been the ones most wisely spent in that day. Please, dear reader, keep this phrase in mind next time you are down. I guarantee it will bring you right back up again.

Honestly, other than a few bits of silliness about long-necked giraffes and pet dogs and cats, the rest of the song is just general Insane Clown Posse jackassery, which you can get from any of their ELEVEN STUDIO ALBUMS! You read that correctly. 11. Why I don’t have a record deal is beyond me at this point.

In closing, I must say “Music is all magic. You can’t even hold it. It’s just there in the air. Pure motherf*cking magic, right? This sh*t’ll blow your f*cking mind!” and remember that there is always “Magic everywhere in this bitch!”

Also, don’t forget that those are actual lyrics from the song. If you are strong-willed and truly want to hear for yourself, well… here you go: F**king Miracles

A First Time for Everything

I’m not quite sure why or for how long it happened, but for the first 5-8 years of my life I was forced to listen to country music. Is it because I live in West Virginia? Perhaps. Is it because my mother was raised on the same music and, being that my father worked midnight shift, my mother was always in control of the car radio? More than likely. Either way, I have grown to resent my mother for her actions. She’s the reason I made a cassette of myself singing Shania Twain’s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” when I was way too young to understand the sexual implications of the song. I think my father may have found this cassette soon after I made it.

I think that is why the following story happened.

I don’t recall the time of day, the destination, or even the automobile itself. We cycled through many different station wagons during my childhood. I still drive one that used to be the designated “Family Car”. Those of you who know me have seen it once of twice. Regardless, we were taking a ride in one of our station wagons. I was in the passenger’s seat and my father was at the helm. I believe it was the first time I had taken a ride alone with my own father, which may seem a little strange considering I was 8 or so.

I remember getting into the car and fastening my seat belt like a good boy. I had reached toward the radio to turn it on and starting fiddling with the buttons to find the local country station, which I believe was 102.7 FM. I don’t recall the call letters though, as that was the last time I would listen to that station. My father took his eyes from the road for a moment, and asked a simple question. “What are you doing?”

“I’m putting some music on, daddy!”

He looked back at me with that same expression of wonder and misunderstanding. “Wait a minute. Just…. stop.” I thought I was in trouble for some reason that I couldn’t truly understand. “Here. I’ll put on some GOOD music.”

My father’s hand went to work undoing what I had done. Not looking away from the open road, his fingers played on the buttons of the radio until he was confident that he had found the correct one. Pressing it, the radio flipped from 102.7 to 94.3 FM, WRLF and as if by some divine providence, the tuner hit the station at the perfect moment. A song had begun to play as soon as 94.3 was reached.

I sat in wide-eyed amazement, listening to what was exiting the speakers as if I was hearing music for the first time. In retrospect, that’s what was happening. My ears had been clogged with years of country twang and hick lyrics, but as I sat listening to this new music, all of that melted away. I remember hearing what sounded like a chorus of angels, enveloped in light, singing the first meaningful lyrics I had ever heard on the radio. In a way, it was as if God himself was speaking to me through this music. Through the radio, he said:

“Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
no escape from reality.
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see.”

Little did I know that it wasn’t God that was singing, but instead Freddy Mercury (although, I understand if you can hardly find a difference.) The voices were then followed by soft piano, wailing guitars, lyrical wordplay, and every other bit of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that makes it (one of) the best song(s) of the last century. (Sorry, boys, but it just can’t stack up to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”.)

I remember sitting still and listening very intently through the entire song, wondering how it could get any better.

After Queen had finished with their epic, a very different song began to play. The song was Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”. I listened as I had to the song before, understanding the feeling of defiance in the singer’s voice. I was in elementary school at the time, so I had at least a few years of experience with various teachers and understood at least a baseline dislike for certain teachers. Perhaps, I didn’t understand the point completely, but I knew something amazing was happening.

And, as most of you know, I am still a huge fan of Pink Floyd. Most of you have seen me in a Pink Floyd shirt. I own several.

Either way, the fact that I still remember this can speak to the depth at which music can touch a soul and affect a life. To remember almost 15 years later the first song I truly heard should show everyone something. Frankly, I believe this event to be one of the most important events of my life. I don’t remember the first book I read. I don’t even remember the name of the first girl I rounded 3rd base with (a story that will never grace this blog. Trust me.)

Music, however, has been a huge part of my life ever since, and everyday I silently thank my father for single-handedly bestowing the gift of music upon me. He may not be able to play an instrument and he has absolutley no understanding of basic music theory, but the instant he passed onto me the music that he had grown up with, he changed my life forever.

So, Dad… I’ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.

And, Mom… I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll… but I like it.

I’m not quite sure why or for how long it happened, but for the first 5-8 years of my life I was forced to listen

to country music. Is it because I live in West Virginia? Perhaps. Is it because my mother was raised on the same

music and, being that my father worked midnight shift, my mother was always in control of the car radio? More than

likely. Either way, I have grown to resent my mother for her actions. She’s the reason I made a cassette of myself

singing Shania Twain’s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” when I was way too young to understand the sexual

implications of the song. I think my father may have found this cassette soon after I made it.

I think that is why the following story happened.

I don’t recall the time of day, the destination, or even the automobile itself. We cycled through many different

station wagons during my childhood. I still drive one that used to be the designated “Family Car”. Those of you

who know me have seen it once of twice. Regardless, we were taking a ride in one of our station wagons. I was in

the passenger’s seat and my father was at the helm. I believe it was the first time I had taken a ride alone with

my own father, which may seem a little strange considering I was 8 or so.

I remember getting into the car and fastening my seat belt like a good boy. I had reached toward the radio to turn

it on and starting fiddling with the buttons to find the local country station, which I believe was 102.7 FM. I

don’t recall the call letters though, as that was the last time I would listen to that station. My father took his

eyes from the road for a moment, and asked a simple question. “What are you doing?”

“I’m putting some music on, daddy!”

He looked back at me with that same expression of wonder and misunderstanding. “Wait a minute. Just…. stop.” I

thought I was in trouble for some reason that I couldn’t truly understand. “Here. I’ll put on some GOOD music.”

My father’s hand went to work undoing what I had done. Not looking away from the open road, his fingers played on

the buttons of the radio until he was confident that he had found the correct one. Pressing it, the radio flipped

from 102.7 to 94.3 FM, WRLF and as if by some divine providence, the tuner hit the station at the perfect moment.

A song had begun to play as soon as 94.3 was reached.

I sat in wide-eyed amazement, listening to what was exiting the speakers as if I was hearing music for the first

time. In retrospect, that’s what was happening. My ears had been clogged with years of country twang and hick

lyrics, but as I sat listening to this new music, all of that melted away. I remember hearing what sounded like a

chorus of angels, enveloped in light, singing the first meaningful lyrics I had ever heard on the radio. In a way,

it was as if God himself was speaking to me through this music. Through the radio, he said:

“Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
no escape from reality.
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see.”

Little did I know that it wasn’t God that was singing, but instead Freddy Mercury (although, I understand if you

can hardly find a difference.) The voices were then followed by soft piano, wailing guitars, lyrical wordplay, and

every other bit of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that makes it (one of) the best song(s) of the last century. (Sorry, boys,

but it just can’t stack up to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”.)

I remember sitting still and listening very intently through the entire song, wondering how it could get any

better.

After Queen had finished with their epic, a very different song began to play. The song was Pink Floyd’s “Another

Brick in the Wall, Part 2”. I listened as I had to the song before, understanding the feeling of defiance in the

singer’s voice. I was in elementary school at the time, so I had had at least a few years of experience with

various teachers and understood at least a bassline dislike for certain teachers. Perhaps, I didn’t understand the

point completely, but I knew something amazing was happening.

And, as most of you know, I am still a huge fan of Pink Floyd. Most of you have seen me in a Pink Floyd shirt. I

own several.

Either way, the fact that I still remember this can speak to the depth at which music can touch a soul and affect

a life. To remember almost 15 years later the first song I truly heard should show everyone something. Frankly, I

believe this event to be one of the most important events of my life. I don’t remember the first book I read. I

don’t even remember the name of the first girl I rounded 3rd base with (a story that will never grace this blog.

Trust me.)

Music, however, has been a huge part of my life ever since, and everyday I silently thank my father for single-

handedly bestowing the gift of music upon me. He may not be able to play an instrument and he has absolutley no

understanding of basic music theory, but the instant he passed onto me the music that he had grown up with, he

changed my life forever.

So, Dad… I’ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.

And, Mom… I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll… but I like it.