Atom Bomb

Sorry this has fallen by the wayside lately…things have been really crazy the last couple of months.

During the time I was away from the blog, I discovered a quirky pop/R&B/Ska-lite band called The Str!ke (yes, that’s how they spell it – with an exclamation point replacing the “i”…MOST of the time…). I found them through my Spotify “Discover This!” “personalized” discovery playlist – one of their songs popped up on this list which changes weekly (I have no idea whether or not they’re ACTUALLY personalized, but they say they are, so who am I to question it?).

To put it succinctly, I have fallen head over heels in love with this group, which puts me in mind of a mashup between 70s popschlock meisters Chicago and the Ska sounds of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Lead singer Chris Crabb has a very high tenor voice, and he is able to rock out in ways that never fail to amaze me. I’ve ordered the downloads of all their stuff on Amazon, and I have been listening to Atom Bomb every morning to help me wake up. Their music is just so quirky and original you can’t help fall for it.

They ARE a challenge to understand, though. This song’s lyrical pace is so fast I had to look up the lyrics to get the full gist of the song, but it was worth it. Seek them out – search both “The Strike” (older stuff) and “The Str!ke” (newer stuff) on Spotify or your favorite streaming music service and discover the joys of their funky modernday throwback sound…you will LOVE it…(warning – for some reason, a lot of their stuff has suddenly disappeared from Spotify…I don’t know what might be happening but you can get the new EP there still…)

 

Little Things…

Sorry this has fallen a bit behind…dealing with the little things…

Sometimes life gets out of hand. You expect one outcome and get something entirely wrong, and it throws your whole internal rhythm off. That’s what happens when you forget about the little things in life. You get so focused on one particular thing that life passes by and you forget about a meeting with a friend, or a birthday, or your significant other’s cats’ birthday, or something. And it is really so simple to remind yourself (and others) about the little things…like for instance…

Say “Hi” to someone, a friend or a stranger, as you pass by them…

Smile at the stranger sitting across from you on the train…

Look up and see what the clouds look like…

Say “Hey, how you doin’?” to a friend or co-worker that looks out of sorts or a little down…

Pay for the person behind you when you’re getting coffee at Dunks…

Drop a dollar or two in a busker’s guitar case, or a homeless person’s bucket…

Remember to say “thank you” to a clerk at the store for helping you out…

Anyway, you get the idea…

Sorry for sounding like an old insurance commerical (I think it was Liberty Mutual) but when you look around, you can see people remembering the little things all the time…and maybe it will help you do the same…

Our sister site TKR is working on a playlist channel devoted to the little things in life – TKR PlusLife will debut in the next couple of weeks. Whenever you’re in need of a little boost, click in and listen..and pass it on…:-)

Only A Mountain…

Too many times in life, people give up on things. Love, work, happiness, religion, even life itself.

This song is there to remind you that you don’t have to give up. That you CAN do what you set out to achieve. That you only have to make it happen. Believe in yourself (and if you so choose, in God) and you can move mountains.

Singer Jason Castro has always been a favorite, since he was on American Idol nearly a decade ago (maybe more than now..time flies, you know). And this song is something to help you keep going. Don’t give up on anything – with time (and, if you believe, with prayer), things will come out ok.

I’ve had to refer to this song so many times to help me keep going. There’s a whole list of these kind of songs, and eventually, I’m sure someone will make a playlist for them, but for right now, sit back, enjoy, and be inspired…and know that even you can make a mountain move…it’s up to YOU.

 

The Way Of Love…

Ah, Cher. Always a great performer. Whether solo or with ex hubby Sonny Bono, she was always fantastic. And this song has always been one of my favorites.

It’s interesting that the song, released as Cher’s follow up to her #1 smash “Gypsies Tramps and Thieves” in 1970, has only recently generated quite a bit of controversy; quite a few people out there have taken a lyric line from the song, and suggested that the woman in the song is actually saying goodbye to either a bisexual man or a lesbian lover that has recently dumped her. The line in question:

What will you do/When he sets you free/Just the way that you/Said good-bye to me.

You have to admit, it does sound a little bit like she’s talking to another woman, doesn’t it?

As brought up on the Wiki article about the song, it’s more likely that the woman in the song is simply thinking of her own recent jilting when giving advice to another young woman and turns the last line to refer to her own relationship.  Still, the song is ambiguous enough to leave questions…and if it WAS written that way, it would have been a real stereotype breaker seeing as how it was written in 1965 – it would have been utterly taboo at that time.

No matter what the controversy, the song remains Pure Cher. Please enjoy it, I always do.

Voices In The Halls….

I saw “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl” again last night…love that movie…very melancholy and yet hysterically funny.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of Neon Trees of late – I think they’re probably my favorite band right now. And they have a song that would be perfectly appropriate for Greg (the “Me” of “Me and Earl”) at the end of the movie.

It talks about how you never really thought friends/loved ones would really be gone when they pass on, and how even after they’re gone, you expect to hear them. Granted this song is about a couple, but it can be applied to anyone who lost someone they loved. It’s a beautiful sentiment, tinged with pain and sadness, and yet explains how they’ll never be alone as long as they have their memories.  It’s one of my favorite songs by the band, and when you hear it – and especially if you’ve never heard it – you’ll see why…

Rock Lobster…

Just because…

Everyone needs a little “Rock Lobster” in their life once in a while. Remember, the crazy makes real life seem ok…

Oh, by the way, the title of this blog changed the other day because I discovered someone started using the “My Life” moniker after we’d registered the blog name….don’t want to usurp their mojo…and “Our Lives” makes it a bit more inclusive anyway…

Him…

Everyone has times when they think people they love are cheating on them. This is NOT a good situation no matter what. But what is cheating, really?

You can physically cheat on someone, of course. But what about virtuality? If you lust after someone, is that considered cheating? What if you happen to find some hunky actor or actress sexy? Is that cheating on your significant other?

I suppose it depends on your point of view, doesn’t it?

Some people get all bent out of shape when their husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend even LOOK at someone else. Sometimes it becomes a game between a couple, trying to drive each other nuts in a playful way. Other times, jealousy and perception can destroy a relationship.

I’ve experienced all three of the above. Not saying which side of the relationship, either….that would be telling.

If you truly LOVE someone, then you have to KNOW that person. If you know that person, chances are good that you are inside their head at any given moment, and you know what is serious and what is playful.

If you don’t, then it probably isn’t really “love”, but infatuation, or a form of lust, or a dependance of some sort. But it’s not “love”.

Love should be unconditional, but only up to a point. Sometimes things go too far – abuse, neglect, criminal activity – then you need to rethink things. But most of the time you won’t have to deal with that. Because it won’t happen if there is really love there, will it?

You’re The Voice…

NEVER fear for what you believe in.

You have a right to believe what you want to believe in. Well, within reason. If you believe your neighbor is a space alien from the planet Eeeeb who’s out to take over the world, then MAYBE you should step back and take a look at your beliefs…

Everyone has differences of opinion. And nowhere is that more evident than in politics.

The Republicans say “The Democrats are BAAAAAAAAD, very BAAAAAAAAD”, and the Democrats cry “The Tea Party is so CRAZZZEEEE”…honestly? Give me a fuckin’ break….

Personally, I think pretty much all politicians are full of the biggest and worst kind of bullshit on the planet.

Do I have political opinions? You bet I do. Do I stand behind my convictions? Absolutely. Do I see the need to blab about it in public? Not really.

I vote, I watch the news, I formulate an opinion, I research the problems and the solutions, and then I support the one I think will work. I don’t care if it’s a democrat, a republican, a libertarian, or a LaRouche fanatic that came up with it, as long as it works.

People don’t have to be loud and ignorant (in other words, most people with a PoliSci degree, or students of Saul Alinsky) to stand behind their beliefs and convictions. And if you dont’ agree with someone…don’t belittle them, don’t put them down, don’t pooh-pooh them. They are allowed to have their beliefs as well. So agree to disagree…and quit making assholes of yourselves by insisting that everything out there except what YOU believe is WRONG…because it isn’t and you’re not going to have very many friends with that kind of attitude…

 

Just Remember I Love You…

Love is supposed to be unconditional. It doesn’t always end up that way, but it’s SUPPOSED to be.

I love my mother. I love my friends. I love my wife. I love our family. Sure, they all piss me off from time to time, but I never STOP loving them. If you do, there’s something wrong with the picture.

I love TV. I love music. I love movies. I love good food.

This kind of love is different, and really ISN’T love, but rather strong like. If you tell a TV Show “I Love You”, chances are good people around you will call the men with the wraparound white coats…and then who will you love? You’ll only be able to hug yourself, and that’s NO FUN.

There are millions of songs that talk about love, but only a few really fit, and this is one of them. Think about the lyrics and then tell the people you love that you love them…

 

 

I Believe In Music…

Life is just fiction.

That’s my philosophy. There’s nothing inherently real about life…it’s all fiction in one form or another. Unless you have the perfect life, you’re not living the life you really want to live. And that’s what makes life fiction.

You’re living your own fictional version of life. Like this blog. Some of it will be true-life fiction; some of it will be wildly exaggerated. Some of it will be complete fuckin’ bullshit. But even that will have some modicum of truth somewhere I suppose…otherwise, what fun would it be?

The other part of my philosophy is this:

Music makes it tolerable.

Without music, life would be UNBEARABLE. I don’t know how deaf people stand it. They go through life in silence…maybe that’s how it works – if you don’t have to hear the world, perhaps that too is bearable.  I don’t know.

Songs tell stories – some are happy, some are sad. Some are goofy and ridiculous, some are somber and serious. Music makes you FEEL. It makes you feel energetic, or tired, or lonely, or satisfied…it can trigger almost any kind of emotion. Hopefully it’s the one that the songwriters and performers want it to trigger, although I personally have one or two “chirpy” songs that I would cheerfully take a shotgun to and blow into smithereens, because I can’t stand them. But thankfully, those are few and far between.

The purpose of this blog overall is to write some stories, some observations about my life, this life, this world, our planet, and relate it to a song. Every song has a memory if you choose to make it. And what I want to do teach you how to view life through music. In viewing my observations on life  through music, I hope to teach you to do the same.

The music will appear from all places. Some of it will be new, some of it classic. Some of it will be familiar, some of it will be totally new to you. Some artists will show up a lot, others maybe once or twice. Some of the songs you may already have a memory for, in which case you have my permission to keep it if you like. If not, forge something new from that blog entry. Take the song and the blog, and relate it to something in your life. Make it your OWN memory.

For today’s entry, let me simply say that this is the beginning. I have been brought up loving music of all kinds, all shapes and sizes. Music has been my refuge since I was a toddler. How old I am now makes no difference to me – I tend to think of myself and the way I view life through music as brand new to the world – a baby.

Wait a minute…that’s not totally true.

I view life at the mental age that each song makes me feel – whether that be two, nine, sixteen, twenty-four, thirty-five, fifty, seventy-three, on my death bed, or even immortal. Music doesn’t have to correspond to your actual age. How old I really am doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to FEEL my age. I can’t remember EVER feeling my actual age, except when I was a kid, which I’m not, not anymore. Sure, I still THINK like a teenager most of the time. My mental age is a perpetual seventeen or so, I suppose. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know.

All I know is that today’s song makes me feel really great. It’s the kind of song that explains life in three minutes.  Listen, absorb, and empower your life.