Monday, October 04, 2010

Songs From The Future

Dear High School Me (circa 1985),

As Douglas Adams wrote, "Don't panic." Somehow, through a rift in the space-time continuum, I've been allowed to send you the ultimate 21st century play list. And by "play list" I don't mean a list of fabulous Broadway productions. I'm talking music. Songs that I (you 25 years from now), enjoy. That item attached to this message? That tiny, little box? That is full of music, some from artists that are still learning to walk in the 1980's. And the best part is that you won't wear out the tape inside and have to listen to Simon LeBon singing soooo sloooowly. And don't tell Dad but that little music player can easily hold a thousand songs and costs less than that Sony Walkman he bought in Hong Kong.

And hey, don't fast forward just so you can hear all the Duran Duran songs. I just don't listen to them as much as I used to. They were great on MTV. When MTV played music videos. But don't worry! I think you'll find some of the other artists just as cute as John Taylor.

Just press the Play button to begin.

The Airborne Toxic Event - "Sometime Around Midnight"

Isn't that a great band name? This is one of my guilty secret bands. I heard them on an Alternative Radio station and just fell in love with the singer's raw voice and his description of this girl he met in a bar. "...the piano's this melancholy sound check to her smile". I think everyone has had this experience--finding the perfect person and knowing it in an instant--and then watching as it all just slips aside.

Anne Hathaway, Ella Enchanted Soundtrack - "Somebody To Love"

We grew up with some great movie soundtracks like Grease, Xanadu, and Footloose. Yes, Ella Enchanted is kind of a kid movie but the humor is great and the songs rock. I listened to this for months, driving to and from work, singing my heart out. When Critter was in the car with me, I'd crank up the music, using her as my excuse to listen. She didn't seem to mind too much. Except when I sang along.

Barenaked Ladies - "One Week" and "It's All Been Done"

Yeah, band names have come quite a ways since the 80's. Apparently they picked this name during a Dylan concert. They were up in the nosebleed seats, couldn't see the show, and pretended to be rock critics. "Well, they're no Barenaked Ladies..." And thus a great band was born. BNL songs are catchy tunes with some fabulous lyrics. Where else can you find references to the X-Files (a scary show you will sorta watch in college), The Price Is Right, and Sting?

Remember what I said about MTV not playing videos any more? Well, until I started writing this note to you, 1985 Me, I hadn't seen the BNL and Airborne Toxic Event videos. Yes, I like the songs just from hearing them on the radio! Can you believe it?!

Beyonce - "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"

A great dance number that spawned MANY home made videos. I think my favorite might still be the Glee Football team version (more on Glee later). You're still young and limber enough you can probably do the whole dance.

the bird and the bee - "One On One"

I discovered this band from a Christmas video posted on some one's blog (blog=that's like an online journal). I think Inara George has a beautiful, ethereal voice. This is one of my favorite Hall and Oates song from their recent tribute album.

Blue October - "Into The Ocean"

The first time I heard this song on the radio I was so pleased to hear that Peter Gabriel had put out a new album. The song is a little dark but the imagery is so beautiful. This is the downside to not watching music videos. It took me months to figure out who sang this song.

Bruce Hornsby - "Gonna Be Some Changes Made"

I love songs that tell stories. Bruce plays some fabulous piano and having Sting on backup vocals isn't too bad either.

Christina Aguilera (et al) - "Lady Marmalade"

Another great dance song from a movie soundtrack. Plus, there's naughty French in it!

The Coats - "Down On The Corner"

I first heard The Coats at Bumbershoot in Seattle. They're a local NW group that got their start singing on the corner of Pike's Street Market. Now, any time they are in the area we try to hit their concerts. Their two Christmas albums are usually in rotation beginning in early November. I have even been known to play Mr. Grinch in July.

Coldplay - "Viva La Vida"

Brilliant lyrics and a very mesmerizing tune. Hit the replay button on this one.

Collective Soul - "Better Now"

This song sounds like it could be sung by an 80's Bowie. Really, he should have performed this on the Glass Spider tour.

Corrine Bailey Rae - "Put Your Records On"

Gorgeous lyrics like "Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet...". Makes me think of all the times I (you) hung out in the backyard listening to my Walkman. Breathe in summer and enjoy the music.

David Sylvian - "Midnight Sun"

David still has that velvety voice you remember from Japan and his early solo work.

Yes, 1985 Me, I'm in the D's. Duran Duran will be coming soon.

Death Cab For Cutie - "I Will Possess Your Heart"

One of the great things about this band is that all their songs kind of sound the same. I know most people would think that a bad thing, but this band is my Go To music when I have to hunker down and get some work done. All of the songs sort of flow together and two hours later I've finished updating that thing with all the words, the numbers match up, and I've got a happy boss.

Dixie Chicks - "Cowboy Take Me Away" and "Wide Open Spaces"

Yes, it's country music. But it rocks! And you'll want to run away with a romantic cowboy when you're done listening.

Duran Duran - "Ordinary World"

See? I put one song on the list for you. I do listen to Duran Duran, but not their later stuff as much as the music they put together in the 80's. Oh, and I hate to break it to you, but we never married John. Sorry.

Elton John - "The One"

Technically this song is from your future, but only by a few years. I still love the lyrics.

Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge soundtrack - "Elephant Love Medley"

Every love song you can possibly name sung by Obi Wan Kenobi and Bewitched's Samantha.

Five For Fighting - "100 Years" and "The Riddle"

Two songs not performed by Train. I like the message in both of these songs. Again, not having MTV videos to rely on made figuring out who sang these a little difficult.

There are more songs on the play list, 1985 Me, I'll have to send that list in a separate batch. Stay tuned!