Hopefully I can make this stick until next year…
Some random thoughts that don’t fit into their own topic.
(Songs) on my Mind
Of and for the record, I hate radio music. What is radio music? Radio music is the majority of songs that get airplay today, be it on the top 40 channel, the heavy metal channel, the hip-hop channel, even the oldies and country stations. There are many good songs that are overshadowed by today’s radio stations, not because there’s stuff that’s better to listen to, but because someone is paying big bucks to force average crap and radio waste down our bleeding eardrums.
Every once in a while, though, my cynical eardrums will grow one some songs that actually are halfway decent. Sometimes – such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day – it’s the radio’s fault that I dislike it at all, because they don’t understand what overkill is. (Apart from a damn-good song, that is.)
A few recent favorites currently getting radio play:
Sheryl Crow and Sting – “Always on your Side”
I’m a sucker for two instruments: the guitar and the piano. Any person could play one of these, but get a pro up on stage with one, and I’m hooked. It goes double when it’s solo, only accompanied by a vocal track, or accompanied by an orchestra.
Throw in two people that really do know how to sing and write good music, a solo piano and a slow feel? I can’t think of any better way to explain why a song I would otherwise hate – apart from hearing it only a couple times a week – could grab me like this one does. Sure, there are a lot better songs out there, but there are way too many more committing violent assaults on the eardrums. This one’s kinda sinful pleasure.
Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles (of Timberland) – “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”
Bon Jovi is one of the few bands I hate admitting to liking. Most of their music is top 40 trash, yet there’s a lot of those trash songs, such as “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive,” that I grew up trying to imitate as well, and still like today. I’m in no hurry to buy any of their albums, but every once in a while, you might catch me singing along.
This song is another one of those songs that I liked, if for nothing else, than it feels right, especially as a duet. the music itself is not much, compared to their past works, but the lyrics make it feel like it’s “Wanted”‘s older, more mature brother. For some odd reason, it just feels right to me.
Fort Minor featuring Holly Brook and Jonah Matranga – “Where’d You Go”
This one I’ve been fortunate to have the full album, and to only have heard this song on the radio. While I hope that they go for two more singles off of the album (I’m all for “In Stereo” and “Slip”), if this is where the Fort Minor train ends, so be it – at least it’s on a high note.
The song, which is about the families point of view while he is on the road performing, is the polar opposite of the Bon Jovi song above, and really makes you sympathize with the families of the performers who go out and perform every night for weeks on end trying to earn their bread and butter. If it weren’t for the interviews I’ve seen and read about the song, I’d almost believe it was his wife/girlfriend/other family members who wrote it.
Green Day – “Holiday”
Yes, I’m burnt out on “Boulevard,” if only because I’ve been hearing it since the promos of a certain Fox TV (I believe it was “Prison Break”) used the opening as the backdrop. I’m also burnt up on “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” as well. Why? Because radio has overkilled these two songs for me.
Unfortunately, this overkill – which has burned my coworkers so much that, anytime a Green day song plays, they feel the need to shout on the intercom – has caused a lot of harm to this song. Not because radio has *(thankfully) not overkilled, but because these bastards do it to this song as well. Yes, Green Day needs to go back to the studio. In the meantime, let’s at least leave this song be.
More Music Tidbits – Rockford, IL
On the local beat, the big artists from town, Cheap Trick, released a new album this week, named after where I live. I’d bash them – as far as I am concerned, they’re a little too over-hyped in our area – but then I’d have to do a Bon Jovi and list the few songs that I like of theirs. I’ll be fair enough to listen to the CD before passing judgement, at least.
BTW, the last song of theirs I liked? “Woke Up With A Monster.”
On a separate note, next weekend I should have the web sites for both Puzzled Monkey and The Stevee Nixx up here. Finally good to have people, besides myself, posting good local bands on the net.
Musical Trivia – “Tainted Love”
Just did a curiosity search, and the oldest version I could find through iTunes is the Soft cell version from the 80’s. (No, kids, Marilyn Manson and the PussyCat Dolls did not that write that song! And that background of Rihanna’s “S.O.S. (Rescue Me)”? came from the Soft Cell Cover!)
Interesting, since it took a google search to learn that Gloria Jones was the original performer and Ed Cobb the original writer. (You can learn more here.)
BTW, my favorite version is still the Shades Apart version – It feels right to me.
Vista Beta release
Time to return to an area of geekiness expertise: computers. Right now, I wish I did have a new PC, thanks to the release of the beta this week. I’ve been keeping close tabs on it since I first started reading about it in the pages of Maximum PC, PC World, and others. Normally, apart from video games, Redmond’s computer giant has bored me with their OS ideas. 95? Gee, we finally figured how to make a good GUI OS. XP? Look, ma, the windows got pretty. Advancement? Hardly, in my opinion. The majority of the things introduced in these “ground-breaking” Operating Systems were already in other OS’s, such as Mac OS 9 and X and variants of Unix and Linux. Yes, I’ll acknowledge the little bit of innovation they’ve come up with, but the majority of the things I hear about I was seeing before their favorite OS’s release.
There are 2 things that excite me about Vista, though, that make me want to play with it. First is the new GUI, Aero Glass, and it’s counter boys, Flip and Flip 3d. Ever since learning last year of how XP employs vector graphics for its GUI work – something OS X doesn’t do correctly yet – I’ve been even more stoked about the graphical improvements to the OS. True, it’s not the type of boost up I’d like to so, but when you’re longing for something closer in interface design to Star Trek/Star Wars/Matrix style, where it’s no longer about the OS, it’s about the tools, it’s a step in the right direction.
the other thing I like – that sounds really promising – is WINSAT. I’ve felt, in spite of being mainly a Mac user, that a computer should work for the User, not the other way around. I’ve seen – and done – too many times where people have gone and messed with things only to slow down their machines needlessly and drastically, only to have that one User element they can’t live without. (At work, I’m picky, but I know what works best for that machine. I wish I had the same machine at home, though, to play around with.) Having a tool in the OS that sets up the machine so that it isn’t using what things will slow it down? Why hasn’t OS X done this already?
(P.S. At home I use an iMac G3 500 with 256 megs of Ram that badly need to be maxed out; and at work, I use a G5/2.0 Ghz with a gig of Ram that I wish were tripled, at least. Big difference.)
Before anyone starts calling me unpatriotic, understand that I’d be serving the military – unwillingly, due to the conflict in Iraq – had I lost my weight around 2001. I disagree with what our government is doing, not with the principles and foundations, or the people, of this country.
It troubles me everyday, however, to see a growing group of idiots everyday. I’ll start first with the Minutemen. This group is against immigration, yet, in my view, has taken it to such an extreme level that they’ve hit the wrong target. (I’m wondering if they may be connected to the KKK, especially how some of them talk.) It’s not that they’re wrong – if you’re not going to follow the proper channels to get into the US legally, Don’t come here! – but their extremist views of the people crossing and their failed solution. What good will it do to bus a bunch of people out of our country who are coming to the US for opportunities they don’t have in their home countries? When you have a group of people like that, it’s difficult to say, “no, you’re not welcome.” I have a lot of spanish friends, none of whom – to my knowledge – are illegal, and I fear that groups like this will cast them in the same shadow. This group needs either better goals or better leadership – something established to work on keeping who’s already here. Forget this shit of deporting – The problem’s going to continue, and how many legal citizens of the US will have to suffer the wrath of someone bigeted enough to think that they’re not?
the other group, lately, are the extremist religious nuts. No, I’m not talking about the Muslims, though to be fair, they’re just as crazy. I’m talking about the Christians who are standing behind Bush, waving their Anti-Abortion, Anti-Cloning, Pro-Censorship, Pro-War flags around like as if it’s the American flag. I’m getting fed up with this shit of , “If you’re against this/for this/with this, you’re unpatriotic/damned to spend eternity in hell/Satanic” nonsense Every day I see or hear one thing from one of you extremist nuts who won’t listen to any sort of reason outside of what either the bible or George “Dubya” Bush says. I’ll be flat-out honest with you: I have not found a religion I belong in yet; I believe that in extreme cases an Abortion should be legal (In other words, those who are going “just because you don’t want a kid” won’t be using that as an option); Putting a ban on certain types of research is going to kill any real growth; Any ban/fine/whatever on any piece of work, no matter how it is done or how offensive it is, should be legal; And that while the War on Afghanastan was right, Iraq was just the son telling the father, “I’ll get ’em for ya!” Furthermore, I believe in God and the Devil, believe that the Bible is an important, if not always accurate, historical document, and that too many so-called Christians are damning their own souls because they either don’t stick to the code, or cling to it like a security blanket. If that’s as offensive to you as me kicking the pope is to me, then maybe you ought to shut up.
(In case you’re curious, No, I wouldn’t kick the Pope unless I had to defend myself – I may not agree with the man, but I do have respect for him.)
Let me get back to what I was saying: There’s a fine line between believing in something, and doing the right thing, and there are plenty of things between that and doing the wrong thing. Telling and forcing people to believe that they’re wrong crosses that line, especially when used on either a belief or an uncontrollable. I’m not going to change because you tell me I’m wrong; I’m not going to leave because you think I’m something I’m not; and screw you if you think you’re going to break that from me.
One Last Thought Before Bed
Is it still possible to change/break the government the way we’re supposed to be able to according to the first papers signed back during the revolutionary war? Are we, as a country, capable of saying, “Our government is stepping out of bounds and we need to take it back?” I believe it’s time to do so.