Monday, January 31, 2011

My musical tastes haven't really changed that much in a year

To whomever created these prompts:

I maintain that "Drops of Jupiter" was my favorite song last year. However, in the spirit of sharing more (and not repeating songs), if it was something different, it would have been something off Save Me, San Francisco. Something like "If It's Love", which makes me smile every time I hear it. Granted, I like basically every song on that album. But "If It's Love" is definitely amazing.

And now I've finished! I feel pretty accomplished, and, I think, a little more comfortable with this blog, which means I achieved my goal as far as doing this challenge. So thank you for creating it; it was a fun, sometimes thought-provoking experience. And I liked sharing my music.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 30 is "Your favorite song at this time last year". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ah, memories...

Dear Hanson,

I was actually excited to hear about your new song this past summer. Partly because (like every other pre-teen at the time) I also loved "MmmBop". (Also? We at least had decent taste in music, because y'all, unlike the Jonas brothers, can actually sing. Talent is a pretty big plus.) At any rate, hearing "MmmBop" always takes me back to the '90s, when I didn't have any worries and life was pretty amazing.

I hope you keep making music - don't waste that talent! Good luck in the future!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 29 is "A song from your childhood". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I was doing so well! And then... failure.

Dear Professional Clarinetists,

I only wish I could play that glissando at the beginning of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". It gives me chills. Every time. But I think I'll have to settle with wishing - I don't have the time to dedicate any more to practicing enough that I could play that, unfortunately.


(Also, apologies to Disney for using their version. But it is an excellent recording!)

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 27 is "A song that you wish you could play". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Parents,

I'm sorry. But I do wish you would try not to make such a big deal every time I have to leave after a visit. It makes me feel awful.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 28 is "A song that makes you feel guilty". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This was my favorite pep band song ever.

Dear Mighty Mighty Bosstones,

I'm not really sure what your name is about, but I love "The Impression that I Get". I got really excited when I first heard it on the radio, because I knew how to play it from marching band. (Or, to be totally accurate, I can play the clarinet part of the particular arrangement that we played.) And it's a good song in general.

Props to you!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 26 is "A song that you can play on an instrument". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's about fish. And in a French accent. What's not to like?

Dear Chef Louis,

While I disagree with your reaction to Sebastian being alive (really, destroying the kitchen was a bit much), singing to the fish you cook is pretty hilarious. I think the "Hee hee hee! Haw haw haw!" part is pretty much the best. Makes me giggle, every time.

Maybe you influenced me, so now when I bake and cook things, I have the urge to sing and dance about. It just makes life more fun!

Au revoir!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 25 is "A song that makes you laugh". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is a tad morbid...

Dear Future husband/children/friends,

At this point, I don't know who will be planning my funeral. Frankly, it's not something I've ever given much thought to. To be honest, I don't really know what songs I might like played at my funeral. There are plenty of hymns I like. But I don't want it to be too sad - I should have plenty of good times that people can remember me by, I hope. So, in that spirit, and in the spirit of Dumbledore, who said that those we love never truly leave us, I would like Train's "Always Remember" to be played. (Sad note: I could not find a decent version of this online. As a substitute, here is a link to "When I Look to the Sky," which has a similar feel.)


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 24 is "A song that you want to play at your funeral". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 24, 2011

I've been saving this song for this post.

Dear Future Husband,

I admit it. Sometimes, I'm a total girl. And I'm a little ashamed of it. Weddings are like a drug. I like watching TV shows about them, I enjoy flipping through magazines to look at wedding dresses... I have a disease. And one of the symptoms does happen to be planning certain aspects of what I'd like at my wedding. I do know what I want my dress to look like, and I'm planning on wearing red shoes. (But whatever certain friends of mine might say, I do NOT have the entire thing all planned out already!! Far from it! Also, I'm not as bad as some people apparently are, because I only caught this disease after entering college and being exposed to "Say Yes to the Dress". I haven't been planning my wedding since I was 6.)

At any rate, one thing that will happen, at some point during the wedding, is there will be a playing of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Because it's amazing. And the best dance-party song ever.

I thought I should let you know.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 23 is "A song that you want to play at your wedding". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's been a very giraffe-y week

Dear giraffes,

How are you so ridiculous? You're just all neck and leg and hilarity.

Also, why are you suddenly in my life so much? I went from an average of 0 giraffes per week to 4. That's a pretty huge jump. First, there was this picture, which inspired my roommate to say "nipple-licking giraffe," which is possibly the funniest phrase ever. Then, I saw this picture, which made me laugh as well. You heartless bastards. (As a side note, the commenters seem to think the correct answer is A, or possibly B, but it's totally C. For the answer to be A or B, there would need to be some reproduction going on; since it's just showing that some individuals are less able to access the limited resources, C should be correct.) When I first saw the picture, there was also a link to Eddie Izzard talking about evil giraffes, which is a funny idea. And, because his running giraffe impression was spot-on, I had to look at some actual running giraffes, which is probably the most hilarious thing by far. All I can think when I see a running giraffe is, "What the hell?" And then I laugh. Because when you take an animal that's originally awkward looking, with spindly legs and knobbly knees and a ridiculous, gawky neck and then make it move fast, the result is pure, hilarious ridiculousness.

I do appreciate the humor you have added to my life. It vastly improved my week.

But you definitely look ridiculous.


I mostly use music to cheer myself up.

Dear Matt Harding,

1) You're pretty awesome. Getting paid to go around the world and dance in different places is pretty much the most amazing job I can think of.

2) You choose excellent music for your videos. I particularly like the song that gets played with the video that got chosen as the July 22, 2008, Astronomy Picture of the Day.

3) This video restores my faith in humanity. It's a great pick-me-up when I'm feeling sad about things.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Keep being awesome!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 22 is "A song that you listen to when you're sad". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Problematic: most of my music is happy music

Dear Jesse & Joy,

I'll admit that I don't speak Spanish. I know approximately 20 words (and some of them aren't very polite). But "Espacio Sideral" sounds so happy that I just can't help dancing to it. It just makes my whole body happy.

(I have to say, though, quite apart from the fact that this video is reversed, it's really, really strange!)

So thank you for the wonderful music!

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 21 is "A song that you listen to when you're happy". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 21, 2011

Angry music is not my usual fare

Dear Boy Kill Boy,

I enjoy "Suzie" in general, but I find it especially helpful for de-funking myself when I'm angry about something. I think it's the guitar, plus an overall peppy sound. Whatever it is, I enjoy it!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 20 is "A song that you listen to when you're angry". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is only the third Train song I've done

Dear Train,

Maybe it wasn't clear in the previous two posts about your music, but... I love your music. Pretty much all of it. Which makes choosing a "favorite album" difficult, and picking one great song from that almost impossible. Fortunately, I'm pretty awesome and managed to do both. Which is why I'm posting about "For Me, It's You", from the album of the same name.

I love this song. And I love the entire album. (To be honest, if I had done this a few months from now, I might very well have picked a song from Save Me, San Francisco. Because when I listen to those songs, I often get the feeling that they kind of capture all the slightly different sounds of your previous albums into one style that is quintessentially Train. I just haven't listened to it enough, I think, to be quite as attached to all those songs as I am to all the songs on For Me, It's You.)

In brief, please continue making amazing music!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 19 is "A song from your favorite album". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There is a lot of good music in this world

Dear Radio DJs,

Not that I disagree with all your song choices, but I do think you should give small, "amateur" bands some radio time. Example: Glorydive. Because "In the End" (and, in my opinion, pretty much all their songs) is amazing and deserves airtime.

You should take it into consideration.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 18 is "A song you wish you heard on the radio". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras

Dear Tess,

I wish you hadn't left so quickly. At least when we had to let Nutmeg go, we could see it coming for a long time. And 11 isn't young for a dog, but you should have had so many more years with us. Cancer is just so unfair. It's just hard to fathom the idea that you won't be running to greet me when I visit home any more.

I know you weren't perfect, but you were such a good dog! It just doesn't seem right that you had to go. I hope there are lots of squirrels for you to chase in heaven. At least you can bother Nutmeg again!

I love and miss you, my beautiful baby!


This song is quite catchy

Dear Ke$ha,

I'm really not sure how your songs are so catchy, but they are. Which must be why they play them on the radio so often. I get "We R Who We R" stuck in my head all the time.

Thanks for the tunes!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 17 is "A song that you hear often on the radio". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grow a backbone already...

Dear Supremes,

I used to enjoy "Stop! In the Name of Love". At least, when I really only knew that one line... Then I listened to the rest of the lyrics, and I just can't enjoy it any more. Seriously, if you find out your man is cheating on you, you should just leave the bum. (Naturally, the reverse is also true - basically, if you find out your significant other is cheating, leave them!)

No love,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 16 is "A song you used to love but now hate". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's my birthday. I'll do what I want.

Attention World:

As it is my birthday, I believe you should all sing "Happy Birthday" to me. That is the song that best describes me today.

Also, those of you who actually know me might be able to get some cake. It's pretty amazing. I even decorated it. (But you can't judge my decorating skills, because I'm not a professional.)

I await your congratulations on my successful completion of another year.

With anticipation,

PS- I considered taking this more seriously, and actually finding a song that I feel describes me (some contenders were Meredith Brooks's "Bitch", Erin McCarley's "Pony (It's OK)", India Arie's "Video", Kate Earl's "Melody", "I Have Confidence" from "The Sound of Music", something by Five for Fighting, something by Glorydive, something by Sara Bareilles, or something by Train). But I would have had serious trouble narrowing it down. So, since it is my birthday, and I get to do what I want, I took the easy way out.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 15 is "A song that describes you". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is it cheating to schedule these posts?

Dear Willow Smith,

I just want to let you know that I really enjoy "Whip My Hair". Perhaps you intended to write a song for the whole world, but I think a lot of people might not expect me, personally, to like that song.

But I do!

And props to you for creating such a spiffy song when you're only 8. When I was 8, I pretty much just read lots of books and played dress-up and stuff in my spare time.

Congratulations, and cheers to your future success,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 14 is "A song that no one would expect you to love". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why is this thing so expensive?!

Dear Cushzilla,

Oh, my gosh. I'm not sure why you decided to create this thing, but it's like you crawled inside my brain and found my most secret desires and gave them form. I really, really want one!! I mean, seriously, who could possibly resist it?

Not me, that's for sure.

Okay, well, I guess I can kind of. Because I haven't actually bought one. But that's just because it costs $60, and I just don't have that kind of money. Also? Imagine how much stuff you could carry underneath it!! You could totally rig up a pillowcase to go over your shoulders (or I guess you could just wear a backpack backwards or something, but that's less exciting) and cut some discreet slits in the side of the costume, and then you could carry like 10 pounds of candy. Or adult beverages, if you're a lush like me. Either way. It would be awesome. And I would get fewer strange looks for acting like a dinosaur. It's a winner all around!

I feel like my life will be incomplete until I get one of these.

Katherine (a future customer? Maybe!)

I should just put these things on a schedule...

Dear Miley Cyrus,

I really, really don't like you. Or, generally, your music. ("The Climb"? Worst thing ever. It's painful to listen to. I thought it was pretty fitting when Rachel "lost her voice" trying to sing it on "Glee". Clearly, the "Glee" producers know how many people would have changed channels if she'd actually sung the song. But I digress.)


"Can't Be Tamed" isn't too bad... (I have to say, though, the video was kind of... um... aggressive... about its message...)

And I can't really resist dancing to "Party in the U.S.A." It's kind of a guilty pleasure. I'm ashamed that I'm even admitting to remotely liking that song. But I do.

That doesn't mean I want to see your face. Or hear anything else you put out. No offense.

Not really a fan,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 12 is "A song from a band you hate". Day 13 is "A song that is a guilty pleasure". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You might think snow day posts would happen, but you'd be wrong

Dear Dan Gibson,

Your instrumental songs, combined with nature sound, are the perfect falling-asleep soundtrack. They remind me of a tape I had when I was little; my sister and I listened to it almost every night when we went to bed. I think we actually wore out the tape. Anyway, it's very soothing and relaxing, which I appreciate.

Restfully yours,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 10 is "A song that makes you fall asleep". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Train,

I was so excited when I heard "I Got You" for the first time! Because I really enjoy "Black Water"... and then you mixed it up with your own sound. Possibly one of the best days of my life. So thanks again for being so awesome.

Love always,

PS: I watched "The Bachelor" the other day just to see you perform. Except I would have definitely wanted to make requests if something like that happened to me!! Clearly that girl did not know how lucky she was.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 11 is "A song from your favorite band". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 10, 2011

Really, I can (and will) dance to just about anything...

Dear Cascada,

"Everytime We Touch" is awesome. It's great for dancing to in general, and it even lends itself readily to my (admittedly ridiculous) interpretive dancing. So props to you for that! And you get bonus props for using normal-looking people in the video. Although a few less props for disabling embedding. I still love the song!

With appreciation,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 9 is "A song that you can dance to". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I fail so hard at daily blogging...

Dear Sarah and Halli,

Does "Something There" from "Beauty and the Beast" remind you of something? Because it always makes me think of our fall break adventure to Atlanta to see the whale sharks. Just one more reason for me to love that movie, I suppose!

Love and miss you both,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 7 is "A song that reminds you of a certain event". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear shoes,

I adore you. You are adorable, and I just can't seem to get enough. So it seems fitting that I should dedicate Paolo Nutini's "New Shoes" to you. It makes me smile to sing a song about my favorite clothing items.


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 8 is "A song that you know all the words to". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just pretend this first one was posted about 3 hours ago...

Dear Mom,

I think you might be pleased to know that hearing The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" makes me think of you. You always enjoy it so much! :-)


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 5 is "A song that reminds you of someone". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Dear Glorydive,

I really love your songs. And they always make me think about the times I've seen you live at The Pourhouse (and how awesome you've been every time!). But, to just pick one song, I think the one that most reminds me of The Pourhouse is "Animal Instincts". It is one of my favorites of yours.

Thanks for the amazing music - any chance you'll come out of retirement sometime soon? ;-D

Your fan,

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 6 is "A song that reminds you of somewhere". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There is something seriously wrong with this woman.

Dear Sandra Lee,

Why do you exist? The things you do are beyond crazy. You are seriously like the Antichrist of cooking. A roux should never be made with oil!! You use butter. That is your fat. Oil is not an acceptable substitute. There is no need to buy a whole seasoning packet to just use a couple tablespoons. Here's a thought: create recipes that use actual spices - it's really not that difficult. And then you can use those spices in different proportions and combinations in other recipes, instead of being stuck with random, partly-full packets of pre-mixed seasonings. And you don't have to worry about "avoiding onions" when you scoop seasoning out of a packet of dry soup mix. Nobody wants ice cream that looks like a baked potato. The pudding is going to fall off your little banana pudding bites. (Also? A real chef would come up with a way to have an individual-size banana pudding dessert without that complication. Like adapting it into cupcakes. Or little tarts. Or just serving regular banana pudding in a little dish.) Please stop glopping store-bought icing with weird crap added in onto angel food cakes. What did the angel food cake ever do to you? Here's a hint: angel food cake tastes great on its own, without frosting. Also, when you frost a cake, you could just put it on a pretty plate instead of an upside down pie tin which you then frost. Wasting frosting on decorating a pie tin is unnecessary and awful. Have you ever seriously tried to frost a cake? I don't think you have. Because if you had, you would know about gel paste food coloring (which works much better for frostings than liquid food coloring) and you would, at least occasionally, use actual piping bags with real couplers and tips on, instead of just cutting a corner off a plastic bag. I'm not saying there's never a time and place for that sort of thing, but you should not do that every time you decorate!! It's also a good idea, when combining two "media" (e.g., frosting and melted chocolate), to make sure you have the same shade of green (or whatever color you're using). And if someone ever showed up at a wedding (or other "love"-themed party) with a cake like your "Love Cake", I would literally throw it in their face.

And it really, really kills me that you are teaching your children to "cook" this way!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to comfort myself by looking at recipes and cookbooks featuring real food, created by real cooks and bakers. I might also have to make myself some macaroni and cheese (from scratch! With a roux made with butter!!) to feel better.

There is no word that properly captures my abhorrence of your creations,

PS: It's not that I'm against making things from store-bought mixes, or using those sorts of short-cuts occasionally… I'm against the mutilation of food. Food should be tasty and enjoyable. No one cares if you don't make changes to a store-bought mix - there's a reason the mix made it to the store - it's already tasty! And yes, it is possible to change things in a good way (there are multiple "Cake Mix Doctor" cookbooks proving this; also see just about any cooking blog out there). But the changes you make… Are generally not what I would term improvements. (Also? The reason your sugar cookies "taste better" than the frozen mix is because you add a whole bunch of fat and sugar to them with that cream cheese. Just sayin'.)
PPS: It is no wonder you are so thin. I can't imagine many of these recipes, especially the desserts, actually taste good.
PPPS: I don't think these sandwiches are the "nutty star" on this show... 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Depressing songs are really not my favorite.

Dear Eric Church,

You are talented, but I have to say, your song "Lightning" is really kind of depressing. Not my favorite. I'm just not a big fan of songs that actually make me sad. (And there's a difference between sad songs and songs that make you sad.) It is a good thing I had some wine while I was making my dinner this evening, because just thinking about this song makes me need it!



*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 4 is "A song that makes you sad". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hallelujah indeed!

Dear Julianne Hough,

Thanks so much for "My Hallelujah Song"! It never fails to cheer me up and make me smile. (And I guess I should thank iTunes for making it a free song one week...) I love it.

Thanks again!


*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 3 is "A song that makes you happy". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Monday, January 3, 2011

Worst song ever? Maybe.

Dear Enya,

I'm sure you're a wonderful person, but I really don't know what ever could have possessed you to release the song "Only Time". It is awful. It makes my ears bleed. I kind of want to hurt something when I hear it. And it was tough, because they played it on the radio ALL THE DAMN TIME about 7 years ago. (Yes, I still remember my pain. It was that awful.) And you couldn't even be satisfied by torturing me with radio playtime. You had to write a song that gets stuck in my head when I hear any little snippet of it. So my pain lasts even longer than just the three and a half minutes of the actual song. It's horrific.

I hope in the future you can spare my ears from this sort of awfulness.



PS - Youtube is clearly on my side, because I can't embed the video; all I can do is provide a link.

*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 2 is "Your least favorite song". I am using the prompts listed here.*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oh, is it a new year already?

Dear 2011,

I have some pretty high hopes for you. Like I hope you will be more awesome than 2010. And 2010 was pretty awesome. On the bright side, you can get an early start at being awesome because my birthday is in two weeks. Here is a big chance for something awesome to happen. Please don't let me down!

With anticipation,


Dear Train,

Thank you for writing "Drops of Jupiter"! That is, quite possibly, my favorite song. Ever. It always makes me feel better to hear it. It's kind of funny, because if I hadn't heard it about 8 billion times in seventh grade English (when we were doing poetry, and then talked about the meaning behind the lyrics), I probably wouldn't have fallen in love with you and your music. And apparently the rest of my classmates are musical Neanderthals, who now don't like this song. I really don't know what's wrong with them. But I love your stuff, and "Drops of Jupiter" most of all.

Thank you so much!



*This post is part of the "30 Day Song Challenge". Day 1 is "Your favorite song". I am using the prompts listed here.*